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@pkroon

Midland, MI Raving since 2017 50 States hopeful/finisher active 5 days, 2 hours ago

About Me

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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

Personal Bests (7)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50K Arlington, VA Oct 27, 2019 3:54:54
Marathon Charlevoix, MI May 26, 2018 3:12:30
Half Marathon Midland, MI Jun 1, 2019 1:27:11
10 Miler Flint, MI Aug 24, 2019 1:06:01
10K Freeland, MI Apr 26, 2018 39:07
8K Frankenmuth, MI Feb 2, 2019 32:57
5K Midland, MI Jun 13, 2015 19:09

Future Races (14)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Baton Rouge, LA Jan 19, 2020
Marathon Atlanta, GA Mar 1, 2020
Marathon Wilmington, DE Apr 26, 2020
Marathon Manitowoc, WI Jun 14, 2020
Marathon Little Rock, AR 2021
Marathon Hopkinton, MA TBD
Marathon Harpers Ferry, WV TBD
Marathon London, United Kingdom TBD
Marathon Cancale, France TBD
Marathon Bar Harbor, ME TBD
Half Marathon Rockville, MD TBD
Marathon Newport, RI TBD
Marathon Tokyo, Japan TBD
Marathon Minneapolis, MN TBD

Past Races (75)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
50K Arlington, VA Oct 27, 2019 3:54:54
Marathon Marietta, SC Sep 14, 2019 6:51:11
10 Miler Flint, MI Aug 24, 2019 1:06:01
Half Marathon Midland, MI Jun 1, 2019 1:27:11
Marathon Burlington, VT May 26, 2019 3:13:18
Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 5, 2019 3:28:16
10K Freeland, MI Apr 28, 2019 40:56
5K Freeland, MI Apr 28, 2019 20:16
8K Frankenmuth, MI Feb 2, 2019 32:57
5K Midland, MI 2019 21:07
5K Midland, MI Nov 21, 2018 19:56
Marathon Washington, DC Oct 28, 2018 3:13:19
Marathon Baltimore, MD Oct 20, 2018 3:32:38
200 Mile Relay Muskegon, MI Sep 28, 2018 26:33:59
Marathon Provo, UT Jun 9, 2018 3:40:26
Marathon Charlevoix, MI May 26, 2018 3:12:30
Half Marathon Midland, MI May 19, 2018 1:28:09
10K Freeland, MI Apr 26, 2018 39:07
10 Miler Washington, DC Apr 8, 2018 1:09:16
Marathon Charlottesville, VA Apr 7, 2018 3:25:38
10K Washington, DC Feb 17, 2018 42:00
5K Midland, MI Nov 22, 2017 19:59
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 5, 2017 3:31:01
5K New York, NY Nov 4, 2017 23:27
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 22, 2017 3:49:10
Marathon Berlin, Germany Sep 24, 2017 3:37:51
10 Miler Flint, MI Aug 26, 2017 1:11:37
5K Midland, MI Jul 14, 2017 20:12
Marathon Traverse City, MI May 27, 2017 3:33:21
Half Marathon Midland, MI May 20, 2017 1:36:35
17.75K Triangle, VA Mar 25, 2017 1:38:52
8K Frankenmuth, MI Feb 3, 2017 40:20
5K Midland, MI Nov 23, 2016 21:00
5K New York, NY Nov 6, 2016 22:27
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 6, 2016 3:52:44
Half Marathon Frankenmuth, MI Oct 1, 2016 1:41:01
10K Sanford, MI Sep 25, 2016 49:18
5K Midland, MI Jul 15, 2016 21:09
Marathon Two Harbors, MN Jun 18, 2016 4:29:17
10.6 Miler Big Sur, CA Apr 24, 2016 2:08:44
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 1, 2015 3:57:46
5K New York, NY Oct 31, 2015 21:37
Half Marathon Detroit, MI Oct 18, 2015 1:30:30
10K Midland, MI Sep 7, 2015 40:40
5K Midland, MI Jun 13, 2015 19:09
Half Marathon Midland, MI May 17, 2015 1:43:24
10K Midland, MI 2015 40:27
5K Midland, MI 2015 19:33
Marathon Chicago, IL Oct 12, 2014 3:27:28
10K Frankenmuth, MI Jul 4, 2014 40:49
Half Marathon Midland, MI May 18, 2014 1:41:09
10K Midland, MI 2014 40:23
5K Midland, MI 2014 19:41
10K Midland, MI 2014 43:35
5K Swanton, OH Jun 29, 2013 20:01
Half Marathon Detroit, MI 2013 1:31:40
10K Midland, MI 2013 43:32
5K Midland, MI 2013 19:51
10 Miler Flint, MI 2013 1:09:52
10K Midland, MI 2012 41:30
5K Midland, MI 2012 19:45
10K Midland, MI 2011 44:30
Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2010 3:55:03
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2010 1:38:25
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2009 1:40:43
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2009 1:38:04
10K Midland, MI 2009 41:23
10 Miler Flint, MI 2008 1:16:54
10K Midland, MI 2008 41:53
10 Miler Flint, MI 2007 1:13:03
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2007 1:35:56
10K Midland, MI 2007 41:33
10 Miler Flint, MI 2006 1:13:11
10K Midland, MI 2006 41:41
10 Miler Flint, MI Aug 27, 2005 1:10:43

My Raves

Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Being one of the fortunate ones to nab a registration for the inaugural MCM 50K set me on a path to run my first ultramarathon. I have run the marathon … MORE

Being one of the fortunate ones to nab a registration for the inaugural MCM 50K set me on a path to run my first ultramarathon. I have run the marathon here twice already and was glad to have the opportunity to be a part of something new and historical in the nation’s capital.

Race day morning was as wet as they come. A steady rain soaked us even before getting to the start, and then the downpour greeted us soon out of the gates. There were standing puddles that just couldn’t be avoided, and one part of the path near Hains Point was totally submerged. But I suppose these sort of things didn’t dampen our spirits but helped us to strengthen our resolve. Despite the rain, I felt there was a great crowd support, and of course the Marines at the aid stations were fantastic.

My experience in the early miles was totally different from last year where I couldn’t get my pace locked in until mile 4 because of the slower runners ahead of me. I learned from that and made sure to get to the Metro when they opened (it’s nearly a two-mile walk from the station to the start, so plan ahead as the trains are jammed and it takes longer than you might think.) This time around, the 50K runners had a 30min head start, and due to being able to start near the front I had complete ability to run the line I wanted until the course rejoined at mile 10. I enjoyed the early course detour on an out-and-back in Georgetown along the C&O Canal, but at the conjoining point it was a struggle to navigate through the marathoners who at that point were already quite a bit slower than my pace (I was doing 6:45 pace and I mixed in with the 8:00 runners.) I can imagine it was even more difficult for the pack behind me as the streets were more densely packed.

Besides those points, the 50K really only had separate distance signs on the 10K splits, plus a unique mat to get the 26.2 split. We had to mentally add 4.87 to the marathon mile markers or wait for the next big black banner. Charging the hill, hearing my name announced, and getting to the finish surrounded by active duty Marines was a special moment. I lowered my marathon PR by 3 minutes and achieved my goal of a sub-4 ultra, so it was a great day–literally blowing it out of the water!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Jones Gap Trail Run

Jones Gap Trail Run

This was my first time doing a trail marathon. Will it be the last...no, probably not. But it has given me a new respect for trail running, especially when mountain … MORE

This was my first time doing a trail marathon. Will it be the last…no, probably not. But it has given me a new respect for trail running, especially when mountain trails are involved. The route here took roads to get to a trail that immediately put the brakes on running. Between the steep inclines, 2K feet elevation gain in the next two miles, and the creek/waterfall crossings, this course gave me a run for my money. And that was just one loop–we had to do 2 loops and a third time partway. Aid stations were only at the loop start and at the exit of the trail, so hydration was key. With the SC heat and humidity, I was not fully prepared. Just finishing, even though it took twice as long as a flat road marathon, was my victory. The views along the way and camaraderie exhibited between other runners also made it worthwhile.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Vermont City Marathon & Relay

Vermont City Marathon & Relay

The Vermont City Marathon is a fantastic event. I came out a day or two early and did a shakeout run with Bart Yasso and a few of the pacers … MORE

The Vermont City Marathon is a fantastic event. I came out a day or two early and did a shakeout run with Bart Yasso and a few of the pacers the day before the race. They were telling me how this is a perennial favorite for how well the city supports the event.

The 2019 field featured a large number of invited elite runners, so it felt like one of the big-time marathons I have run in, like the Marine Corps. The course begins downtown and makes several passes by the park where the starting line is, making it very spectator-friendly. There is a long out-back stretch in the first third of the race, so we all get to see the leaders power through on their way to victory. The course also features several views of Lake Champlain as well as finishing the final four miles (this year) on the Burlington Bike Path.

In 2019 the race organizers made a judgment call 15 minutes before the scheduled start to call a weather delay as lightning was spotted in close proximity although it had not started to rain yet where we were. Everybody was able to take shelter in nearby parking garages or hotel lobbies etc for a half hour while the storm passed. Beginning 45 minutes late turned out to be fine–no complaints from me when it meant not starting out soaking wet. All that to say, the race organizers and police force on duty did a fabulous job. The finish at the waterfront was a great way to end the event. Highly recommended for spending a holiday weekend at this marathon/relay event!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

The Flying Pig has been on my radar for some time as my job recently opened an office in Cincinnati. 2019 proved to be the year to do it as … MORE

The Flying Pig has been on my radar for some time as my job recently opened an office in Cincinnati. 2019 proved to be the year to do it as the Pig was voted (again!) as America’s Rave Race.

The ratings and reviews that I’ve heard for this city-wide event are all true. The swag is great, the support on the course even better, and the feeling of victory when coming across the “Finish Swine” is fantastic. The course is one of the more hilly ones I’ve done (this was my 15th marathon). I stuck with a pacer who was a local guy who had run this event a half-dozen times at least. His knowledge of the course was helpful to know what to expect and when the next hill was coming up. It was fun even joining the whole pace group in waving and calling out to his grandparents who were cheering from their front lawn. The course was set up in a way that allowed for spectators easy viewing access to the start, a large fan zone at mile 4.5, and of course the finish. Along the way, there were dozens of “grunts” each mile making sure we runners had what we needed for hydration and fuel. My favorites were the “Girl Snout Cookie” zone and the official “Bacon Station” that served up crispy bacon at mile 14 & 16.

The finish area at the riverfront park was a perfect place to relax and enjoy some food provided by the plethora of sponsors. The medal is one that I won’t soon forget about. The backside is just as worthy of display as the front!

New this year was the addition of race ambassadors. They gave a nice little discount when signing up and motivation all through the training period through social media. All in all, this race should definitely be added to your bucket list for completing someday.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Winterlaufe

Winterlaufe

The Winterläufe is the first in a series of three races held throughout the year in Frankenmuth. Finishers of all three in a calendar year earn a special medal. I … MORE

The Winterläufe is the first in a series of three races held throughout the year in Frankenmuth. Finishers of all three in a calendar year earn a special medal. I found the winter edition to be very well-organized. As can be expected, the Michigan weather is a wildcard. Just two days before the 2019 edition, a polar vortex had temps plummeting to -25°F, but by race morning it was a balmy 25° above zero with plenty of snow on the ground. All in all, it was a very fun event.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

By all accounts, this race was one of my top efforts in the marathon. The weather cooperated nicely, the support on the course was incredible, the pacers were spot-on, and … MORE

By all accounts, this race was one of my top efforts in the marathon. The weather cooperated nicely, the support on the course was incredible, the pacers were spot-on, and I was able to come within a minute of a PR and improve my time by 36 minutes from the previous year where it was extremely hot and I cramped up. The opening miles were very crowded and I self-seeded myself farther back than I should have as I didn’t have quite enough time before the race started to get to the start. There are so many people to funnel through the metro and walk the 1.75 miles from station to start line. I knew what to expect so it didn’t take me by surprise, but the masses had already moved forward from the pacing staging zones by the time I arrived. With 21,000 people doing the marathon, they do have three color-coded corrals where you cannot move up, only back. That aside, starting slower helped me to negative-split the course. I ran the last couple miles with the 3:15 pace group, and the pacer gave me his sign at the end as a souvenir! I felt that the race weekend was organized very well. I’m very glad I made the effort to come back for the second year in a row to improve on last year’s time. Thank you to the Marines who made it an unforgettable event. Oorah!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

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Baltimore Running Festival

Baltimore Running Festival

Baltimore pulled out all the stops for the race weekend. It's by no means a flat course, but the hills weren't too taxing in my opinion. The Inner Harbor was … MORE

Baltimore pulled out all the stops for the race weekend. It’s by no means a flat course, but the hills weren’t too taxing in my opinion. The Inner Harbor was a great post-race celebration village. A revamped course finish takes the runners back to the Inner Harbor area instead of finishing in a parking lot as was the case in years prior to 2017. I have not run Boston yet, but it’s been compared to making the turn onto Boylston street. The medal given to the finishers is one of the most unique I’ve ever earned (the Run 26.2 crab opens up to show a picture of the Inner Harbor from the Fort McHenry vantage point). Even at the end there was crab soup waiting for everyone to taste! It was a good choice for my Maryland marathon.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Ragnar Road Michigan

Ragnar Road Michigan

Ragnar puts on an amazing weekend for the runners. If you don't already know the others runners in your van at the start of the event, it's a guarantee that … MORE

Ragnar puts on an amazing weekend for the runners. If you don’t already know the others runners in your van at the start of the event, it’s a guarantee that will change by the time you all get to cross the finish line together. Western Michigan provides some hills, paved paths, quaint towns, and plenty of good scenery to run through.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Utah Valley Marathon

Utah Valley Marathon

This race has a sunrise start in the mountains, meaning a super-early arrival at the boarding zone for the shuttles. Plan accordingly for the cold morning, but realize it will … MORE

This race has a sunrise start in the mountains, meaning a super-early arrival at the boarding zone for the shuttles. Plan accordingly for the cold morning, but realize it will be hot at the end of the race down in the valley (there was about a 45 degree difference). I was glad a booth at the expo gave away space blankets which I had brought with me to the waiting area. There were campfire pits where the runners could huddle around to stay warm.

The scenery is something else. The first 20 miles are all coming down the mountain, and the final 10K is through the urban sprawl around BYU. Aid stations were set up every couple miles, pretty much at every other mile marker, so it was easy to know when to expect water. The course is pretty much all downhill, so I elected to restrain my pace. I wasn’t able to ring the BQ or PR gong at the end, but I did complete my first a negative split marathon. If you do qualify for Boston, the race gives you another t-shirt celebrating this achievement. In the week leading up to the race, I sustained a strain on my knee. I feel fortunate I was able to complete this event without being 100%. After the race, the massage tents were worth the wait!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Top of Michigan Festival of Races

Top of Michigan Festival of Races

If you are looking for an event with beautiful scenery, come to the Top of Michigan next Memorial Day weekend! This is a fairly new race event which has a … MORE

If you are looking for an event with beautiful scenery, come to the Top of Michigan next Memorial Day weekend! This is a fairly new race event which has a small-town feel but million-dollar views of the Little Traverse Bay (Lake Michigan) and surrounding area. Most of the course is run on the paved bike path which runs between the waters’ edge and the main road. This means very few intersections and easy access if you have spectators wanting to drive along and cheer. I was fortunate to have my fan club meet me at least a half-dozen times and cheer me on to a 13-min PR in the marathon and a podium finish! There’s also a 5K using the start line and a 5K using the finish line as well as a half marathon that starts in Bay Harbor. Shuttle buses were available and information was clearly communicated before race day and on race day as well. The food and chocolate milk available at the finish were very nice. I was very pleased with this event and highly recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Dow RunWalk

Dow RunWalk

Over 1600 people came out and braved the downpour in the 2018 version of the Dow Run/Walk races. Even with all the rain, the course is flat and conducive to … MORE

Over 1600 people came out and braved the downpour in the 2018 version of the Dow Run/Walk races. Even with all the rain, the course is flat and conducive to fast times. Running in community is what this race is all about. I had a great experience today and look forward to seeing many friends out there next time.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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Freeland Walleye Festival 5K & 10K

Freeland Walleye Festival 5K & 10K

The race takes place on a Thursday evening to kick off the town of Freeland's all-weekend-long Walleye Festival. Last year I was driving home from work as the race was … MORE

The race takes place on a Thursday evening to kick off the town of Freeland’s all-weekend-long Walleye Festival. Last year I was driving home from work as the race was going on, but this year I was able to get off a bit earlier and participate. Signing up as a game-time decision cost a few extra bucks, but it worked out for me. I worked my way into the lead and held out for a win and a personal best–and free entry to next year’s race! The finisher’s medal is nice and the plaque given to the top 3 finishers is full color and is the first of it’s kind on my shelf :-). One of the sponsors was a local pizza place, so dinner planning was easy across the finish line.

In the past year, Freeland has added a brand new rail trail next to the main road through town. The course was completely changed to incorporate this new surface entirely for the 5K and a significant portion for the 10K. This is much nicer than the potholes/gravel of the country roads used in previous years. The start and finish is at the Freeland SportsZone, a place with plenty of parking.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3
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Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The CUCB organizers had a lot on their hands with over 16,000 people doing the 10-mile race. Unfortunately the Metro does not open early enough on Sundays and priced them … MORE

The CUCB organizers had a lot on their hands with over 16,000 people doing the 10-mile race. Unfortunately the Metro does not open early enough on Sundays and priced them out of an early opening. This meant folks had to make other arrangements for getting to the race. The other thing that was unusual for this race was that the finisher’s medal was an optional extra you had to pay for when registering (after being selected in the lottery).

Aside from those two things, I was extremely satisfied with the race. They brought in elite runners for talks and autographs at the expo held at the National Building Museum, communication was great through their channels and the mobile app, and the online results were more detailed than I’ve ever seen before. The cherry blossoms were at their absolute peak for the weekend of the race. It was so beautiful! I’m glad the race wasn’t called off due to early forecasts of snow.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Charlottesville Marathon

Charlottesville Marathon

For a flat-lander like me to come in and run a PR marathon when the whole course was a sequence of ups and downs, I'm still amazed. The scenery was … MORE

For a flat-lander like me to come in and run a PR marathon when the whole course was a sequence of ups and downs, I’m still amazed. The scenery was very nice, although most of it was through neighborhoods–passing by some historic areas near downtown Charlottesville / UVA and other quiet streets out in the surrounding area. The marathon had several out-and-backs including one stretch along the Rivanna River trail. This meant there was a huge climb for all of mile 24 to get back to the elevation of the start/finish line.

The race was well-organized and the people were friendly. One of the runners I met at the start (a local police officer) told my mom of a heated lobby nearby where she could wait comfortably for me to return. It was a cold drizzly day, so this made her spectating experience much more enjoyable. (In case you’re wondering, it was the local police station!)

Afterwards, the post-race food provided by the race and vendors was delicious. It was nice to have something cold to drink and warm to eat while waiting for the award ceremony. The finisher’s medal was big, and the age group winners got a choice of a pint or shot glass and a certificate.

This race billed itself as America’s Destination Marathon, but to me it felt more like a mid-size town just putting on a big annual event. Make no mistake, it was very good and I am glad to have done it. Just be ready for those hills!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Potomac Valley Track Club – By George 5K & 10K

Potomac Valley Track Club – By George 5K & 10K

I was honestly a bit surprised at how much this race felt like a small-town race even though it was in the heart of Washington, D.C. Fewer than 300 people … MORE

I was honestly a bit surprised at how much this race felt like a small-town race even though it was in the heart of Washington, D.C. Fewer than 300 people were involved in all the distances which left a lot of opportunity to win age-group prizes. The top three in 10-year brackets each were awarded apple pies! A drink company was also there passing out full-size bottles of their fruit water with plenty to go around. The course was run on the road skirting the park, so it was flat and wide pavement running the whole way. Race day was a bit cold (just above freezing) but the golf shop and cafe with real restrooms were open. For a race that took only ten George Washington’s out of my wallet, it was so worth it, even driving down from Michigan the day before.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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New York City Marathon

New York City Marathon

The TCS New York City Marathon provides memories of a lifetime. I have run it three years in a row, all as a member of Team TCS, the title sponsor. … MORE

The TCS New York City Marathon provides memories of a lifetime. I have run it three years in a row, all as a member of Team TCS, the title sponsor. I must say this affects my perception as I was treated to amenities such as a bus ride to the start, a heated tent at the runners’ village, easy bag check + early exit + poncho, and premium recovery area at the Tavern on the Green to be reunited with my family who had passes to watch at the grandstands. Hey, I even bumped into Meb after I finished! Even without those things, the experience of running through a city with 50,000 runners and over a million people lining the streets to cheer you on really make for a lasting memory.

TCS has done great things with the mobile app for the race, and it has won recognition each of the past years for the developments and features it brings to the runners and spectators who use it. In a city as big as New York, tracking and knowing how to get from one place to another via subway to meet a runner based on their predictive pace is a great tool that the app delivers.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

This was an incredible event. In order to guarantee entrance to this race by avoiding the lottery, I signed up for the "17.75k Access Granted" race held in March. Most … MORE

This was an incredible event. In order to guarantee entrance to this race by avoiding the lottery, I signed up for the “17.75k Access Granted” race held in March. Most of my friends did get in through the lottery, but why risk it when you can do another race put on by the Marines?

The expo was great, held at the National Harbor. Shuttle buses were provided to and from the closest Metro stations, so getting there didn’t require paying a big parking fee. Metro was also the recommended way to get to the start on race morning. It took quite a bit of time to walk from the Pentagon station to the start as many thousands of people all needed to get to the same spot.

The pre-race ceremony was unlike any other I’ve seen. Paratroopers brought in the American flag and there was a double flyover of MV-22 Osprey helicopters. So many disabled athletes participated in the race, many of whom are war veterans. A lot of people ran in memory of fallen heroes. It was special for me because this was the one marathon my father had run when he was a Naval officer prior to my being born.

Near the halfway point, the “Blue Mile” was set up as a remembrance for fallen heroes followed by a patriotic celebration with hundreds of flags. I think that many of the flag bearers were relatives of the fallen men and women. This was so moving.

All the water stations were manned by Marines in uniform. They gave so much encouragement besides the nutrition. One was even out there on the bridge at mile 22 yelling at us (in a good way) to press on. It was a hot day, and water stations were two miles apart. This was the toughest part of the course for me, aside from the climb up the hill to the finish line. I had hit the wall at the Mall and it was rough going the last hour, but due to this motivation I received along the way, I made it without stopping, which was a goal. Getting to the end, the Marines who handed me my finisher’s medal rejoiced with me, took selfies, and made me feel like a hero. What!? Who are the real heroes here?

The whole experience was unforgettable. I would love to do it again!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon

I came to Berlin in 2017 excited to know that several of the world's fastest marathoners would be gunning to break the world record, which had been set on this … MORE

I came to Berlin in 2017 excited to know that several of the world’s fastest marathoners would be gunning to break the world record, which had been set on this course in 2014. I was hoping for a personal best on this flat course, but it wasn’t to be. It was my first time doing an international race while dealing with jetlag, the day was rainy and the roads were slick, but I think the weather was more a nuisance for the spectators than for the runners. Regardless, it was an amazing experience to participate in the Berlin Marathon. I highly recommend spending a few extra days–maybe on the front end to help with the jetlag factor–to tour the city. There are plenty of hotels around with easy access to the trains.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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Run the River 5K

Run the River 5K

The 5K race is a nice addition to an annual tradition in Midland of celebrating summer with the Riverdays Festival. The Pere Marquette Rail Trail goes right up to the … MORE

The 5K race is a nice addition to an annual tradition in Midland of celebrating summer with the Riverdays Festival. The Pere Marquette Rail Trail goes right up to the Tridge, which makes it the perfect place to conduct a running race. 2017 saw me do the down-and-back route twice to get in more miles for my marathon training.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

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Traverse City Track Club Bayshore Marathon

Traverse City Track Club Bayshore Marathon

It doesn't get much better than this for a (relatively) small-town marathon. Held annually on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, it's a perfect time to plan a destination race. … MORE

It doesn’t get much better than this for a (relatively) small-town marathon. Held annually on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, it’s a perfect time to plan a destination race. The area is famous for its charming towns and beautiful lake views. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is only 45 minutes away.

The race was organized very well. In fact, I followed their Facebook page leading up to the race and was impressed by all the helpful advice the organizers put online. There were even contests to get people excited about running–of which I was a lucky winner! Besides the views along the shoreline of the Traverse Bay, I really liked the Moomer’s ice cream that they served up to the runners after the race. Moomer’s even came up with a custom flavor for the race!

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Dow RunWalk

Dow RunWalk

The Dow RunWalk has been ongoing for over three decades. I love the fact that it's time for the whole community to come out and participate together. There's a race … MORE

The Dow RunWalk has been ongoing for over three decades. I love the fact that it’s time for the whole community to come out and participate together. There’s a race for everyone. In 2016 a half marathon was added to the events, essentially doubling the 10K loop. All that meant for me is that my friends and neighbors had twice the opportunity to see me pass by my stomping grounds! It’s a race I have on my calendar as long as I live in Midland. The course is almost entirely through neighborhoods and is flat the whole way.

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1
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4
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Marine Corps 17.75K

Marine Corps 17.75K

Registration for this race sold out in minutes--less than 15, if I remember correctly. I chose to do it because it would grant me guaranteed access into the Marine Corps … MORE

Registration for this race sold out in minutes–less than 15, if I remember correctly. I chose to do it because it would grant me guaranteed access into the Marine Corps Marathon later on in the year. I knew others who elected to try their luck in the lottery (some made it, others had to sign up with a charity to get in). This was the safe approach–plus I get to do another race with the Marines! The race takes place in a hilly forest, partly on trails and partly on a road going through the park. I wasn’t expecting as much elevation change as there was, but it was a great experience. Military family members can reserve a hotel room on the Marine Corps Base Quantico which is just ten minutes drive away.

DIFFICULTY
5
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5
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4
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5

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Winterlaufe

Winterlaufe

Quite a few people turned out for this winter race ("winterläufe" in German) on a cold day in 2017. Part of the route is on a gravel road, and when … MORE

Quite a few people turned out for this winter race (“winterläufe” in German) on a cold day in 2017. Part of the route is on a gravel road, and when snow/ice were in play it made for difficult footing. The course was an out/back route going over a historic bridge not open anymore to vehicles. The scenery was very nice, assuming you don’t mind the cold!

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3
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3
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4
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3

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Dow Turkey Trot

Dow Turkey Trot

Dow Chemical puts on a fun-run race for their employees, contractors, and family members on the day before Thanksgiving. I've done it annually since I first became aware of it. … MORE

Dow Chemical puts on a fun-run race for their employees, contractors, and family members on the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve done it annually since I first became aware of it. Having won multiple times and finished in the top 3 each year makes it one of my favorite races to do. There’s no official prizes given out–only if your name gets drawn from a hat. But no complaints…it’s free!

The race used to take place on a wooded walking trail on the corporate campus, then due to construction it was moved to the East End rail trail down by the Tridge. Around 100 people each year show up for it.

In 2016 I was trying to defend my streak of 4 wins in a row, but I came down with a cold the day of the race and knew the previous years’ runner-up would dethrone me. I gave it my all, ended up with 3rd place, and spent the next two days in bed!

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Bruckelaufe – The Bridge Race

Bruckelaufe – The Bridge Race

I like the concept of incorporating 13 bridge crossings across a half-marathon route and giving the event the German name for "bridge race." It was well organized. Part of the … MORE

I like the concept of incorporating 13 bridge crossings across a half-marathon route and giving the event the German name for “bridge race.” It was well organized. Part of the course takes a loop through a farm, and were it not for the runner behind me, I might have gone exploring “behind the barn” as it were. Still, I enjoyed the event a lot.

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3
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Mud Creek Crawl

Mud Creek Crawl

For being a race in central Michigan, which is practically as flat as a pancake, this course has some tough terrain. It's entirely on dirt/gravel paths in the Pine Haven … MORE

For being a race in central Michigan, which is practically as flat as a pancake, this course has some tough terrain. It’s entirely on dirt/gravel paths in the Pine Haven Recreational Area. There are single track trails in the park but they are not used for the race. It was all clearly marked. The 10K participants get to see the far reaches of the park (and do quite a few more hills) while the 5K participants do a smaller loop. Something unique about this race is that the awards are handed out based on BMI handicapping. For having the name “Mud Creek Crawl”, it’s not actually a mud race. That just happens to be the name of the creek going through the park. In the 10K portion, there were some lowlands that could get muddy depending on the weather leading up to the event.

DIFFICULTY
4
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3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

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Run the River 5K

Run the River 5K

True to it's name, the route followed the Tittabawassee River by crossing over from one park (Chippewassee) to another (Emerson). This race took place on Friday evening and ended with … MORE

True to it’s name, the route followed the Tittabawassee River by crossing over from one park (Chippewassee) to another (Emerson). This race took place on Friday evening and ended with a complementary cold one at the Rotary Club’s drink tent. Nice way to start a weekend, if you ask me!

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2
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3
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4
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2

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Grandma’s Marathon & Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Grandma’s Marathon & Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Since the race happens in June, the college dorms are made available for economic housing options for runners. There were even busses that picked up the athletes from right outside … MORE

Since the race happens in June, the college dorms are made available for economic housing options for runners. There were even busses that picked up the athletes from right outside the dorm I stayed in…talk about convenient. If you stay close to town, you could ride a train to the start. Even though it’s Minnesota, it can get hot. After running alongside the Lake Superior shore most of the way from Two Harbors to Duluth, a dip in the water never felt so refreshing after finishing the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Big Sur International Marathon

Big Sur International Marathon

Less than two weeks before the race, I had a sports injury (unrelated to running) that called for surgery. Not wanting to give up this race I still flew out … MORE

Less than two weeks before the race, I had a sports injury (unrelated to running) that called for surgery. Not wanting to give up this race I still flew out to CA and essentially treated it as a 10.6 mile photoshoot with my GoPro camera. The scenery before, during, and after the race is spectacular. There are busses that take the runners out to the starting point with enough time to enjoy climbing on some rocks overlooking the famed Bixby Bridge. Next time I come, I’ll do the marathon so I can run over the iconic bridge. I went with a friend, and she connected with two others who ran it the previous year. Despite me in my cast, we kept together and got a bunch of pictures on the course. Definitely a race I won’t forget!

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4
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Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K

Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K

Since I was in town for the TCS New York City Marathon, why not get a preview of what the NYC racing experience would be by doing a 5K the … MORE

Since I was in town for the TCS New York City Marathon, why not get a preview of what the NYC racing experience would be by doing a 5K the morning before? This was also a point-to-point race from the HQ of the United Nations going through parts of Manhattan not covered by the marathon until meeting up with the marathon route in Central Park. The finish, of course, is also the marathon’s finish line. It’s a great opportunity for folks who won’t be doing the full thing the next day to get a piece of the action. In 2015 this race was held on Halloween, and lots of folks were dressed up in costumes. I kept pace with a banana man for a while before peeling ahead in the park. In all, it’s a very fun race! A huge plus for the race is that the packet pickup is at the same expo for the NYC Marathon.

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2
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5
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4
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4
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Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon

Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon

I've done this race twice, and both times I set subsequent PRs for my half-marathon distance! Where else can you cross a body of water into another country and return … MORE

I’ve done this race twice, and both times I set subsequent PRs for my half-marathon distance! Where else can you cross a body of water into another country and return to the US of A via tunnel underneath said international waters? The course was very good and I thought it was a nice mix of what Detroit and Windsor, Canada have to offer. In order to race, you have to sign up months in advance as well as show up in person before race day to show your passport when picking up your packet. I was told to carry my passport with me on race day which I did, but it wasn’t needed since border patrol was very strict on seeing people’s bibs as their pass through the border crossing. In all, this race has given me a more positive vibe about Detroit. It’s worth training for.

DIFFICULTY
3
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5
SCENERY
5
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4

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BARC Labor Day Run

BARC Labor Day Run

Following the race, people were invited to sit down to a potluck lunch with everyone who came to the Chippewa Nature Center for the race. Kind of a nice way … MORE

Following the race, people were invited to sit down to a potluck lunch with everyone who came to the Chippewa Nature Center for the race. Kind of a nice way to spend a part of the Labor Day holiday!

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2
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3
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3
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2

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Midland Young Life 5K

Midland Young Life 5K

The race started and ended in Emerson Park and got the rest of the miles through one of Midland's nicest mature neighborhoods adjacent to the hospital. This was a fundraiser … MORE

The race started and ended in Emerson Park and got the rest of the miles through one of Midland’s nicest mature neighborhoods adjacent to the hospital. This was a fundraiser for the local chapter of Young Life. A lot of businesses donated items for raffle prizes. It seems everyone went away a winner. It was also a part of a series of races put on by the Community Center in the Element Series. Points were awarded based on your finishing place in your age group and tallied at the end of the year. This helped me win my age group, so I’m happy!

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2
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4
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5
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5

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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

What an awesome experience it was! My whole family came out and cheered for me as I improved more than a min/mile from my previous best marathon time. It was … MORE

What an awesome experience it was! My whole family came out and cheered for me as I improved more than a min/mile from my previous best marathon time. It was very well organized—and it has to be with over 45,000 runners involved. Definitely make this a destination race, and plan time to see the city while you are in town.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
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5

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Volkslaufe

Volkslaufe

A couple thousand runners make running one of the Volkslaufe races part of their Independence Day festivities. I participated in the 10K sponsored by the Bronner's Christmas Wonderland store. In … MORE

A couple thousand runners make running one of the Volkslaufe races part of their Independence Day festivities. I participated in the 10K sponsored by the Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland store. In was a nice course going through a bit of the countryside around Frankenmuth as well as the popular areas near downtown. The start and finish area was in Heritage Park which has plenty of space to spread out and have a seat. Overall, my experience in the race was very good.

DIFFICULTY
3
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5
SCENERY
4
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4

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Michigan Half Marathon Race Series Mid-Land Run

Michigan Half Marathon Race Series Mid-Land Run

This was a fun one to do. It was small-town and laid back, but everyone who registered got a practical gift for signing up. Mine was a pair of running … MORE

This was a fun one to do. It was small-town and laid back, but everyone who registered got a practical gift for signing up. Mine was a pair of running gloves which I still am using years later. Age group winners in the half marathon earned free shoes from the local running store. Perhaps I should have tried for that instead of the 10K which I did, but I’ll take 3rd overall and my second-fastest time. The route is entirely on the rail-trail, making for a fast and flat course.

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1
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4
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3
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5

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Source of Hope 5K

Source of Hope 5K

One of my high school teachers now directs an organization called The Daughter Project that ministers to girls caught up in trafficking. This race was held to raise support for … MORE

One of my high school teachers now directs an organization called The Daughter Project that ministers to girls caught up in trafficking. This race was held to raise support for the project. It was good to come back and participate in this event. It was held in the Oak Openings Preserve Metropark on the nature paths winding through the woods.

DIFFICULTY
2
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3
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3
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Crim Festival of Races

Crim Festival of Races

Crim 2005 was my first road race ever to run in. I've had the running bug ever since then. I've come back numerous times to run in it. Anywhere between … MORE

Crim 2005 was my first road race ever to run in. I’ve had the running bug ever since then. I’ve come back numerous times to run in it. Anywhere between 6 -10,000 people show up each year to run in the variety of events. Technically, the race is named after Bobby Crim, a local advocate for running and former state senator, but everyone knows it to be the Coolest Race In Michigan. The race starts and finishes on the bricks of Saginaw Street in downtown Flint showcasing a nice cross-section of the city. Be prepared for the Bradley Hills at the half-way point!

DIFFICULTY
3
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4
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2
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