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@runvirginia

Vienna, VA Raving since 2018 50 States hopeful/finisher Active 4 days, 13 hours ago

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My Races

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

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Marathon

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(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

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Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
6 hr Annapolis, MD Aug 29, 2020 29.7 mi

Future Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Albuquerque, NM Oct 16, 2022
Marathon Brookings, SD Oct 22, 2022

Past Races (60)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Kenai, AK Sep 25, 2022
6 hr Bristol, RI Aug 12, 2022 26.95 mi
6 hr Annapolis, MD Jul 23, 2022
Marathon Schaumburg, IL May 15, 2022
Marathon Lincoln, NE May 1, 2022
Marathon St Louis, MO Apr 3, 2022
Marathon Des Moines, IA Mar 20, 2022
Marathon Mesa, AZ Feb 12, 2022
Marathon Celebration, FL Jan 30, 2022
Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 4, 2021
Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 21, 2021
Marathon Bemidji, MN Oct 9, 2021
Marathon Jackson Hole, WY Sep 25, 2021
Half Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Aug 29, 2021
Marathon Charlevoix, MI Jun 19, 2021
Marathon Provo, UT Jun 5, 2021
Marathon Spokane, WA May 16, 2021
Marathon Louisville, KY Apr 22, 2021
Marathon Washington, DC Dec 6, 2020
Marathon Mentor, OH Nov 1, 2020
Marathon Tupelo, MS Sep 6, 2020
6 hr Annapolis, MD Aug 29, 2020 29.7 mi
Marathon Beltsville, MD Feb 16, 2020
Marathon Houston, TX Jan 19, 2020
Half Marathon Rehoboth Beach, DE Dec 7, 2019
Marathon Shawnee, KS Nov 17, 2019
Marathon Boring, OR Sep 22, 2019
Marathon Pocatello, ID Aug 31, 2019
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jun 30, 2019
Marathon Fargo, ND May 18, 2019
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Apr 27, 2019
Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 3, 2019
Marathon New Orleans, LA Feb 10, 2019
Marathon Huntsville, AL Dec 8, 2018
Marathon Madison, WI Nov 11, 2018
Marathon Gilsum, NH Sep 30, 2018
Marathon Aspen, CO Jul 14, 2018
Marathon Carmel, IN Mar 31, 2018
Marathon Myrtle Beach, SC Mar 3, 2018
Marathon Kitty Hawk, NC Nov 12, 2017
Marathon South Hero, VT Oct 15, 2017
Marathon Portland, ME May 15, 2017
Marathon North Kingstown, RI Apr 9, 2017
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 6, 2016
Marathon Harpers Ferry, WV Oct 1, 2016
Marathon San Francisco, CA Jul 31, 2016
Marathon Hartford, CT May 19, 2016
Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Oct 18, 2015
Marathon Pittsfield, MA Aug 8, 2015
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 26, 2014
Half Marathon Wilmington, DE May 11, 2014
Marathon Washington, DC 2014
Marathon Atlanta, GA Oct 17, 2013
Marathon York, PA 2013
Half Marathon Baltimore, MD 2012
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA 2010
Half Marathon Washington, DC 2010
Half Marathon Richmond, VA 2008
Marathon Wilmington, DE 2007
Marathon Baltimore, MD 2001

My Raves

I chose this race for Alaska because it was flat and I was busy both weekends for the anchorage races. I knew going in that it was a very small … MORE

I chose this race for Alaska because it was flat and I was busy both weekends for the anchorage races. I knew going in that it was a very small race and I would be running alone. That was hard, but the weather cooperated and there was a man grilling hotdogs at the end and cold drinks.

We could wait inside with a heated room and a flush toilet before the race started. I stayed right in Kenai and the logistics were very easy— was able to get a shower at the laundromat, which the Chamber of Commerce told me about.

I enjoyed the water stations—carried a handheld bottle for the first time in a race and they filled it for me. I had one lady cut open my gu which I tore poorly and then couldn’t get open. (Bring your own gu.)

The course was mostly along two-lane “highways “ with not much traffic and a good sized shoulder. There were nice tall forests with changing fall leaves at times. It reminded me of other western races in that it just felt like the landscape was so big and straight (even though there were turns and it wasn’t point to point. It was a giant loop). Reminded me of bemidji blue ox, Windermere, Jackson hole. That said , the views on the course were not as great as the views on the drive down from anchorage—wow!

I would recommend this race—well organized, small town charm, and socks and a t-shirt as swag!

DIFFICULTY
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Well, I signed up for this race because I like to think I am a hard core runner and I was drawn to the skull themed shirts from other years … MORE

Well, I signed up for this race because I like to think I am a hard core runner and I was drawn to the skull themed shirts from other years (comfort is a slow death//sleep when you die). I wore my Tupelo marathon shirt to the packet pickup (trample the weak, hurdle the dead). Alas, this year the shirt had an anchor and the slogan “one more lap.”

The good news was the weather was MUCH cooler than anticipated during training, so while it is summer, it was in the sixties for most of the six hour race.

The staging area was quite intimidating with the 24 hour runners setting up huge canopies with all their family and pacers etc. Good energy and chances to take photos near banners etc. What I didn’t see was a huge igloo cooler with a spout on the aid station table (as Annapolis endless summer six hour race had). Since my husband and I had flown this was quite a bad surprise as I was planning to fill up our yetis and go from there to the handheld as I passed him each lap….. so he did a quick run to the store to get bottles of water. Everyone else had come with cases of Poland spring water bottles so maybe I missed something in the fine print.
There were cups of water at the aid stations but I wanted to use my handheld and hubs needed to hydrate, too!

The other bad surprise for me was the trail section. It was 70% shallow roots, sometimes covered by a thin layer of grass. Like the maple roots in my yard. I tripped on loop four (jamming to my music) and loop ten (getting tired). Fortunately the landing was on dirt both times and I kept running. Nice runners nearby asked many questions to make sure I was ok. I didn’t see anyone else fall so I felt like a fool but am proud I kept going.

The paved part was great, the views during daylight were great, the energy was very positive and bad ass—saw the previous year’s winners (recognized them from web site). This was my first nighttime race, and all my training runs in darkness we’re in the morning (and usually without carrying light). My waist light worked perfectly. Adrenaline took over and suddenly it was 12:35 and I was done! I would do a night race again (though I absolutely could not sleep afterwards).

I liked the 2.45 loops—got to see the husband and lady on the mic often; the back aid station was chill and I used it primarily because I wanted to keep moving. There were plenty of people walking it in on the last couple of laps. And plenty of the 24 hour folks just running like it was nothing (one guy having a conversation on his speakerphone as he sprinted past me on the trail—respect).

I think this event is awesome and I am glad I did it!

DIFFICULTY
3
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4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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I ran the Saint patties day Des Moines marathon run by the same company. This race was bigger, and the half marathon started at the same time. This lead to … MORE

I ran the Saint patties day Des Moines marathon run by the same company. This race was bigger, and the half marathon started at the same time. This lead to intense congestion for miles 3 to 5. This made it difficult to settle into the correct pace, because your focus became on passing people it in the congested area.

Other than that, I enjoyed the fact that the race was mostly in a park, and that there was a turn around at mile 11 and 21, which provided a mental focus. The water stops were well-managed Dash my favorite one was the second to last one, at which I received a bag of ice. This bag of ice was wonderful as I ran up the hot concrete at mile 22-ish. I was quite sad they did not have ice at the last water stop. It was a surprisingly warm day, and the sun came out more than expected. It would have been nice if the race had started a little earlier.

There were free photos, and I am happy with the shirt. There was apparently a fruit cup at the end, but it was hard to find. I was happy to get a full water bottle and several cups of Gatorade at the end, with a nice folding chairs to sit in. Did I mention it was hotter than expected? Heat in the spring is hard because we’re not acclimated at all.

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Very organized starting line and expo. You can stay in the gym right by the start where it’s warm (42 degrees at start to 60s at end)… Wave start is … MORE

Very organized starting line and expo. You can stay in the gym right by the start where it’s warm (42 degrees at start to 60s at end)…

Wave start is firm (rather than a mishmash style of go! St. Louis), so they have separate staggered starts. First half is scenic with lots of spectators a few rolling hills. Second half was gradual uphill with tail wind for six miles (sadly didn’t appreciate tailwind) then the downhill I was looking forward to was more than countered by a strong headwind. Maybe the wind picked up?

It was sunny and there is not much shade on that out and back, but the wind was cooling at least . To go snacks at end did not include banana, which I literally crave at the end, but did include a plastic water bottle and Gatorade. (As opposed to a cup that is harder to carry (st paddy’s marathon)).

Stayed at marriott Cornhusker which DID have bananas on offer and the expo on site.

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Easy logistics—uber downtown to expo, bbq restaurant, hotel. Easy am shuttle (heated) and heated building to wait for start. Corrals went quicker than rock and roll races (whew) and the … MORE

Easy logistics—uber downtown to expo, bbq restaurant, hotel. Easy am shuttle (heated) and heated building to wait for start. Corrals went quicker than rock and roll races (whew) and the weather was great.

I was worried about the wind so I didn’t wear my hat—my regret. We ran into the sun for ten miles. Sigh. The route was straight and long low-grade rolling hills. NBD for me—reminds me of the bike path I train on in nova. Garmin says 740 feet of elevation gain— the only tough one was the last .15 mile!

The out and back for the second half was not as scenic as the first half but it was flatter and we could settle in for the tough part. Water stops were plentiful, stocked with gu.

Love a cotton shirt (I think I am in the minority but I really wear them more)—race specific shirt and medal with the arch and state flag featured prominently.

I enjoyed St. Louis—people were friendly everywhere , lots of green spaces downtown—did I mention the bbq??? So so good.

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Things I enjoyed: * the double out-and-back course (with a few detours) was both varied and predictable, nice and flat through a park, with a little city vibe near the … MORE

Things I enjoyed:
* the double out-and-back course (with a few detours) was both varied and predictable, nice and flat through a park, with a little city vibe near the start/finish/13.1 turnaround.
* The half marathon started 1 hour and 15 minutes after the full, so there was not any congestion, but we saw them on the course.
* There was a morning bib pickup option, and an option to have it mailed
* start/finish is close to a nice area with hotels and cute shops
* Des Moines is a nice city and easy to get to; no need to rent a car (if you stay near start/finish).
* cool photo ops in front of the state capitol.

The literal only thing I didn’t like (which feels so picky) is there were no bananas at the finish–only cute Shamrock cookies and water (in a cup).

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Pros: Bib/packet mail option Beautiful medal Smooth start, cool temps and gradual downhill early miles Free photos, heat sheet at shaft, throw away gloves Option to sit on bus while … MORE

Pros:
Bib/packet mail option
Beautiful medal
Smooth start, cool temps and gradual downhill early miles
Free photos, heat sheet at shaft, throw away gloves
Option to sit on bus while waiting for start
Port a potties has lights in them!
On time start
Accurate pacers

Cons:
The beginning miles are so easy feeling it is so hard to not go too fast.
So I did (go too fast at beginning). The last 10k really were a struggle—the sun was in full force and it was flat, not downhill.
I know people love these courses, but I am not one of them. I prefer flat myself. That said, I think I did the best on this one (out of revel mt chcarleston, Pocatello, aspen valley, and Utah valley). Am I getting wiser? It was the downhill course gentler? Probably a little of both.

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* easy logistics (uber from airport to hotel, walk to packet pickup, start line, restaurants, etc.). * great weather (10, then up to 30 degrees warmer than VA) *great flat … MORE

* easy logistics (uber from airport to hotel, walk to packet pickup, start line, restaurants, etc.).
* great weather (10, then up to 30 degrees warmer than VA)
*great flat course (double-loop through neighborhoods, by lakes on a walking path–nice views of wading birds, sunning cormorants)
* great water stops, GUs and bananas available.
* great food at the end! pancakes with whipped cream, beans and rice–hit the spot.
* nice medal–and I LOVE the fleece throw blanket. Thicker than Richmond marathons 🙂
My only small complaint, and it’s just here for your information, is that the double-loop means you are running with a ton of halfers for the first 12.5 miles, which makes it hard to start slowly.

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Well, after doing many TINY races for over a year, it was a bit of an adjustment to participate in a large race (with some pandemic touches). The biggest source … MORE

Well, after doing many TINY races for over a year, it was a bit of an adjustment to participate in a large race (with some pandemic touches).

The biggest source of anxiety for me was that the web site wasn’t really updated with detailed information until two weeks before the race. I am a big planner, and this impacted my ability to plan ahead as well as my confidence about how the race was going to ‘go down.’ (WHY haven’t they posted the expo information yet? etc.)

The other anxiety-inducing experience was the email of the corral information which I received Wed before the race. The email said that my start window was 9:16-9:26 (the official start time is 8:00). Combined with the fact that I truly had gotten faster (so my original expected finish time was not accurate) and that I had a 3:20 plane to catch, I was quite alarmed. (I wanted to be with the 4:50 pacer, not the 5:30 pacer)… No one from the race responded to my frantic emails. At the expo, I was not moved up in corrals.

Race morning came–I have observed over my fifty-states journey that I really like to start running early! A lot of waiting (especially if I am running on West coast) makes me get more pre-race jitters. So, there was a lot of waiting–the web site said to park by 6:15, which I did, and I parked in a zone where they marked it green for quick getaway (that part worked like a charm)–I even prepaid parking online.

Corrals went more smoothly than the emails predicted, I was running by 8:30. Made the 3:20 flight 🙂

The race itself was worth all the fuss–large number of runners, many of whom had St. Jude connections (made me think, my problems are not significant). Nice city tour. Course had a 4 mile look repeated in the purgatory of miles 14-21, which I actually liked (the second loop was nice mentally). My garmin said there was 800 feet of elevation gain–some hills, but fewer than Tulsa! Spectator support was nice (especially at the end–mile 23 had a bugler that we went by twice on a little out-and-back), and at that point we were hooked back up with the extreme back of the pack halfers (again, puts my problems in perspective).

Lovely medal, great after-party! Great BBQ for my splurge meal! Great experience!

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* stayed in Courtyard downtown--easy walking to expo, start, finish, and Hurts Donuts * Garmin says 1100 feet of elevation gain * so much fireball on the course! and donuts! … MORE

* stayed in Courtyard downtown–easy walking to expo, start, finish, and Hurts Donuts
* Garmin says 1100 feet of elevation gain
* so much fireball on the course! and donuts! parties in lawns
* corrals start 5 min apart, each with confetti shower
* scenic and varied course– I like a city tour. Tulsa is quirky and fun, with historical elements and pretty neighborhoods.
* medals on the way 🙁 stuck on a container ship.
* great running weather, so organized, great people in Tulsa everywhere–the Uber drivers, hotel staff, race volunteres etc.

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Very smooth logistics. Easy Morning packet pickup, cool souvenirs on offer. Nice size race with different distances starting at different locations ( no pacing off the half runners). Course was … MORE

Very smooth logistics. Easy Morning packet pickup, cool souvenirs on offer.
Nice size race with different distances starting at different locations ( no pacing off the half runners). Course was more varied than I expected—some neighborhoods, some roadside stretches, some lake stretches, some wooded areas, through a state park/campground. If I hadn’t just run charlesvoix and Jackson hole I probably would have thought it was prettier ☺️.

There were some hills, but garmin says only 530 feet of elevation gain, so definitely a fast course. Weather was overcast and 60s (unseasonably warm for MN in fall?) but good running weather. Easy 3.5 hours from MSP.
And the slogan—harness your inner ox—is fun, as are ox themed medal/shirt.

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I loved this race! I am coming from the DC metro area, and was worried about the elevation. I do the run walk, and I shortened my running portion. By … MORE

I loved this race!
I am coming from the DC metro area, and was worried about the elevation. I do the run walk, and I shortened my running portion. By mile eight, I settled into my pace. I ran my fastest marathon since 2014, which colors my review 😊
The course was gorgeous, and the weather was, too. It was chilly at the start and there was gorgeous fog over the valley at the beginning. There were horses and cows and quaint mountain cabins and of course the mountains. I really appreciated that this was not a downhill course. I have run Pocatello, Aspen Valley, Utah Valley, and Mount Charleston. In all of those races, it was super hot at the end and my quads were on fire. At the end of this race, I felt great, and the temperature was pleasant still. Some of the leaves were turning Dash it’s really a gorgeous place even in the off-season.
Now for a little bit about logistics: I stayed in Teton Village, the site of the finish. The finish was a cool party and I was happy I didn’t have to go anywhere after that. There is not a lot in the village in the off-season, so bring your supplies. The town of Jackson is just down the road, where the packet pick up is, and it has more shops/restaurants. I really appreciated the quiet of Teton Village, the efficient shuttle to the start. They did a great job with us race!

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Well, I know race directors can’t control the weather. I travelled to SD for this race, went to the expo, checked in to my hotel. (No ubers—walked; hopped into another … MORE

Well, I know race directors can’t control the weather. I travelled to SD for this race, went to the expo, checked in to my hotel. (No ubers—walked; hopped into another rubber’s Uber).
Would have been nice if the expo would have been at the start, but I chose a hotel by the start, so race morning going to be smooth. Then there was a storm overnight. Woke up, got all my outfit on, went to the start—surprise! The full was cancelled! The half was available. Could we run it twice? No. Much sadness and disappointment. The half course was lovely (isn’t it alway the prettiest part?) we ran over the falls, through downtown, finished in the track. Weather was great for the race itself. I may return to SD; not sure I’ll do this race. I think there was flooding last year, too, but not to the same extent . The medal is pretty—but it says full and it feels like a lie. Happy I got to run something in SD

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* Loved the morning pickup of bib, easy parking situation. * Loved the on-time smooth start of the marathon at 6:00 AM (half at 6:30). * Loved the out-and-back course … MORE

* Loved the morning pickup of bib, easy parking situation.
* Loved the on-time smooth start of the marathon at 6:00 AM (half at 6:30).
* Loved the out-and-back course on mostly a bike path. Little elevation change, shade plentiful, views lovely (usually birch/pine trees, with some lake views at times).
* Loved, loved, loved the long-sleeve pink shirt and the huge medal.
* Loved the fact that all water stops all had GU (mine was confiscated by TSA–sob).
* Loved that I ran a NEGATIVE SPLIT for like the 2nd time (this was my 46th marathon). Weather was nice, size of the race was nice, and I was never really out of sight of other runners except briefly after the half turnaround (mile seven or so).
The only negative is that the town of Charlevoix is far from a major airport! But it is worth the trip–it’s super cute, plenty of lovely lunch spots.

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The weather is out of the race director's control, but starting on time IS. I did what I needed to do by getting on BUS 2 to the start (putting … MORE

The weather is out of the race director’s control, but starting on time IS.
I did what I needed to do by getting on BUS 2 to the start (putting me there at 4:15). Somehow at 5:50 I was not lined up. I listen to and follow directions. There was poor communication to the people standing around in the field at the top of the mountain about how to (and when) to line up. There was a lot of communication about the drop bags (on a hot day, is this necessary?). Knowing how hot it was going to be, and knowing I am a back of the packer, I was frustrated with the fact that we started 20 minutes late. It seemed much more chaotic than other point to point races I have done (OBX, Missoula, Revel Mt Charleston, and Pocatello)–all of which started on time.

The late start came firmly to mind at mile 22.something when we started to enter town. I looked over and saw one of those bank message boards with the time and temperature. 11:08. 92 degrees. Sob. If we had started on time, I would have been there 20 minutes earlier. It would have made a difference–I really only fell apart for about 1-2 miles.

The good news:
* The swag is nice.
* The course was beautiful (equal to Missoula, Mt Charleston) and straight. There were (too) brief parts with shade (tunnel, canyon wall, trees) even at the last 10K.
* The water stops at mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and so on were so regular that it really helped mentally somehow. They were all well stocked–important on a hot day. At the end they were giving out handfuls of ice–which I accepted. There was a frozen popsicle at 23. Two misting arches. Bonus residents misting runners, handing out ice cubes.
* The downhill was nice (didn’t feel as crushing as Mt. Charleston–maybe I did a better job pacing?), and my Garmin says 520 feet of gain (not a big deal for me, but I’m from a rolling hills environment).
* The Marriott host hotel was very convenient, as was the convention center for packet pickup.
*Good size race–it felt like a pre-pandemic race! Fun once I got started to mile 22ish. T

Another complaint:
The finish line area was too, too crowded, and corralled in with metal gates. I happened to finish when the kids 1K was finishing. There were TONS of kids/toddlers moving erratically, moms with strollers trying to keep the family together between me (finishing the right chute) and the water table (on the left). It was frustrating. I did get a Jamba Juice cup (frozen and yummy), and was forced around to the moon bounce area before I could maneuver out to cross the course to head back the Marriott host hotel.

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Great course on a bike path, which reminded me of the rail to trail in northern va where I run frequently. Impossible to get lost, can see other runners; instead … MORE

Great course on a bike path, which reminded me of the rail to trail in northern va where I run frequently. Impossible to get lost, can see other runners; instead of out and back, it was out and back past the finish and another out and back, which added mental interest.

The Spokane River is gorgeous, and a large stretch was shaded as well. There was a stretch by I 90 which was less exciting, but still not too hilly (garmin says 540 feet elevation gain). Being an east coaster, I struggled with the dry desert air (especially since it’s spring ) It felt very exposed and hot towards the end, but the aid stations had chilled water which I poured over my head and it felt amazing.

The shirt and medal are lovely, packet pick up was smooth; it was a good sized race and there were even spectators playing the pan flute and holding signs.

I obviously didn’t love the pandemic, but one positive aspect is the rolling corrals for the start. As the anchorage reviewer mentioned, it created a nice distribution of runners as we ran and at the finish.

My only small complaint is that I didn’t get any photos, and they were supposed to be Finishline photos.

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This year's course and race was different because of the pandemic, and I really appreciate all the effort that went into putting on a live, fun event. There were many … MORE

This year’s course and race was different because of the pandemic, and I really appreciate all the effort that went into putting on a live, fun event.

There were many starting waves, and the expo was early (to the surprise of out of town runners), but there was also morning-of pickup. I was in the first wave, and was given a bib and shirt for the half, which I didn’t realize until close to the start time. I was able to exchange my bib but not my shirt (priorities!).

The fun thing about the many waves is that I could see runners the entire time! People passed me, I passed a few , etc. It was further livened up by the full marathon course having little spurs so that by the time we were crossing back in to KY across the bridge, we were at mile 20 and the half was at 12. The out and back spurs allowed for runners to see each other and the full spurs built a sense of camaraderie. The scenery was mostly of the river along a bike path, lush and green. Some of it was along a more industrial area, and through a small sliver of the city.

Overall, it was so, so much fun. Louisville is a cool town, and I loved walking from my hotel to the start, seeing other runners in the hotel afterwards, the medal engraving station at the finish line.

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The course was an out and back twice. It was on the C and O canal towpath, with the same view for the run. I am local, and knew what … MORE

The course was an out and back twice. It was on the C and O canal towpath, with the same view for the run.

I am local, and knew what the course was like in advance. Someone I met commented it was gravelly and a little rocky, and the heavy rains that week made it muddy at points.

The weather was beautiful, and I was happy to run alive race. There were about 80 marathon runners, and there was no time limit. There were obviously very few spectators given the pandemic and small field size..

I appreciated the chance for a glorified training run . The shirt is attractive and the medal less so… but there are other things to worry about, eh? I did meet a few 50 staters, but it was a repeat PLUS DC for me.

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The course had to be changed (because state part wouldn't allow the race), and it was a double-loop, with minimal hills. Some through the woods/near the lake, some on a … MORE

The course had to be changed (because state part wouldn’t allow the race), and it was a double-loop, with minimal hills. Some through the woods/near the lake, some on a busy road shoulder.

The weather was pretty bad–rainy, 40 degrees, a little sleet, and massive winds–but it wasn’t the WORST (that still remains Rocket City 2018). I have learned how to dress for this weather–need hat with a brim, rain jacket, wool underwear.

Well-done, well-executed race–really made the effort to host the runners. I drove from VA–plenty of parking. Brought a hydration backpack b/c of COVID. Swag is long-sleeve cotton shirt (name brand fabric)–my only complaint is it doesn’t have the year or date.

Medal is also cute, year only on ribbon. I was so grateful to run a live =race!

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* I came for the SWAG, and I love my Tie Dye long sleeve T-shirt (nice and soft), sticker, and medal. * I came for a real race in 2020--whoo … MORE

* I came for the SWAG, and I love my Tie Dye long sleeve T-shirt (nice and soft), sticker, and medal.
* I came for a real race in 2020–whoo hoo.
* I started too fast (oh, it will be hot later, better bank time now) and regretted it.
* I enjoyed the volunteers and race personnel. They were efficient and friendly at packet pickup in the morning, all water stops, and the finish, with fun music playing over the speakers and high energy.
* The course was mostly on scenic rural roads, with decent shade/darkness for the first 3.25 hours. Then it was warm and humid. The hills were not what did me in, it was the weather. A bit lonely after 13.1 when the halfers pulled off and we turned around, which was expected.
Well done race. I treasure my shirt and wear it proudly.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The weather was unseasonably cool this year! Car checkin (covid precaution) caused start to be pushed back 30 minutes. 4.25 mile loop, flat gravel trail in sun for 67%, a … MORE

The weather was unseasonably cool this year!
Car checkin (covid precaution) caused start to be pushed back 30 minutes.
4.25 mile loop, flat gravel trail in sun for 67%, a third on trails in shade (in two sections).
Really well done. You go through the parking area once per loop—access to your stuff! (No aid stations because of covid).
My first six hour race! It was challenging and fun, lots of encouragement from other runners in the course. A local race for me; signed up ten days out, but it did sell out. Cute ss cotton tee and crabthemed medal

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I enjoyed the three-loop course, which kept it less lonely than it might have been otherwise. Aid stations were well stocked and had friendly volunteers. The hills were not bad … MORE

I enjoyed the three-loop course, which kept it less lonely than it might have been otherwise.
Aid stations were well stocked and had friendly volunteers.
The hills were not bad until mile 20 or so…. and even then, the downhills were awesome. My garmin says 1480 feet of climb.
Weather was nice in 2020. Nice rural landscape for most of the run, then part on the road, which I weirdly didn’t mind because it created variety. It was nice to know what to expect on loops 2 and 3.
I ran into someone I knew (I am local). Friendly vibe–also chatted with several strangers on the course. Parking and packet pickup easy.
Nice shirt and medal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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I don't have much to add to others' reviews. I loved the size of the race--I was never lonely but only crowded a bit at the beginning (not a big … MORE

I don’t have much to add to others’ reviews. I loved the size of the race–I was never lonely but only crowded a bit at the beginning (not a big deal–26 miles to find my pace).

I loved the expo–I had time to kill and listened to talks about nutrition during the race and the mental aspect of the race which I found helpful. The race production was clearly experienced and I was a little worried I was too much a back of the packer for the field, but the race attracted not only elite runners (and the very skinny) but also people like me 🙂

The volunteers were amazing, and so numerous. A lot of them had helpful comments (as opposed to ‘you’re almost there’ they said things like ‘nice pace, nice work, keep going). The fans (especially for the first 8 miles, with the halfers) were great, with many funny signs. It was cool that elite runners were on the same course (many hours before me). There were messages in lights on construction signs toward the end–“optimal conditions” as a reminder to go hard the whole way. There were weird bluetooth speakers around mile 21-24 playing the Rocky theme song on repeat (not a fan), Kanye West’s Stronger (a fan), and something in spanish. That was a bit weird for me, but I am nitpicking.

I loved that there were kilometer markers for every km. Made it feel like time was moving. Plentiful water and Gatorade stops, two GU stops. Gorgeous weather, mostly flat course through beautiful neighborhoods, Rice U campus, few turns.

I ran the fastest I have run in 2 years. I will wear my finisher shirt proudly. Thanks, Houston!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Things I loved: * Morning packet pickup * 6AM start time * Beautiful scenery, running weather * Free race photors * Nice sized race * The course on the gravel … MORE

Things I loved:
* Morning packet pickup
* 6AM start time
* Beautiful scenery, running weather
* Free race photors
* Nice sized race
* The course on the gravel path through the state park–easy on the joints
* The medal is attractive, and race-specific
* The half and the full separate around mile 4, which I prefer.

My only, very minor, nit to pick is that the shirt, which I ordered in my usual size (Ladies’ medium) is literally skin tight. And I am sad because it is attractive!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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The course was a double out-and-back for the full marathon, so I was with the halfers for half of it, which was cool. I thought the double out and back … MORE

The course was a double out-and-back for the full marathon, so I was with the halfers for half of it, which was cool. I thought the double out and back would be brutal mentally, but it actually was fine, and I was by myself for less of the course as a result.

The weather on raceraves shows that it was raining, but really only drizzling for an hour or so–very minimal precipitation. Weather was great for running–overcast and in the 40s.

The race day pickup, parking, and organization were very smooth. Nice, low-key, race. Aid stations included pickle juice, coca-cola, and peanut M&Ms–nice.

I will say that my Garmin registered 1100 feet of elevation gain. I would say that very little of the course was flat; it was either a gradual incline/decline (most of the middle section) or a steep section (near the U-turns).

Overall, I signed up for this race coming off an injury and was not well trained. I was the last finisher (my first time as such), which was a blow to my ego.

The race people were great, and encouraging. They kept the aid stations, finish line, photographer etc. open for me. (Free photos!) I ran with the ‘sweeper’ for the last 3 miles. I love runners! Always a common interest to chat about.

I like the shirt being cotton (I have plenty of tech Ts) and it is attractive. The medal is large and bling-y.

The logistics were very simple. Recommend the race!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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* The RD gave details about the course at the start * Morning bib pickup * Parking right by the start/finish line * beautiful scenery, bike path * top-notch national … MORE

* The RD gave details about the course at the start
* Morning bib pickup
* Parking right by the start/finish line
* beautiful scenery, bike path
* top-notch national anthem singer
* enthusiastic volunteers
* enthusiastic timing staff (someone gave me a printout of my result and my age group award at the end!)
* despite it being my 3rd worse time ever, and finishing 3rd to last, I won an AG award! yay small races!
* my slow time was (I suspect–lots of time to reflect from miles 18-26) a result of this being my 10th marathon in 365 days… or the ‘overreaching’ at Pocatello 3 weeks prior…
* The course was very doable, but it’s still 26.2 miles!
* it was raining from mile 7-14, then 17-end (for me). nice temps and partly-cloudy–no need for sunglasses 🙂
* I enjoyed the course on the bike path, with the two spurs. It gave a bit of variety, and a chance to see people. I was alone for quite a while in a small race like this (which was to be expected).
* nice swag–the medal and shirt are nice, the jelly beans and lip balm hit the spot for me!
* easy logistics to fly in/out of PDX, stay in the burbs.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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The good: * easy logistics from host hotel * easy, short bus ride/bus loading process * bib pick up was easy * swag is nice--high-quality long sleeve tech T, duffle … MORE

The good:
* easy logistics from host hotel
* easy, short bus ride/bus loading process
* bib pick up was easy
* swag is nice–high-quality long sleeve tech T, duffle bag, medal
* 2nd to last water stop doused me with cool water
* small race, most participants quite friendly and willing to chat
* course was quite direct point-to-point, nice downhill for 13 miles.
* wore compression shorts so quads didn’t suffer quite as much as in Revel Mt. Charleston
* Pocatello is super easy to navigate–once you’re there! I flew in to SLC, which was also easy to navigate.
* I love a Saturday race.

Less awesome:
* Back of packers are in a lot of sun/heat at end. I finished in 5:49
* I saw no one from mile 23 to 26, other than water stops–mentally very tough.
* I got terrible sleep for the two nights before the race, which affected my performance.
* Fri before holiday weekend=traffic on I-15.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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This marathon reminded me of the Clarence Demar marathon in NH. It was a little difficult to get to, nice mid-size race, and extremely well run on a point to … MORE

This marathon reminded me of the Clarence Demar marathon in NH. It was a little difficult to get to, nice mid-size race, and extremely well run on a point to point course.

I stayed near the UofM (and a man I met stayed in the dorm!), and did not rent a car. Flew in to MSO. I also talked to people who flew into Spokane and drove, saw the sights. There are many sights!

Lovely race, lovely people–ice cold sponges near the end, residential streets with some shade, cool finish line area with yelling fans. Bring sunscreen and a hat/visor! It was sunny, but a dry heat. Bring throwaways or use the drop bag–it was cold at the start. Well-run hydration stations. Cool medal!
Highly recommend.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I echo the comments by the other reviewers. I just wanted to give additional credit to the 5:25 pacer and compliment his getting us through the race without having to … MORE

I echo the comments by the other reviewers. I just wanted to give additional credit to the 5:25 pacer and compliment his getting us through the race without having to think as much as usual 🙂

I also want to compliment the showers in the FargoDome, and the well-organized dome floor–bag drop was in the exact same location 5:25 later–and we could scope out the finish line at the start (which, blessedly, was warm and dry).

I liked the size of the race–I was never alone, and there were plentiful water cups at all the stations. I liked the neighborhoods, and the residents, who played music for us and gave us jolly ranchers. I agree with those who comment on the many turns of the course, but I like the mental variety–where are we going? what’s around the bend? I like the fact that the halfers started a little after the full–less getting psyched out by their pace (again. shout out to the pacer for curbing my enthusiasm).

44 and drizzling turns out to be pretty good running weather in that it is cooler and overcast. I was thankful that it stopped and I dried out after an hour or two (except the feet).

I liked the medal– colorful and solid; I personally hate string bags because the strings get caught on everything, but this was clearly a high-end string bag this year, and the bag drop was seamless. I liked that the shirt was a sweatshirt–I have enough tech Ts.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I loved the race! I didn't expect to, because I was worried about the hills, and the rain. BUT it only rained for about an hour, and I ran with … MORE

I loved the race! I didn’t expect to, because I was worried about the hills, and the rain. BUT it only rained for about an hour, and I ran with pacers who were AMAZING. In thinking, why didn’t I run with pacers before, I realized no other race has had a 5:45 pace group–and that’s my typical finish time, although I usually start too fast and end up in a real negative place toward the mile 18 mark.

So, what ‘s great:
* Little Rock itself, if you stay by the start/finish/expo, has plentiful fun restaurants and is very walkable.
* The DJs along the course, the bands, including a steel drum band, were plentiful and played high-energy songs.
* There were at least 5 places where I was offered beer, liquor, or mimosas–with enthusiastic cheerers
* There were numerous non-official places where people were offering mini-candies, jolly ranchers, etc. Again–enthusiastic spectators!
* The hills were honestly not as bad as I had built them up in my mind. The pacers were so great–one was cracking jokes and the other was cheerful (I’m really proud of how strong we are up this hill!) They were locals and very familiar with the course.
* The out-and-back along the river is nice and flat, and my pacers were high-fiving all the other pace groups we saw. Lots of positivity!
* I can’t express enough how much fun, good music there was–more than Rock and Roll New Orleans (which I ran 3 weeks ago and was mostly techno in the 2nd half). Ran w/o headphones and didn’t miss them at all.
* I did not carry water and there were plentiful stations on the course.
* The medal is garish and huge, but you know that already!! Represents the big heart of the race staff and the townspeople. The race welcomes all runners (and walkers) and celebrates them for 26 miles!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I agree with what many other reviewers comment on: * the race is geared toward the half marathon. * there are many out and backs to 'take advantage' of the … MORE

I agree with what many other reviewers comment on:
* the race is geared toward the half marathon.
* there are many out and backs to ‘take advantage’ of the bands.
* some of the ‘bands’ were DJs.
* the second half is surprisingly hilly (several bridges to cross), lonely, and lacking in scenery compared to the first half
* I personally hate the corral start of the RNR races with the countdowns on the PA every 90 seconds. I want to go! I would rather weave (which happens anyway)

Pros:
*New Orleans is one cool place. There is a lot of energy in the first half.
* Run your own race–don’t get sucked in to the halfers pace, energy, etc.
* Plenty of water, vaseline, etc. (Did not try unfamiliar ‘gel’ product.
* lovely overcast weather in the 50s–perfect for running.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Well, the story of the 2018 race is dominated by the WEATHER. And that aspect of the race made it extremely mentally tough at the beginning (and physically at the … MORE

Well, the story of the 2018 race is dominated by the WEATHER. And that aspect of the race made it extremely mentally tough at the beginning (and physically at the end). 38-42 degrees and rain.
BUT, the weather was well known, and we had to dress appropriately. I do not recommend the CVS poncho. I realized about a mile in that I should have spent the money on a decent running-specific rain jacket. Oh, well.
The expo was well organized, and I stayed at the SpringHill Suites a short walk away. They let me have a late check out (thank goodness for the warm shower!!)
The race is clearly run by people who are runners and respect runners. They allowed us to wait in the arena before the start and ended the race inside (again–great on a rainy day!). The course is through neighborhoods, the space center, botanical gardens, and the halfers didn’t overlap with this 5:45 finisher. There were 6 GUs offered and well-marked port-o-potties. The volunteers were quite intrepid in the weather, and they were so kind.
The SWAG is top-notch–attractive Brooks ls/ tech t, cool medal with stained-glass type accent, and nice finisher premium of running hat (reversible!).

The people of Huntsville were all accommodating and friendly. I ran with the 5:30 pacer for the first 14 miles, and he was a calming presence. I almost gave up around mile 18 in the rain, but found friends in other struggling, wet, cold runners. We kept repeating, we can do this! And we did.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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I loved the course--nice variety of town, college, lake, woods, and neighborhoods. All turns were well marked, and volunteers made good use of the names printed on the bib numbers. … MORE

I loved the course–nice variety of town, college, lake, woods, and neighborhoods. All turns were well marked, and volunteers made good use of the names printed on the bib numbers. It was a bit hilly, but not too bad. It happened to be cold in 2018, but it helped us run faster 🙂 T-shirt is well-designed, on a polyester that feels like a regular T for wearing to the grocery store, etc. (which I like). Medal is large and well-designed. I loved the size of the race–I could see/pass other runners the whole time and I finished in 5:35 (sometimes I am quite alone). I did not carry water, and there were plentiful water stops. (There were free photos–I smeared chocolate GU on my face (it was thick b/c of the cold, clumsy hands), so I am not posting that–but the pics and results were posted *very* quickly. Well organized event!

Packet pickup was easy (chose the AM option). Madison is a great midwestern town to visit with nice people, ample restaurants and coffee shops. Easy to get around.

I recommend staying at the HI hostel–nice staff, nice pre and post race chatting with other runners, convenient location.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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Awesome point to point, packet pickup, t-shirt, medal, and showers at the finish line. Awesome volunteers who were unfailingly enthusiastic and supportive (many said 'you inspire me' instead of 'almost … MORE

Awesome point to point, packet pickup, t-shirt, medal, and showers at the finish line. Awesome volunteers who were unfailingly enthusiastic and supportive (many said ‘you inspire me’ instead of ‘almost there’). The communication from the RD was well-managed and clear. I am a back of the packer and all the course marshalls were still out, in their bright yellow, to show me the way. There was water and food at the end. I did have to bring my own Gu, but I knew that in advance. Free finish line photo! Loved this race–beautiful location.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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Easy bib pickup, open late I love a Saturday race (Sunday to rest before work) Easy to navigate Indy and Carmel roads and airport Race started on time, had well … MORE

Easy bib pickup, open late
I love a Saturday race (Sunday to rest before work)
Easy to navigate Indy and Carmel roads and airport
Race started on time, had well supplied water stops throughout, even for back of packer like me. Water stop volunteers were attentive rather than distracted, and there were plenty of bananas at the end, which is all I ever feel like eating anyway.
I LOVEd the parking situation–got there early, parked I. closest garage. Sat in warm car reading (one building was open and many stood in warm lobby)–and then at end, an easy getaway.
Medal is huge, sparkly state of Indiana–nice for 50 staters.
Shirt has pretty design, but fabric is a bit stiff…we’ll see.
All in all, course is flat and weather was good for running in 2018 (cloudy and high in the low 50s).
Only hard part of course was mental, going past the finishing halfers with 13.1 to go…we ran with the halfers for thirteen miles.
I had run Myrtle Beach four weeks before, which was WINDY, so I didn’t notice the wind at Carmel, but the RD said in an email the finish party would have been more energized without wind…
I count it as a PR for races in quick succession. Nice mid-sized race. Made a new friend for miles 16-21😃.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I loved: Early start option Day of race packet pickup The DJ--no earbuds to deal with, and runners could request songs on Facebook prior to race--my song came on at … MORE

I loved:
Early start option
Day of race packet pickup
The DJ–no earbuds to deal with, and runners could request songs on Facebook prior to race–my song came on at mile 17!!!
The short loops–less than a mile. I liked this more than some of the 3 mile repeat loops courses. Very lively atmosphere, and lots of interaction among runners.
*t shirt says badass runner something on the back!
* medal is unique–piece of wood and large
I really enjoyed this race,

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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