Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.5
Community First Fox Cities Marathon The Community First Fox Cities Marathon features over 7 miles of paved trail running and many more miles of scenic park and waterfront sections of the course! The race begins in front of the Barlow Planetarium on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Fox Cities campus in … MORE
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Recent reviews

    hseitz FIRST-TIMER '21

    I traveled from central Illinois to run this race. -Race expo had tons of goodies. Stock up on all the free swag and coupons you want. -The start line is … MORE

    I traveled from central Illinois to run this race.

    -Race expo had tons of goodies. Stock up on all the free swag and coupons you want.
    -The start line is at the UW-Fox Cities campus, but don’t expect to be able to just drive up to the same building you picked up your packet at. If the parking lots are full, people will park at whatever businesses they want, a half mile down the road from the start line (Midway Road in Menasha). And I guess that was allowable. I parked at some auto repair shop, and nobody towed me away or complained.
    -It was warmer than I had hoped. It got up to 79 degrees by the end of my marathon, probably a freak occurrence for mid-Sept in central Wisconsin. The entire rest of this week has been highs of 64-65.
    -The best thing about this marathon is that they put your name on the bib, and EVERYONE cheers you on by name! I probably heard total stranger spectators cheer me on by name over a hundred times this race!
    -Watch out for the straight stretch of road from miles 18-22. I am a runner who loves turns every half-mile or so. And I hate running on concrete roads in the 75 degree sun. I also broke my sunglasses at mile 15. There was ~4 miles of straight concrete road between 18-22, zero shade, that I really struggled with.
    -There was a bridge over 3/4 mile of inlet from Lake Winnebago just before mile 23. Maybe the prettiest part of the race.
    -Gu was provided at miles 14 and 21. Water and Gatorade roughly every mile.
    -It was nice finishing in downtown Neenah, and there were tons of small snacks to pick up post race!
    -Since the finish was 5 miles from the start, you have to take a bus back to the start. My uncle picked me up, so I can’t speak to how good the bus was.
    -May not have been as scenic as Milwaukee Lakefront or Madison supposedly are, but if you’re a 50 stater like me, consider this one because there aren’t too many other good mid-September races out there (and the Fox Cities are pretty cool too).

    Thanks Fox Cities!

    *note: at mile 22, you cross two bridges. One is short, like 500 feet, and then suddenly there was a fork in the road and no cones or volunteers to tell you which way to go. I yelled for help, and someone suggested the correct way to go was right, across another bridge for 3/4 mile. Thank goodness he was correct. Fox Cities, if you see this, please mark that turn more clearly next year. If not for this, I would give race production 5 stars.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    KatieD FIRST-TIMER '17

    I originally signed up for the full marathon but had to drop down to the half due to an injury during training. I signed up early so I only paid … MORE

    I originally signed up for the full marathon but had to drop down to the half due to an injury during training. I signed up early so I only paid $75 for the full. I was charged $15 to switch to the half, I was OK with that since most races don’t allow transferring. At the time the half was $100 which is a really pricey half marathon in this area. Nonetheless, the half marathon field seems to be consistently large, over 2000 runners. By contrast the full marathon field is less than 600 runners. There is also a 5K and full marathon relay.

    The course is a large loop which does not quite meet, so the finish line is in a separate location from the start. Shuttle buses were provided at Park and Ride locations. The half marathon course shares the first 2 miles of the full course, then splits off and heads northward before rejoining the marathon course at the end. Both races start at the same time and they finish in the same place.

    This year the race experienced record high temps, about 30 degrees higher than the norm, with temps in the 80’s by 9:00 AM and hitting 90 by 1:00 PM. Race organizers handled this well with communications warning about the heat and taking additional steps to ensure that water was available and adding a misting station, popsicles, cooling buses, and cooling tanks at the finish. Full marathoners could drop to the half with no fee and receive $20 towards next year’s marathon.

    The half course goes through many residential neighborhoods and many people put out sprinklers and set up their own misters. They also had their own water, lemonade, and ice stations. This was all greatly appreciated. The sections in the neighborhood were shaded but in the last 3 miles there was not a lot of shade.

    The half course went through the neighborhoods, through an industrial area by the Kimberly Clark plant, and along some bike paths by the waterfront. There were no significant hills on the course. Due to being part of the full course, water stops were plentiful with 10 stops on the half course. There was also a station for GU, which oddly was not near a water stop.

    There were a large number of spectators as well as entertainment stations on the course. The finish is at a large park. Post race food included sandwiches from Arby’s, chocolate milk, fruit, cookies, and water. Race swag was a tech tee for the half marathon, a long sleeve tee for the full, and a drawstring bag. A friend picked up my bib for me so I did not attend the Expo.

    Overall, I thought the race was very well-organized and it is a fun event due to the spectators and course entertainment. Volunteers were plentiful and friendly. I do not go to the Fox Cities area often so it was interesting to run in a different place.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Oct 01, 2017 at 11:38pm

    YIKES, 30 degrees warmer than usual definitely isn't what you hope for on race day. That said, it sounds like the organizers came prepared, and I love the pick-me-up of… MORE

    YIKES, 30 degrees warmer than usual definitely isn't what you hope for on race day. That said, it sounds like the organizers came prepared, and I love the pick-me-up of misting stations and popsicles during a hot race. Also appreciate the description of "a large loop which does not quite meet", since I've never quite figured out how to describe courses like this. Hope the half went well and that your injury is in the rearview mirror. Thanks for another awesome review! LESS

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