My Profile

@racetravelrepeat

Kansas City, MO Raving since 2022 50 States hopeful/finisher Race, Travel, Repeat Active 1 month, 3 weeks ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    50 States Half Marathon Club

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

    There is always a place to go, and a terrible urgency to get there.

My Races

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

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (6)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Fargo, ND May 28, 2024
Half Marathon Townsend, TN Sep 7, 2024
Half Marathon Detroit, MI Oct 20, 2024
Half Marathon Biloxi, MS Dec 15, 2024
Half Marathon Baton Rouge, LA Jan 19, 2025
Half Marathon Mesa, AZ Feb 8, 2025

Past Races (25)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Lexington, KY May 11, 2024
Half Marathon Greenville, SC Feb 24, 2024
Half Marathon Austin, TX Jan 21, 2024
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 19, 2023
Half Marathon Bird-in-Hand, PA Sep 9, 2023
Half Marathon Duluth, MN Jun 17, 2023
Half Marathon Russellville, AR Apr 22, 2023
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 19, 2023
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Feb 26, 2023
Half Marathon Council Bluffs, IA Oct 22, 2022
Half Marathon Fort Collins, CO Aug 6, 2022
Half Marathon Anchorage, AK Jun 18, 2022
Half Marathon Chicago, IL May 22, 2022
Half Marathon Omaha, NE Apr 16, 2022
Half Marathon Liberty, MO Mar 26, 2022
15K Chicago, IL Nov 8, 2020
Half Marathon Manhattan, KS Sep 7, 2020
10K Manhattan, KS Sep 22, 2019
Half Marathon Olathe, KS Apr 13, 2019
Half Marathon Shawnee, KS Nov 18, 2018
Half Marathon Overland Park, KS Nov 11, 2018
Half Marathon Lawrence, KS Nov 4, 2018
Marathon Arlington, VA 2011
Marathon Oceanport, NJ 2007
Marathon Oceanport, NJ 2006

My Raves

I signed up for the Greenville Half Marathon in part because it is touted as "The Fastest Half Marathon in the South," and also because I wanted to run the … MORE

I signed up for the Greenville Half Marathon in part because it is touted as “The Fastest Half Marathon in the South,” and also because I wanted to run the Swamp Rabbit, which seemed beautiful from the photos I’d seen during my research phase. Admittedly, I was also lured in by the prospect of cute rabbit-emblazoned swag. The course was net downhill, and while I wasn’t expecting a PR, I also knew I wasn’t going to be in a huge hurry because I wanted to enjoy the scenery and document the race.

For the size of the race, I was admittedly a bit surprised by the complete lack of an expo. Not disappointed, just surprised, because it was literally two tables set up in a gymnasium and a row of tables with T-shirts piled high. The volunteers were friendly, albeit the no-frills, straightforward process. I was handed a race T-shirt, my bib, and a drawstring bag, and sent on my way.

The race was scheduled to begin at Gateway Park in Traveler’s Rest, and the point-to-point course eventually would conclude on the TD stage at the Peace Center in Greenville. I had pre-purchased a bus ticket to the start for $20.00, and runners lined up on race morning for the early buses in front of the Peace Concert Hall, for a 5:45 A.M. departure. I once again thanked myself profusely for booking a hotel right across the street from the shuttle departure site, and what would later be the finish line. There was an option for a later bus, and being from out of town and not knowing what to expect at the start line, I decided to play it safe and get to the start as early as possible. I ended up regretting my decision (more on that later).

It was a 20-minute bus ride from Greenville to Gateway Park. When we rolled up to Gateway Park and unloaded from the bus, we noticed two things: the first was how completely devoid of light most of the park was, especially the area around the bank of portable toilets; and second, how cold it was. It was around 6:30 A.M., an hour before the race start, and the temperature was a crisp 36° F. The wind remained steady at a mild 3 MPH, however, it did not make up for the unpleasantness of standing around in a temperature only four degrees above freezing for the next hour. If I had only gotten on the later bus!

The consensus about the porta-john situation being sketchy at best was unanimous, in that no one wanted to do their business in complete darkness, or have to perform the delicate balancing act of occupying one hand by using their phone as a flashlight. We all stood around doing pointless stretches and warm-up exercises until a small orange sliver of the sun crested the horizon, and runners felt confident enough to use the toilet without dropping their phone or other valuable item into the blue liquid abyss.

The start corrals were released in waves, and by the time I actually crossed the timing mat, it was approximately 15 minutes past the race kickoff. During the first mile, we headed north on Main Street for a little while before entering the Swamp Rabbit trail at Tolar Road. From there, we continued north on the trail, for about two miles, before looping around and heading south. During the first two miles, runners crowded each other on the paved trail, continuously jockeying for positions. I did my best not to get stepped on, or step on anyone else. We waved at the other runners who were coming at us from the opposing direction when the first couple of corrals completed their loop around.

We crossed Greer Highway and headed south on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, slowly but steadily making our way towards Greenville. The trail was lined with a canopy of trees for a good portion of the course, and between the trees I could see the many different restaurants lining the highway that we passed along the way. I found the course to have quite a few hills, especially the first 5 miles, though they may have been imperceptible to others.

There were aid stations approximately every 2 miles, stocked with plenty of water and Gatorade, and volunteers enthusiastically offering their support and encouragement. Somewhere around mile 9, my stomach didn’t feel good, and from that point I could only consume fluids without feeling a tendril of fire roaring through my intestines. I’d brought 6 Huma gels with me for nutrition, meant to be consumed every 30 minutes, and my plan had worked for approximately 4 gels. We passed through Swamp Rabbit Station at Berea, which marked the exact halfway point between Downtown Greenville and Travelers Rest.

Prior to reaching mile 11, a cheerfully painted sign let us know we were half a mile away from the Swamp Rabbit Café. Between mile 12 and 13, I was treated to a view of Greenville’s adorable giant steel rabbit sculpture, named Rusty. Rusty is the centerpiece of Unity Park, and of course I couldn’t pass by him without getting a photo. When we reached mile 13, volunteers and runners who had finished were coming at us in the opposite direction, looking for their friends so they could cheer them on for the final push. I got a glimpse of the medal on the necks of the finishers, and couldn’t wait for mine.

The temperature had risen considerably, and it was now in the mid-50’s. I was very uncomfortable in my long sleeve shirt, which had dutifully served its purpose during the earlier part of the morning. Reaching the final mile marker, and knowing I only had a tenth of a mile to go, I picked up the pace and was consumed by a final jolt of adrenaline. More spectators converged on the course, and everyone was cheering and yelling words of encouragement for our pack of runners.

At the finish, I was not immediately christened with a medal, and I didn’t see any volunteers standing by to do so as more finishers came through the corral. We were greeted with the bad news that they had run out of medals, and they would be mailed to us. I was upset, as you can imagine, and this is not something any runner really mentally prepares for.

A kind volunteer let me pose for a photo with a 5K medal, and tucked away the part of the ribbon that said “5K.” It was better than having no photos at the finish line at all. Aside from the lettering on the ribbon and what was engraved on the actual medal, it was almost identical to the half marathon medal, especially from a distance. This anti-climactic conclusion of the race is my reason for the 3-shoe rating, however, I was fortunate that I had an amazing friend who was faster than me who insisted I take his medal with me since he lived locally and I traveled from out of state. This is truly the best part about the running community, meeting lifelong friends and sharing these experiences!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

There were three reasons I signed up for this race: the first was I knew there would be a ton of 3M products for swag, and I can't turn down … MORE

There were three reasons I signed up for this race: the first was I knew there would be a ton of 3M products for swag, and I can’t turn down free office supplies; second, this was a milestone anniversary for the race, so I believed it would be a big deal; and third, a net downhill course. The 3M Half Marathon course is hyped as one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country, and on January 21, 2024, over 6,300 runners from 46 states and 8 countries turned out to celebrate the race’s 30th anniversary.

Regal Gateway Theater served as the starting line. I was so thankful on race morning that I booked a hotel within a block of the start. At the finish line, I’d board the shuttle, which I pre-booked for $10, and ride back to the Regal Gateway Theater. Convenient all around. Runners showed up in droves to the start in bathrobes and pajamas. The temperature was 38° F, and it was cloudy with a gentle 7 MPH breeze. I had a throw-away sweatshirt on over my two shirts, and planned to ditch it in the start corral. All layers discarded by runners were donated to charity.

After the singing of the National Anthem, we hit the ground running promptly at 7:30 A.M. We headed out on Stonelake Boulevard and continued on it for the first mile, which was a consistent uphill incline until we hit Mile 2 and turned onto W Braker Lane. The irony was not lost on me that for a race with a slogan of “Downhill to Downtown,” we were beginning with an uphill. When all was said and done, although the course is net downhill, it was about 50% uphill. If you decide to register for this race, I recommend training hills. I underestimated the course, thinking it would be easy because it was net downhill, and I learned Austin has some pretty respectable hills. That being said, there was no opportunity for the course to get boring.

Approximately every two miles, there were aid stations with water and Lemon Lime Nuun, porta-potties, and cheerful volunteers. There was no shortage of live music. During the first mile, the tone was set with Austin Taiko, a Japanese drumming band. Everett Wren greeted us at Mile 2.75 with his fantastic fiddle. As we prepared to cross U.S. Highway 183, we were treated to the steel drums of Inside Out Steelband, which infused the course with Caribbean vibes. Kupira Marimba, a Zimbabwe Marimba band, brought us joy during Mile 5. The 4411 played guitar for us when we passed Mile 6.65, a fun way to mark our halfway point. At the Mile 7 marker, we reached the “Energy Zone,” stocked with Gu Energy Gel, which I opted to skip since I was carrying my Huma gels. Austin Thaalam, an Indian Drumming band, was a fun surprise at Mile 9.6.

Mile 8 to Mile 9 was all uphill, and during the struggle of managing that beast of a mile-long incline, I was really appreciative of the music. Not only did Mile 9 consist of Indian drumming, but we also had Shirley Johnson waiting for us at Mile 9.84 to lend us her support with her accordion. After the Mile 10 marker, I was extremely excited about the steeper grade downhill, and this was a downhill I felt comfortable enough to capitalize on at full speed. At Mile 12, we ran past the University of Texas at Austin, to the tune of banjo, string bass, and guitar, courtesy of the Stove Top Rangers.

During the last mile, the crowds thickened, and the noise of the cheering spectators began to increase. As we rolled into downtown and crossed the finish line, the crowd support was amazing. DJ Gatsby provided the music for the finisher’s festival at San Jacinto and 11th Street, a block across from the Texas State Capitol. It was really cold at the finish, and I could barely feel my fingers when I grabbed a bottle of water and my free banana. The medal was super awesome, especially because it was commemorative of the 30th anniversary.

My favorite part of this experience was the Expo. They give you SO much swag, all 3M products, it was great. I felt like I was hauling all of Aisle 3 from Staples in my swag bag! It was worth it, and you should take this as your sign to register for next year if you’re on the fence about it!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The weather, to include the light rain, was perfect race weather — a mild and damp 51° F with a gentle 6 mph breeze. Each corral crossed the starting line … MORE

The weather, to include the light rain, was perfect race weather — a mild and damp 51° F with a gentle 6 mph breeze. Each corral crossed the starting line to the fanfare of music and confetti, which was a nice reminder of the colorful, exciting, and lively atmosphere that was Tulsa’s biggest party. We started our 13.1 mile tour of Tulsa downtown, which is renowned for the second largest collection of Art Deco architecture outside of Miami. The first mile was a very gentle, very gradual easy downhill, and I savored every minute of it while my muscles warmed up.

Once we hit the neighborhoods of Tulsa, we came across a few unofficial aid stations offering alcoholic beverages and unconventional treats, and my favorite aid station of them all was one in which a woman was offering “nose napkins and mimosas.” The rain had subsided to a barely perceptible light mist, and so I loaded up on tissues and thanked the tissue and mimosa lady profusely. Other runners made their approval known as well, concurring that this had been their favorite aid station.

After mile 1, the journey to mile 2 was a gradual uphill, and all throughout the rest of the course there were frequent elevation changes with noticeable uphill and barely noticeable declines. I hesitate to call them “gently rolling hills,” because some of the hills, especially the last one preceding mile 12, were far from gentle. We ran past some of the most beautiful houses I’d ever seen in the Midwest while we were passing through the neighborhoods of Tulsa, and I mentally made a note of at least two mansions to look up on Zillow later.

Aid stations were spaced out approximately every two miles, and each aid station was manned with friendly and engaging volunteers ready to shower us with water and Gatorade. The course continued through Midtown, and then we ran along the Arkansas River with beautiful views of damp fall foliage before crossing the historic Route 66 around mile 11. There were some great opportunities to get photos with the famous Route 66 sign, and a race photographer was positioned to capture some candid shots of runners in front of the sign.

Mile 11 began in a decline and then we started to ascend again up the monstrosity known as “Crybaby Hill.” My legs were already fatigued from the previous 10 miles’ worth of hills, so by the time I began to crest Crybaby Hill, I was nearly in tears, lending credence to the hill’s moniker. The final two miles took us back towards the Tulsa Arts District, where we finished at Guthrie Green. Underneath the canopy in the finisher’s corral, volunteers handed out warm slices of pepperoni pizza, which had been delivered that morning in heat bags by Simple Simon’s Pizza. It was one of the best slices of pizza I’d ever eaten in my calorie-deprived and muscle-fatigued state.

Before heading back to my hotel for some rest, I swung by the Route 66 Historical Village and snapped a photo of my medal with the iconic sign for which the medal was inspired. 10/10 would recommend this race to anyone looking for a great race in Oklahoma. Pre-race communication and race production were phenomenal, and the expo was fun with lots of awesome vendors!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was State #12 for me on my 50 states quest. When I think of traveling for a race in September or October in one of the "Middle Atlantic" states, … MORE

This was State #12 for me on my 50 states quest. When I think of traveling for a race in September or October in one of the “Middle Atlantic” states, I’m envisioning the leaves changing color, cooler temperatures, fall-themed beverages, apple cider, flannel and sweaters, pumpkin-flavored everything, pumpkins on porches, pumpkins in patches, and Halloween candy and decorations on every retail shelf. What we got instead on race morning was a rude awakening characterized by what I like to call The Trifecta of Hazardous H’s: heat, humidity, and hills. The consensus among visitors and locals alike was it was unseasonably warm for the time of year in Pennsylvania, and this year’s Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon was reported to be the second hottest on record.

I checked the weather on my phone, and my heart sank when I confirmed it was 68° at that point in time with 98% humidity, and expected to be around 78° by the time I planned to finish. Our herd was led by a horse and buggy, in keeping with race tradition. On the course, we enjoyed the most breath-taking country scenery for 13.1 miles, consisting of rolling hills of grassy farmland, pastures dotted with cows, and roads lined with tall corn stalks bearing the absolute biggest ears of corn I’ve ever seen ready for harvest.

Each aid station had extremely friendly volunteers who smiled, encouraged us with kind words and thoughtful funny signs, and at some of the aid stations they even treated us to a live instrumental band. One aid station had orange sherbet samples, which I greedily snatched up in my dehydrated, thirsty state, desperate for anything cold. In that moment, that little cup of sherbet was the best thing I’d ever eaten in my entire life.

In addition to the manned aid stations, there were also large coolers filled with ice on the side of the road at different points on the course, and I helped myself to heaping armfuls of ice from these treasure troves. In addition to hoarding ice on my person, I ran through sprinklers, which were also strategically placed at different points along the course.

Somewhere at the turnaround point between miles 6 and 7, I had a hard time containing my excitement when we came across a group of the prettiest cows, fixing passing runners with their bovine stare. The cows lifted my spirits as I jogged around the orange cones at the turnaround point. At mile 9, I started laughing pretty hard, because a band of five locals — three men and two women — were singing the most sorrowful, sad song as we ran by, and the irony was not lost on me that it was reflective of how many of us were feeling at that point in the soaring temperatures.

All throughout the race, I’d heard whisperings of a camel sighting, and it sounded like it was the stuff of legends. At that point, I’d gone almost ten miles without seeing a single exotic animal, let alone a camel. I began second-guessing myself, wondering if in my overheated state of delirium, I had somehow missed it. Suddenly, as I crested the hill at mile 12, I realized we finally reached the camels. Not one, but two! Taking a camel selfie was what I needed to give me a second wind.

From 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M., a community picnic was held for race finishers, family, and the entire community, and everyone was welcome. By the time I crossed the finish line and began making my way over to the tent with the buffet, the lines were super long, but it appeared to be moving quickly. Volunteers in the main tent served barbecue chicken, grilled sausage, cake, and ice cream.

Packet pick-up was held at 338 North Ronks Road, right across from Bird-in-Hand Family Inn, which is where I stayed. The location was super convenient because it was across the street from pretty much everything connected to the race. The most awesome swag we got during packet pick-up was a whoopie pie! From 4pm – 8pm the night before the race, there was a pre-race pizza & pasta dinner (had spaghetti, breadsticks, shoofly pie), which was amazing.

The Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon was fantastic in all the ways a race can be when it comes to race communication, organization, sense of community, festivities, and Amish hospitality. Most of all, I’m thankful I made some amazing friends along the way to take my mind off how hot it was!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

A Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Ghost Story: The Lost Toilets of the Land of 10,000 Lakes While the race on everyone's bucket list, Grandma's Marathon, was celebrating 47 years running, … MORE

A Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Ghost Story: The Lost Toilets of the Land of 10,000 Lakes

While the race on everyone’s bucket list, Grandma’s Marathon, was celebrating 47 years running, the festivities of its equally esteemed half marathon counterpart, the 33rd Annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, began in the dark early morning hours of June 17th, 2023, before the sun came up. At 4:30 A.M., the temperature was a damp 52° F, the humidity was about 81%, and the wind, thankfully, was non-existent. My ideal race conditions.

The race organizers strongly advised bringing throw-away layers to wear on the 20-minute bus ride and while hanging out in the start corral, since Minnesota mornings get chilly. All clothing discarded on the course would be donated by the volunteers to Goodwill. The buses began departing at 5:00 A.M. from the convention center, and for those who could not make it onto a bus that wasn’t full, an optional participant train was offered, which also departed at 5:00 A.M. The bus dropped us off approximately 13.1 miles northeast from downtown Duluth on Highway 61, and we were about halfway between Duluth and Two Harbors.

The bus drop-off was one-third of a mile from the start corral, which was at the intersection of Greenwood Road and Highway 61. At precisely 6:00 A.M., the race kicked off and we half-shuffled toward the start until every runner not waiting in line for the bathroom crossed the timing mat. The majority of the course ran south down Highway 61 along Lake Superior, until around mile 10, when we began to enter downtown Duluth.

Throughout the entire course, the crowd support was phenomenal, and the organization and number of aid stations were the best I’ve ever experienced on any course, especially for a large race. I have been accustomed to aid stations approximately every 2 miles or so, but the Garry Bjorklund Half generously had an aid station nearly every mile. In between the sanctioned aid stations, locals came out and were grilling steaks and ribs, offering us water and electrolyte drinks of their own, fresh fruit, and various forms of sports nutrition. One runner later reported snagging a BBQ rib on the course. The Duluth residents and volunteers held up the usual gamut of humorous signs and cheered every runner on. Duluth delivered.

Mile 4 is where my chip time, quite literally, went in the toilet. I had to pee, and I decided my options were to suffer now or later when it came to the porta-potty lines. If I held out until mile 8 or 9, the lines would be just as bad, the temperature would be warmer, and at that point I’d likely be desperate. My bathroom pit stop added 11 minutes to my official finish time.

The bottom line is there were not enough water closets at each location, and for 9,000 half marathon runners (16,357 total participants when the full marathoners joined us on the course), there were two porta-potties every two miles with lines that exceeded a ten minute wait at each stop. Hopefully in the future this is something that is addressed, as it’s my only complaint about an otherwise totally spectacular event.

The first 5 miles of the course consisted of rolling hills, which to many were probably imperceptible, but I felt them. Anyone who says this is a “flat course” is lying to you. It’s not flat, but it’s not uncomfortable, either, and even though I felt the gradual inclines and declines, my momentum was consistent the entire way until Lemon Drop Hill. At mile 9, we reached the infamous Lemon Drop Hill which is the steepest grade on the course. As we crested Lemon Drop Hill, we ran under a sign that encouraged us with, “Only 4.1 miles to go, great job runners!”

There was a giant billboard-sized television screen set up off to the side after Lemon Drop Hill, where loved ones of runners sent them videos of encouragement as they passed by. Many of us passing by and watching the recorded motivational videos got teary-eyed. I thought this was a beautiful surprise for those runners whose loved ones made the videos for them, and who needed the encouragement this close to the finish.

The production of this race, the swag, finisher’s festival, and expo were all spectacular, and pretty much the best of any race I’ve done thus far. I tremendously enjoyed the expo especially, and had the opportunity to not only gorge myself on spaghetti at the Spaghetti Dinner, but I got to meet Kara Goucher, which was one of the best experiences of the weekend. All in all, I’d do this again… except maybe hold my bathroom breaks until the end unless the bathroom situation is improved.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

April 22, 2023 marked the 10th anniversary and final year of the RussVegas Half Marathon, which could not have been a more fitting choice for my 10th state on my … MORE

April 22, 2023 marked the 10th anniversary and final year of the RussVegas Half Marathon, which could not have been a more fitting choice for my 10th state on my 50 states quest. When the race kicked off, I eased into the first mile, and we ran through the neighborhood with little fanfare and lots of focus. There were 7 water and Powerade stops along the course approximately every 2 miles, with wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive volunteers who cheered us on as we passed through.

In between aid stations, the atmosphere was calm and quiet, with most of Russellville seemingly still asleep. The course was relatively flat, with some barely imperceptible rolling inclines and declines, until we reached mile 12. Mile 12 was an absolute beast of a hill. There were post-race snacks and refreshments at the finish line, so I snagged a bottled water and a banana, and I waited longer than I care to admit in a lengthy queue to have my photo taken in front of the giant inflatable RussVegas sign. For a “party on the pavement,” it was a cute little celebration of the final year of this race, and a lot of work for a free banana.

Packet pick-up was held at the Downtown Russellville Expo, which took place at the Missouri-Pacific Depot, a historic railroad station at South Denver Avenue and West C Street in Russellville. It was a relatively quiet and no-frills affair, with volunteers organized alongside the train depot at tables, handing out packets and T-shirts. There were a couple of tents set up with more assorted race shirts and merchandise for sale, and because it would be the last year this merchandise would be sold, any “RussVegas” shirts from that day forward would be considered historic collectible items in every runner’s race swag wardrobe.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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The Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon marked State #9 for me on my 50 states journey. The event was celebrating its 51st year on the morning of March 19, 2023. It … MORE

The Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon marked State #9 for me on my 50 states journey. The event was celebrating its 51st year on the morning of March 19, 2023. It was 44° F at the start of the race, and actually cooled down to about 40° F by the finish. The wind remained a consistent 15 – 17 mph throughout the duration of the event, and felt even chillier the closer we got to the water.

The starting line was on 42nd & Atlantic Avenue, which was approximately a 1.3 mile walk from my hotel. All of the roads in the surrounding area that intersected with – or directly involved – the race course were shut down, so driving to the start was not an option. Spectators waved to us from their condo balconies and front porches as we passed their homes and colorful apartment buildings, which flanked both sides of the residential street.
There were aid stations approximately every 1.5 miles, with volunteers offering water and electrolyte mix.

In addition to these sanctioned aid stations, there were also “dehydration stations,” where Virginia Beach residents offered runners beer and other adult beverages on the go. Some runners enthusiastically took them up on the offer, sloshing beer along the course. The flat, scenic coastal course took us north up Atlantic Avenue for about two miles, and the course then shifted left onto Shore Drive, where we looped around the historic Fort Story for about 6 miles. We actually did have to enter the military installation’s gates, and everyone who had a visible race bib was waved through. While on Fort Story, we passed by the site where John Smith, Christopher Newport, John Rolfe and the other Jamestown colonists first landed in America in 1607, and also passed by the Cape Henry Lighthouse – the oldest standing lighthouse in the United States.

There were active duty service members who were doubling as race volunteers, and they made sure we felt welcome while we passed through Fort Story. Fort Story was significantly windier than the rest of the race course, and I felt the temperature drop slightly as we exited the base and headed back onto Atlantic Avenue, where we now faced a slightly offensive headwind. I could see King Neptune looming in the distance at mile 12, only a mile away. The absolute longest mile.

We sprinted down the boardwalk to the tune of hundreds of spectators cheering on either side for the finishers, as the announcer called out our names. The Finisher’s Tent had live music playing, and friendly volunteers cheerfully served cups of Murphy’s Irish Stew and Yuengling Beer.

On a final note, packet pick-up was at the Shamrock Sports & Fitness Expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The Expo had an abundance of vendors and some pretty fun photo opportunities, and the swag we received for registering for the race and finishing the race was exceptional. Finishers received a unique, soft finisher’s blanket, and a moisture-wicking Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon baseball cap, which were both handed to us after we collected our medals. Each participant got a technical long sleeved T-shirt, which I proudly wore on my way home.

10/10 would recommend this exceptionally fun race with an exciting beach finish on the boardwalk. I definitely plan to do this one again sometime in the future.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was returning to Las Vegas for the first time in 12 years — but this time with three of my favorite ladies, who somehow managed to convince me that … MORE

I was returning to Las Vegas for the first time in 12 years — but this time with three of my favorite ladies, who somehow managed to convince me that it would be a good idea to spend three full days of daring, dehydrating mischief in Sin City before running a half marathon on the fourth day of the trip. Oh, and this half marathon was going to be at night, something none of us had done before, so I knew fueling and hydration for this race would be uncharted territory. I couldn’t resist rolling the dice to find out what my body was capable of.

On race day, I ate a breakfast wrap with sweet potato waffle fries. I was hoping it would be the complete nutritious meal I needed to power me through the race, keeping my fingers crossed it would not be the cause of unforeseen disastrous gastric consequences. I knew there would be plenty of portable water closets along the course… but still. This trip was already memorable without a bathroom emergency. We wandered over to the Start Village around 3:00 P.M. The Start Village was located behind Planet Hollywood at the intersection of East Harmon Avenue and Audrie Street. Our hotel was conveniently located right between the start line and the finish line — more importantly, closer to the finish line.

We later learned the actual start line was on E Tropicana Avenue at MGM Grand, which was a half mile walk south from the Start Village where everyone was loading up by bib color. When we registered for the race, participants were all assigned a group color and corresponding start line loading time based on the estimated finish time we entered during registration. I was not hoping for a PR, I knew I was there to enjoy the course, take lots of pictures and videos for the ‘Gram, and have fun. If I finished in my average finish time with minimal discomfort and lots of photographic evidence at the end, I’d consider it a good race. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, celebrating its 25th year, was state #8 for me on my 50 states quest.

Each group color was to load to the start line every 15 minutes, for what was in theory an orderly wave start that should have gone off without a hitch. The pre-race communication about this was excellent, the planning was seamless, but the execution was a bit disastrous. There was mass confusion as groups were not instructed to load at their designated times, delays in the next group in the sequential order being called to load, and the end result was ten thousand slightly confused runners squished together within the fenced in start line loading area, clamoring to attempt to squeeze through a narrow black inflatable tunnel to then be released out of the corral to the other side, where they would then begin their half mile walk to the actual start line at the MGM Grand.

According to my weather app, it was 53° F that afternoon with an expected low of 48° F, with wind speeds of 12 mph. The walk to the start line got us pumped up and warmed up, with THOUSANDS of spectators cheering along both sides of Las Vegas Blvd, and music that energized runners and spectators alike. There were people everywhere. In the streets, on the sidelines, and above us, cheering from the pedestrian bridges, and even on the stairs of the pedestrian bridges. The best way to describe the energy of this race was literally a rolling party.

I was absolutely thrilled to find that the entire course was not only beautiful and lively, but it was a gradual gentle downhill pretty much the entire time, and every single mile fully engaged every single one of my five senses. If any race course could be described as “downhill both ways,” this could be it. Miles 1 – 7 were so enjoyable… the most enjoyable miles I’ve ever experienced. For the thousands of miles I’ve run in the past 18 years, that’s saying a lot.
Maybe it was the crowd support, maybe it was the extraordinary enthusiasm of the volunteers, or maybe it was the perfect dry weather and low humidity that didn’t aggravate my sinuses, but I felt amazing for the first half of the race. My breathing was almost effortless the entire time, and I was surprised that even with the race beginning in the middle of what was essentially my dinner time, I was not feeling sluggish or even worried about my time. It was a total immersion in the experience, which is something I don’t normally allow myself to do.

We headed south on Las Vegas Blvd, and by the end of the first mile, we’d passed Tropicana, Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), and the Clark County Fire Station all on the left, and on the right side of the strip as we continued south, we passed Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. At mile 2, we looped around, stopped at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, and continued back up the strip now heading north, with Mandalay Bay looming in view on the right.

The course was extremely well supported, and definitely in my top 5 races as far as excellent course support. There were aid stations approximately every 2 miles, and each aid station had water, with alternating aid stations providing snacks and electrolytes. Medical stations were located at the start and finish.

We passed Luxor on the right while running mile 2, and then got nice close up view of Excalibur. Reaching Mandalay Bay marked mile 3, and this time we were passing Luxor and Excalibur on the left as we headed north on Las Vegas Blvd. I was treated to a spectacular up close and personal view of one my favorite hotels, New York New York. All the while, there were bands set up on elevated platform stages along the course, playing every genre of music imaginable, paying homage to each decade with favorites and classics. I was happy with my decision to not wear my headphones this time.

Mile 9 was the second turnaround point for the half marathon course, and we looped back around at Fremont Street and began heading south down Las Vegas Blvd again. At the turnaround, the wind was no longer at my back, and I was running against the wind. It was bone chillingly cold, and I should have worn a long sleeve shirt under my T-shirt and gloves. I was also acutely aware of how different 45° F feels without the sun, as opposed to 45° F during the daylight.

At mile 12, we entered the spectacularly glamorous portion of the strip again, with all the lights and fanfare, and the Finish Festival was just up ahead. I could see the flames skyrocketing up into the night at the Mirage, and the streets were once again lined with spectators cheering, reading our bibs and calling out our names to cheer for us. The genuine enthusiasm complete strangers had for us finishing felt like a warm hug that broke the spell of the cold, dark, desert air.

My only real complaint other than the disorganized start would be the quality of the photos. I paid the extra fee for high quality finisher photos, and instead what I got were extremely blurry, overexposed abstract works of art that were reminiscent of an “Attempt to Locate” alert from the police to the public, with gritty surveillance camera still photos. I complained to FinisherPix, who offered me a discount on my next order for a future event.

Everything else that happened on my trip will stay in Vegas.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
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This race took place on October 22, 2022 on the Historic Wabash Trace Nature Trail. The trail is a part of the Rails-to-Trails conservancy Hall of Fame, and is a … MORE

This race took place on October 22, 2022 on the Historic Wabash Trace Nature Trail. The trail is a part of the Rails-to-Trails conservancy Hall of Fame, and is a gorgeous race venue that was hand-selected by our fearless race directors, who are themselves avid trail runners, Graig and Katie Skartvedt. I had the pleasure of meeting Graig and Katie at packet pick-up, and they were as excited to greet each runner as they were inviting and friendly, making us feel like we were part of their family, especially those of us who had traveled from out of town for the race.

Each of the three Yippee-Ki-Yay events — organized by Happy Trailz Running and Run Nebraska —were an out and back route on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. Although this race was only in its third year, it was spectacularly well organized, from pre-race communication to race day execution, and it was obvious to me that this event is something that has been bringing the local running community in the Omaha area together and will continue to grow and become even better with each year.

According to my weather app, it was 48° F at the start of the race, with an expected high of 70° F, and 6 MPH wind, absolutely ideal race conditions. The 2022 Participant Guide emailed to each of us from Race Co-Director Katie outlined the course and race day expectations, explaining that the course began with a “gentle uphill” for approximately the first 6 miles of the half marathon, and finished with a gradual downhill for the remainder of the course, which was expected to set runners up for a very “enjoyable downhill finish” for the last half of the race. Some of us joked that the course was actually “uphill both ways” because the downhill was so imperceptible, while the uphill felt obvious. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful race through an endless canopy of fall foliage, beloved by every runner, and touted the past three years as Iowa’s number one fastest average 50K finisher course.

The course started at the Iowa West Foundation Trail Head in Council Bluffs, stretched just beyond the town of Silver City, Iowa, and then doubled back to the start/finish line in Council Bluffs. Most of the walnuts that had fallen on the ground prior to race day had been collected by volunteers as they prepared the course — however, that did not preclude walnuts from falling from the trees during the race, and I narrowly avoided being pelted by a sudden deluge of walnuts falling from the canopy of trees while I was completing mile 9. Because the field of runners was fairly small — 180 runners for all three events — it was a very uncrowded course, and there were periods during the race where I was alone on the trail without another runner in sight for miles. This made for a very laid-back, almost meditative atmosphere.

There was a generous 9 hour time limit for all of the races, with all events concluding at 5 P.M. The course surface consisted of a very fine crushed limestone, and knowing this in advance, I opted to wear my road shoes, which were recommended. The turn-around point was at the 6.58 mile mark, where a photographer and course monitors waited for us.

After taking a look at the Athlete Guide, I had asked the race organizers for a bit of clarification on the aid stations, so I could determine what hydration system and how much additional fluid I would need to bring. I ended up bringing my Camelbak hydration system, filled with 0.5 liters of water on race morning, and that seemed to be just enough coupled with the fluid I got at the aid stations.

When we crossed the finish line, a generous array of snacks, food, and beverages were waiting for us at the shelter across the street, including delicious homemade chicken soup that many runners enjoyed. My stomach was still doing somersaults which began somewhere between mile 10 and 11, so although I opted to forego the chicken soup, everyone who partook in it said it was delicious and just the right thing for a chilly October morning. I snacked on potato chips and began rehydrating with water and Gatorade while admiring my unique wooden finisher medal, which was very “Iowa.”

In the months leading up to the race, Yippee-Ki-Yay Races announced that they would be entering military veteran participants into a special drawing for an awesome race kit bundle if registrants selected that they were a military veteran during registration. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was drawn as the Military Veteran Bundle Winner. Included in my special bundle was a free pair of OOFOS recovery sandals from Fleet Feet, BOCO Gear hat with the race logo, large BOCO Gear bag, Keiser Farms tumbler, BOCO Gear headband, a pair of athletic socks, and a large fleece with the race logo. All in all, a successful race weekend.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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The Fort Collins Human Race lined up perfectly with my schedule, as I was booked to stay in Denver, Colorado, for a week for a professional conference. The race was … MORE

The Fort Collins Human Race lined up perfectly with my schedule, as I was booked to stay in Denver, Colorado, for a week for a professional conference. The race was at the end of my trip, which gave me a week to get acclimated and ensure I was adjusted to the altitude. This race, celebrating its 39th year, took place on August 6th, 2022.

According to my weather app, it was 68° F at the start of the race, with an expected high of 77° F, and no wind. These conditions were a bit warmer than what I’d normally consider ideal for a half marathon, but it did not seem like it would be terrible since there was no humidity and no wind. What ended up actually happening as far as the temperature was an entirely different story, because the temperature on the course was an average of 84° F and we experienced blistering hot temps that at one point reached 95° F according to my Garmin – which is unseasonably hot for Fort Collins even in August.

Green Events Colorado, the race organizers, touted this race as “a beautiful, scenic and mostly shady, relatively flat course.” I concur with all but the “mostly shady” part, because my experience was the opposite. The course was in fact very beautiful, and mostly flat, but it consisted of sun, heat and elemental exposure most of the time, with the exception of a few shady patches that provided much relief from the sweltering, unobstructed sun on that hot, cloudless day. This would have been an extremely delightful, wonderful race course in the fall, with autumn temperatures and fall foliage.

The race began and ended on Mountain Avenue at Civic Center Park, and we started the course heading west on Mountain Avenue precisely at 7:00 A.M. What was most surprising to me was how small this race was. For a race in its 39th year, I expected a fairly decent crowd, but the field of runners was only 130 for the half marathon, and maybe 200 runners all together for all three events that morning. There was no crowd support, it was only runners and a small group of enthusiastic volunteers cheering one another on throughout the course.

From Mountain Avenue we headed to Grandview, then north on Taft Hill Road to the Poudre River Trail. This course was net downhill overall, and I was extremely delighted to find the first 2 miles were a nice gradual downhill mostly in the shade of downtown Fort Collins. I can’t remember a single uphill throughout the course – it was either flat, or downhill. I was mindful of my breathing, maintaining a really good pace considering the conditions, and I had the goal of simply completing the race, enjoying the scenery, and not going to the hospital for heat exhaustion or dehydration. I was feeling really good until we got onto the trail, and we were exposed to the heat and sun the rest of the course as the morning progressed.

Just before the trail went under Timberline road, there was a turnaround for the course at mile 9. At some point after mile 10, I hit the fork in the road, and went the wrong direction because it was not properly marked, and there were no other runners in sight to point us in the right direction. I was with a volunteer who was equally as confused, and we walked about a quarter mile off course, which of course added extra time to my finish. At that point I considered my finish time a wash, and felt I would be lucky to just finish and not go to the hospital, as symptoms of heat exhaustion started to creep in.

At each of the aid stations I pounded 3 to 4 cups of water and 1 cup of electrolyte mix, but it didn’t feel like enough, even after hydrating all week. I was kicking myself for not bringing my own hydration system to supplement what was offered on the course. Typically I am accustomed to water about every 2 miles with larger races, but because this was a smaller race, the course was a bit less supported. Each aid station had water, Nuun electrolyte drink, and first aid supplies. Portable toilets were also located at the aid stations, though I didn’t take the time to actually notice them or need them because I was focused on hydration.

At the finish line, a photographer snapped high-quality free finisher photos, which were available for download after the race on the event Facebook page. Because I traveled from out of town, race day packet pickup was my best option. I arrived about 50 minutes prior to the race, and picked up my packet, which consisted of my race bib, a cotton tank top with the race logo, electrolyte mix, and some business cards and pamphlets for local businesses. All of this was neatly folded into a disposable paper bag, in keeping with the theme of a “green event.” There was no gear check, so I had to make a decision and discard what I couldn’t run with.

Overall I was surprised with how small this race was, though I suspect prior to the pandemic, this was an event that used to have a fairly decent turnout. I was happy to check Colorado off my list in my quest to run a half in all 50 states.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

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The race took place on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Every Summer Solstice, this event draws hundreds of runners and spectators from every state, and from many countries around the globe. … MORE

The race took place on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Every Summer Solstice, this event draws hundreds of runners and spectators from every state, and from many countries around the globe. After running this race, I understand why. This was by far one of the most beautiful courses I have ever run thus far in my 16 years of running. This was a point-to-point course that started at the ConocoPhillips Soccer Stadium at Kincaid Park and finished at the Delaney Park Strip in downtown Anchorage. The half marathon and full marathon both followed the same route until the groups split off at Eastchester Park. We could not have asked for more ideal weather on race morning – it 55° F, and partly cloudy with a gentle 5 mph breeze. The temperature was expected to remain consistent throughout the event.

My favorite part of the course was definitely the first mile, which took us downhill through a cottonwood forest to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, touted as “one of the most beautiful coastal trails in the nation,” which had stunning views as promised. Having a completely downhill first mile set the tone for a positive race right out of the gate. I’m going to throw it out there now that my absolute least favorite part of this course was the fact that the finish line was at the summit of a back-breaking, demoralizing hill. After the first mile through the cottonwood forest, the 8 miles after that followed along Cook Inlet with amazing views of the Alaska Range. The entire course remained at approximately 102 feet above sea level, with slightly varying elevation through out and some significant uphill portions, however it was not what one would consider a high elevation race.

The support for this course was top-notch. The volunteers were energetic and kept us hydrated, and laughing with funny signs, most notably, “Pain is just the French word for bread.” Speaking of bread: One of the key things I also wanted to highlight was the amazing post-race food. And I do mean amazing. I can tell you from experience that after running this race, I consumed what was the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had, and I’ve had thousands of grilled cheeses throughout my lifetime.

This race was awesome and lived up to every expectation. If I wasn’t a 7 hour flight away, I’d run this race every year.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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I was very intentional in choosing the Chicago Spring Half Marathon for my Illinois race during my 50 states quest because I love big cities, and I wanted to experience … MORE

I was very intentional in choosing the Chicago Spring Half Marathon for my Illinois race during my 50 states quest because I love big cities, and I wanted to experience one of the bigger races with thousands of runners in one of America’s biggest metropolitan areas. It’s a completely different type of excitement and energy. This race absolutely exceeded every expectation.

The race started and finished on Monroe and Columbus Drive in Maggie Daley Park, which is traditionally where the Hoka Chicago Half Marathon in the fall starts and finishes. The course consisted of a one-loop half marathon course through Chicago’s historic and scenic museum campus alongside Soldier Field, finishing at Maggie Daley Park. Most of the course traveled along Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, which the race advertises as “extremely flat, fast and incredibly scenic.” I agree with the “incredibly scenic” part, however, “extremely flat” is debatable. The scenery along the course was breathtaking, giving way to stunning views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan… but it was definitely no walk in the park! Some of the little hills that snuck in were super unexpected!

Along the race route, we had the opportunity to see some of the renowned Chicago sights and attractions— such as the Navy Pier near the starting line, running on the trails that run alongside Lake Shore Drive southward down to the race turnaround point, passing the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Soldier Field, which is the home of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. For the first 6 miles, we stayed on the Lakefront Trail and headed south along Lake Michigan to the turnaround point at Morgan Point, which looks out onto Morgan Shoal. Many runners stopped here to take selfies and photos with their friends in their running group.

The temperature on race morning started out at 53° F, and warmed up to about 58° F by the time I reached the finish line. Throughout the race, there was a gentle breeze at a consistent 7 to 10 mph wind speed – and this was the most PERFECT race weather. Typically this time of year in Chicago – also known as the “Windy City,” – you can expect anything from a torrential downpour to high wind speeds, and “spring time” in Chicago is considered to be the 15 minutes between winter and summer. To say we lucked out with our race day weather is an understatement.

With the 7:00 A.M. race start, runners were required to be in their respective start corrals between 6:30 A.M. and 6:45 A.M. When I first received information from the race organizers about the corrals and wave start, I was a bit apprehensive, since I have heard horror stories from runners participating in other races who did not have a good experience with corrals and wave starts. I was pleasantly surprised to find the corrals and wave starts for the Chicago Spring Half were extremely organized and stress-free.

I can’t say enough about how much I loved the energy of this race, and I’ve nicknamed it “the happiest race on earth” because the volunteers and race organizers were phenomenal and ensured we had an incredibly fun experience. There were flowerpot stations in Maggie Daley Park where you could take home your own potted spring flower arrangement, a post-race buffet for finishers, photo stations and high-quality free race photos included with registration, and many vendors ready to welcome finishers at the Spring Market Finish Festival with treats and swag.

Speaking of swag, this race had some of the best swag I’ve ever received during a packet pick-up/Expo. Whoever put the swag together was very mindful of including items that runners love, such as turkey jerky and electrolyte mix. The finisher’s medal was gorgeous and is one of my new favorites, showcasing the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.

I’d definitely plan another trip just to run this race again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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This race took place on April 16, 2022, and the Omahalf was celebrating its 5th year. I decided I could easily knock out Nebraska this year on my 50 states … MORE

This race took place on April 16, 2022, and the Omahalf was celebrating its 5th year. I decided I could easily knock out Nebraska this year on my 50 states quest, since it was just a three hour drive from me. This particular race, at the time of this writing, is considered a small business, and if you prefer the smaller races to the races that have a more big-city feel with tens of thousands of runners, this might be one to consider.

There were only approximately 800 runners that registered. I am sure as the years continue on and the race gets better and better, it will continue to grow and attract more runners. I did appreciate this being a smaller race, and I was super excited to connect with so many other out of state runners who were also running the 50 states.

The start/finish and venue for packet pick-up were all located in Aksarben Village, and I later learned the fun fact that “Aksarben” is Nebraska spelled backwards. The race organizers included this fun fact in their last email to us that included the race day logistics. Aksarben Village is home to many shops, restaurants, hotels, and of course Stinson Park, where the race started and finished. My favorite thing about this race was that everything was super convenient, in keeping with the race’s motto of “Run simple.”

The temperature that morning was a balmy 28° F with 15 MPH wind, and it was not forecasted to get above 35° F by the time we would be finished with the race. None of us felt prepared, and I myself had been debating shorts or leggings nearly all night long the night before. I was so thankful I decided at the last minute to wear leggings instead of shorts, and even more thankful I also opted for gloves and a fleece ear warming headband.

The race started and finished in Stinson Park at Aksarben Village. This provided easy access to the West Papio trail system, and the course itself was out and back on the Keystone Trail. The course was fairly flat, though my only complaint is that on portions of the trail the sidewalk sloped slightly at a sideways angle for several miles. The slight angle of the sidewalk became more noticeable as I felt a slight pain in my left hip around mile 5, and this may not have been noticeable or bothersome at all to others, however I definitely felt the difference when the sidewalk flattened out and I got relief.

There wasn’t much as far as scenery, it was all unplanted corn fields to one side, and Papio Creek on the other. I could see some industrial development occasionally peeking out on either side, and at one point there was even a glimpse of a neighborhood in the distance. The biggest concern I had was that this course was bitterly cold and windy, and the cross winds on the trail were absolutely brutal after reaching the turnaround point and then running against the wind direction. Although I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, and high-waisted leggings, I still somehow ended up with gnarly wind burn on my abdomen, and of course my face was red and splotchy from wind burn like I had spent a day at the beach. Wearing sunscreen moisturizer really didn’t do my skin any favors that morning… I would have been better off wearing a balaclava.

Due to the relentless wind (and I do mean it didn’t stop, not even for a second), my time slowed considerably after the turnaround point. Prior to the turnaround, I was set to finish in what I thought would be a PR, but that all went out the window as I fought the arctic blast.

I have to give every single volunteer a lot of credit, since they were out there freezing with us. Whenever we passed an aid station, volunteers were bundled in blankets and fleeces, and they might have even been colder than we were, since we were constantly moving and they were stationary in one spot. So thank you to the volunteers for braving the arctic weather with us.

Overall, this was a good race to check off Nebraska on my list in that everyone was super accommodating and kind, and the race was pretty well organized. I just hated the fact that Mother Nature wasn’t very accommodating. I’d like to do another Nebraska race again at some point… but if you’ve spent any time in the Midwest at all, you’d know the good weather is really the 15 minutes between winter and summer, and you never know what you’re going to get.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
1

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I ran this race on March 26, 2022. The beautiful, ENORMOUS medal we received for crossing the finish line made signing up for the Liberty Hospital Half Marathon/Jewell 5K worth … MORE

I ran this race on March 26, 2022. The beautiful, ENORMOUS medal we received for crossing the finish line made signing up for the Liberty Hospital Half Marathon/Jewell 5K worth it! Without a doubt, this was the largest medal I’ve ever gotten from any race, and by far one of the most gorgeous. Also, this race boasted some of the most amazing volunteers — I couldn’t stop laughing at the hilarious signs they made that kept us smiling at every aid station!

Race day started out with an outside temperature of a balmy 32° F, and by the end, it was perfect race weather in the high 40’s. This is pretty typical for Missouri during the spring, and having been living in the Midwest for at least the last 10 years, this wasn’t unexpected for me. If you live in a climate that is typically warmer all year round, consider bringing some layers to the start/finish line that you don’t mind shedding during the race.

In looking at some of the reviews of this race online and on social media, and some of the information on the race website, I went into this knowing this wouldn’t be a PR due to the notorious rolling hills this race is very well known for. It was by far the most challenging course I’ve ever run, which made finishing it all that much more rewarding.

The race starts and finishes near the football field at William Jewell College and takes you down a scenic route through downtown Liberty, and some residential streets. I should have known what was coming when I learned the official race hashtag is #whythehillnot. The entire course was RELENTLESS. HILLS. ALL. THIRTEEN. MILES.

For anyone considering running this race, it was extremely well organized, from packet pick-up at the Expo, to all of the logistics, and the atmosphere was super fun. The entire race was so professionally coordinated, I would have never believed this was only its 5th year. AND DID I MENTION THE MEDALS!? Please run this race if for no other reason than to take home one of the legendary dinner plate-sized medals.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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