My Profile

@runningriddles

Winchester, VA Raving since 2018 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs #14707 Team Running Riddles active 3 weeks, 6 days ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Team Running Riddles

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:

    Any marathon or ultra race! I'm not picky.

  • I run because:

    I love being outside and it serves as a type of meditation for me. Running is also my incentive to travel the country with my wife and children and see all 50 states of the USA.

My races

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

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50K Ocala, FL Dec 28, 2018 5:43:46
Marathon Carlsbad, CA Jan 20, 2019 3:43:56
Half Marathon Winchester, VA Nov 4, 2017 1:38:07

Future Races (6)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Kiawah Island, SC Dec 14, 2019
Half Marathon Winchester, VA 2019
Marathon Buckeye, AZ Jan 4, 2020
Marathon Washington, DC Mar 28, 2020
Marathon Roanoke, VA Apr 18, 2020
Marathon Providence, RI May 3, 2020

Past Races (21)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Oct 19, 2019
Marathon Koloa, HI Sep 1, 2019 4:49:49
Marathon Indianapolis, IN Aug 3, 2019 5:38:46
Marathon Paradise, MI Jun 8, 2019 3:51:47
Marathon Denver, CO May 19, 2019 3:45:22
Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 5, 2019 3:49:34
Half Marathon Berlin, MD Apr 27, 2019 2:15:05
Marathon Atlanta, GA Mar 17, 2019 3:57:17
50K Leonardtown, MD Feb 16, 2019 6:13:09
Marathon Carlsbad, CA Jan 20, 2019 3:43:56
50K Ocala, FL Dec 28, 2018 5:43:46
Half Marathon Winchester, VA Nov 3, 2018 1:45:20
Marathon Bar Harbor, ME Oct 14, 2018 3:57:11
Marathon Morgantown, WV Sep 16, 2018 4:29:10
Marathon Lake Placid, NY Jun 10, 2018 4:04:22
Marathon Pocono Summit, PA May 20, 2018 4:07:04
Marathon Charlotte, NC Mar 24, 2018 5:32:28
Marathon Springfield, MO Dec 30, 2017 4:03:26
Half Marathon Winchester, VA Nov 4, 2017 1:38:07
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 8, 2017 4:08:48
Marathon Richmond, VA 2012 4:01:20

My Raves

Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon

Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon

The Kauai Marathon is well-organized, well-run, and a true incredible challenge due to the hilly course and humid Hawaii climate. One of the biggest pros to this marathon is that … MORE

The Kauai Marathon is well-organized, well-run, and a true incredible challenge due to the hilly course and humid Hawaii climate. One of the biggest pros to this marathon is that you have to travel to Kauai to run it…and that alone is an incredible experience where you will see scenery that is unlike anywhere else in the world. My wife, who has been all over most of the world, even commented she had never seen such natural beauty in all her travels.

I myself cannot stress how naturally wonderful of an island Kauai is. If you choose to run the Kauai marathon travel to the island several days ahead of time so 1) you can adjust to the time zone difference and jet lag / rooster crowing and 2) you can make plans to enjoy the natural wonder of this paradise. They call it the “garden island” and it lives up to that name.

It’s hard to sum up the whole experience in a few paragraphs, so I encourage you to read my full detailed race report at https://runningriddles.com/races/the-2019-kauai-marathon-in-hawaii/.

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Eagle Creek Trail Marathon

Eagle Creek Trail Marathon

Who knew Indianapolis, IN had a trail marathon? I live in the mountains of Virginia and frequent Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian trail with my family. We are used … MORE

Who knew Indianapolis, IN had a trail marathon?

I live in the mountains of Virginia and frequent Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian trail with my family. We are used to steep trail ascents and descents hiking up and over the Appalachian mountains. With the Eagle Creek Trail Marathon being held in the Indianapolis area, I was anticipating mostly flat, well-maintained trails for the 26.2 miles. However I would be in for a challenging surprise.

The course would wrap around the perimeter of Eagle Creek Park running from the west side of the Eagle Creek Reservoir over to the east side, looping around a small lake, and then heading back to the starting point. One lap would be a half-marathon distance, so that meant the marathoners would be looking at two laps. As for terrain it would be mostly dirt trail in the woods, with the lap portion around the lake taking place on a gravel road. Only a mile or so of each lap would be on paved surface where runners would cross over the reservoir via a 56th street bridge.

The trail was fairly narrow but made of well packed dirt, and with no rain for the past few days, the traction and footing was good. However every few minutes it seemed like there was a tree down across the trail in which you either had to jump over, or for several of the larger ones, stop and actually step over one leg at a time. The trail took us continually up and down hills, some of which had wooden crafted steps to get up them, and some of them did not.

I definitely underestimated this trail marathon and was not anticipating the heat and humidity to affect me as much as it did. As it turns out I was not the only one to have a tough time with the trail, as I finished 35th out of 66 runners. Come to find out 136 people signed up for the marathon…88 actually started it (meaning most switched over to the half-marathon distance prior to the start)…and only 66 actually finished. Despite my slow time, it made me proud that I completed the race under tough conditions and played it smart to ensure a finish to add another state to my list.

I highly recommend this trail race for trail runners looking for a nice challenge during the summertime! You can read my full race report at: https://runningriddles.com/races/the-2019-eagle-creek-trail-marathon-in-indianapolis-in/

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Whitefish Point Marathon

Whitefish Point Marathon

The Whitefish Point Marathon in Paradise, MI is a small town race that is well organized and full of many friendly local volunteers. While it does not have the excitement … MORE

The Whitefish Point Marathon in Paradise, MI is a small town race that is well organized and full of many friendly local volunteers. While it does not have the excitement or fanfare of a large city marathon, it is run smoothly by the wonderful race director and an excellent, flat course to attempt a BQ (Boston Qualify) or a PR.

My word of warning is that if you plan to do this race bring deep woods bug spray! The mosquitos will most likely be out when the race is held. Thankfully they only ate me alive when I was standing still at the start and walking back at the finish (they left me alone while running). However I did hear stories of some of the slower-paced runners really fighting with the pests. I might even suggest carrying a small portable container of bug spray with you when running if possible.

Yet despite the mosquitoes we really enjoyed our time in Paradise, MI (be sure to see the Shipwreck Museum and visit Tahquamenon Falls). I’d recommend the Whitefish Point Marathon to any runner looking to cross Michigan off their marathon state list.

To read my detailed race experience please visit https://runningriddles.com/races/2019-whitefish-point-marathon-in-paradise-mi/

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Colfax Marathon

Colfax Marathon

Overall the race was very well organized and I would highly recommend it. You get to run through a working firehouse and the NFL Denver Bronco's stadium twice! The course … MORE

Overall the race was very well organized and I would highly recommend it. You get to run through a working firehouse and the NFL Denver Bronco’s stadium twice!

The course is not super difficult…a couple gradual inclines but nothing a little hill training fix. But be warned that the crowd support is limited. I wondered if many people in Denver even knew if the marathon was going on. This in no way matters to me…but is something to consider if that is a requirement of yours for a race.

However this is made up for the fact that they really reward you after the race with plenty of treats, and even provide FREE high-quality race photos a few days after the race.

I really go in-depth with the whole experience in my race report here: https://runningriddles.com/races/colfax-2019-marathon-in-denver-co/

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon

The Flying Pig was a “must-do” race for me when my wife first gave me the idea of a 50 States 50 Marathons challenge, and after running it I am … MORE

The Flying Pig was a “must-do” race for me when my wife first gave me the idea of a 50 States 50 Marathons challenge, and after running it I am so glad that I did. Not only for the pig theme which encompasses the whole race weekend, but in how organized and well-put together the whole event is.

It is one of the most popular marathons in the United States for a reason (just search up reviews and you will see nothing but positives). The whole city really celebrates and comes together to make it an exciting weekend for runners of all shapes, sizes, speeds, and experiences. Not to mention that we were really impressed with how nice of a city Cincinnati was (clean, friendly, and easy-to-get around).

There is constant communication about the event leading up to the race (from months out), tons of things to do race weekend, a HUGE expo (if that is your thing), and not to mention my favorite race medal I have received so far (not only for having a pig on it…well..ok that’s the only reason).

My race report gives a detailed recap of my whole experience with the Flying Pig 2019 Marathon. 🐷

https://runningriddles.com/races/the-2019-flying-pig-marathon-in-cincinnati-oh/

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Ocean City MD Island to Island Half Marathon & 5K

Ocean City MD Island to Island Half Marathon & 5K

I ran this half-marathon as a pacer for my brother (who was running his first-ever half). Overall the race was very enjoyable. The race begins on Assateague Island (by the … MORE

I ran this half-marathon as a pacer for my brother (who was running his first-ever half). Overall the race was very enjoyable. The race begins on
Assateague Island (by the Atlantic Ocean) and you run from there to the famous boardwalk area of Ocean City.

There was some communication from the organizers leading up to the race, but not much. I had to ask a question or two on their social media account, which they quickly answered. Swag for the race was a really nice t-shirt.

Race day morning there was plenty of parking at the finish line area at the boardwalk. You park there and then take a bus over to the starting area on Assateague Island. On this day the weather was perfect, and we even got to see a beautiful sunrise while waiting for the start.

As for the course, the beginning and end is really nice. Right after starting you run over a bridge across a river which is very scenic. This is also the only hill of the race. The rest is pancake flat! The middle of the race isn’t much…just long flat stretches of road and even going through a community development at one point. The last few miles are great as you run across the Route 50 bridge to the Ocean City boardwalk area…and then the last mile or so is actually on the boardwalk itself.

The finishers medal was cool and timing results were posted shortly after (though I did have to look for them…no results were emailed). My one complaint is that while I saw photos being taken during the race by pro photographers, I have yet to receive a link to view the photos…nor can I find them on the organizer’s website or social media accounts.

Overall this was a good race for a first-time marathoner or someone looking to set a PR on a very flat half-marathon course.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Atlanta Marathon & Half Marathon

Atlanta Marathon & Half Marathon

While the Atlanta Marathon is not the hilliest race I have encountered it definitely took me by surprise as to how hilly it was for a race in a big … MORE

While the Atlanta Marathon is not the hilliest race I have encountered it definitely took me by surprise as to how hilly it was for a race in a big city. I would not recommend trying to run the Atlanta Marathon for a personal best, HOWEVER I would definitely recommend running the marathon for a great, big-city road race experience. It was very well-organized, well-set up, easy to get to using the MARTA public transportation system, and full of very friendly volunteers and great course support throughout most of the race. My full details and in-depth review are in my race report link below.

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Frozen Heart Trail Race

Frozen Heart Trail Race

This race was the perfect choice for my first-ever ultra trail race (I've done a 50K before, and a trail marathon...but never an ultra trail marathon ha!). I actually registered … MORE

This race was the perfect choice for my first-ever ultra trail race (I’ve done a 50K before, and a trail marathon…but never an ultra trail marathon ha!). I actually registered for the race only a few days before-hand due to some last minute scheduling issues. I was planning on running a road marathon previously, but I am SO glad I switched over to this trail race as I loved every minute of it.

First off the race communication, instructions, and logistics are all top notch. Packet pick-up was very easy at the local Dick’s Sporting goods, there was constant email directions provided leading up to race day, and parking was plentiful at the local park where the trail run took place. All volunteers were SUPER friendly, encouraging, and willing to help out any runner.

The course itself is a 10 mile or so trail loop around St. Mary’s River Park encircling a lake (3 laps is a 50K). There are some hills, but nothing crazy elevation-wise (I believe my watch ended with around 1,600 ft total elevation). The challenge however comes from the condition of the trail depending on weather. On this day it was extremely muddy, and there were spots where you had no choice but to slosh on through getting up to your ankles in water / mud. I love this type of challenge, but just be prepared going into this race that it is a trail run…so expect to get dirty!

The aid tents were stocked full of so much different food and drinks it was crazy. There were tons of home-made goodies waiting at the trail loop start / finish…so you could easily grab some fuel to get you through the next loop.

I absolutely loved this race and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to enter the world of trail ultra running. Check out my race report regarding details of my performance and how I prepared for and tackled the race itself.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon

Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon

This was a perfect marathon. Every aspect of it exceeded my expectations: super organized, great swag, easy to get to everything including parking, a beautiful course, not super big (almost … MORE

This was a perfect marathon. Every aspect of it exceeded my expectations: super organized, great swag, easy to get to everything including parking, a beautiful course, not super big (almost 1,000 marathon runners), perfect weather, and friendly and encouraging course support through the entire race. All of these elements came together to yield my (by far) best marathon PR time of WELL under the 4 hour barrier. I cannot recommend this marathon enough. What a wonderful experience! For a full detailed writeup of my review, you can visit https://runningriddles.com/races/the-2019-carlsbad-marathon-in-carlsbad-california/.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Savage Seven Challenge

Savage Seven Challenge

The Savage Seven Racing Series is a 7 day long event with the following races held each day: Half-Marathon, Marathon, and Ultra 50K. The races are held at the 5 … MORE

The Savage Seven Racing Series is a 7 day long event with the following races held each day: Half-Marathon, Marathon, and Ultra 50K. The races are held at the 5 mile loop at the Greenway Park Trails in Ocala, FL during the week between Christmas and New Years. The course is USATF-Certified with 5 laps around this loop being a marathon distance, and 6 laps being the 50K (approximately 31 miles) distance. It is actually rather peaceful as you spend the whole time running through the park amongst Florida greenery and palm trees (most of the course is shaded too!).

While vacationing in Florida with family, I decided to run the full marathon for fun on Friday, December 28 but had the last second thought of switching over to the 50K option. I sent a note to the race director JC Santa Teresa asking if possible to switch over and he immediately responded no problem at all…I would just have to pay the monetary difference. Right then I made the call to attempt my first ultra race.

The race start time for each day was 6 a.m., so it was still quite dark at 5:30 a.m. when I arrived at the park where the trail was located. I was glad I had brought my headlight (which I almost debated on leaving at home). A small gathering of runners was already present by the picnic area we were to meet at. As I walked up to get my racing bib I was immediately greeted by race director JC Santa Teresa. He was super friendly and got me transitioned over to the 50K race. There was no swag aside from a small t-shirt (they had run out of other sizes), but if you are running this series it is not about swag…but running!

Roughly 20-30 people attended the days’ racing series when I was there…mostly a small group of marathon and running veterans…many whom are part of Marathon Maniacs like myself.

The course was open to the public (as it is a public park trail) during the race, so there were other individuals out there walking or running on the trail. However us participating in the race series were the ones wearing racing bibs!

Both aid areas were manned by awesome volunteers. At the halfway station, the gentlemen labeled our plastic cups with our bib number so we could keep reusing it if we wanted to help out the environment (awesome). The aid area at the start / finish seemed to have new food options each time we passed…bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot egg breakfast biscuits, just to name a few.

Upon finishing, I was immediately congratulated by JC who gave me a really nice finishers medal and said “this medal is for bad a**es”. He also took a photo of me with the medal and one with my family. To top it off, he also gave me a helping of a type of chicken soup from his family’s own recipe (so good!).

I cannot say enough about how nice the organizers and runners of this race were. Everyone was so encouraging, friendly, and committed to seeing everyone finish no matter what their distance or goal that day. I’m really glad that this was my first-ever ultra race experience.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Battlefield Half Marathon

Battlefield Half Marathon

I love my home town of Winchester, Virginia which has many local races throughout the year. However my personal favorite is the Battlefield Half Marathon. First of all it is … MORE

I love my home town of Winchester, Virginia which has many local races throughout the year. However my personal favorite is the Battlefield Half Marathon. First of all it is held during one of the most beautiful times of the year in early November when the leaves are usually at their peak autumn colors. Second, the course runs through the back country side roads of Winchester where the traffic is scarce and the scenery is wonderful.

The race is highly organized. Thought not much communication is sent out via prior to the race, and email with detailed information is provided a few days prior to the race. Packet pickup is available the day before or race day morning, and the swag provided by Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department is awesome. This year included a t-shirt, long-sleeve pull over, and a hat!

The parking and logistics of this marathon are incredibly smooth with close to 400 runners attending. Being held near a historic battlefield, there is plenty of parking with room to spare.

Through the first 2 miles the course does a loop through a local community before heading back through the battlefield and then out onto the roadways. The course is moderately hilly with some sloping inclines from around mile 3 through mile 10. I used my hydration pack for the race, but if I recall, water stops are roughly every 3 miles or so (maybe shorter). Some stops provided snacks, but not all.

Note that there is not much course support during the middle of the course aside from the water / relay team stops, but the country side scenery makes up for it. It is really peaceful during the middle of the race which I particularly enjoy.

All finishers receive a high quality medal upon finishing. I set a half marathon PR on this course last year, and ran it this year for fun having just run a marathon PR 3 weeks prior. I plan on running it next year again and highly recommend it if you are looking to run a half marathon full of peaceful country scenery.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mount Desert Island Marathon

Mount Desert Island Marathon

I was looking forward to this marathon all year long after reading incredible reviews of how it is one of the most beautiful races on all of the east coast. … MORE

I was looking forward to this marathon all year long after reading incredible reviews of how it is one of the most beautiful races on all of the east coast. It did not disappoint!

The course itself runs from Bar Harbor, ME along the coast through Acadia National Park, finishing at Southwest Harbor..another coastal town on Mount Desert Island. I was blessed with incredible marathon running weather on race day (temps in the upper 30s / low 40s with clear skies) and the trees were at peak fall foliage. The view of the water, mountains, and trees was incredible.

Regarding elevation, the course is not an easy one. With a total elevation gain of around 1700 ft., there are several large, drawn out inclines that you will need to run. However each incline is followed by a nice decline…and the last two miles of the course are mostly downhill too. Be sure to include some hills in your training plan.

The race organization was top-notch. Constant updates were sent out via email and posted on the Run MDI website full of pre-race information along with a very detailed race packet PDF that was helpful not only to runners, but spectators as well. Packet pick up is a breeze in the town of Bar Harbor, which also features many things to do including shopping, boat / trolley tours, or visiting Acadia National Park.

Course support was very nice as well. There were few points on the course were there were not any spectators. The highlight of the course support to me was a large fishing boat of some type blowing its horn to cheer on and encourage the runners.

Due to proper training, amazing views, and great weather I was able to run my first-ever sub-4 hour marathon…so my experience was a fantastic one!

One final tip…I would register for this race early and book lodging ASAP. Bar Harbor has many bed and breakfasts with a few other hotels, and they fill up quick due to the tourists visiting to see the autumn colors of Maine. We were fortunate to stay in a hotel that was only a 10 minute walk from the starting line, and made our booking 9-10 months in advance.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Morgantown Marathon

Morgantown Marathon

The communication and organization leading up the the race was perfect. Constant updates were posted on Facebook and emails sent as well. Packet pickup was super easy with plenty of … MORE

The communication and organization leading up the the race was perfect. Constant updates were posted on Facebook and emails sent as well. Packet pickup was super easy with plenty of parking. I was a little concerned that I would have to take a shuttle to the start of the race on race day, but that was super easy as well. While the race does not have much crowd support due to the course, there are plenty of aid stations and rest stops with excellent volunteers. Overall it was an incredible experience set up by race director Jamie Summerlin. One last word of warning though…the course is VERY tough. They don’t use the hashtag #yesitshilly for no reason…and this coming from someone that trains on mountain back roads!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Lake Placid Marathon & Half Marathon

Lake Placid Marathon & Half Marathon

The Lake Placid 2018 marathon was a wonderful experience. Running it to cross NY off my state list, I picked a great year as the weather was flawless (sunny, mid-60s). … MORE

The Lake Placid 2018 marathon was a wonderful experience. Running it to cross NY off my state list, I picked a great year as the weather was flawless (sunny, mid-60s). Logistics were a breeze as we stayed at Crowne Plaza hotel which was literally right next to the marathon expo, starting and finishing point. Packet pickup couldn’t have been easier…walk down hill to the expo, get race bib, walk back to hotel (haha). Communication leading up to the race was clear as well.

As for the race course itself, the first 3-4 miles take you around Mirror Lake and it is really pretty. Then it is back into town for a few miles before heading downhill past the Olympic Ski Jump area and into the back roads running along a river…which was very nice. However, once you head back into town, you have to run uphill for a good ways which is challenging…but if you are doing the marathon, you have to turn-around, and run back out of town and do it again! The positive is that you get to enjoy the scenic river / woods area again. The course ends with a steep uphill that leads back to the Olympic Speed Skating Oval area (now a track). That last hill is tough, so be forewarned.

I cannot speak to the aide stations as I carried my own hydration / gels…but I remember them being quite stocked full of drinks and food. The finishing medal was really nice, and the after party provided food was great too.

The cool thing about this marathon is you can make a family vacation out of it as Lake Placid is a beautiful area with plenty of things to do…from exploring the main street that goes through town, site-seeing the Olympic areas, to plenty of hikes / outdoor activities close by.

Highly recommended!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Pocono Mountains Run for the Red Marathon

Pocono Mountains Run for the Red Marathon

The Run for the Red Marathon was a very well organized race. They were very active through email and Facebook constantly providing updates about the race, along with a pace … MORE

The Run for the Red Marathon was a very well organized race. They were very active through email and Facebook constantly providing updates about the race, along with a pace group that provided tips and encouragement in the weeks leading up to race day.

As one review has already stated, the start and finish are both at high schools, so there is plenty of parking. Getting the packet the day before was super easy, and the cool red technical shirt they provided was pretty sweet.

My family and I stayed at the Kalahari Resort, which was only 10 minutes or so from the starting point. The only con to this is that my family planned to see me start the race, go back to the resort, and then meet me at the finish. However the marathon caused several major roads to be closed, preventing people from getting back to the resort until the race was over! While this did not affect me as a runner, it is something to consider if you will have family attending with you.

The course is mostly downhill. While my performance was not good at all (due to improper fueling), looking back the course is quite pace and PR friendly. There are a few small inclines, but they come towards the end of the race. While most of the course is quiet and running on roads in the shade of the woods, there are a few sections where you run along the road with traffic. However I found it to be safe and never saw any instance where a runner was in danger.

The pacing group that took part (MarthonPacing.com) was top notch. The 3:55 pacer was very informative, encouraging, and positive when I ran with that group.

Overall this is a nice race if you want an easy time getting to / from the course with a chance to set a PR as well!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

New South Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

New South Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

This was my first ever trail marathon and I really enjoyed it. Communication by the race directors leading up to the race was very clear. Packet pickup was in the … MORE

This was my first ever trail marathon and I really enjoyed it. Communication by the race directors leading up to the race was very clear. Packet pickup was in the city of Charlotte, which was sort of a pain, BUT it was easy to get to with a parking garage nearby (it was either free or cheap to use). The hoodie they gave me for registering was really nice!

The race location itself (US National WhiteWater Center) was really cool. I thought being close to Charlotte it would not be very scenic, but it takes place in a large park right by the Catawba River. Parking was plentiful for the race start time of 8 a.m. I stayed in a hotel 10-15 minutes from the park and had no problem getting there.

Now the course itself is TOUGH. For the marathon it is two loops around a mountain bike trail that winds and weaves its way all through the park. You run across fields, into the woods, by the rivers, up a very large dirt hill, and YES you are likely to fall quite a few times.

I carried my own hydration and fuel, which I would highly recommend as the aide stations are spaced out pretty far apart. I can’t speak for what they offered as I did not pay much attention. Upon finishing they had lots of food and goodies from your typical granola bars, power bars, and bean hummus wraps which I particularly enjoyed. Also the finishers medal was nice too!

I would NOT recommend this race for a first time marathon, but I would DEFINITELY recommend this race if you love running on trails, being in the woods, and are seeking a new challenge to add to your list of marathon accomplishments. Your time will be much slower, you will fall, get dirty, and maybe even cut up a bit…but you will enjoy your accomplishment of finishing that much more!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Run for the Ranch

Run for the Ranch

One of the last marathons run in the calendar year, I did this race in 2017 to cross Missouri off my list for state marathons. Leading up to the race … MORE

One of the last marathons run in the calendar year, I did this race in 2017 to cross Missouri off my list for state marathons. Leading up to the race their was ample communication from the race organizers via Facebook and through email. They were also prompt to answer questions I had. Packet pickup was a breeze the day before. Parking race day morning was plentiful at Missouri State University (being the college is out for the winter break). In fact we parked very close to the start / finish line! The course itself is easy physically (very flat run around the University and local neighborhood), but challenging mentally in that you do 8 full loops for the marathon. While not like this every year, in 2017 it was freezing cold (18º with wind chills in the single digits), and that added to the challenge of the race. While there is little to no crowd support along the race route (again this could be due to how cold it was in 2017), there was great support at the aide stations though as they fought to keep the water / gatorade unfrozen and also provided plenty of other fuel. One of the best parts of the race that I will always remember was crossing the finish line and provided with a nice hot cup of chicken noodle soup in the post-race aide tent. Yum!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Battlefield Half Marathon

Battlefield Half Marathon

The race is held at the Kernstown Battlefield area just a bit south down Route 11 from the center of Winchester City. The race starts from the battlefield area, runs … MORE

The race is held at the Kernstown Battlefield area just a bit south down Route 11 from the center of Winchester City. The race starts from the battlefield area, runs through a nearby suburb, back through the battlefield on a trail, and then onto the back country roads before returning to the finish at Creekside Station (a local shopping complex).

I picked up my race packet the day before which was held at a facility close to the race location. The swag included a really nice racing athletic shirt and hat along with other goodies. It was one of the best race packets I’ve had the pleasure of receiving.

With a start time of 8 a.m., I arrived early the morning of the race around 6:45 a.m. anticipating parking challenges, however the organizers make TONS of parking available via a nearby field close to the start, so parking was not an issue.

The start of the race is really cool as they shoot off an actual civil war canon instead of using a starter pistol. It was pretty flat at the beginning of the race going through the suburb area and back across the battlefield, but once the course led onto the back roads through Frederick County, there were quite a few significant hills to battle. Each morning when I run I deal with fairly steep hills on my home course so I was thankful for being prepared for that.

Also there is not much crowd support along the race course aside from the volunteers at the various aide stations, so the mental challenge was significant too. I do remember one family sitting outside their home along one of the back roads saying “You are halfway there!” when we were only around mile 5 or so. Tricksters!

This was my first time running this local race and my first time doing a half-marathon distance for time, and I somehow, someway managed to exceed my goals and get a pretty decent time.

Post-race festivities included a finishers medal with music and plenty of the usual refreshments along with pizza. I think this race is one of the best that is offered in the Winchester area and I plan on definitely doing it again next year!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

I ran the Disney World Marathon in January 2017. My family and I stayed in a resort in Disney World, so as far as logistics go, everything was a breeze … MORE

I ran the Disney World Marathon in January 2017. My family and I stayed in a resort in Disney World, so as far as logistics go, everything was a breeze in regards to that (free shuttle service all over the park, including to the packet pickup area, race start area, and then back to our room). That said I cannot imagine trying to participate in this marathon without staying in the park. With close to 30,000 people, there are crowds, crowds, and more crowds. Plan to wait in line to pick up your race day packet the day before there race. Also with a race start time of 5:30 a.m., you will have to wake up VERY early in order to get a shuttle over to the race area, walk to your corral position, and then wait for the race to start. Unfortunately the year I ran it, it was abnormally cold in Florida with temps in the 30s that morning with wind chills. It was COLD…so standing around for 2 hours huddled in a masses of people for 2 hours waiting for the race to start was not fun. However once the race began, it was a great experience. You get to run through all 4 of the Disney Parks, and there is constant crowd support and entertainment along the way. For those not running for time, there are Disney characters at every mile marker that you can have your photo taken with. Upon finishing the race you get a really nice medal and other goodies (I distinctly remember a nice pre-race food box full of goodies to replenish your energy). While this is not a marathon I would plan on running for a PR, I would recommend running it for the experience especially if you parlay it into a family trip down to Disney, as my family had a wonderful time at the parks for the few days after the race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

VCU Health Richmond Marathon & Half Marathon

VCU Health Richmond Marathon & Half Marathon

This was the first marathon I ever ran and it was a great first-time experience. Having never even been to a marathon race before, I had no expectations going in. … MORE

This was the first marathon I ever ran and it was a great first-time experience. Having never even been to a marathon race before, I had no expectations going in. I spent the night in Richmond, VA the day before and visited the expo that evening to pickup my bib and packet. The expo was very large with many vendors. If I recall correctly it was held at an athletic facility so there was ample parking.

For the start of the race I parked on a side street a mile or so from the start. I did not have any problems finding a place to park. That morning it was rather chilly and I remember the starting line being full of runners (again this was my first experience running any type of marathon, and the Richmond Marathon is a rather larger one).

The course and race itself were terrific. They call it “America’s Friendliest Marathon” and it lived up to the name. The course takes you from downtown Richmond through surrounding suburbs, across the river, through parks, and around and back into the city. Rarely is there no support along the course. Through the communities people come out to cheer on the runners, and at most mile markers there is either a DJ playing music or some type of live band. I remember the aid stations offering a variety of fuel as well.

I’m not sure if the course is still the same as when I ran it in 2012, but it ended with a good downhill portion which can help if you are looking to set a PR. The post-race area was very large and offered some nice food and beverages.

The Richmond Marathon was a wonderful first-time marathon experience for me and I would highly recommend it due to the easy course, organization, and awesome crowd support!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

My Followers