Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
5
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4
This year’s Flower City Challenge is BOTH Saturday AND Sunday at Genesee Valley Park. This location change is at the request of the City of Rochester. You can choose which day you want or perhaps the half on one day and 5K on another! There will a separate start and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is normally a half marathon produced by Yellow Jacket Racing (YJR) that takes place at the end of April and the usual course is a super cool course through … MORE

    This is normally a half marathon produced by Yellow Jacket Racing (YJR) that takes place at the end of April and the usual course is a super cool course through downtown Rochester. Rochester has been strict about allowing events due to covid, so this year the race was pre-emptively moved to June and the location switched to Genesee Valley Park and the canal trail where pretty much every approved race in Rochester has taken place this year. While I definitely would have loved to run the original course, I doubt that would have been able to happen and think it was smart to instead focus on making the best race as possible that was 99.9% likely to happen. This course was particularly exciting for me (not) as it included a long section behind my house where I run 2-3 times per week. I should have called myself a repeat runner as it was almost the exact same course as I ran the virtual OC half marathon last summer. This year the race was split into waves from 7:30 to 9am and held on both Saturday and Sunday. You chose date and time at registration. I chose the earliest 7:30 AM Saturday slot since I was driving to NH after for Father’s days. Packet pick-up was either Thursday or Friday at the store and also available morning of the race. I went to store Thursday. Packet includes bib, chapstick, and a nice peri-winkle blue long sleeve tech shirts. Race day was very easy with lots of parking near the start. Set up was really nice with big starting arch and finishing arch. You lined up with your group of 50 and went during your wave. The morning was quite hot and humid in the high 70s and low 80s but not unbearably hot. The first half of the course you go over a bridge and then do an out and back behind the most important place in Rochester, my house! I knew this section of the course very well so it was a little boring but it is nice and flat. After this out and back you turn in the park and run for about 3.5 miles along the canal. This section is a little prettier and more shaded and goes past the second most important place in Rochester, my work! Then this is where the course diverges from my virtual OC half. Whereas I did an out and back for my virtual half for this half you go over a bridge to the other side of the park. This bridge had a beautiful view of downtown Rochester! Then there is another about 3ish miles along the canal back to the park. Again this is pleasant but slightly boring. The most exciting part was this super cool snapping turtle just chilling on the course. There were 5 aid stations on the course with water and gatorade. Again it was nice to have normal aid stations with cups handed to you. There weren’t quite enough aid stations for the heat but this was communicated and you were told to carry water which I did. The initial plan was for no aid stations and aid stations were only recently approved so I appreciated the 5 there were. Course was also extremely well marked and easy to follow. The only thing I thought could have improved the production of the course was to have mile markers. However since I knew the course so well I didn’t really need them personally. The end is rough and why I added an extra sneaker to the difficulty of an otherwise very easy course. There are the two steepest bridges right at the end and the finish was about a 0.1 mile slight incline on grass in the heat. Finish area was really nice and exciting. At the finish line you got a bag with your medal and goodies. The medal is nice. It isn’t the biggest half marathon medal I have but it features the skyline of Rochester which I like. The goody bag had chips, fruit snacks, cookies and a fruit cup. As YJR never misses a detail they even remembered a utensil for the fruit cup. This wasn’t my fastest half marathon but I thought I had a really fast time given the heat and humidity and the fact that I was still very sore from last week’s double. Obviously this wasn’t the most exciting race in the world being that it was practically in my backyard. However I decided to give it 5 sneakers as production was top-notch and the usual course is a 5 sneaker course and it seemed unfair to lower the rating of the race based on a smart move by the race company to change the location this year and ensure the race happens. Fingers crossed this is back to the original course next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    aldole55 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I really liked this race, it was challenging and enjoyable. Start was cold and got warmer through out the race. The neighborhood cheering challenge was great! Would recommend this to … MORE

    I really liked this race, it was challenging and enjoyable. Start was cold and got warmer through out the race. The neighborhood cheering challenge was great! Would recommend this to others for sure!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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