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@mjsutton

Mabank, TX Raving since 2020 50 States hopeful/finisher Active 1 month, 1 week ago

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My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 3, 2016 2:32:16
10K Canton, TX Jan 15, 2022 1:14:11

Future Races (14)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Teton Village, WY Jul 2, 2022
Half Marathon Crazy Horse, SD Oct 9, 2022
Half Marathon Kitty Hawk, NC Nov 12, 2022
Half Marathon Biloxi, MS Dec 11, 2022
Half Marathon Austin, TX Jan 22, 2023
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 4, 2023
Half Marathon Madison, WI 2023
Half Marathon Bird In Hand, PA 2023
Half Marathon Newmarket, NH 2023
Half Marathon Bar Harbor, ME TBD
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA TBD
Half Marathon Birmingham, AL TBD
Half Marathon Allen, TX TBD
Half Marathon Sedona, AZ TBD

Past Races (24)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN May 7, 2022 2:52:53
Half Marathon Fort Worth, TX Feb 27, 2022 2:52:48
10K Canton, TX Jan 15, 2022 1:14:11
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 8, 2022 3:47:08
10K Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 7, 2022 1:57:25
5K Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 6, 2022
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Dec 12, 2021 2:48:02
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 21, 2021 2:43:40
Half Marathon Muenster, TX Oct 2, 2021 2:46:25
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Sep 18, 2021 2:51:41
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Feb 23, 2020 3:46:26
10K Lake Buena Vista, FL Feb 22, 2020 1:55:39
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 24, 2019 2:39:18
Half Marathon Savannah, GA Nov 3, 2019 2:44:23
Half Marathon Oxford, MS Oct 27, 2019 2:46:57
Half Marathon Muenster, TX Oct 5, 2019 2:47:42
Half Marathon Chicago, IL Sep 29, 2019 2:38:48
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Sep 21, 2019 2:45:44
10K Canton, TX Aug 4, 2019 1:17:39
Half Marathon Fort Collins, CO May 5, 2019 2:42:58
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 12, 2019 2:52:35
Half Marathon Kissimmee, FL Nov 5, 2017 2:52:35
Half Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 3, 2016 2:32:16
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 15, 2015 2:40:21

My Raves

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Indianapolis Mini Marathon did not disappoint! I actually signed up for this race in 2020 and then deferred from 2020 to 2021 and then 2022. The … MORE

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Indianapolis Mini Marathon did not disappoint! I actually signed up for this race in 2020 and then deferred from 2020 to 2021 and then 2022. The primary reason I signed up for the race was to “check Indiana off my list,” And, I really enjoyed my experience!

Unfortunately, my flight to Indianapolis was canceled on the Thursday before the race, so I didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon on Friday (and the race was on Saturday). It was very easy to get from the airport to my hotel in downtown Indianapolis via Uber (about a 30-minute drive), and then the Expo and Packet Pick-Up was within several blocks’ walking distance of my hotel as well. I walked there after I arrived in plenty of time to get my packet and check out many of the vendors at the Expo. I do wish I had arrived at the Expo a little earlier simply because a lot of the merchandise I wanted to purchase was already sold out in my size by the time I got there…they had great vendors and great selections! I hadn’t anticipated wanting to purchase anything!

The hotel I selected (Home2Suites) was not part of the block advertised through the race website, but it was still within a couple of blocks of the starting line and other shops and restaurants. I was disappointed that they would not allow me to have a late check-out and insisted on the check-out time of 11:00 am on the morning of the race. (I was flying out Saturday evening.) I’m a slow runner and knew that I would not be able to get back to the hotel in time to get cleaned up before check-out, so I ended up extending my stay by one night just so I could take a shower after I returned from finishing the race. I also have to admit that I did not always feel especially safe walking around downtown Indianapolis by myself, so I made sure I did not wander around after dark. Just something to be aware of for folks who may be traveling alone.

On Saturday morning, I was able to easily walk to the starting line from my hotel in plenty of time. I appreciated that the race organizers set up the start so that runners began in waves, depending upon one’s estimated completion time. They also provided the exact time that those waves would start. So, while the race technically started at 7:30 am, I knew my wave wasn’t slated to start until 8:10 am, which was helpful for planning purposes.

The course overall was great! I can’t say that it was especially scenic, other than the lap (approximately two miles) around the Indianapolis Speedway, but there were plenty of aid stations and tons of community support and entertainment. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The Speedway is cool, and its timing in the race (miles 6-8) was nice and made the rest of the race (which can often be the most brutal for me) go pretty quickly. The weather was absolutely perfect…a bit chilly but sunny, which I think is one of the reasons I felt so good throughout the race. It was also relatively flat, which can also be helpful! 🙂

Although I’m not one who usually hangs out at the Post-Race Party, I did take advantage of the opportunity to get my medal engraved, which was kind of cool (although it cost $20). They also had good food following the race. Better signage about how to get out of the Post-Race Party would have been helpful!

Although I flew out of Indianapolis later that evening, I had plenty of time to get back to the hotel to get cleaned up (after having to purchase an additional night in order to be able to shower and finish packing after the race), eat some lunch, and even do a little shopping around Indy. I took an Uber back to the airport and made it back home late that evening without incident.

I would definitely recommend this race. I’m sure there is more to do in Indianapolis than what I took advantage of as well, but I did not have a lot of sight-seeing time (and also have visited Indianapolis a number of times previously). I’m also not a big NASCAR fan but found the Indianapolis Speedway really fun and a unique race experience. Overall, I had a great time and am glad I did this race!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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The Cowtown has been on my list of races to run for several years now, and I was able to sign up at the Dallas Half Marathon Expo in December … MORE

The Cowtown has been on my list of races to run for several years now, and I was able to sign up at the Dallas Half Marathon Expo in December at a reduced rate ($100). I had heard a lot of great things about The Cowtown, so I had fairly high expectations going into race weekend.

While I generally enjoyed the race experience overall, it definitely came with its share of challenges. I’m not particularly familiar with Fort Worth, and I think this contributed to some of my frustrations and confusion throughout the weekend as well.

To start, I had a lot of difficulty finding the Expo. I was able to identify the general area where it was and navigated my way there fairly easily, but I could not figure out where I was supposed to park and then had a lot of trouble finding the correct building where the Expo was taking place. (It is located in a complex of buildings, and I walked through multiple buildings, parking lots, and loading docks before figuring out where I was supposed to go! Signs would have been helpful!) Again, I’m sure if I was more familiar with the area, it would have been easier to find (and if it’s in the same location in the future, I know I will be able to find the Expo more easily). But, this was a little stressful as an introduction to the race.

I stayed at a nearby hotel (Residence Inn), which happened to be in the middle of a renovation during my stay. Again, I know the hotel will be great once it’s complete, but it was not a good experience staying there this time. I literally had to visit the front desk no less than five times to re-program my key (three different times on the morning of the race alone after I had already run 13.1 miles and walked a fairly significant distance!). Additionally, I was woken about 3:00 am the morning of the race to my neighbor yelling profanities for no less than 30 minutes; finally, I heard someone from the front desk knock on his door and he quieted down after that. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated by the time I checked out. I recognize that all of these issues are not necessarily a reflection on the production of The Cowtown other than this was on their list of preferred hotels with reduced rates, but I think it contributed to my overall experience and may be helpful for someone else planning their trip for The Cowtown in the future. I usually try to stay at a hotel where I can walk to the race start, but I only saw one or two hotels that would have been within walking distance of the start and finish of this race. And, I still had to drive a short distance to park on the morning of the race (which wasn’t a problem to find free parking if you arrive at least 45 minutes or more before the race begins).

The morning of the race was pretty cold, and the race started early (7:00 am) for a winter race, in my opinion. The first third of the race was fairly nondescript and uneventful…a few hills through business districts and neighborhoods. I was a little surprised there wasn’t more community support given all the positive things I had heard about the race, but this improved quite a bit once we hit the historic Fort Worth Stockyards around Mile 6. Running through the Stockyards was fun, and the race became a bit more interesting as far as scenery goes after this point. From the Stockyards, the course headed south toward downtown Fort Worth, which required climbing a pretty steep hill at Mile 9. This was brutal and seemed to really slow down a number of folks. After this point, the race went through downtown and turned west toward the start/finish, which also seemed to be uphill a significant portion of the way. While I had wanted a better time, I was satisfied given how hilly this course was.

The swag definitely was the best part of the race to me. I received two shirts (technical tee at the Expo and finisher t-shirt at the finish) and a little paper-thin jacket at the finish as well. The medal also was nice, but I am confused as to why it is in the shape of a puzzle piece. I may have missed the reason for this somewhere, but I have looked and can’t seem to find any explanation. There was also quite a bit of food and hydration at the end of the race, which was great. Given the cold weather, I was surprised there were no mylar blankets at the end, but this wasn’t a make-or-break thing for me. The finish was also a little chaotic without a lot of direction about where to go for the exit, but I finally figured it out!

Overall, I think the race was okay. I will likely run it again at some point in the future, but I don’t know that this will be an annual race for me. I am also hoping that some of the construction that was present at the Expo, hotel, and neighboring areas will be over in a few years, which will make parts of the race experience a little better. A generally good event for which I will be much better prepared in the future!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Although I'm not sure how long this race has been taking place, this is my second time to run the 10k, and I have to admit that I enjoyed this … MORE

Although I’m not sure how long this race has been taking place, this is my second time to run the 10k, and I have to admit that I enjoyed this experience even more than the first.

The Canton 10k takes place near the First Monday Trades Days grounds and throughout neighborhoods in the small town of Canton, Texas. I only live about 20 miles from Canton, so this race is very convenient for me, and I appreciate all the effort that goes into this event. The event organizers seem to be very organized and professional, and I really like the shirts and after-race food and offerings.

I do think the race experience could have been improved in two ways this year. First, the race organizers advertised an option for early packet pick-up on Friday night before the race this year, ending at 7:00 pm. I hit horrible traffic leaving work on Friday and was not able to get to the packet pick-up until 7:02 pm. At that point, all of the materials were already packed up, and I could not be helped (which was a little frustrating…they obviously started packing up well before 7:00 pm). I had also originally signed up for the half marathon and was interested in dropping down to the 10k; I also wanted to know what the time limit for the course(s) was. I could not find any information or answers to either of these questions online. To be fair, I also did not send an e-mail or attempt to reach someone to get these questions answered, but that kind of information would have been helpful in a FAQ or in the e-mail information that is sent prior to the race.

Beyond these minor frustrations, I really enjoyed my experience. There appeared to be about 100 runners participating in the 10k and half marathon (combined). The course is a bit hilly, but nothing horrible. There isn’t a ton of on-course support, but the folks who were present to hand out water or point the way were very encouraging and helpful. It was also very cold and windy the morning of the race, which may have impacted the turnout as well. Literally, there was a wind advisory in place, so the conditions were a bit brutal at times (but that’s certainly out of everyone’s control!).

Overall, I would certainly continue to sign up for and participate in this race, and I expect it to improve each year. If you’re from out-of-town, it’s unfortunate it doesn’t take place during a First Monday weekend, but I don’t believe the logistics make it possible for this to happen. Regardless, Canton is a charming small town with cute shops to explore and good restaurants to try pre- or post-race!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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The 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Half Marathon was the third half-marathon I have run at WDW. (I ran the 2017 Wine and Dine and 2019 Half Marathon as … MORE

The 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Half Marathon was the third half-marathon I have run at WDW. (I ran the 2017 Wine and Dine and 2019 Half Marathon as part of Marathon Weekend previously.) During the 2022 weekend, I also ran the 5K and 10K races (everything short of the full marathon…just not ready for the full Dopey yet!). And, in all honesty, I think I have finally figured out how to run (and enjoy!) a runDisney event!

Given I was up at 2:45 am three days in a row for the three races I ran, this has the potential to be a tiring weekend. There is also the temptation to go to and spend time in the parks each day, which could add to the physical exhaustion. As I approached and planned for my trip, I made the conscious decision to build in time each day to take at least a two-hour nap either in the morning after each race or later in the day before dinner. This was critical to me not collapsing at any point during the trip!

When I participate in a runDisney race, I also make the decision that I will not be running for time. Instead, I’m trying to soak up every possible experience that I can on the race route. Disney races are known for the character stops along the way, and this race was no exception. I was able to get pictures during the Half Marathon with Mary Poppins and Burt, Clarabelle the Cow, Tinkerbell, Buzz Lightyear, and Thumper from Bambi. I also was able to get my picture made in front of the castle in the Magic Kingdom. Standing in line for each of these characters takes time, which is why I simply throw any time goal out the window for runDisney races.

As I mentioned, I do feel like I have figured out the “right way” to do runDisney races (at least for me) now that I have run a few. It’s important to know that runDisney is very strict about being able to finish the race at a 16-minute pace. About three “balloon ladies” walk at this pace after the last corral crosses the starting line, and if you get behind them at any point, you will be swept from the course. Everyone tries to avoid the “balloon ladies,” although I have heard they are actually very nice and supportive (albeit scary!).

In the past, runDisney has labeled their corrals with letters, but they numbered the corrals this year. I was in Corral 2 (of 6) for the Half Marathon, which made me feel less stressed about being swept if I stopped for multiple character pictures. It is important to be aware of your corral placement, and how that might help or be limiting to your experience. Keep in mind that there are also literally thousands of people in the corral with you…that are a number of “mini-waves” within each corral. By the time I crossed the starting line in Corral 2, there were probably 10 or so mini-waves that had already crossed the starting line (with the requisite fanfare ahead of me).

As far as the course itself goes, it is fairly flat with a couple of “hills” you have to climb in order to run across an overpass. There are also some significant stretches where it seems like there is “nothing”. Although it can be (and is!) fun to run through the parks and on Disney property, there are also some long stretches of highway between parks and these more scenic places. Disney does try to strategically place characters, but there is maybe one character/mile, which can make the rest of that mile a little boring at times. I still rated the scenery high, though, simply because Disney really does a great job of keeping things interesting. There are also some points on the course that are quite narrow, and given the volume of runners, I had to slow down, walk, or even stop in order not to trip or step on someone. And, because there are so many folks who participate in this race who are new to running, not everyone knows the proper “race etiquette” in these situations, which can be a little frustrating and dangerous, to be honest. There are ample water stops, medical tents, and port-a-potties and bathrooms, though.

Overall, I love the Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World and am sure that I will sign up again for future races, Registration does fill up quickly (often within hours of it opening), so it’s important to be “fully in” before registration opens so that you are ready to go. And, I might also suggest making your hotel reservations before or immediately after securing your race registration and staying in one of the Disney resort hotels since it makes transportation the morning of the race SO much easier. Disney provides busses from the resort hotels to the race starting area for each race.

I have also joined a number of runDisney Facebook groups that have helped me prepare for and stay motivated with my training for this race as well. I encourage folks to find these to get more inside scoop and tips about these races if you’re interested in participating as well. Overall, a truly “magical” experience!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Although I have participated in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend several years, this is the first time I have completed the 10k during the Marathon Weekend. And, this was … MORE

Although I have participated in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend several years, this is the first time I have completed the 10k during the Marathon Weekend. And, this was the second of three races I ran this particular weekend in 2022. After having run the 5k the day before, I really enjoyed the 10k and felt like it was an even better race.

If you read my review of the 5k, you’ll see that there were a couple of drawbacks I noticed – people walking the race and it still being pretty dark at that hour along with limited character stops given the short distance of the race. I felt like the 10k was much better in both of these regards. The course could still be crowded at times, but it seemed as if the “flow” of participants was better, and there were significantly more character stops. I was able to get some cute pictures with Alice in Wonderland; Peter Pan and Wendy; and Winnie the Pooh. And, given the race went through Hollywood Studios as well as a small part of EPCOT, a number of the Toy Story characters were out as well – Woody, Bo Peep, and Forky!

As with every Disney race, this starts especially early (5:00 am) and it’s important to be on the shuttle at the hotel between 3:00 and 4:00 am (at the very latest). This can become a bit tiring after several days of getting up at 2:45 am!

In the future, I will likely try to wear a costume for this race, as it’s a short enough distance to not have to worry about too much chafing. And, a lot of participants are wearing fun and cute costumes during the 10k as well.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the character for the 10k race this year, and the shirt and medal were very cute. Overall, another great experience at a Disney race! Sign me up for next year!!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Does a 5K get any better or magical than one at Walt Disney World?? For a short race, this is a really fun (albeit expensive!) option. This was my second … MORE

Does a 5K get any better or magical than one at Walt Disney World?? For a short race, this is a really fun (albeit expensive!) option. This was my second time to run/walk a 5k during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, and I enjoyed this one even more than the first, probably because I had a better sense of what to expect and how to prepare.

As with all the Disney races, the 5k starts at 5:00 am, but shuttles begin departing resort hotels at 3:00 am. So, I was up at 2:45 am to get ready and catch the bus to the resort. (Plus, if you’re spending all that money on the race, you definitely don’t want to miss it!) My assumption is also that the most people participate in the 5k of the four races presented that weekend, so it can be a bit crowded getting to the start line and then throughout the race.

Overall, I had another great experience at the 5k. Given the short distance of the race, there aren’t a lot of character stops (as there are during the 10k, half marathon, and marathon), but I managed to get a picture with Lumiere and Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast. There were a few other options this year (Pinocchio and Abu from Aladdin, to name a couple), but I didn’t bother to stop for those just because they didn’t interest me as much and there is still a 16-minute/mile time limit as there is with other races (although the race is not officially timed) and I didn’t want to get swept.

A lot of participants choose to wear costumes for the race, which are really fun. In the future, this is something I would like to do also…just ran out of planning time this year! It’s also important to note that the race course can be quite crowded and most people seem to be walking the race. Given it’s also dark when the race starts (and ends for some folks!), the conditions can be a little dangerous. It’s important to be aware of this.

As I mentioned, I really enjoy this race and hope to sign up in future years as well. Being prepared to sign up the day the registration goes “live” is critical…it sells out quickly! And, like all other Disney races, there is a great shirt, and the medals this year were especially cool! Overall, another magical experience!!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Although I signed up for this race in 2019, I was not able to participate due to an illness. Then, I signed up for the race in 2020...which got postponed … MORE

Although I signed up for this race in 2019, I was not able to participate due to an illness. Then, I signed up for the race in 2020…which got postponed to May 2021…which then got postponed to December 2021! Needless to say, there was a lot of built-up anticipation for this race!

Since I only live about an hour away, I drove to Dallas the morning of the race rather than staying at a downtown hotel (which I would actually recommend staying at a downtown hotel in the future over driving just to reduce that potential stressor on the morning of the race). Fortunately, I did not have any difficulty finding a surface lot in downtown Dallas that was just a couple of blocks from the starting line. When I arrived at 7:00 am (1.5 hours prior to the race), there were plenty of spots, but by 7:30 am, they were all pretty much gone and I’m not sure how quickly other lots that were farther away filled up. All this to say – allow plenty of time for parking, paying for parking, and walking to the race starting line. It will likely cost $10-15 for parking on the day of the race if you’re not staying at a downtown hotel.

Overall, I really enjoyed running through the various neighborhoods and areas of Dallas, and I thought the race organizers did a nice job of showcasing various parts of the city. There was also really great support by the community on the course, including plenty of hydration stations. The weather was absolutely perfect, too…sunny but crisply cool! And, even though I’m very familiar with Dallas, I didn’t remember it being as hilly as the course was! I would have welcomed something a little flatter, but it really wasn’t too bad.

The only slight frustration I had was prior to the race beginning when those of us in later corrals (D and E, namely) were not allowed to line up until well after Corral A had started the race. Instead, we were all bunched together in a chaotic group until they let each of the corrals line up. I’m not exactly sure why they wouldn’t let us go ahead and get in our corrals, but that part was a little frustrating (and cramped!).

The race swag was not particularly exciting or unique, either. Participants received both a short-sleeved shirt and a long-sleeved finisher shirt after the race. Given it was the 50th anniversary of the race, I had hoped for something a bit more unique and cool. (The medal was more 50th anniversary-focused.) That being said, I thought the expo was really good prior to the race…very organized and a considerable number of vendors.

I would certainly do this race again, especially since this is essentially where I live and work! It can be a really busy time of year with the holidays quickly approaching, but overall, a great race experience that is worth it! And, even better – lots of great places to celebrate with food and beverages after the race is over! 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This was my second time to run the Route 66 Half Marathon, and I am planning to make it an annual event. From communication to race organization to on-course support, … MORE

This was my second time to run the Route 66 Half Marathon, and I am planning to make it an annual event. From communication to race organization to on-course support, this is an overall great race. The past two times I’ve run the race, I’ve also stayed at a downtown hotel that is literally at the start line, which has been especially convenient, and the finish line isn’t too far away.

Unfortunately, the medals had not arrived when the race occurred, and not having a medal to hang around your neck at the finish line was a little bit of a downer. (I obviously run for the medals! Ha!) But, I know the organizers will make good on getting the medals to us at some point in the near future.

Truly, the on-course support is also one of the best I have experienced. The city really turns out to support the race and runners. The race weaves through many lovely neighborhoods, and this is really where neighbors are present to cheer folks on, which is much appreciated!

Overall, this is a great event and one I plan to participate in for the foreseeable future!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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The Wurst Race Half Marathon benefits a private school in the small town of Muenster, Texas, which means the the entire community gets behind the race and Oktoberfest (of which … MORE

The Wurst Race Half Marathon benefits a private school in the small town of Muenster, Texas, which means the the entire community gets behind the race and Oktoberfest (of which the race is one activity). To me, this makes the race fun, charming, and rewarding since it’s for a good cause!

The Half Marathon course is challenging and hilly and meanders through Muenster and the surrounding countryside in North Texas. If you enjoy windmills and wide open spaces, you’ll enjoy the scenery. I found it lovely and peaceful. It is important to note that this is not a closed course, so there are some times when you are literally running on the side of a highway with cars zipping by! But, given the small town, it seems most drivers are aware of the race taking place and slow down to help keep everyone safe. (It’s not an especially busy highway and there are plenty of signs…just can be a little surprising if you’re used to closed courses.)

The town and participants are very friendly and welcoming, and I found the folks working the aid stations (often with their small children and extended families in front of their homes along the route) really sweet and so appreciative of the participants supporting the race and their community! This was one of the best parts of the race!

Although the race is well-organized, it is not a large race…I think there were fewer than 50 participants in the Half Marathon. With this in mind, be aware that the swag is fairly simple, but they offered a really cute t-shirt this year and free beer at the end of the race.

If you are looking for a race that will challenge you with hills, is low-key, and supports a good cause, I highly recommend the Wurst Race Half Marathon!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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