Overall Rating
Overall Rating (9 Reviews)
3.8
(9 Ratings)(9 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.3
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
3.4
SWAG
2.8
The YMCA Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, presented by the Idaho Potato Commission, is a fun point-to-point full marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K course along the Boise, Idaho greenbelt. All courses are flat and fast! This marathon can be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Bring the entire family … MORE
Local Weather (May 30)
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L (°F) 53 53 57 50 65
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Recent reviews

    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '18

    I finally got the chance to run a half marathon in my home state and I was very pleased that this was the race that I selected. EXPO: I was … MORE

    I finally got the chance to run a half marathon in my home state and I was very pleased that this was the race that I selected.

    EXPO: I was not able to go to the expo proper the because I didn’t fly in until Friday evening and the race was on Saturday. My parents picked up my race bib for me which they told me was easy and smooth with plenty of parking and easy access. The said the expo was pretty small but had a decent number of booths.

    Parking/Access: There are two options in regards to getting to the start, you can get dropped off at Lucky Peak Park or you can park at the finish and take the bus to the start. I chose the option of getting dropped off since I had family in the area and I thought this worked out really well. We had no problems getting in and out although if you were running late it might have been hard since they stopped letting cars in and stopping along the highway would be problematic. The bus option seemed to work well for most people as they were steadily being dropped off. Apparently there were some traffic issues that caused the final bus to be late but they were kind enough to delay the start by 10 minutes so that everybody could start together, although jumping off a bus with no time to stretch and then quickly toss your gear bag was probably less than ideal I think that is more on the people for cutting things so close with which bus they chose than a negative reflection on the race. Parking at the finish was plentiful and pretty much 100 yards or less from the finish line. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: I am never a fan of shirts and medals celebrating the number of years of a race because they often look similar and are not very creative. The grey shirt is good quality and soft, a potato of course easily lends itself to act as the ‘0’ in writing and they used that here as well. I don’t hate it like some of the anniversary races I have done, but I didn’t love it either. The logo was repeated on the race medal. It is a small but sturdy gold medal with the race logo on it and a relatively small lanyard compared to most races. Again good but not great so a solid 3 stars.

    Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: Aid stations throughout the course were at good intervals and had both water and electrolytes. They went pretty smooth although a few of the aid station volunteers were not doing enough vocalizing who had water vs. electrolytes so i missed getting anything at the final aid station but I find it hard to really be critical of people who volunteered their time early on a Saturday just to hand out water to sweaty runners for a couple hours. I chalk this up to just some bad luck and since I was towards the front they probably figured it out as things went along.

    The elevation on the course was very easy. You pretty much follow a very slow gentle downhill along the river from Lucky Peak to downtown. I think the worse hill on the course was going over an overpass over the Boise river and even that isn’t much of a hill to speak of.

    The course itself was a pretty diverse mix of scenery. You start by running out of Lucky Peak through the canyon along the highway with the river at your side. You then get to run along the base of the Boise Foothills before turning and running on the greenbelt for several miles. Towards the end when you are entering downtown you run through a few neighborhoods and over a couple bridges before reaching the finish. No major cool Boise landmarks on the course, but enjoyable and pretty just the same.

    Race Management: This is a smaller race, ~900 people in the half but I still feel like they did a really good job with it. Everything was pretty easy to manage and navigate and I really didn’t have any complaints. The finish area was quite enjoyable and had the giant potato truck for some pictures as well as quite a few booths with chocolate milk and of course their signature baked potato bar. I have to admit that when I heard about the baked potato bar at the finish, I thought it was a cute local idea but not likely something I would enjoy at 8:30 am. When I finished however I decided to give it a try and to their credit they had all the toppings you could want on a baked potato. I also need to admit that while I originally thought that a baked potato would not sound good after a run, I was very very wrong. A carb rich baked potato right after a run was amazing! It was a uniquely Idaho way of finishing things and I loved it.

    Another nice thing about running a race back home was seeing current students from my high school running and representing as well as running into several old high school cross country teammates and friends. I’m sure this type of thing is common for people who still live near where they grew up but for me coming from out of town it was a great bonus.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
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    50statesSandy FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a really nice local race for me to participate in. Course is scenic. Specific areas of race support but the comrade among the runner specifically was special. Well … MORE

    This was a really nice local race for me to participate in. Course is scenic. Specific areas of race support but the comrade among the runner specifically was special. Well organized. Packet pick up was a breeze. Post race food was delicious!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    PFKEYRUNNER REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is in Boise ID, which is a great town. I stayed at Springhill suites which is ,4 of a mile to the packet pickup and finish. Free shuttle … MORE

    This race is in Boise ID, which is a great town. I stayed at Springhill suites which is ,4 of a mile to the packet pickup and finish.
    Free shuttle service too! The packet pickup was not very smooth. 5K-1/2 marsthonsers had to stand in long lines outside in the rain to get their packet. Marathoners have a special line. The shirts are poor printed quality. The shuttles to the start were great and loads of ports Johns at Lucky State Park. No pacers. The course is slight downhill to half, then loops back so slight uphill to 19, then it got confusing! No volunteer at the turnaround at 19.??? I ran past the arrows on the pavement… no cone, nothing! A local runner behind me called me back… so I lost time there… then at a split at 22.5, the volunteer ( who was sitting off under a tree) sent me on a dirt path along the river. I was by myself at that point. This made me run 2.5/10s further again!! I was so confused. Thank Goodness this path ended at the street where the other runners could be seen down The was coming out of a paved path! I ran 26.6 miles but it was redeemed a little that I got 3rd in age. Good baked potatoes st the end, no beer. Medal was really cheap looking. No chocolate milk. The half marathon is their pet child!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    TBurgess FIRST-TIMER '18

    The course is the highlight. Starts out at Sandy Point Beach. It was pretty darn cold with a breeze; everyone was huddling around buildings to stay warm. Once the race … MORE

    The course is the highlight. Starts out at Sandy Point Beach. It was pretty darn cold with a breeze; everyone was huddling around buildings to stay warm. Once the race started, the coldness went away quickly and by an hour into the event, it got hot quick. The course continues through canyon-like atmosphere, then through a nice community area, back to the a trail along the Boise River, through two different city parks, for a nice finish.

    Post race, you get a baked potato and you can choose your own toppings, which is awesome. Lots of other goodies and drinks too.

    The packet pick up is very disappointing. Basically pull up to a crowded parking lot, walk over to a small tent/booth, and they hand you your stuff. No frills at all. This would be a good event to have some booths Idaho related like: Taters, Idaho Made, Mixed Greens, Idaho Candy Company, Wear Boise, Banana Ink, Proof Eyewear, etc. Many people travel from out of state to this event.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Beth Kleweno
    bkwazzu REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I ran the 10K, but there are also 5K, half marathon and marathon options. The 5K and 10K started together around 10am. It was hot by this time, 9am would … MORE

    I ran the 10K, but there are also 5K, half marathon and marathon options. The 5K and 10K started together around 10am. It was hot by this time, 9am would have been a better start time. Because the two distances start together, it is very congested in the beginning. They have signs for different timed corrals, but there were too many people to be divided that way. The first mile includes running along a sidewalk over a bridge. It was so congested that the runners had to walk on the bridge. Otherwise, the race was great (although very humid/warm). The scenery was nice along the greenbelt. The volunteers were very friendly and kind. Good food at the end… loved my baked potato and toppings!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    DonnaS FIRST-TIMER '18

    The course began at Lucky Peak State Park and went through a canyon for the first few miles along the river. We were on greenways for a large portion of … MORE

    The course began at Lucky Peak State Park and went through a canyon for the first few miles along the river. We were on greenways for a large portion of the race and the course was flat and pretty scenic. There were plenty of volunteer stations but not many spectators. At packet pickup we got our bibs and a cute potato-shaped pin that says Idaho on it. We got our shirts and medals after the race; both were cute and went along with the potato theme. There was also a potato bar at the finish with several toppings to choose from. There were bounce houses for kids at the finish area. The weather was perfect by my standards although it was breezy at the park and through the canyon. This was state number 42 for me!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Donna
    runningtotravel FIRST-TIMER '18

    The course started at Lucky Peak State Park and went through a canyon along water for the first few miles. We were on greenways for a large portion of the … MORE

    The course started at Lucky Peak State Park and went through a canyon along water for the first few miles. We were on greenways for a large portion of the course. The course was pretty scenic overall and very flat. The medal and shirts were cute, following with the potato theme and we got a potato-shaped pin at packet pick-up that says Idaho on it. There was a potato bar at the finish where you could put all kinds of toppings on. There was also fruit, yogurt, and water. There were bounce houses for kids at the finish as well. The course was well-marked and had plenty of volunteer stations. About the only thing that was lacking is spectators but that didn’t bother me.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    fatgirlruns REPEAT RUNNER '14

    Although this is one of the largest (if not the largest) running event in the State of Idaho, it's rather average compared to other races that are their State's "premiere" … MORE

    Although this is one of the largest (if not the largest) running event in the State of Idaho, it’s rather average compared to other races that are their State’s “premiere” running event. The course itself is fine — point-to-point, flat (well, a slight downhill) the entire distance, and run completely on the paved Boise Greenbelt along the Boise River. The race begins in a scenic gorge, but by ~5 miles, you begin running through neighborhoods/HOAs, then by ~9 miles you’re in Boise town/city.

    Where I’m a bit underwhelmed with this race is that the expo is rather sparse, packet pick-up is required the day before the race (though it’s a small enough race that packet pick-up could be manageable on race day, especially given all the down time at the starting area because the bus pickups are so early), and the medals are sort of meh. There’s potential for this race to be a much more impressive experience, especially for 50-staters.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Aug 31, 2017 at 11:07pm

    Thanks, Janelle! Sorry to hear you were underwhelmed by your Idaho experience, but this is very helpful, especially for a 50 stater with no in-depth knowledge of Idaho races. Look… MORE

    Thanks, Janelle! Sorry to hear you were underwhelmed by your Idaho experience, but this is very helpful, especially for a 50 stater with no in-depth knowledge of Idaho races. Look forward to following along on your 50-state journey! LESS

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    fatgirlruns Sep 03, 2017 at 4:11pm

    Hi Mike! Have you completed all 50? If not, and you're still looking for an Idaho race, I've heard nothing but good things about the Robie Creek race, which I… MORE

    Hi Mike! Have you completed all 50? If not, and you're still looking for an Idaho race, I've heard nothing but good things about the Robie Creek race, which I think is every spring, March or April. Sells out extremely fast. I lived in Idaho for a stint, thus why I did this Famous Potato half, but I wasn't there long enough to try out too many other races in Idaho. LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 03, 2017 at 6:19pm

    Appreciate the rec! Unfortunately Robie Creek doesn't have a full and I'm doing marathons/ultras, but if you have any other Idaho recs I'd love to have 'em. Still a long… MORE

    Appreciate the rec! Unfortunately Robie Creek doesn't have a full and I'm doing marathons/ultras, but if you have any other Idaho recs I'd love to have 'em. Still a long way to go on my 50 states journey – I've finished 16 states so far with #17 coming up next weekend. So still lots of planning/travel in my future! How far along are you on the 50 states? LESS

     
    bioprofsd FIRST-TIMER '15

    The course was set up as a point to point downhill route along the Boise River with the finish 13.1 miles from the start. Most of the route was on … MORE

    The course was set up as a point to point downhill route along the Boise River with the finish 13.1 miles from the start. Most of the route was on bike trails, so traffic control wasn’t a problem. For the full marathon, runners had to do another 6.55 mile out-and-back after they got to the finish area. This last 6.55 mile out-and-back was fairly flat, so with the first 13.1 miles of downhill, it is a pretty fast course. The heat got to be a little problem towards the end, but at least the humidity was low. All in all a well organized course, but with the early shuttle buses to the start, it isn’t for those who like to sleep in late.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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