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deantuinstra REPEAT RUNNER '16

Very flat, very fast. I've ran this marathon 4 years in a row, and am getting ready to go back for a 5th year in a row. I've gotten a … MORE

Very flat, very fast. I’ve ran this marathon 4 years in a row, and am getting ready to go back for a 5th year in a row. I’ve gotten a new Masters PR every time I run it. I’ve BQ’ed the last 3 times I’ve run it. The weather is cool, but never too cold. It hasn’t gotten too hot, finish temps are usually low 60’s. It’s the best supported marathon I’ve run, with aid stations every mile. It’s small, but that means no long bathroom lines, and I was able to park about 50 yards from the start/finish line. It’s wide open, out in the country, so the air is clean and fresh. I didn’t think I would like the double out-and-back course, but now I LOVE it. We get to see all the other runners in the race, several times. Going back out on the course after the 13.1 turn around can be mentally tough, but that does’t last long when you see the other runners. Once you get to the 19.5 mile turn around, all you have to do is get home, and that doesn’t seem too daunting. And you get a nice gradual downslope at 23 miles, when your legs are killing, and by that time you can see the town, and know the finish is very close. At the finish line, it’s all you can eat pancakes and sausage!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

5 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '18

I have run all fifty states but some races are still must-do events, and Mad Marathon was supposed to be one such race. I’d heard it was beautiful but challenging … MORE

I have run all fifty states but some races are still must-do events, and Mad Marathon was supposed to be one such race. I’d heard it was beautiful but challenging and it lived up to both counts.

Waitsfield is a beautiful little town and worth visiting. There are tons of little B&B’s to choose from (Yellow Farmhouse Inn was lovely). Packet pickup is near where the race begins/ends and takes about thirty seconds. There is also race morning pickup which to me, is always a nice perk even when I don’t need it. There is no city traffic to fight through on race day and it’s overall a peaceful setting for the start and finish. I love races like this!

The start area is literally around the corner from the finish chute and festivities so logistics are easy in terms of parking and having extra stuff. I parked about 20 yards away which was awesome. After a Marathon Maniacs photo we all walked to the start, listened to a beautiful singing of the National Anthem, and then began the 26.2 mile meat grinder.

Lots of people flew off the line only to come crashing back to earth after the first few monster hills. This is not a PR course in my humble opinion. Coming off a PR last month, and coming into this race with a new fueling and nutrition plan, I had already tossed time goals out of my mind and planned to focus on scenery. Plus, it was very warm though blessedly not a humid day.

The course is just gorgeous. It runs along roads both paved and dirt (no rock or debris issues), by pastures, picturesque barns, valley views, over and next to rivers, and through covered bridges. I took several photos on the move to try and capture this Tolkien-esque area. This also helped take my mind off all of the hills. There are many, many hills, but thankfully the last five miles or so are flatter so at least you don’t get crushed right up to the finish. I’ll point out one more time that it’s hilly; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people walking during a race (including me, up the hills!). Don’t get excited about a downhill because you’ll pay for it on the other side.

There were aid stations roughly every two miles with amazingly cold water. They also had Gatorade and some had gels. It was pretty hot by 10am or so, and combined with the hills those stations were like an oasis.

The finish chute is cool, with flags and a faux covered bridge finish arch. The medal is very nice and substantial (I don’t care for the pink shirt, but that’s just me). You also get a hug from the race director which is a nice personal element.

This is not a race you run for a personal best or crowd support. This is a race you run because you know it’s going to be tough but beautiful. It was both and also well worth the effort.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

sarastew FIRST-TIMER '19

Overall, this was a great race. It was organized well. Email communications leading up to the race had everything explained clearly. Coming from out of town I had no problems. … MORE

Overall, this was a great race. It was organized well. Email communications leading up to the race had everything explained clearly. Coming from out of town I had no problems.

Dont underestimate the hills. Especially, mile 10 for the half when you only got 5k left to go. It was intense and challenging.

Here are my only 2 real peeves with this race. For the half marathoners on the way back the course becomes flooded with walkers from the 10k and 5k. I LOVE everyone being out there, but they block the path and the runners are forced to move to the traffic lane or zoom between walkers which takes a lot of energy especially with the hills and extra miles. Maybe the volunteers could remind them to move over and not walk spread out along the course.

My 2nd peeve is all the race medals were the same. I don’t want to sound like an elitist, but most races identify with the medal lanyard the difference in distance. I feel putting in the effort for the different distances should be identified.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '17

This was my 34th state and first time ever in Arizona (2 hour drive from Phoenix airport). I stayed in an AirBNB with a very nice lady near one of … MORE

This was my 34th state and first time ever in Arizona (2 hour drive from Phoenix airport). I stayed in an AirBNB with a very nice lady near one of the shuttle stops. Small but well stocked packet pickup with friendly volunteers and every question answered.

Pros:
Race morning-Walked to the shuttle and got on within 10 minutes.

Course: VERY HILLY! Beautiful scenery 100% of the race.
Plenty of well stocked water stations and toilets along course.
Plenty of message therapists and water at the finish.

Cons:
– ‘Food’ was for purchase from a whole foods tent. It would have been nice to have something other than water and bananas, cookies that was offered to runners (like a sandwich or pizza).
– Course signage was small and several mile markers were either missing or had been removed (I was a pacer and was relying on MM signs!)
– A section of the last mile was on the main highway and was NOT marked. Luckily it was an out&back course and I knew which way to go. The highway was very busy by that time so we had to run on the sidewalk. POLICE & VOLUNTEERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE! (As I was walking back post-race, I directed several runners where to go when they approached that intersection and then told a spectator to stand there and continue.)
– SHUTTLES: The shuttles were supposed to run until 4pm. But post race it appeared only 1 bus was running. We got a ride from a local good Samaritan because we had been waiting for over 30 minutes.

Overall I loved the race! Very hilly and this year it was pretty warm as well.

WOULD I RETURN: Yes!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

anjad72 REPEAT RUNNER '16

course is crazy good challenging- Swiss Alps Profile, coming from Miami a true killer - but so worth it - course is stunning and Sedona remains a special place- intimate … MORE

course is crazy good challenging- Swiss Alps Profile, coming from Miami a true killer – but so worth it – course is stunning and Sedona remains a special place- intimate race – well organized and simply a must for anyone who loves running for fun and enjoys a “change of scenery”

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

rswenson REPEAT RUNNER '19

I have ran the KC Marathon several times, twice full, three times half, and once 10k. The first mile is uphill heading into downtown. The course has several hills throughout … MORE

I have ran the KC Marathon several times, twice full, three times half, and once 10k.

The first mile is uphill heading into downtown. The course has several hills throughout the course, but definitely a good route given the terrain of Kansas City. The race start is a long chute with people lined up by race pace. We got there a little late this last time and couldn’t make it up to our pace group. We started at the back of the pack and were about 5 minutes after the gun. We didn’t have any trouble running at our own pace and caught up with the pacers for our speed. The finish is about a mile long downhill, which makes for a very fun ending going back into the music and cheer zone. The finish area has BBQ sandwiches and beer. The line for sandwiches took a few minutes to traverse, but was reasonable given the crowd size.

The water stops have power aide and water with plenty of staff. Some places created their own unofficial support stop with cookies and beer, which was much appreciated. The Run 816 store’s unofficial stop also had several people in costumes and that made it my favorite stop.

This is my local race so I will definitely run it again. It is my favorite race in the KC area because of the route. If I were traveling I would try to stay in a Crown Center Hotel and be right by the start/stop line.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Josie Pegg
jocelyn.pegg FIRST-TIMER '19

I will limit my statement regarding how hilly this course is to this: DEAR LORD THE HILLS! This was my first full marathon and while I was disappointed in my … MORE

I will limit my statement regarding how hilly this course is to this: DEAR LORD THE HILLS!

This was my first full marathon and while I was disappointed in my performance, that did not detract from how much I enjoyed this race. I moved to KC a few years ago and fell in love running the downtown area, so when I made the jump from half to a full, this was a no-brainer. The course takes you through all the major highlights of the city: down town, the “government” district with the art deco city hall and courthouse, the Jazz district, historic residential areas, the ever-beautiful Ward Parkway, and everyone’s fave Westport!

The crowds aren’t nearly as large as a Boston or Chicago, but there are plenty of people who come out and cheer on the random strangers running through their neighborhoods. Tons of fun, unique handouts (I’m talking to you, pickle lady and mimosa/coffee cake house!). Hands down, the best part of the race hits you right around mile 24, just when you really REALLY need it – the wonderful folks at Run 816 in Westport. You couldn’t ask for any group better to push you through the last 2 miles of this ass-kicker of a race.

The expo is amazing, the price is reasonable, they put out a podcast, there are course preview training runs through the summer, the race directors put up a bunch of training plans for everyone’s needs, you can live-stream your race so your friends and family can track you as you move along…. it’s high tech, and down home and quirky and fun all at the same time! KCM is a wonderful race in a wonderful city, and you will feel incredibly accomplished when you cross that finish line.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is the hilliest race I’ve ever run. Do not expect a PR, but expect a feeling of accomplishment like none other! Packet pickup was low key and easy, and … MORE

This is the hilliest race I’ve ever run. Do not expect a PR, but expect a feeling of accomplishment like none other!

Packet pickup was low key and easy, and the shirts are fitted, soft and cute! Highlights of the weekend were the live concert two days before on the Mad River green, and the farmers market the morning before the race.

The race was small enough to feel intimate, but large enough to be a really great experience. The marathon and half run together on the same course for the first 5 miles or so, and then meet up a little later.

The community feel of the race made the endless and steep hills much more bearable! Everyone was incredibly nice and supportive.

Most amazing part? The last few miles were almost completely downhill. I’d really recommend this race, especially for the views and the amazingly challenging course!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

mgronek REPEAT RUNNER '15

For a road race, this is a tough course with lots of hills. The 10k features a significant steep downhill with the turnaround at the bottom so you run down … MORE

For a road race, this is a tough course with lots of hills. The 10k features a significant steep downhill with the turnaround at the bottom so you run down the hill and immediately run back up it. The course runs through a residential area and runners are limited to one lane of the roadway on an out and back course. This means that especially if you are a front runner, you will be “swimming up stream” after the turn around. Many novice runners on this course means that after the turn around, you will have to dodge the on coming runners.

The medal is a quarter circle (think slice of pie) and each year is slightly different so you need to run 4 times in a row to get the complete circle. All race lengths receive the same medal.

Due to extensive rain in the days prior to the 2015 race, the full marathon was cancelled as the Forest Service would not allow the runners on the forest roads. Full marathon participants were limited to running the half marathon.

Expo is very small but well organized and packet pick up is a breeze. The surroundings are awesome as you have constant views of Sedona’s red rocks and forest.

The best training for this race is on groomed trails with hills.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '19

Most reviews of this race start by mentioning the hills. But I must have been completely distracted by the city (and the rain) to notice them as I didn't find … MORE

Most reviews of this race start by mentioning the hills. But I must have been completely distracted by the city (and the rain) to notice them as I didn’t find this course (I did the half) that hilly. I expect some hills over the course of 13.1 miles, and there were certainly a couple, but they didn’t seem that bad to me. So, don’t let the mention of hills discourage you from signing up for this race. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to knock Missouri off your race list OR for anyone looking for an early fall race in a charming area.

I stayed at the host hotel (the Westin). The expo and the start/finish lines were just steps away. I recommend staying there.

The expo was in Union Station, which was (yes, I’ll use the word again) charming. This was a reunion race for Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics, and the 50 State Marathon Clubs, so they had a presence (not sure if they are there every year or not). The amount of expo vendors seemed appropriate for the size of the race event (so neither big nor small). Official merchandise for purchase was print on demand right there –a first for me. While I didn’t love the race shirt (though, happily, it is in black and not some neon color), I did like the exclusive Goodr sunglasses. Additionally, I liked the medal a lot.

The finish area included beer and BBQ, which was great.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?