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@MissPatRuns

Randallstown, MD Raving since 2017 active 1 day, 13 hours ago

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 28, 2018 6:44:00
Half Marathon Washington, DC Sep 16, 2018 3:02:00

Future Races (24)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 15, 2020
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA Mar 29, 2020
Half Marathon Chicago, IL Jun 7, 2020
Marathon Staten Island, NY 2020
Half Marathon Detroit, MI 2021
Half Marathon Hamilton, Bermuda 2021
Marathon White Sands, NM 2021
Marathon Athens, Greece 2022
3-Way Challenge (22.4 Miles) Cincinnati, OH TBD
Half Marathon Rachel, NV TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Kiowa, MT TBD
Half Marathon Slingerlands, NY TBD
Marathon Honolulu, HI TBD
Half Marathon Lake Placid, NY TBD
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR TBD
Half Marathon Louisville, KY TBD
Half Marathon Kennett Square, PA TBD
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH TBD
Marathon Negril, Jamaica TBD
Marathon Las Vegas, NV TBD
Half Marathon Lexington, KY TBD
50K Fort Worth, TX TBD
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK TBD

Past Races (14)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Italian Stallion Challenge (10 Mile + 5K) Philadelphia, PA Nov 9, 2019
Half Marathon Waterfall, PA Oct 26, 2019
Half Marathon Baltimore, MD Oct 19, 2019 3:27:16
Half Marathon Ocean City, NJ Sep 29, 2019 3:09:59
12 Miler Towson, MD Aug 31, 2019
10 Miler Baltimore, MD Jun 1, 2019
Half Marathon Frederick, MD May 4, 2019
Half Marathon Wilmington, DE Apr 28, 2019
15K Philadelphia, PA Apr 6, 2019
Half Marathon Rehoboth Beach, DE Dec 8, 2018 3:22:00
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 28, 2018 6:44:00
Half Marathon Washington, DC Sep 16, 2018 3:02:00
5K Fulton, MD Jun 9, 2018
Half Marathon Fredericksburg, VA May 20, 2018 3:32:00

My Raves

Rocky Run 10 Mile & 5K

Rocky Run 10 Mile & 5K

I waited almost a year for this event after coming across it last year after it was run. I was so excited for this race and it did not disappoint. … MORE

I waited almost a year for this event after coming across it last year after it was run. I was so excited for this race and it did not disappoint. I am a 2 hr drive from Philly, so that was awesome. I paid $10 for same day packet pickup. I suggest using Spot Hero for parking. The race is held in front of the Philadelphia museum, AKA the Rocky steps. I did not run them as I planned only because I would have had to go back across the finish area after the race and I just wasn’t up to it. People really get into the spirit of Rocky, I even wore Rocky/Italian Stallion shorts over my leggings. It was COLD! There were plenty of porta potty’s at the start. The race went off on time and the announcer was great. I ran the 5k, then immediately lined up for the 10 miler. They had wave start and tried to manage everyone, but it was tight at the beginning. There were lots of runners, I am not sure how many. Walkers as well. The course was mostly through a park with lovely scenery even though it was cold. The volunteers were wonderful, most of them cheery and dancing to the Rocky theme/music. There were enough water and Gatorade stops, but it would have been nice to have a couple extra porta potties at each stop. The 5k was not bad at all. I felt pretty good. I am a back of the packer, so my goal was to take it easy and have fun and just make it in time for the 10 miler. I had run 4 half marathons in the last 6 weeks so I just wanted to have some fun. There is a 15 min pace for the 10 miler. There is one huge hill around miles 3-4. I walked it as did many others around me. I have a bad knee and did not want to aggravate it by exerting on a hill that early in the run. It was called Mount Drago. It goes up and then you make a turn and it goes some more. There are no crowds, so if you need that, this would not be for you. The finish party was nice. Sobe water, bananas, some kind of nutrition bar (yuck), Welch’s tropical fruit chews (love). Shirt is ok, but the medals are awesome. The 5k medal is even large and heavy. If you do both races you get a 3rd Italian Stallion medal. I really enjoyed this. Might do it again if it does not cross anything else I want to run, probably just 10 miler though. If you want a fun race with a fun vibe, this is the one.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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End of the Road Half Marathon

End of the Road Half Marathon

I had been waiting for this race to open registration since I found out about it last year. I thought it would be a great challenge to run through 2 … MORE

I had been waiting for this race to open registration since I found out about it last year. I thought it would be a great challenge to run through 2 tunnels, I hate tunnels! The race directors are responsive and very helpful. They even answered my question about bugs or rodents being in the tunnels…lol! They gave instructions about directions and parking and anything else for the race right up until the day before. This is a small race by comparison to some others, but it was very well run and the medal was awesome and I love the hoodie! It is a quality weight material with a pocket across the front and the dark tunnel design. The route is a flat out and back, but I gave it a high difficulty because the running path is beat up and can be a tripping hazard if you are not careful. Inside the tunnels are not too bad because they are protected from the elements. You will see graffiti, which can be interesting, and you must have a head lamp or flashlight because it is pitch dark. The weather was nice, a little chilly at the start, but ok while running. A drizzle started toward the end of my run, but nothing bad, a few drops here and there. The scenery was beautiful with the colorful fall leaves and the glow of daylight as you approach the end of the tunnels. Surprisingly, there were a couple of spectators out cheering us on, which was really nice of them, considering I wasnt sure how they got back there…lol! Be warned though, if you have an active bladder like I do, you might have to duck behind a tree along the route. There are potties along the way and of course water stations, but the portas are not plentiful, I think due to the terrain. That’s not a deal breaker though. Many people appeared to be with friends and so if you have running buddies, this would be a good run. The finish party had music and nice food items like popcorn, fruit, sodas, chocolate milk, and something I had not seen before which was wonderful…cup o noodles! Yes, there was hot water to prepare it and the hot soupy, salty mixture was perfect after a 13 miles and a chilly day. Parking was easy, right on site, but the location is kind of off the beaten path, but they did a good job putting up directionals and there were volunteers helping with parking. I really enjoyed this race and was so glad to have done it. It makes me smile now just thinking of it. Do it if you get the chance, before it gets really big (volunteer told me it is getting bigger and someone had purchased the area and was going to do some upgrading and make it a really nice area to attract people. The runner survey included a question about whether you would still run if they had to shuttle you in from a hotel location due to increased runners.)

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Baltimore Running Festival

Baltimore Running Festival

I was excited to do this race and to go to the expo. I ran the 5k in 2017 as my 3rd one ever. I enjoyed it then and had … MORE

I was excited to do this race and to go to the expo. I ran the 5k in 2017 as my 3rd one ever. I enjoyed it then and had the same expectation. Although my training had lagged because of leg and knee pain, I decided to continue with my plan to do the Baltimoronarhon, 5k then half. So the expo was pretty good, mostly had race goodies from Corrigan. Packet pickup is smooth. You pick up your bib and bag first then you have to pretty much walk through the whole expo to get your shirt at the end. I was lucky to get to exchange both my shirts because I got a large but they were cut bigger than some of the other Corrigan shirts, so I exchanged for mediums. All of the volunteers were nice and helpful. The weather was pretty good for a run to me. I ran the 5k with not much of a problem and felt pretty good about it. The course is fairly flat. The half did not start until 9:45, which is pretty late but I heard that was so that the elite runners in the marathon would be able to get out ahead of the crowd. Logistics worked pretty well considering it was downtown Baltimore at the Harbor, beautiful skyline and sun rise. My only real issue is that non-runners come into the corrals and are in the way. There were plenty of barriers, but that didn’t keep them from crossing. As part of the challenge, I was able to choose my own corral. It was nice being able to cheer on the marathoners as we waited to start and they passed around their halfway mark. The half and full end up merging around mile 3 of the half. It worked out pretty well. The half marathon course is very illy, which for some reason I forgot because I had done the Charles St 12 miler and the Baltimore 10 miler. Police managed the traffic well and the route was clearly marked. There were plenty of porta pots at the start and unfortunately my bladder was having fun so I had to stop 2 or 3 times along the race and never had to wait for one. I do think there could have been a couple more water stops, but after coming off of OCNJ half a couple weeks ago, I guess I was spoiled because they had overload of water stops. The volunteers and spectators were awesome! The run around Lake Montebello was challenging because by then I was really hurting. Getting to the finish line was my goal because I wanted to complete the King Crab series and the Maryland Double, which involves running events that take place in Baltimore and Frederick since March and major bling. I completed the day with 5 medals! And the huge crown that has a light at the top. This medal is so big, it also has a kickstand in case you do not want to hang it. The finish festival was ok. Regular snacks, though the chips were gone, then I saw many runners walking around with boxes that contained chips and pretzels…had they been allowed to just take these from the tables without regard for those who would not get any? I don’t know what happened. The good thing was that there was homemade Maryland crab soup! Truly a Baltimore thing and it was awesome, they did not give 2nd rate soup just because it was for so many people and for a race. There was a beer garden…I dislike beer a lot, so I got canned vodka and sparkling soda at the hospitality tent for the King Crabbers. Now waiting for the date of the party to celebrate. All in all, a nice time even though I struggled so much. I may have to run again next year because it will be year 20 and it’s a hometown race, which makes it nice.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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OCNJ Half Marathon & 5K

OCNJ Half Marathon & 5K

This race takes place in the ocean side town of Ocean City, NJ. I stayed in a motel (HarrisHouse) that was on 12th and the race started at 9th, so … MORE

This race takes place in the ocean side town of Ocean City, NJ. I stayed in a motel (HarrisHouse) that was on 12th and the race started at 9th, so that worked out well and they allowed me to stay parked until I finished the race. Packet pickup was easy, nothing major, but I was ok with that. The race started at 8:30 for the half and 10 miler, they had a 5k that started about 20 minutes later. The route was nice with an over and back bridge crossing that was pretty. The only 2 real hills in the course involved the bridge. The rest of the course was through neighborhoods, beautiful beach houses with equally beautiful yards. Then we ran down the boardwalk. It was roped off to try to keep pedestrians out, so that really helped. As the title of this review says, water stops were a plenty!!! Only one ended up running out, but they had Gatorade, which I don’t care for, but it was ok. They had a contest running for the best waterstop. One, I think #4, had a lady dressed as a squirrel, yes, in the heat, with signs saying they are nuts. They had gels as well. The volunteers were very friendly and motivating, especially the children. One young boy must have been around 5 or so and he was so excited to be handing cups of water, another around 7, was encouraging us to stay hydrated and enjoy the run. It was awesome! After running the boardwalk, you turn back onto the street and go out and back, then finish the last 2 miles or so back on the boardwalk. Some of the course had no spectators, but most had at least a few people out in their yard or on their balcony yelling encouragement or clapping, thanking us for running. There were a couple stops with wet, cold washcloths. One lady brought water out from her house. Everyone was very nice and the police officers along the route were just as kind, very encouraging and friendly. At the finish, medal, orange slice, which I needed more of, water and they gave out socks with “run OCNJ” on them. I failed to mention the zipper jacket that they gave at packet pickup for the 10 year anniversary. Then you head to the music pier for pizza, awards ceremony, a bag with popcorn and a soft pretzel, bananas, bagels, and what looked like fritters. I was in desperate need of more orange slices, but there were none to be found, as I had been told, so I went back out and found a medical person who was carrying cups with orange slices. They also had PT’s doing massage/stretching. I stayed to cheer the final few people in and quite a few of the earlier finishers came back and ran them in…which I thought was awesome. One family came to support a lady who appeared to be struggling, they were filming, and her young son just kept saying he loved her. It was awesome. All in all, this was a nice race, I enjoyed it. I thought I was going to finish sooner than I did, but the last half did not go as planned. Nothing to do with the race, just my mind of its own left leg. I would recommend this race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

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Charles Street 12

Charles Street 12

I completed this race a s part of the B3 series...5k, 10k, 12 miler. I never enjoy bib pick up from Charm City Run.I have tried 4 different locations and … MORE

I completed this race a s part of the B3 series…5k, 10k, 12 miler. I never enjoy bib pick up from Charm City Run.I have tried 4 different locations and though the process is easy, I end up with someone saying something weird to me or giving me a strange attitude even when I am purchasing something. The race itself went off pretty well. I was concerned about having to park and get shuttled to the start, but they had plenty of buses that left on time and there were no problems. Plenty of parking, though I did get there early, at Under Armor and plenty of porta potties at the start. The race had a few major hills, but nothing that can’t be handled. It was weird running down Charles Street when it is normally so bust with cars. Shout out to the police and other traffic controllers because people were not on their best behavior and I saw one person run over a traffic cone that had an arrow pointing toward our turn, another person almost hit a police officer when turning her car around, and another turned up Charles St. and I had to yell and wave at him to tell him he is not supposed to drive up that way. There were many other issues with impatience and so I suggest always double checking cars and not relying on them Stopping or following police instructions. There were spectators, not a lot, but enough to keep it interesting. One little boy had a sign that said “Charles is not in charge” which was original and the cutest thing ever. It might help to add one or two more water stations, but what was there worked and the volunteers did a great job! Why people insist on throwing their cups down right next to the bag is beyond me, but I always make it a point to thank those picking up. I know that the route is probably challenging to have porta’s, but there did need to be a couple more of those. One poor woman ran beside me for a short while and really needed one but I told her it was about 2.5 more miles, I had made a crib sheet with the info on it. The finish party wasn’t bad, but the lines were long. So on one hand it was nice as a slower runner to see the party still had food and people still around enjoying everything, but on the other, the lines for food were really long and there was no demarcation of where the line should be. There was bbq from Mission Barbeque. There were sodas and a truck with popsicles…I think that’s what they were. I don’t know if they were for purchase or free. The bad part for me was after I waited in line, I couldn’t eat…lol! I think the best part of finishing was the wet washcloth…love those things! There was a band that was pretty good at the finisher party as well.All in all, a pretty good set up. Easy walk back to my car.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Baltimore 10 Miler

Baltimore 10 Miler

I was worried about doing this one because I had not been able to properly train any this year so far. The thought of the hills scared me and I … MORE

I was worried about doing this one because I had not been able to properly train any this year so far. The thought of the hills scared me and I thought my knee would break down on me. Well, I did ok, finished, didn’t get pulled, and had a great time! I opted for same day bib pickup because I came straight from a conference a little over an hour away. I was there at 5 am, so parking was a non issue, the only thing was walking back to the car at the end, more hills! Bib pickup was quick and easy, though for some reason Corrigan has non-morning people on this task. I picked up my bib same day at Delaware and it was the same thing. After that though, it was great. The other runners were friendly, I ran into a long time family friend, and chatted with someone from out of town. The route was nice through the park and around Lake Montebello, the parts between that were through Baltimore, so ok, but not what I would call scenic. The policeman handling traffic were awesome because so many of the drivers were impatient and seemed to want to ignore commands. There were also police cadets working at the finish giving medals and swag and helping with snacks. The course was hilly! I do run-walk intervals, but I decided to walk the hills because I was trying to preserve my stamina and my knee. There were 2 brief out and backs and one was right before the finish, so that was a bummer, but you knew the finish was really close. There were plenty of water stops, a Dunkin donut stop, and Gatorade. There were even a few children handing water and cheering us on. The volunteers were awesome. Some spectators were out, a few people just hanging out on their porches, but not a ton of people, enough for me though. One particular man had a whistle he just kept blowing at the start and then he was at another point later on. They had cow tails, watermelon, chips, water (warm), and cold towels–or rather, larger sized wash clothes, at the end. They felt great around your neck. I was not crazy about standing in the long line for my shirt and beach towel at then end. Maybe they can figure something else out for this. Shirts seem to run small. I sized up after my Frederick shirt was too small. People were hanging out on the grass, having their beer, listening to the band, there were interactive games, and merchandise tent. I do not like beer, so I always complain about that, but this finish festival had wine and Titos vodka. That lady made me a better cocktail than I have had in a long time…vodka and cranberry…after a race, how awesome is that?! I completed the Big Freakin Deal challenge and got an extra huge medal. It was for completing Baltimore 10, Frederick half, and Delaware Half. I did not appreciate how cool it was until I finished because all of the courses were hilly to me, Frederick second to Baltimore and the Delaware and Frederick halves were a week apart, and again, I have not done any consistent running since the beginning of the year, so I completed all 3 and felt pretty awesome about it. They also give you a button for that and the King Crab, which I am doing as well, and that gets you 10% off for each. They let you use it on all one purchase so I got 2 shirts and a sticker and 20% off. Corrigan Sports does an awesome job and they are excellent at keeping you informed and giving detailed direction on parking, packet pick up, directions to the race, etc. They are very responsive to questions. The local TV station was there, so when I wore my tshirt to take my dog to the vet, it was a conversation starter because people knew about it. I had no idea it was that big though…I was in the last wave and it took about 15 minutes from gun time because they did true waves so that there was no congestion. This is a race I would do again. I have fond memories when I think of it and recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Frederick Running Festival

Frederick Running Festival

This was my second half marathon in a week. I am part of the Big Freakin Deal (BFD) and King Crab Challenges and I also did the Nut Job at … MORE

This was my second half marathon in a week. I am part of the Big Freakin Deal (BFD) and King Crab Challenges and I also did the Nut Job at this race, which is the 5k the night before then the half on Sunday. The race was very organized. Small expo, but it was at the fair ground, which made parking easy and Corrigan gave a wonderful discount for those of us involved in the challenges. You get a button that says “I earned an F today” if you are part of the previously mentioned BFD challenge (run an event in the Delaware marathon, the Frederick Running Festival, and the Baltimore 10 miler for an extra medal) which gets you $5.00 of your total purchase at the expo. They also give a button with a Game of Thrones theme that said “game on king crab challenge” and was worth $5 off as well. The cool thing was that you could use them together, so I purchased a half marathon shirt and a race sticker and got $10 off! Warning, their apparel, including those given as race swag, seem to run small. Even for the Delaware Half, my shirt fit too tight, especially on the arms, with the size I normally get. You get a lovely hooded sweatshirt for the half with the Maryland flag design on the inside of the hood. I had to exchange my medium female for a men’s medium because no women’s large was available, but there were many women’s mediums given back and watching the exchange area, it seemed to be the main issue.
The 5k started on the race track, which is gravel because it is a horse track, and it was a nice course with a couple of hills, but 81% humidity! The next day for the half was cooler, but RAIN! I have trained before in rain, so that was not a huge deal. The only thing was that Mother Nature decided to give us a downpour right before we went to line up to start. So some of us were hold up in one of the buildings, but when it was time to go out as we started to see the line moving at the start, the walking area was a river, so your feet started out wet before you even ran…lol! My Brooks and Balega’s held up well, along with me doing some extra lubing up with Body Glide on my toes and pads of my toes to try to keep blisters from forming. I thought that with the rain, constant drizzle and down pours around my mile 4 and somewhere around 9 or 10, there would not be spectators, but there were some brave souls out, including children. They were on their covered porches and out on their lawns cheering and even giving high fives.
Along the course were many,many water stations with Gatorade, there was a munchkin mile with Dunkin’ munchins, one had pretzels and Starburst candy, another had chips and energy bars. The volunteers were awesome! To say the least. They were friendly and encouraging and I never heard one complaint. Now, the HILLS…so I said earlier I did not mind the rain so much, but throw in the brutal hills and that course was challenging beyond words, especially for me because I had run a half the previous weekend and was undertrained then, so of course I was not going to be trained up in a week! The scenery was nice, mountains in the distance, lovely homes, etc., but the hills were brutal! I do run/walk intervals and after being steady in the 5k and feeling so proud of myself, I had hoped to do the same for the half…no such luck! I mostly walked the last half because my legs got really heavy, I was having a shin problem (besides wearing my normal knee brace to help support my knee), and during the last 5 miles, I felt light headed. It was silly to keep going, but I just kept telling myself I had gone that far and was not going to willingly quit, especially with my challenges on the line. By the time I got to the finish, I gave a thought to going to the medical tent because I really felt bad and had to take the 45 minute ride home. But I decided to get some Gatorade, which I normally do not,like and makes me nauseous during runs, but seemed to agree with me on this day, and have some orange slices and potato chips to help me recover. I actually felt like I was somewhat out of my head. I even got confused about how to get out of the finish festival and walked back into the area of the finish chute and was asked what I was looking for, I said the exit, and it was pointed out with a smart remark about how I should not be coming back in that way after leaving out (this was security, not a volunteer) and I sternly let him know that I was trying to get my mental faculties back. The field where the finish festival was being held was very muddy, so I did not walk across to the beer, which I hate, or the wine, which I would have liked to have tried. I really did not need the alcohol though with my state after the race and with driving. Parking was on the fair ground lots, but I decided to park in a garage that was about a .20 mile walk as suggested by the race coordinators. They provide a detailed runner’s guide. I did not want to take a chance on being directed to park on the grass with all of the rain and getting stuck, which evidently did happen to someone who had help to push his car out. They said the garage was free on Sunday, but it was actually a dollar, not bad for the time I was there and the easy in and out. I also met a nice young lady who was walking to her car and was telling me that it had been her first half marathon. Even though the weather was wet, but luckily not hot and humid, the course was really hard, and I was not at my best, I still managed to be only 5 minutes past my normal half time, so I will take it! I am a turtle, so no I am not discussing my actual time…lol…I felt pretty accomplished given the circumstances and those 3 medals were definitely hard earned! I feel like this particular combination of circumstances was harder than my first marathon last year, the Marine Corps Marathon, but it was well organized just like Delaware and I liked the route (I didn’t mention we ran through Hood College). I might do this one again when I am better trained. I would recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Delaware Marathon Running Festival

Delaware Marathon Running Festival

I ran this half being not trained up due to work and knee issues. I am glad that I did not skip it though because it was a beautiful race. … MORE

I ran this half being not trained up due to work and knee issues. I am glad that I did not skip it though because it was a beautiful race. I loved the scenery from starting in the Tubman Garrett waterfront park, to running along a river with a few waterfalls/spillovers, and seeing ducks out swimming, to the neighborhoods and the lovely homes with pristine yards. If you like a race with spectators, this would not be for you. It is a beautiful, serene event. This could be because it starts at 7 am on Sunday. There are a few spectators and some people out in front of their homes cheering you, one couple was out with small boxes of raisins, many were out walking their dog. This did not bother me. I am not a fast runner and so that is why you do not see “race” here. I am mindful of my pace, but I am not anywhere near fast, so I enjoy my surroundings and take a few pictures. This race had free pictures, nice snacks at the finish, and was well organized. Corrigan does very well with this and are very responsive when you have questions. I opted for bib pickup same day, so I can not speak about the expo, which I would have loved to have gone to, but I live in Md and there was no way I could drive 2 days in a row, and I did not want to spend for a hotel. I suffered a little because I had to get on the road by 4 am, but parking was super easy and they did not charge a fee to pick up race morning. You just have to sign up for it and get there between 5:30 and 6:15. I parked at the host hotel and walked to the start, straight shot down the street no more than 10 minutes. No one was out! I thought I was in the wrong place or something because I am so used to having people to follow to the start…lol. There was also parking pretty much right at the start in the train station garage and another garage. I am glad I opted for the hotel because there was no line or anything to get out and with your race bib, it was only $5 the whole day. There are corrals for the start based on your pace, there were no pacers, and there was a full marathon and 5k and a kids 1 mile. The only thing I did not like was that the course doubles back past the start/finish at around mile 2 or so. I would have really hated this if I had been running the full because both courses share the 13.1 miles, which means you have to pass the finish TWICE if you run the full. Some parts of the course, especially turns, could have been marked better, one time I almost screwed up and probably would have been disqualified or would have had to double back to pick up the correct part of the course. And let’s not leave out hills! Not sure if I felt them more because of lack of training, but there were multiples! The bling was ok, nothing out of the ordinary special…it has a bottle opener…but nice. The shirt is nice and I thought their other gear for sale was nice with good logos. I wore one I purchased to the gym the next day. All in all, a nice time, I met a couple of really nice people, one lady was running her first 5k and just came up and started talking. I am glad I did this event even though it was a struggle.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K Philadelphia

Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K Philadelphia

I missed out in the race last year because of the weather, so I was looking forward to it this year. I had searched specifically for chocolate runs last year … MORE

I missed out in the race last year because of the weather, so I was looking forward to it this year. I had searched specifically for chocolate runs last year and this one came up. I was not crazy about some of the items in the plastic mug at the end because I can’t eat or don’t like most of it, but the medal, jacket, hot chocolate, and chocolate during the race sold me. I opted for bib mailing so did not get to the expo, maybe next year. My bib and jacket arrived about 2 weeks before the race. Hooded jacket is soft and wonderful with thumb holes and came in handy for the chilly morning. I decided to wear a short sleeve under it because it was expected to warm up a little and I did not want 2 long sleeves.

The time before the race was nice with a place to buy merchandise and a few other tents. There was an excellent DJ and plenty of porta potties and I was very surprised that there were no lines to speak of with so many people. The start was in front of the “Rocky” steps. I would suggest using Parking Panda or Spot Hero to prepay for a spot. There were no traffic issues even with so many people, construction, and yes, my fear, road closed right in front of me and I couldn’t make my turn to the garage. Be warned…many one way streets.

The corral system worked very well. It kept everyone from getting all bunched up. My sister and her boyfriend did the 5k as walkers and they were in corral Q and took about 30 min to get to the start. I was in corral T of the 15k and it took at least that to get to the start as well. It did not seem like it though because the people were friendly and the announcer was entertaining. I enjoyed the scenery. Museums and statues, trail run mostly and you could see the water with rowers, berry blossoms, a huge field of daffodils, etc. No, there are not huge cheering crowds, but those who were there gave it their all. There was a ton of volunteers…thank you!…I just think there should have been one more water/porta potty station, there were 2. And yes, there was chocolate given at the water stops, along with Nuun, which is my favorite. I thought that they created way too much trash though between the water cups and the little p,astic cups used for the chocolate. I think they need to come up with another idea, to include the large plastic cups at the end with the hot chocolate and fondue type recovery items. I am a turtle and I have been nursing a sore knee and quad, so I knew it might be a challenge keeping the 15 mm pace. There was a pacer for that time and so I had my first experience with that. I loved it! She was wonderful! We did mostly a brisk walk with some spurts of easy running to maintain. I stayed with her for 3 miles then switched to my usual run/walk Intervals and ended up,passing the 14 mm pacer. I knew that a bladder break was coming and I needed to be farther ahead so that by the time I rejoined after the break, I hoped to be back with the 15 pacer, it worked out great! I hate potty breaks because it really throws me off so I spent a few minutes getting back on groove and was able to finish a little ahead of the pacer and without any knee or quad pain! I was so happy about that! Be warned, there is a small incline at the end of the course. And of course, the wonderful chocolate bar medal!!

It was great hearing my name at the end as I crossed the line and unlike so many other races for those of us toward the back, they had plenty of finisher mugs left. They contained a banana, melted chocolate, hot chocolate (which was excellent!), some kind of wafer, a small bag of pretzels, a marshmallow, and a rice crispy treat. I did not eat most of it, but love chocolate and was so glad to be in an event that did not involve beer—I hate beer! The music continued to be great and the atmosphere was lively and fun. My sister, her boyfriend, and I walked a few blocks to a local place to eat. The area is nice and there were people out running, walking dogs, and on the way back to my car, I saw a couple of baseball games going on for children. I can’t recall the name of the restaurant, but I wasn’t too crazy about the food. No buggy though, the day turned out great and the event was very well organized and I am sure I will do it again! And the free pics came in within 24 hours, don’t worry if you get the email link the same day and there are no pics. That happened to me, but they came through the next morning.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon

Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon

I wrote a review before but it did not post. Loved the laid back feel of the race. The course was not difficult except I think I recall what seemed … MORE

I wrote a review before but it did not post. Loved the laid back feel of the race. The course was not difficult except I think I recall what seemed to be a long piece out and back. Some of course has no spectators die to where it is located but that was fine. Loved that you have the same time to finish as the marathoners, especially after completing my first marathon 2 months earlier. I just relaxed and enjoyed it! The best part…the food at the finish party!!! Loads of different food and I loved that there was coke and chocolate milk. While you wait in line for your food, a volunteer passes out refreshments. The volunteers were great! My hotel was right next to the start and a short walk from the finish party. They even allowed late check out and parking. It was great watching the sunrise over the ocean before the rave. Loved this race so much, cancelled another one when I realized it was same weekend as this one in 2019. That race gave a refund, so it worked out well. Many 50 state and other milestoners there celebrating. I think they gave 3 or 4 beer coupons. I hate beer so don’t remember exactly but recall it was more than I had seen before. Hope its great this year too! Oh, women order up a size in shirts, they were snug.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

This was my first marathon. I was so excited for it after all that running that I never thought I would do. I think I signed up for the challenge … MORE

This was my first marathon. I was so excited for it after all that running that I never thought I would do. I think I signed up for the challenge of getting in. I got in by being fast enough with my fingers to register for the 17.75k and completed that, it was my longest run yet after only having run for almost a year. I was having knee trouble and it was the most challenging but rewarding 11 miles ever. I enjoyed commiunicating via Facebook in a group call Women of MCM, they are awesome and I suggest joining them if you are going to do this event. I made 2018 my MCM year and it was full of firsts for me…10k, which came after the full and half…lol…, half, full, 8k. I did the Distinguished Participant and picking up that medal was a wonderful way to cap everything off.

I went all out for this race. I booked a long weekend in National Harbor, paid for the Carbo-dinning in dinner the night before the race, paid for my sister and her boyfriend to watch the race from the new observation deck building that included brunch, and the expo was an all out blow up on my credit card…lol. That expo was awesome! Tons of people if you go when they first open and confusing because lines are not roped or anything, but eventually you make it in. When I first saw the shirt, I was excited, but later realized it was not exactly the best. It has become a joke of sorts that the MCM organizers embraced with a funny video.

Since I stayed in national harbor, I had to take a shuttle to the start, which went smooth even though it seemed the driver was not exactly sure where to go. It was cold. There were many photographers asking to take your photo and tons of porta potties. There was also a prayer service if you wanted to participate in that. The start line was exciting with a Sky diver, the howitzer going off, and 30k runners! It would have been nice if they could find a way to keep non-participants out of the start corrals!!

Overall, the course was not so bad, I rated the difficulty based on it being my first and that you have multiple time markers that you have to beat, namely “beat the bridge”. It is horrible to think that you get to 20 miles and could get sidelined after all of that if you don’t make the cut off. When I realized that the pace car was right on my tail, I almost lost it. Then I pulled myself together and just ran until I couldn’t see it anymore. Then I spent the rest of the race just trying,to make sure I was going to NOT see that car again, so I have no clue about the scenery or seeing the various monuments (I have seen most of them before already since I live in Md). I have no idea where I was most of the time…it’s all a blur. I knew my time would be close because I am a turtle runner, but I had no idea it would be so stressful. The Blue mile, for fallen soldiers, was very somber and respectful. It was such a wonderful part of the race to recognize those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It made running 26 miles seem like it was not a big deal in the whole skeem of things.

The last .2 miles or so of the race was probably the worse, those Marines love their hills and there is one leading up to the finish. I waved at the “host”, like he told us to at the dinner so I could get my name called, but I never heard it. The finish was not the best for me. There were only a few of us crossing at a time because we were over 6 hours, which I kind of did not anticipate but potty breaks mostly got the better of me. The reason it was somewhat disappointing was because the Marine who gave me my medal acted like he did not want to hand it over! He looked to the person next to him like he was trying to figure out what to do and I looked at him and raised my shoulders like “what?” He finally put it in my neck…not the experience I had expected. Took many pictures with the photog at the Marine Corps Memorial but somehow those pics never showed up, it could not have been a bib problem because my bib was clearly visible. There was pretty much no finish festival at this time. It is called the “People’s marathon” because there is no,prize money and there are many ways to get it, which is awesome, but no love for those of us slower runners who still meet the time cut off. All I could do was rush to bag pickup after they announced that we had better do so before they left. The best thing was that my sister and her boyfriend were there and they had the Coke I had texted her to please get me. For some reason around mile 23 or 24 I think, I just had a dire need for a Coke…lol. It was awesome to,see them and I was excited even with the challenges…and realizing that my medal did not close the whole way because there was a piece that was broken and propping it open a little. Can’t really see it when it’s hanging though.

I was able to easily maneuver the metro so that I could get back to the station where the shuttle would return me to National Harbor. There were many of us, so it was not difficult. Funny seeing so many people limping and shuffling. No problems even though I had been nervous about this part. When I got home, my mom had prepared my requested pancakes and ham and cheese omelette and surprise…my family presented me with a beautiful award to commemorate my achievement! I was so honored…best thing ever because they had to get it engraved and that means they believed that I could do it!!

Overall, this was an awesome experience! The MCM is special even though some of it did not go as well for me. I think I will do it again once I can work on getting my pace up a bit, but I kind of like being a turtle so take thing in and not worry about placing or a PR, but I don’t want to be stressed about whether I will finish. The race was organized and the excitement was palpable throughout the entire weekend. The crowds were supportive with many signs and some had their own snacks and water to hand out. There were some even chanting “beat the bridge” as we got close to that point. I had read that this was a good first marathon and I would agree, but just be mindful of pace. So many people did not seem to have read about it! Had no idea what beat the bridge was! It is an honor to #runwiththeMarines.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Navy-Air Force Half Marathon

Navy-Air Force Half Marathon

This was my second half marathon. I enjoyed the run and the location. I love the medal and I am glad I ordered the extra medal to reflect my participation … MORE

This was my second half marathon. I enjoyed the run and the location. I love the medal and I am glad I ordered the extra medal to reflect my participation in at least 2 other military related events since I had done multiple Marine Corps events. The expo was not so great to me. It seemed to open a little late, but it was kind of hard to tell with standing outside so long. Parking was ample and free. I got there when they opened and there were no race shirts! I know logistics can be difficult but evidently they were saying that the storm in another state (My apologies, I can’t recall which it was, there were unfortunately so many this year) had delayed delivery, but they should be in later. I figured for this to happen, the shirts must have been ordered late. Anyway, this was a small to mid size expo. I recall a toothbrush being shoved at me upon entry, one of the sponsors was a dental place. So when I found out I couldn’t get my shirt, the toothbrush thing seemed even more odd or stood out for me for some reason. But there is nothing exceptional to share about the expo. I used Spot Hero to reserve a parking space and I was within about a 10 minute walk to the start, which I loved. I liked that the sun was coming up over Washington and we were within view of the Washington monument and right across the street from the new Museum of African American History, it is a beautiful building. The run took us past the pier/wharf and went through a long out where I kept wondering where the turn around was, it was the hardest part of the race, but it was through a park like area once you go through the city where the various museums and tourists are. You have to be careful of them crossing the street between runners, many of them were not very patient. I had a wonderful run. I am a turtle, so I was excited to see that I could finish close to 3 hours, my first half was 3:32 with a bum knee and not enough training. I finished in 3:02 with more training and a better knee. It really motivated me at mile 10 when I realized that I was so far ahead of my first time. I thought my watch was off…lol! I do not recall anything in particular about the end of the race. I enjoyed it and might do it again if my schedule allows. I received my shirt in the mail, but it was the wrong size and was huge. I sent an email and they sent me another shirt. They were very responsive to inquiries because I had sent emails about the additional medal (as to whether they needed proof of the other races and they said it was honor system) and about the plan for how they were going to get the shirts out to us. Outside of that mishap, the race was organized, enjoyable, and the organizers were responsive. I had a good time and although I do not really like driving into D.C, this was located in a convenient place and I had no issues…easy in and easy out.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Maryland Half Marathon

Maryland Half Marathon

I decided to do the 5k instead of the half because of a continuing knee injury. Packet pickup was easy and quick at Fleet Feet. Parking was a breeze! Plenty … MORE

I decided to do the 5k instead of the half because of a continuing knee injury. Packet pickup was easy and quick at Fleet Feet. Parking was a breeze! Plenty due to it being located in a shopping center. The music and festive decorations (balloons and such) made for a fun atmosphere. There were people with dogs, a children’s event and booths, so it was a good family event. There were multiple vendors with freebies and things to try and Dunkin Donuts had some kind of coffee shots, a water station along the route, and munchkins at the end.
The 5k route was not bad. There were a few people out watching from their porch and some had signs of support, which were fun (“run like you stole something”). It was a partially closed route through a residential area of nice town homes and houses. The event was for the UMD cancer center, so there were people supporting cancer survivors and honoring the memories of those lost. One water station was setup in honor of a veteran who had lost his battle with cancer and the motorcycle club had all of their 3 wheelers lined up, they were beautiful and the members thanked us for running and gave out water and Gatorade. It was funny that when right before the first mile, 5kers see a sign that says 10 miles, obviously for the halfers, that happened a couple of times as the route is shared. The halfers start at 8, they were late starting, and 5k at 8:30, we still started on time. 5kers are guided to a left turn because going straight will take you on the halfers route.
I heard someone say that there was a shortage of volunteers, but everything still went smoothly and there was plenty of support and people directing you on the route, and they were friendly and encouraging. I loved that they are getting instant results, so they call your name as you cross the finish! Nice medal. The 1/4 zip long sleeve is nice, but seems to run big. I got a medium and could have probably used a small. There was cold water, cold towels, carrot cake/bread (?), potato chips, bananas, and munchkins at the finish. One of the vendors had fresh popped pop corn, which I love as a recovery snack.
This was an awesome, fun event! There was a man walking on stilts and the photographer was really cool about taking special photos, so I got a few with my mom, who attended as a spectator and loved it. I recommend this race! There were a couple of hills, but nothing that really bothered me. The weather held out, but it was humid, although there was a breeze every so often, so not too bad. I think because I was enjoying the day so much, everything else was just icing on the cake. I signed up during the week before packet pickup, so this was a last minute decision for me and I am so glad I decided to do it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Marine Corps Historic Half

Marine Corps Historic Half

I just started running 5k's last year and came across the Marine Corps events, so I decided I would do them this year and try for the distinguished participant medal. … MORE

I just started running 5k’s last year and came across the Marine Corps events, so I decided I would do them this year and try for the distinguished participant medal. This is the first event that you have to run of 4 to get the medal. I loved this race! I was in it to finish and was running on a bad knee, so I was no speed demon, but did keep the 14 min per mile required (4 hr completion). The event is very well organized and the expo was nice. They do a security check to get in, so that can slow things a bit if you go during a busy time. Parking at the expo and the run were pretty easy and there was plenty of it.

The course was interesting and I took photos along the way. Yes, there is much talk about Hospital Hill and another hill after it, but I rated this a 3 difficulty because it really was not as bad as I thought, maybe because I hyped it up in my head, but with my knee, I did not find it too bad. They say it’s like climbing 10 stories. I loved the apps that they promote with the run, one is within the Historic Half app where it will tell you interesting information at various points of interest along the way and the other allows you and your supporters to record motivating messages that will play at designated points along the run. It was pretty close given the not always accurate gps on the phone. I am so glad that I picked up a battery case for my phone so that I had plenty of battery time for the apps, my interval app, and pictures. The support along the route was amazing! You go through an area with beautiful newer homes and then a more historic looking residential area and downtown area. It’s awesome and the people are out either with lawn chairs watching or offering clapping, cheers, signs, even speakers out pumping music. One person had the Rocky them playing on one of the hills. The race itself had a few bands along the way. They had plenty of water stations and porta -potties. There was even one point where they gave out energy beans, which was great, and another with gummy bears, which wasn’t so great to me. I don’t eat gummy bears anyway, but I found that I had to dodge dropped candy so as not to make a sticky mess of my shoes.

At the end, Marines put your medal on your neck and congratulate you. There is beer, fruit cups, water, bananas, stretching and massages at the end. I will give my beer ticket away next time because I realized that no amount of running and heat (one of our only hot days this spring so far) makes me like beer…lol! I loved that as I was returning to my car and some of the last runners were coming in, the Marines went to meet them and encourage them on to the finish. I would definitely do this race again and hope that I would be in better shape physically because otherwise everything was pretty perfect.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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