My Profile

@seagroves87

Rochester, NY Raving since 2020 50 States hopeful/finisher, 100 Half Marathons Club, Seven Continents Club, Marathon Maniacs #15648, Half Fanatics #18410 Active 4 hours, 18 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    NYRR, Greater Rochester Track Club, Greater Derry Track Club, 50 States Half Marathon Club

  • Rave race:

    Los Angeles Marathon 2020

  • Race that's calling my name:

    New York City Marathon

  • I run because:

    Running changed my life! I started running again after a many year hiatus to curb some bad habits and get a more positive outlook on life. As a result I am a much happier, healthier person since I started running again in Fall 2018 and I have no plans to stop any time soon! My ultimate goal is to run a half marathon or longer in every state, province and continent!

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

Future Races

Personal Bests (31)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Sprint Silver Lake, NY Sep 26, 2021 2:38:44
12 hr Honeoye Falls, NY Jul 17, 2021 17.12 mi
6 hr Shortsville, NY Nov 20, 2021 16.1 mi
50K Virgin, UT Apr 10, 2021 9:44:46
Marathon Los Angeles, CA Mar 8, 2020 5:20:34
30K Pacoima, CA Feb 9, 2020 3:45:00
25K Bath TWP, OH Nov 22, 2020 3:16:29
Half Marathon Pasadena, CA Jan 19, 2020 2:21:41
10 Miler Huntington Beach, CA Sep 21, 2019 1:48:52
10 Mile Relay Auburn, NH Aug 27, 2022 1:52:38
9.3 Challenge (5K + 10K) Los Angeles, CA Jan 5, 2020 1:39:01
15K Philadelphia, PA Apr 2, 2022 1:50:28
8 Miler Ellicottville, NY Aug 16, 2020 1:56:45
Quarter Marathon Liverpool, NY Feb 12, 2022 1:25:37
10K Los Angeles, CA Nov 28, 2019 59:39
6 Miler Voorheesville, NY Oct 31, 2021 1:42:19
5 Miler Clyde, NY Nov 21, 2020 51:54
8K Rochester, NY Jul 21, 2021 52:28
4.5 Miler Honeoye Falls, NY Oct 18, 2020 1:06:04
4.4 Miler Webster, NY Nov 25, 2021 45:24
7K Le Roy, NY Oct 8, 2022 57:18
4 Miler New York City, NY Dec 13, 2020 45:07
3.5 Miler Webster, NY Sep 4, 2021 54:14
3.4 Miler Lewiston, NY Aug 9, 2021 45:06
3.3 Miler Brooklyn, NY Dec 12, 2020 36:28
3.14 Miler Baldwinsville, NY Mar 14, 2021 32:44
5K Los Angeles, CA Dec 14, 2019 28:40
3 Miler Bedford, NH Jan 17, 2021 31:03
2.2 Miler Auburn, NY Sep 19, 2021 25:02
2 Miler Rochester, NY Jul 4, 2022 38:49
1 Miler Londonderry, NH Jan 1, 2021 7:55

Future Races (25)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
5K Rochester, NY Dec 10, 2022
3 Miler Rochester, NY Dec 18, 2022
Half Marathon Daufuskie Island, SC Jan 14, 2023
Half Marathon Gulf Shores, AL Jan 28, 2023
Half Marathon Melbourne, FL Feb 12, 2023
Half Marathon Tucson, AZ Feb 18, 2023
Half Marathon Burlington, Canada Mar 5, 2023
Half Marathon Washington, DC Mar 18, 2023
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 19, 2023
Half Marathon Albany, NY Apr 15, 2023
Half Marathon Oklahoma City, OK Apr 30, 2023
Half Marathon Ellicottville, NY May 13, 2023
Half Marathon Buffalo, NY May 27, 2023
Half Marathon Anchorage, AK Jun 17, 2023
Half Marathon Estes Park, CO Jul 28, 2023
Half Marathon Memphis, TN 2023
Half Marathon Pass Christian, MS 2023
Half Marathon Two Harbors, MN 2024
Half Marathon Gering, NE 2024
Half Marathon Fargo, ND 2024
14 Miler White Sands, NM 2024
Half Marathon Lahaina, HI 2024
Half Marathon Deadwood, SD 2025
Half Marathon King George Island, Antarctica 2025
Half Marathon Eugene, OR 2025

Past Races (225)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Folsom, CA Dec 4, 2022 6:33:57
Half Marathon Seattle, WA Nov 27, 2022 3:10:43
1 Miler Shortsville, NY Nov 19, 2022 19:06
Half Marathon Kitty Hawk, NC Nov 13, 2022 3:39:26
5K Kitty Hawk, NC Nov 12, 2022 1:00:58
Half Marathon Louisville, KY Nov 6, 2022 3:27:19
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN Nov 5, 2022 3:00:23
Half Marathon Portsmouth, NH Oct 30, 2022 2:52:30
5K Rochester, NY Oct 29, 2022 39:03
5K Bridgeport, NY Oct 23, 2022 34:43
5K Hamlin, NY Oct 22, 2022 38:37
5K East Rochester, NY Oct 22, 2022 35:55
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2022 2:54:09
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 15, 2022 3:24:06
7K Le Roy, NY Oct 8, 2022 57:18
Half Marathon Portland, ME Oct 2, 2022 3:19:24
Half Marathon Bristol, NH Oct 1, 2022 3:02:48
Half Marathon Rochester, NY Sep 25, 2022 3:10:21
Half Marathon Randolph, NY Sep 24, 2022 3:33:03
10 Miler Bronx, NY Sep 18, 2022 2:31:32
Half Marathon Southampton, NY Sep 17, 2022 2:48:30
10K Spicewood, TX Sep 9, 2022 1:57:18
10K Rochester, NY Sep 4, 2022 1:21:35
5K Canandaigua, NY Sep 3, 2022 46:02
5K Webster, NY Sep 2, 2022 43:23
10 Mile Relay Auburn, NH Aug 27, 2022 1:52:38
5K Honeoye Falls, NY Aug 24, 2022 44:27
1 Miler Rochester, NY Aug 23, 2022 9:36
5K Chicago, IL Aug 20, 2022 40:30
5K Rochester, NY Aug 17, 2022 37:34
5K Bergen, NY Aug 13, 2022 39:03
15K Buffalo, NY Aug 7, 2022 2:07:38
5K Phelps, NY Aug 6, 2022 44:09
5K Honeoye Falls, NY Aug 3, 2022 42:46
5K Washington, DC Jul 31, 2022 41:25
Half Marathon Penn Yan, NY Jul 23, 2022 3:42:22
8K Rochester, NY Jul 20, 2022
5K Rochester, NY Jul 17, 2022 39:23
5K Hamlin, NY Jul 16, 2022 41:36
12 hr Honeoye Falls, NY Jul 16, 2022 7 mi
15K Utica, NY Jul 10, 2022 2:17:55
2 Miler Rochester, NY Jul 4, 2022 38:49
5K Sodus Point, NY Jul 2, 2022 57:57
5K Irondequoit, NY Jun 25, 2022 51:52
Half Marathon West Yellowstone, MT Jun 11, 2022 3:43:28
5K West Yellowstone, MT Jun 10, 2022 49:52
Half Marathon St Charles, ID Jun 9, 2022 3:22:27
Half Marathon Wilson, WY Jun 4, 2022 3:22:58
5K Wilson, WY Jun 3, 2022 40:01
Half Marathon Buffalo, NY May 29, 2022 3:24:34
5K Buffalo, NY May 28, 2022 35:50
Half Marathon Chicago, IL May 22, 2022 3:07:36
5K Williamson, NY May 20, 2022 38:34
5K Geneva, NY May 14, 2022 36:53
Half Marathon Oakhurst, CA May 7, 2022 3:20:45
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 1, 2022 2:53:34
5K Costa Mesa, CA Apr 30, 2022 39:27
Half Marathon Rochester, NY Apr 24, 2022 2:57:21
Half Marathon Derry, NH Apr 10, 2022 2:44:42
5K Concord, NH Apr 9, 2022 53:00
Half Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Apr 3, 2022 2:45:37
15K Philadelphia, PA Apr 2, 2022 1:50:28
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 20, 2022 2:56:31
Half Marathon New Port Richey, FL Mar 13, 2022 2:42:56
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 6, 2022 2:58:54
5K Little Rock, AR Mar 5, 2022 53:03
Half Marathon Atlanta, GA Feb 27, 2022 3:07:16
5K Atlanta, GA Feb 26, 2022 54:16
5 Miler Webster, NY Feb 20, 2022 1:44:39
4.4 Miler Webster, NY Feb 19, 2022 56:27
Quarter Marathon Liverpool, NY Feb 12, 2022 1:25:37
Half Marathon Miami, FL Feb 6, 2022 3:09:45
5K Miami, FL Feb 5, 2022 36:48
Half Marathon Baton Rouge, LA Jan 16, 2022 2:57:09
5K Allen, TX Jan 1, 2022 53:32
5K Allen, TX Dec 31, 2021 43:59
Half Marathon Allen, TX Dec 31, 2021 3:14:20
5K Montclair, NJ Dec 12, 2021 36:17
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 11, 2021 2:43:54
Half Marathon Haverhill, MA Dec 5, 2021 2:54:08
3 Miler Manchester, NH Dec 4, 2021 32:31
5K Swampscott, MA Nov 28, 2021 52:55
4 Miler Concord, NH Nov 27, 2021 50:55
5K Amherst, NH Nov 26, 2021 35:08
4.4 Miler Webster, NY Nov 25, 2021 45:24
5K Buffalo, NY Nov 21, 2021 37:45
6 hr Shortsville, NY Nov 20, 2021 16.1 mi
5K Washington, DC Nov 14, 2021 35:03
Half Marathon Richmond, VA Nov 13, 2021 2:37:32
Half Marathon Relay Manchester, NH Nov 7, 2021 2:25:32
5K Manchester, NH Nov 6, 2021 32:51
6 Miler Voorheesville, NY Oct 31, 2021 1:42:19
Half Marathon West Haven, CT Oct 30, 2021 2:42:53
Half Marathon Ann Arbor, MI Oct 24, 2021 2:47:29
5K Akron, OH Oct 23, 2021 32:23
10K Lackawanna, NY Oct 17, 2021 1:14:15
10K Syracuse, NY Oct 16, 2021 1:14:52
Marathon Wichita, KS Oct 10, 2021 5:53:42
Half Marathon Hampton, NH Oct 3, 2021 2:28:50
5K Nashua, NH Oct 2, 2021 34:41
Sprint Silver Lake, NY Sep 26, 2021 2:38:44
Half Marathon Randolph, NY Sep 25, 2021 3:12:46
2.2 Miler Auburn, NY Sep 19, 2021 25:02
5K Watkins Glen, NY Sep 18, 2021 36:00
5K Canandaigua, NY Sep 18, 2021 36:45
Half Marathon Westerly, RI Sep 12, 2021 2:38:56
Half Marathon Manchester Center, VT Sep 11, 2021 2:50:12
5K Groton, NY Sep 6, 2021 37:09
5K Geneseo, NY Sep 5, 2021 35:55
3.5 Miler Webster, NY Sep 4, 2021 54:14
5K Webster, NY Sep 3, 2021 30:49
Half Marathon Mendon, NY Aug 29, 2021 2:38:43
5K Weedsport, NY Aug 28, 2021 33:35
1 Miler Rochester, NY Aug 26, 2021 8:28
5K Rochester, NY Aug 25, 2021 35:58
5 Miler Henrietta, NY Aug 21, 2021 1:12:03
5K Honeoye Falls, NY Aug 18, 2021 37:25
5K Chicago, IL Aug 14, 2021 32:36
5 Miler Churchville, NY Aug 11, 2021 1:14:03
3.4 Miler Lewiston, NY Aug 9, 2021 45:06
Half Marathon Emporium, PA Aug 8, 2021 2:44:35
10K Emporium, PA Aug 7, 2021 1:13:49
5K Emporium, PA Aug 7, 2021 35:00
5K Batavia, NY Aug 5, 2021 32:38
5K Honeoye Falls, NY Aug 4, 2021 35:03
Half Marathon Washington, DC Aug 1, 2021 2:44:07
5K Kennedyville, MD Jul 31, 2021 35:55
5K Wilkes-Barre, PA Jul 31, 2021 34:14
Half Marathon Mt Jewett, PA Jul 25, 2021 2:55:36
5K Liverpool, NY Jul 24, 2021 32:26
5K Mt Jewett, PA Jul 24, 2021 36:42
8K Rochester, NY Jul 21, 2021 52:28
5K Mendon, NY Jul 17, 2021 41:28
12 hr Honeoye Falls, NY Jul 17, 2021 17.12 mi
5K Auburn, NY Jul 14, 2021 34:49
10K Palmerton, PA Jul 11, 2021 2:22:32
Half Marathon Hamlin, NY Jul 10, 2021 2:35:07
5 Miler Webster, NY Jul 7, 2021 1:30:38
10K Rochester, NY Jul 4, 2021 1:14:27
5K Fairport, NY Jul 3, 2021 33:27
5K Savannah, NY Jun 27, 2021 36:56
5K Buffalo, NY Jun 26, 2021 32:08
5K Hampton, NH Jun 20, 2021 34:19
Half Marathon Rochester, NY Jun 19, 2021 2:40:27
5K Rochester, NY Jun 16, 2021 32:31
Half Marathon Wilmington, DE Jun 13, 2021 2:46:00
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA Jun 12, 2021 2:46:31
5K Dundee, NY Jun 6, 2021 42:37
5K Henrietta, NY Jun 5, 2021 33:55
4 Miler Mendon, NY Jun 4, 2021 1:17:00
Half Marathon Potomac, MD May 31, 2021 2:39:24
5K Lorton, VA May 30, 2021 36:56
Half Marathon Purcellville, VA May 29, 2021 2:44:02
10K Rochester, NY May 23, 2021 1:10:59
Marathon Cary, NC May 15, 2021 5:49:31
Half Marathon Shelburne, VT May 8, 2021 2:44:57
5 Miler Rochester, NY May 5, 2021 54:45
Half Marathon Canton, OH May 2, 2021 2:44:45
5K Canton, OH May 1, 2021 32:30
Half Marathon Gettysburg, PA Apr 25, 2021 2:37:11
5K Bronx, NY Apr 24, 2021 56:54
5K Baldwinsville, NY Apr 18, 2021 32:25
50K Virgin, UT Apr 10, 2021 9:44:46
10 Miler Salt Lake City, UT Apr 3, 2021 2:10:00
5K Albion, NY Mar 27, 2021 30:42
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 21, 2021 2:34:15
8K Virginia Beach, VA Mar 20, 2021 57:05
3.14 Miler Baldwinsville, NY Mar 14, 2021 32:44
10K Washington, DC Mar 7, 2021 1:10:26
10K Lorton, VA Mar 6, 2021 1:14:18
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Feb 27, 2021 5:57:07
5 Miler Webster, NY Feb 20, 2021 1:51:20
3 Miler Rochester, NY Feb 14, 2021 41:37
Half Marathon Melbourne, FL Feb 7, 2021 2:42:08
3 Miler Bedford, NH Jan 17, 2021 31:03
5K Johnson City, NY Jan 10, 2021 35:27
Half Marathon Fairmont, WV Jan 9, 2021 2:29:49
1 Miler Londonderry, NH Jan 1, 2021 7:55
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Dec 20, 2020 2:41:51
5 Miler New York City, NY Dec 19, 2020 52:28
4 Miler New York City, NY Dec 13, 2020 45:07
3.3 Miler Brooklyn, NY Dec 12, 2020 36:28
5K New York Mills, NY Dec 6, 2020 32:53
Half Marathon Mahwah, NJ Dec 5, 2020 4:24:42
5K Henrietta, NY Nov 28, 2020 34:43
25K Bath TWP, OH Nov 22, 2020 3:16:29
5 Miler Clyde, NY Nov 21, 2020 51:54
3 Miler Honeoye Falls, NY Nov 13, 2020 55:05
5K Honeoye Falls, NY Nov 11, 2020 34:47
Marathon Manchester, NH Nov 8, 2020 5:48:56
5K Manchester, NH Nov 7, 2020 34:54
5 Miler Rochester, NY Oct 31, 2020 59:26
Half Marathon Ellicottville, NY Oct 24, 2020 2:29:16
4.5 Miler Honeoye Falls, NY Oct 18, 2020 1:06:04
5 Miler Erie, PA Oct 17, 2020 56:43
Half Marathon Concord, NH Oct 11, 2020 2:24:36
5K Rochester, NY Oct 10, 2020 32:22
Half Marathon Victor, NY Sep 27, 2020 3:28:33
Half Marathon Randolph, NY Sep 26, 2020 2:54:30
5 Miler Victor, NY Sep 25, 2020 1:26:12
5 Miler South Hero, VT Sep 20, 2020 52:46
Marathon Wellsboro, PA Sep 12, 2020 5:33:25
4.5 Miler Henrietta, NY Sep 9, 2020 1:09:08
10 Miler Auburn, NH Aug 29, 2020 1:55:30
3 Miler Henrietta, NY Aug 22, 2020 36:03
8 Miler Ellicottville, NY Aug 16, 2020 1:56:45
Half Marathon Hamlin, NY Aug 8, 2020 2:28:55
Half Marathon Canandaigua, NY Jul 24, 2020
Half Marathon Virgin, UT Jun 6, 2020 3:02:56
Marathon Los Angeles, CA Mar 8, 2020 5:20:34
10K Lake View Terrace, CA Feb 23, 2020 1:03:29
10K Los Angeles, CA Feb 16, 2020 1:06:04
30K Pacoima, CA Feb 9, 2020 3:45:00
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 2, 2020 2:26:29
Half Marathon Pasadena, CA Jan 19, 2020 2:21:41
9.3 Challenge (5K + 10K) Los Angeles, CA Jan 5, 2020 1:39:01
5K Los Angeles, CA Dec 14, 2019 28:40
10K Los Angeles, CA Nov 28, 2019 59:39
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 13, 2019 5:33:45
10 Miler Huntington Beach, CA Sep 21, 2019 1:48:52
10K Santa Monica, CA Sep 8, 2019 1:06:11
10K Los Angeles, CA Aug 10, 2019 1:05:57
10K Coto de Caza, CA Jun 28, 2019 1:23:38
Half Marathon San Diego, CA Jun 2, 2019 2:26:59
Half Marathon Irvine, CA Mar 17, 2019 2:30:24

My Raves

I wanted to visit Northern California this year and had decided on CIM since it was held on my birthday this year. I signed up early last winter at the … MORE

I wanted to visit Northern California this year and had decided on CIM since it was held on my birthday this year. I signed up early last winter at the end of January after recovering from my stress fracture on my foot expecting to have about 10 months to train but then I ended up reinjuring it in May and had to take another 5 weeks off in June/July and I was not able to train as expected. This race has a 6 hour stated time limit. Normally I can run a marathon under 6 hours but knew that this year I probably couldn’t. However I looked at past results and saw there were plenty of finishing times over 6 hours so I decided to risk it. The good news is even though I did finish over 6 hours they kept the finish line open and I got an official time but it definitely affected my experience the last few miles as they shut some things down. Overall this is a great race and one of (if not the best) produced race I have run but I would only strongly recommend it if you can finish under 6 hours. For the race I flew into Seattle the week before and drove down. I also visited Portland and San Francisco on my trip. The race limits itself to about 10,000 participants which is perfect but it does sell out by early fall so if you really want to do it don’t wait until the last minute to register. For the race either the host hotels were sold out or really expensive so I stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown. It was about 3/4 mile from the finish line. The expo is Friday and Saturday. I drove in Saturday and found parking in a garage that was only about $5. Expo was a little smaller than I was expecting but was pretty efficient for the number of runners and also had lots of running stuff to buy but not much free samples. Bib pick-up had a short line but it moved fast. The shirt is tech and I really like the design but it is white which isn’t my favorite color. I also bought some Gu gummies with electrolytes in case the race ran out since I knew I may be past the cutoff time. Since the course is point to point there are multiple options to get to the start. I just took the shuttle from the finish line. I walked there from my hotel. Since the race utilizes the main road from Folsom where it starts to Sacramento you drive up side streets and it took about an hour. They tell you to take the shuttle at 5am. I left a little earlier around 4:45 which I thought would mean I would have to wait a lot but it ended up timing perfectly. They brag about their porta potty to runner ratio and while there were lines they were must shorter than most races this size. The start corral has runners line up by pace and it moves pretty fast. It starts at 7 and I was near the end and started by around 7:15. I was worried the race would be crowded by it is all on very wide streets that are completely closed so there is a ton of space. I was happy they had 6 hour pacers since I knew that was the fastest minimum I could do and I decided to stick with the 6 hour pacers for as long as I could. Weather for the day predicted rain but it was perfect weather for most of the race until around noon so all the fast runners avoided it. The scenery is probably the weakest part of the course. I wouldn’t say it is terrible scenery but it’s mostly just suburbs outside Sacramento. There are pockets of spectators but also some longer stretches without spectators while in the suburbs. Aid stations were plentiful about every 1 to 2 miles and as efficient as possible for a race this size. They all had water and Nuun and every 6 miles had Gu gels in multiple flavors. There were also plenty of porta potties with little to no lines. The course is net downhill and is relatively fast but it is rolling hills and there are also a lot of uphills. The hills get a bit annoying but for every uphill there is a longer downhill. It is definitely a course you could PR or BQ on but if that is your primary goal you definitely need to hill train. If you are just running it for fun or as a 50 stater and not too worried about a specific time the hills are not difficult enough to need to do specific training for. I was happy I was able to keep up with the 6 hour pacers until about mile 18 and was really enjoying the race up until then. I hit a wall at mile 18 and slowed my pace but was still able to run-walk a bit and not slow down too much. Then I started to really have trouble at mile 20 and then it started raining and I got a large blister and had to walk most of the final 6 miles. At an aid station around mile 20 or 21 the “sweeper” team passed me. I asked them what this meant and they were very nice reassured me I could finish the race and would get a finishing time but there may not be course support and I may be moved to the side walk and said I should fill my water bottle. I made sure I filled my water bottle to the top at the aid stations. As soon as the sweepers passed a truck came and started packing up the aid station and also packed up the upcoming mile markers. Prior to the sweeper team every aid station I passed was completely well stocked even though I was running close to the sweepers so there would be absolutely no issues with support if you can make 6 hours. After the sweepers passed all the aid stations were gone or packing up and all the mile markers were gone as well. However they did leave the road closed and I was never forced to go to the sidewalk and they did keep the mile 26 marker up. One thing I really appreciated is even though some of the course support was removed even after I was passed by the “sweepers” there were still a lot of spectators cheering us on in the rain as we slowpokes trudged and mostly walked along. I am so thankful for those spectators and not sure I could have completed the race without them. As I said they did keep the finish line open and even though I was passed the time limit I got an official time and a medal. I love the medal. It is not a big, gawdy medal but has a bear and is inspired by the California state flag and is a great California medal. The finish area seemed pretty empty and packed up which was disappointing but I knew this would likely happen and I can’t fault the race since they did have a 6 hour limit and I’m glad they let me finish. I also didn’t have much time after since I was going to a Sacramento Kings Game at 3pm. My initial plan was to walk back (the Kings arena is next to the Holiday Inn) but I was in too much pain so took an uber. Of note it took forever to get an uber due to road closures. I am not complaining as I was very happy they kept the roads close for the longer finishers but if you do have plans in downtown Sacramento or need to catch a flight right after the race you should plan for some delays due to road closures. Overall this was one of the best produced races I have done and could be a fast course with the right training. I would highly recommend it if you know you can finish under 6 hours. If you regularly run marathons over 6 hours there are more turtle friendly ones in CA that I would recommend over this (LA, Long Beach and OC). However even with the last few miles of the race being less supported I still had a good time and enjoyed the race so if you do really want to do the race (or if you are in my position and signed up but couldn’t train as well due to injury) and you think there is a chance you may be over 6 hours you should still sign up for it just make sure you bring a water bottle and some extra nutrition and understand there may not be course support the last few miles.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

I choose this race for Washington since I enjoy visiting the city of Seattle and was already planning to be on the west coast the weekend of the race. I … MORE

I choose this race for Washington since I enjoy visiting the city of Seattle and was already planning to be on the west coast the weekend of the race. I had long planned to do CIM in 2022 as it fell on my birthday. I knew I wanted to take a trip to the west coast starting on Thanksgiving and decided to start at Seattle and drive down to Sacramento during the week. This race is one of those that is hard to rate due to a lot of outside factors. I will start with the weather was perfect and I got a medal so it was a lot better than my last half marathon. There were a lot of issues with the course and logistics but a lot seemed to be due to restrictions from the city and getting permits and not necessarily the race company’s fault. For instance the race was originally scheduled on Sunday and had always started in downtown Seattle where the host hotel is. But the city made them move the race to Saturday due to a Seahawks game and it sounds like the city also wouldn’t let them use downtown so the start/finish was moved to Husky Stadium at UW. I was actually happy with the date change as I was planning to go to the Seahawks game so didn’t have to rush to the game after the race and it gave me an extra rest day before the marathon. They did offer refund or deferral if you couldn’t make the new date. For the race I flew into Seattle on Thanksgiving since it is much cheaper to fly on Thanksgiving and just celebrated Thanksgiving with my family the weekend before the trip. I stayed at the host hotel the Westin in downtown Seattle which is where packet pick-up is and the race used to start. The hotel was nice and it was very cheap for race discounts but as they also charged for parking and it is more difficult to drive downtown than the UW area I would suggest looking to change host hotels to one closer to the start if they are going to continue to start at Husky stadium. The expo was kind of a pain since the area seemed too small and since it was only 1 day instead of the usual 2 day expo and it was very crowded. There were long lines to get the packet which was annoying and the lines were also pretty inefficient. You got the bib first and then went to another room for the shirt and the expo. The shirt is tech and long sleeved and pretty nice. You also got a bag with goodies. I was very grossed out beef jerky was included. I think enough people don’t eat meat especially on the west coast to not give meat to everyone. Just have it as a sample or ask if they want it. The rest of the expo was okay. I was happy they had free cans of sparkling water and energy drinks. They did not have as much race gear to purchase as most expos. For race day morning they did have a shuttle from the Westin to Husky stadium but it was only one way. I didn’t feel like driving and you also had to pay for parking at UW so I took the shuttle. It went well. I did love the start at Husky stadium. It was a good place to hang out before the race and there were real, heated bathrooms and plenty of bathrooms so no lines. The start was relatively efficient and runners lined up by pace. There was an announcer who gave clear instructions and there were multiple pace groups the slowest being 2:50 which was a bit faster than I waned to push myself today but I stuck with them the first mile or so to stop from going way too fast. While I appreciated crossing the start line quickly I do think having more spread out waves and maybe waiting 5 minutes between waves may have been a simple solution to avoid some of the issues of the course. The course was new and obviously modified due to permit issues if you compare it to the original course. It was mostly through neighborhoods or public paved trails. It was for the most part quite scenic. There was one view around the end of mile 1 that was breathtaking. The first few miles are on streets and have a few hills. There is a killer, steep hill around mile 2 but all the other hills were pretty runnable. The race was actually easier than I was expecting with about 500 feet of elevation gain which is flat for Seattle. I was taking this race easy since I had a marathon next week so did walk a lot of the hills however. Then you go through the arboretum which is pretty and fast and mostly downhill. The big issues came at 2 out and backs. The first out and back was around mile 7 or so and it was on a relatively tight path next to a busy freeway. There was a concrete wall separating runners from cars so very safe but I did not find it pleasant to run by zooming cars although the one side of the path did have beautiful views. But the real issue was the mixing of the half and full marathon. The full marathon kept taking little side tracks away from the half to make up the miles so for the out and backs us slower half marathoners were interspersed with faster marathoners which was such a mess. I especially feel for the marathoners as some may have been trying to BQ having to constantly run around half marathoners but there was not enough space to spread out properly. Then there was a bit of the course around UW and then unfortunately another out and and back around mile 10 that was even tighter (although it was a really pretty running path). At one point I was trying to run past 2 people walking side by side when I got stampeded upon by the 4:05 marathon pace group and almost bumped into the walkers I was trying to pass. Yikes this was such a poorly set up course. I do think some of the issues were city permits but you can’t have tight out and backs with runners doing different paces. If they are limited to this course next year they really need to rethink the out and backs and maybe try to have the half marathoners not do these out and backs or have the half and full start at the same time and have the out and backs early in the course so everyone is doing the same pace. Or if neither of these is possible have a slower start line with waves so the course is less congested. I will give credit that this could have been a very hard course to follow with the marathoners constantly leaving then rejoining the half marathoners and it was very well marked and there were cleae mile markers for each race. Another issue is they seemed to only have water at aid stations even though Gu and gel was advertised. I don’t know if they ran out or if it just wasn’t there. Also the aid stations were very slow. I think there were issues getting volunteers. I am not blaming the volunteers but there were not enough. Again a slower, waved start could have fixed this. The finish line at Husky stadium though was great and I think it is always fun to finish on a football field. My finishing time was as expected. And they didn’t run out of medals. The medal is nice though not extraordinary. There was decent post race snacks but I just grabbed a mango oat bar and then went to the nearby Veggie Grill in University Village for post race lunch and then I took an uber back to the hotel. There is also public transportation. Overall I have mixed feelings about this race. The race was scenic but didn’t go through downtown Seattle at all this year. I do think a lot of the issues were outside the races control and I wish the city would embrace the race more. I do think this is probably the most convenient race for Washington as it is on a holiday weekend so you can take less or even no vacation days and it is near a major airport and does not require renting a car but I have a hard time strongly recommending this race with the current course.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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This is a 1 mile run or a 2/3 mile walk located in Shortsville, NY about 20 to 30 mins from Rochester. My parents were visiting this weekend and I … MORE

This is a 1 mile run or a 2/3 mile walk located in Shortsville, NY about 20 to 30 mins from Rochester. My parents were visiting this weekend and I am starting to taper a bit so this was just what I was looking for. This is a hard event to rate. It was a really cute, fun family event that I would recommend as that but the actual race logistics weren’t great. It’s a pretty cheap event at $20. There is no swag but you get to pet reindeer, there are photos and a nice Christmas party at the finish. The race starts at a school with lots of parking. The start could have been better. There weren’t even tables for bib pick up. The volunteers just had bibs and safety pins on the ground and it was kind of slow because there wasn’t separate lines for pre-registered or race day registration so we had to wait while a few people registered. There were 3 very cute reindeer at the start you could pet and take pictures of. One of the reindeer ran and 2 walked. The runners started about 1/3 mile further from the school and left at 3pm. The course is straight down the main street in Shortsvilles. The walkers joined the race once all the runners passed so the walk is about 2/3 a mile so doable for smaller kids. The beginning of the run was on a street to spread everyone out but the end of the run and the entire walk always on the sidewalk. It was kind of slow since there were so many families but it was really cute with all the kids dressed up for Christmas and the reindeer following along too. The scenery is kind of meh but some of the houses were decorated. It is an easy net downhill course so could be a fast mile if you are running. There is a timing mat at the end. If you do the run it is accurate but as the walkers joined later it is not accurate so the time doesn’t mean much for walkers. Near the finish line is a Christmas festival at a firestation with Santa, frosty the snowman and the reindeers to take pics with and tons of treats in the firehouse. There were home made cookies, dunkin donuts, hot chocolate, hot cocoa, popcorn, hot dogs and some s’mores you could make outside at a fire pit. As a race it could be better but as a fun family event it was really cute and fun and I loved meeting the reindeer. I would definitely recommend this for a family event and would do again if my family was visiting but as a race alone it was not the best.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1

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I already had North Carolina but this race was the meet-up for the 50 states half marathon club and since it was a short flight I decided to go. I … MORE

I already had North Carolina but this race was the meet-up for the 50 states half marathon club and since it was a short flight I decided to go. I did have a blast at the 50 state meet up and am glad I went on the trip but this was probably my least favorite half marathon of the 60+ I have done that did not have an unacceptable mistake like cutting the course nearly 1 mile short or major safety issues. For starters I was not impressed with pre-race communication. They did send an email with the bib number but there were discrepancy about the starting time and the website said the half stated with the marathon at 7am but the email said the half marathon start 10 minutes later at 7:10. I honestly didn’t know when the race would start when I arrived. You might think 10 minutes doesn’t matter but it does make a difference when planning to check out your hotel and arranging things with others since my mom had veterans day off and went on the trip with me. For the race I flew into Norfolk, VA which is about a 1.5 hour drive to the Outer Banks. I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn which was about a 10 minute drive from the race finish line and the host hotel for the 50 state club. It was nice and I would recommend the hotel. The packet pick-up is the day before at the Ramada. We got it Friday. The “expo” was tiny and not really an expo. Bibs were different colors for the different races. You also got shirts. They are nice quality long sleeve shirts but not tech. I generally like a cotton shirt for the shorter race and a tech shirt for the longer race when I do a double. They also were all unisex. I prefer unisex so this didn’t bother me but as the other reviewer said during registration you selected a style and I’m sure this upset some runners who selected women’s fit. I understand not having different styles but it should not be an option when you register if that’s the case. The rest of the expo was pretty tiny with some vendors to buy stuff and some little swag from sponsors but it was not much to get excited about. I did the 5K Saturday and the half Sunday. The half marathon is point to point and starts at an outlet mall and ends at the wright brothers memorial. There is a lots of parking at a school next to the memorial at the finish and buses that take you to the start line. The shuttle system worked well but also they did not state when the last shuttle was leaving on the race website schedule so I arrived pretty early to make sure I got a shuttle. The start was a mess. There did not appear to be an announcer. I heard they were running late from another runner or maybe there was an issue with the loud speakers. But there was no music, pre-race instructions, anthem, etc. At 7am they just asked the marathoners to line up. Then at 7:10 they just asked the corral A half marathoners to line up and just called out corrals. I was kind of confused where to be. The weather the day of the race was awful and affected the experience. There was rain and huge gusts of wind. While the race can’t help the weather the course was set up terrible for this kind of weather. Pretty much every race I have done by a beach has some kind of headwind and this weather is not that unexpected. They need a better course. Most of the race was a point to point along the major road heading straight into the wind. Most other races I have done by the beach have been a loop or had an out and back portion so while some parts have a miserable headwind others have you going really fast with the wind. For instance while not at the beach, Indianapolis had horrible winds but it only affected us about 2.5 to 3 miles the way the course was designed. There were a few places you ran into some neighborhoods which gave some respite from the wind but most was straight in the headwind. It was miserable and I ended up walking most of the race as it was too hard to run in the wind. Again the race can’t help the wind but they could have made a better course. At about mile 8 you are finally done with the main road but then there is a surprise 2.5 miles of trail. This was not mentioned anywhere that there was a significant trail portion. It was not super technical trail but it was rolling ups and downs and while it was all runnable it was technical enough to slow you done and obviously with the weather there was a lot of mud. I actually enjoy trail running and wouldn’t have minded this section if I knew it was coming but it needed to be mentioned in the course description. If I knew I was going to be running on muddy trail I would have packed an old pair of sneakers to wear and just thrown them out after the race. I also would have been really pissed if I were trying to BQ or PR and had unexpected trail to slow me down. The last few miles are in the area around the memorial and in neighborhoods and at least not on the main road. But one part was on a gravel path that was hard to run on. The final bit is around the memorial and it’s a nice finish. The course was at least well marked and easy to follow. The scenery was fine and it was nice to have a variety of views with the trail and the neighborhoods but most was just along a street and it was not nice enough to make up for the other issues of the race. There were adequate aid stations with water and gatorade. I think they may have ran out of Gu for the slow runners but maybe I just missed it. One issue were the mile markers. There were accurate mile markers until around mile 9 where the marathoners split from the half and do about an extra 1.5 miles before joining again and then all the mile markers after that point are for the full and there are no more half markers. It really confused one runner to see at mile 12 marker at mile 10.5. I reassured her it was for the marathon but maybe have separate half and full mile markers. My heart also sunk when at mile 12.6 I saw a 25 mile marker and I thought how can I have 1.2 miles to go in this miserable weather but there is this out and back section past the memorial where the half marathoners turn around sooner than the full so I really did only have about 1/2 mile left but it was not clear without the half marathon markers. I had a really slow race since as I said I essentially just walked it. To make matter worse they ran out of medals so I didn’t even get a medal for my misery. They did take our names down but I have not received any communication from the race about not having medals. I get it. Perhaps more runners registered than expected, a box got lost in the mail or there were supply chain issues but they should have sent an email saying they may run out of medals especially since this happened at the 5K/8K and even if they didn’t do that they definitely should have sent an apology email immediately after the race. When this happened with vacation races that was exactly what they did. You did get a bag with a water bottle, banana, granola bar, hat and chocolate milk. I would have preferred not to have received the chocolate milk so I threw it out. With the medal this would be good swag for a race. I will improve my swag score if I do receive the medal. They also had a food and beer coupon. But of course the food was just chicken sandwiches with no veggie options because this race sucks. Overall I strongly do not recommend this race. Maybe if the weather was better and you were a fast runner who ate meat this might be a fine race but it still would have had issues. I previously did Tobacco Road for North Carolina and it was a great race and I would definitely recommend that race instead. This race is also the same weekend as Richmond in VA which is a wonderful race so even if you are a local I would recommend driving a few hours to Richmond over this race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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I did the 5K as part of the 5K/half marathon challenge. My half marathon review has more details. My mom has veterans day off so she went to the outer … MORE

I did the 5K as part of the 5K/half marathon challenge. My half marathon review has more details. My mom has veterans day off so she went to the outer banks with me this weekend. We arrived Friday morning so we could do the 5K saturday. The 5K and 8K are at the wright brother memorial. Race morning was actually more organized than the half since they had an announcer. The 5K start 15 minute after the 8K. The course was fine and at least today the weather was beautiful. As flat as a pancake. It was not the best designed course as it involved 2 laps around the memorial so with the multiple distances there was a lot of passing people with different paces but I understand wanting to keep logistics easy for the 5K/8K and not closing roads. One issue was the 5K was long and I heard the 8K was short. I just walked this with my mom. She was having some issues (she is fine) but as a result we were really slow but not last. The big issue is they ran out of medals. You can see my half review for a strong opinion on this but the fact they ran out of medals for this race means they must have known they might run out of medals for the half so makes the lack of communication even worse.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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I chose this race for Kentucky because it was the day after the Indianapolis Monumental Half. Louisville is about a 2 hour drive from Indianapolis so this is a perfect … MORE

I chose this race for Kentucky because it was the day after the Indianapolis Monumental Half. Louisville is about a 2 hour drive from Indianapolis so this is a perfect double. This is a smaller race with a few hundred runners. It is more of a local race on paved trails in a pretty park in Louisville. It doesn’t have the energy of Indianapolis but the smaller size does give it a more personal touch. There aren’t hotels within walking distance but I had to rent a car anyways. I stayed at the Holiday Inn that was about a 10 minute drive the start. There is the option for mailing packet, packet pick up the day before or race day if absolutely necessary but it was not recommended to wait until race day. I opted to have it mailed since I had plans in Indianapolis and wasn’t sure I’d get there on time and wanted an easy morning. One small criticism about the mailed packets is they arrived only the Thursday before the race. My mail usually comes around 5pm so I had to wait until the mail came before I could drive to the airport. I accounted for this in planning but would have preferred to have left a bit earlier and also the mailed packets wouldn’t work for anyone taking a longer trip. Packet included bib and also a nice zip jacket. They emailed race info before the race with very clear instructions on where to park in the park. Since it is a smaller race, porta potty lines and everything were much quicker and easier than yesterday. The race is an out and back with the same start/finish line. They had banners to line up by pace and everyone did a good job spreading out. The course is a scenic run through the park. It is very pretty although not too specific to Louisville. It could really be any pretty park in any part of this area of the country. It was also beautiful weather today though a but hot at the end of the race. It is all paved. Most of it is flat except one really big, steep hill around mile 2. It is 1/2 mile steep uphill and 1/2 mill steep downhill. Not so bad at mile 2 but it is killer when you return at mile 10. Course is well marked and there are not many road crossings but there were course marshals wherever there was one. The only other slight hill was right before the half turn around point but it was a gentler incline. There were 3 aid stations but 2 you passed twice. It was a bit hot today so I’m glad a carried water. The aid stations had water and gatorade. One minor criticism is only the first aid stations at mile 2.5 had gels. It was just a weird place for gels. It would have made more sense to have gels at either the middle aid stations around mile 5 or the one at the turnaround since I don’t usually need a gel super early or late in a race. There were not many spectators as expected for a small course but there were a few pockets of them at the more accessible areas. Since it is an out and back with multiple distances even with a smaller field there are a lot of runners that you pass who cheer you on. The wind from Indianapolis really tired me out so I was not having a great day energy wise so I just did a mix of walking and jogging at a relaxed pace and just made sure I finished under 3:30 which is the stated time limit though they do not appear strict about it as there were a number of participants over 3:30 who did get official times so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The medal is pretty nice with some images of Louisville. It also has a red finisher ribbon and is complimentary to the Indianapolis medal again making this a nice double. They had the usual port race snacks along with derby pie which is a delicious chocolate nut pie. Overall this is a nice local race. I’m sure there are bigger and more exciting races that are more unique to Kentucky so it wouldn’t be my first choice for a stand alone Kentucky race but I would definitely recommend it to locals and recommend it for Kentucky if you want to double with Indianapolis.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I chose this race for Indiana since it is one of the biggest races and I was able to make it a double with Louisville. I took Friday off and … MORE

I chose this race for Indiana since it is one of the biggest races and I was able to make it a double with Louisville. I took Friday off and flew in Thursday evening. I stayed at the Hilton in downtown Indianapolis right by the race start. The expo, race start, hotels plus lots of things to do are all downtown and within walking distance. If I were not also going to Louisville I would not have rented a car and this is definitely a race you don’t need one. This year they did offer the option to buy race day packet pick-up but I knew I would be there for the expo so I didn’t opt for that. The expo was at the convention center and was good size. I thought it was a bit small for how big the race is but it is bigger than the average expo. Packet pick-up included race shirt, bib and race guide. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the shirt. It is red and tech but I’m not a huge fan of the design. The expo had typical stuff and lots of booths for other races. It’s fun to see all the medals but most were too far for me to travel to. The race is Saturday morning at 8am. It did not look like great weather so I stayed in my hotel until close to the start. You are assigned a corral by expected pace. The waves went off fairly efficiently with everyone past the start line in 10 to 15 minutes. It was maybe too efficient as this is a huge race and the course was quite congested and the water stops had trouble keeping up and the porta-potty lines on the course were long. May have been better to have had the waves wait more inbetween and assigned starting time but I understand you would then have to either keep the roads closed longer or have stricter time cutoffs. The course is really nice with a lot of it quite scenic through downtown Indianapolis. You see most of the best sites and there are also sections through neighborhoods. Course support was medium. I’m assuming in better weather there are more spectators. It was fun that a lot of the spectators were in costumes. Course was well marked and easy to follow especially where half and full split. Roads were either fully closed or half closed. Another great thing this race did is have a separate coned off area for half and full marathoners when the races converged so the fast marathoners were not intermixing with the slow half marathoners. There were a sufficient number of aid stations and the volunteers were trying their hardest but a few were slow and they were trying to catch up so I did lost a little time at the aid stations. The course is super flat but I was having difficulty with the weather as it was both intermittently cold and rainy and hot and humid. I also find running in wet shoes makes me need to use the restroom and as I said the porta potty lines were quite long. I was on pace to finish a bit under 3 hours which was my goal but when I saw the long lines I made a joke that it looked like I would have to choose between my goal of 3 hours or not peeing my pants. Even with the long bathroom line I was on target for my goal until the last 3 miles were there was a very strong headwind. Given I had a half the next day it wasn’t worth the energy to fight the winds so I walked a lot of the final miles. I finally made it to the finish line and laughed when I saw I finished less than a minute over 3 hours (but I didn’t pee my pants). At the finish line you get the medal which is nice and has images of some of the more iconic buildings of Indianapolis. There was also beer which I didn’t drink, typical snacks and a slice of pizza including cheese. I didn’t stay long since I had to check out of my hotel at noon. Overall I thought this was a really good, almost a great race. It was a wonderful course and nice atmosphere but there were multiple minor things that could be done better. It was very close to a 5 sneaker race maybe in better weather it would be. I do think this is a good, convenient choice for Indiana especially if you like big races. Indianapolis is also a fun, nice sized city for a short race-cation.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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This is a half marathon that is located in Portsmouth NH at the seacoast. It prides itself on raising money for local charities so it's a race you can feel … MORE

This is a half marathon that is located in Portsmouth NH at the seacoast. It prides itself on raising money for local charities so it’s a race you can feel good about running and supporting but that does come at the cost of some production elements and swag. The race has race day packet pick-up or the option at a local running store the day before. Since I drove Saturday from Rochester I opted for race day packet pick-up. I stayed at my parents house in Concord which is about an hour drive so cannot comment on lodging. The race starts at a high school and packet pick-up is inside. The shirt is a nice tech shirt. It is also warm inside and there are real bathrooms. There were also some porta potties outside with pretty much no lines. There is a walker start at 8am and a runner start at 8:30 am. The start is on a street and was a little congested because only the side street was closed so we had to stay on the side street until right before the race. It was chip timed at start and finish so the kind of awkward start area was fine and again since this is raising money for charity I understand not spending money closing down a lot of streets. They had pacers but one critique that can be fixed is I would love slower pacers. The slowest pacer was a 10:30 pace which is too fast for me even when I’m healthy. I would have liked a 2:45 pacer since I think I should be able to run 2:45 now if I am strategic. Unfortunately without a pacer I ended up going off too fast and lost momentum at the end. The course is really nice. It has both lovely fall foliage views through quiet streets and neighborhoods along with beautiful coastal views. I loved the varied scenery. The start was mostly through neighborhoods and had easy rolling hills. The next few miles along the seacoast were the most scenic and flat. The end was back more through roads and trees and was the hilliest part. Not super hilly but it was a bit rough that the end was hillier and more uphill than the first half. As I said I went out to fast and had to walk a lot of the last few miles. It’s a pretty quiet course but there are a few pockets with lots of spectators. There was around 700ish runners so a nice number for it to not be too crowded but also always with people. There were 5 aid stations. Volunteers were great. The first had just water the rest water and gatorade. I generally like more than 5 aid stations so I carried water. The course is well marked but open to traffic most of the roads are quiet and had large shoulders there were coned off areas on some of the narrower and busier roads though none of the roads were super busy or had really fast drivers. I prefer closed roads but again understand wanting to keep costs low. Also a lot of the drivers cheered the runners on which was great. The finish line is at the school and the runners are announced and get their medal. I didn’t meet my reach goal of 2:45 but was well under my secondary goal of 3 hours. There is a 3 hour time limit but it does not appear strict. I left while people were finishing after 3 hours and they were still getting cheered on, timed and a medal so as long as you finish close to 3 hours you will be fine and if you are much slower than 3 hours there is the walker option. The medal was kind of small. My medal yesterday at the 5K was nicer but again I understand wanting to cut down on costs. There was food in the high school. Very impressed with the selection of post race food lots of snacks and hot food including a ton of vegetarian and multiple vegan items that were all labeled. Overall this was a nice and very scenic charity race. It doesn’t have all the bells & whistles (or medals) of a larger race but you know a lot of the money goes to a good cause. If you prefer smaller races or actively seek out races that raise money for charity this is a good choice for NH but if you need the big race atmosphere and the huge medal it might not be the best choice for you. This is one I would consider doing again depending on my schedule and if I want to visit NH the weekend of the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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This is a Halloween themed 5K in Rochester at Cobb Hill Park. The park has the word "hill" in it so expect a big hill in the middle of the … MORE

This is a Halloween themed 5K in Rochester at Cobb Hill Park. The park has the word “hill” in it so expect a big hill in the middle of the race. The race is produced by Yellow Jacket Racing. Packet pick-up is either at the store Friday or race day. I wasn’t able to get it Friday so got it race morning. They had instructions for where to park and race packet pick-up was easy. It also includes a nice long sleeved shirt. I’ve done this race virtually and I preferred last year’s design with a black cat but this one was still cute and halloween themed with a big “Boo” on it. Unfortunately there was a warehouse fire that burned a lot of the company’s racing supplies. Luckily no one was hurt and they still had a few items but some of the start/finish arches and other stuff was a little makeshift but can’t fault them for that. The start was just a flag and a mass start. It is chipped time and there was a timing mat at the finish line only. I’m not sure if this is always the case or if they only had one mat. It’s a pretty popular race with a lot of walkers so it would be nice to have a timing mat at the start but not the end of the world. The race is nice mostly through the park and neighborhood. It is relatively scenic with fall foliage and nice neighborhoods with a handful of spectators. A lot of participants dress up in costume. The first mile is just small rolling hills and pretty runnable. The second mile is rough and you up this very steep hill towards the Cobb Hill reservoir. You then loop around the reservoir and it is downhill until the finish. There is a quite a bit of elevation gain with about 200 feet elevation gain total. It’s definitely one of the more difficult 5K course but it’s a road 5K so obviously it’s not too hard to finish just hard to get a fast time without hill training. There was an aid station at the beginning of the reservoir you pass twice. The finish line was set up nice. You get a nice medal and a water bottle. I believe there were some snacks but I had to leave right away to get to NH so I didn’t stay to look. It was a very fun themed race and very well produced. I’d recommend it to locals and do it again if it works out with my schedule. Just don’t expect to PR with the big hill in the middle.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a race located outside Syracuse. It was a bit of a drive but the closest 5K this Sunday. I wasn't sure the drive would be worth it but … MORE

This is a race located outside Syracuse. It was a bit of a drive but the closest 5K this Sunday. I wasn’t sure the drive would be worth it but I was very happy with the race experience and my finishing time. This race is in a town called Bridgeport outside Syracuse by the lake. I got the packet at the race and it included a nice hooded, light sweatshirt along with bib. The half start at 8:15 and was the same location as the finish. The 5K/10K started 15 minutes later a bit up the road. Start was delayed a couple minutes to make sure everyone was able to use the porta potty. While I like races to start on time it was clearly communicated that they would wait a few minutes for everyone to be ready so I wasn’t wondering what was happening. The course is as flat as a pancake but like most of these Willow Running courses in a quiet small town so a bit boring. There were a handful of spectators and a short section with a really nice view. The course was well marked especially where the different distances deviated. There were mile and km markers but they were a bit confusing with the different races so didn’t always line up. There was a water stop at the half way mark. As I said this is pancake flat. My Garmin recorded 7 ft of elevation gain total. As Syracuse is generally a hilly area if you want a flat race near Syracuse this is the one. Weather was also perfect. With the flat course and perfect weather I was able to run my fastest 5K of the year by over 1 minute. Obviously it’s been a slow year from me but now I am finally back to my average pre-injury finishing times. You get a very nice medal at the end. Really good swag for a 5K/10K and above average swag for a half marathon. One disappointment is they had wraps at the end but only turkey or ham and no veggies. There were at least cookies and chips. The race also goes to a good cause. I’m not sure the scenery and energy is quite enough for me to recommend in for 50 staters planning to only run one race in NY state but I would definitely recommend it to locals. If I have the weekend off I will definitely consider coming back and doing the half to get a really fast time given how flat it is. If you want a PR course and don’t need a ton of energy or huge race field this is definitely a good choice.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This is a Halloween themed evening race in Hamlin which is about 30 minutes from Rochester. The race is in the evening and volunteers dress up like zombies and chase … MORE

This is a Halloween themed evening race in Hamlin which is about 30 minutes from Rochester. The race is in the evening and volunteers dress up like zombies and chase and spook the runners. It is a really cool concept and I do think the race was really well-decorated but I did not like the course. I got my packet the day of the race. Also includes green cotton T-shirt which is fine. I didn’t realize until I arrived that the majority of the race was on grass in the park. I am not a huge fan of running on grass especially in the evening when it is already harder to watch your footing. The course consists of two loops in the park. The first loop was marked with red flags and the second loop with blue flags. It was kind of a confusing course though for the most part well marked at least in day light. There is also a 1.5 mile walk that is just the red loop. I had no problem following the red loop at all but I was running very carefully since it was grass and now that my foot is finally healed and I am at close to usual speed the last thing I wanted to do was injure myself. The course while a boring course in the park was amazingly decorated. Almost the entire course had halloween decorations. And it was fun having the volunteers chasing us and spooking us. It was also cute to see kids in costume doing the walk. They had these funny lines of scary things but instead of actual horror items it was things like “student loans” and “laundry” and it made me laugh. It got a little dark the second loop and the blue flags were a bit difficult to see in the dark. I one timed veered off route but a zombie chased me the right direction. I also noticed with the not as straight forward course many people purposefully cutting the course or accidentally cutting the course. It was advertised as around a 5K. When I finished I ran 2.9 miles. I am not sure if the course was slightly short or I missed a few flags. Not a huge deal but it takes away some sneakers from production. My time was fine. I took it very easy and finished under 40 minutes and did not get injured. I was disappointed with post race snacks as I was starving since I had to eat a light lunch to do an evening race and there was only apples. Overall I thought this race was okay. I do commend them on the decorations and it’s a fun idea. I just really don’t like running on grass. This will probably be a one time race for me. If I do it again I will probably just do the 1.5 mile walk.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

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This is a local 5K located in East Rochester that raises money and awareness for brain cancer. I was on-call this weekend so had to do local 5Ks. The race … MORE

This is a local 5K located in East Rochester that raises money and awareness for brain cancer. I was on-call this weekend so had to do local 5Ks. The race starts at a local high school. There is packet pick-up either at a running store on Friday or race day. I got it the morning of the race. Parking and packet pick-up easy in the morning when I arrived. Though the lines looked long closer to the race. You got a nice polyblend shirt. It is good quality and nice aqua green color with a nice design. There were bathrooms inside the school. It is chip timed at the end not the start. The start is behind the flag. I thought the start could be a bit more organized. The RD was speaking using a speaker but I could not hear him at all despite being in the middle of the corral. The race also started about 5 minutes late probably because of the long line for packet pick-up which is understandable. But with no hearing the directions and it not starting on time I wasn’t sure when the race would start and it was kind of sudden and my Garmin reset so I had to take a few seconds to get it to work. I’d recommend a better speaker system. The course is a loop through neighborhoods around the school. It is fine. Not too special but there are nice changing leaves and it was a gorgeous and surprisingly sunny day. There were a few spectators from the neighborhood. Course well-marked and easy to follow with closed off streets. Course had some minor hills but nothing significant and most were in the middle so the end was mostly downhill. It was a relatively fast course. My foot is now healed and my speed is getting close to baseline and I was able to run my second fastest 5K of the year. Still a bit slower than usual for a fast course but at least within my normal 5K time range. There were no medals but you got an additional water bottle. There was a very good selection of post race foods along with water. The food included fruit, granola bar, mini muffin, bagels and breakfast pizza (some vegetarian and some with bacon). This isn’t a race I would go out of my way for or stay in town just to do it but I’d consider it again if I were on-call or in town for the weekend.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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I chose to do this race for Iowa as part of the I-35 challenge so I could get 2 states in one weekend. I drove to Des Moines Saturday after … MORE

I chose to do this race for Iowa as part of the I-35 challenge so I could get 2 states in one weekend. I drove to Des Moines Saturday after the Kansas City half. Des Moines seemed like a nice, smaller city but I did not have much time there. My favorite football team the Bills had a 3:25 game against the chiefs in Kansas City this weekend and is one of the biggest regular season games of the year. The race started at 8am and it is about a 3 hour drive back to Kansas City. I realized as long as I could finish the race in 3 hours I would be able to make it in time for the game so as a result I pushed myself much harder this race and also didn’t spend much time in Des Moines. I went to packet pick-up on Saturday afternoon. It is open until 6pm but they let I-35 challenge participants pick up until 8pm. It was at an expo center. Again it was midsized. The shirt is a long sleeved hooded tech shirt. It is interesting as I don’t have a hooded tech shirt. I think it will be good for windy, cold days. Packet also included lots of other goodies including a bumper sticker since I just got a new car and needed some racing bumper stickers for it. Expo had a few other booths and the typical vendors. I booked hotels a little too late to get one right at the start line. I stayed at the Holiday Inn which was about 1 mile away. It is walkable if you are just doing Des Moines and don’t want to rent a car. I probably would’ve walked if my schedule for the day wasn’t so tight. I did drive so I could be closer and found street parking a few blocks from the start/finish. The start was very well organized and much more spread out than Kansas City. I really needed to be under 3 hours so decided to stick with the 3 hour pacer who was doing 30-30 run walk intervals. The course is super flat and fast. I almost wish it wasn’t a double weekend as I would love to do it with fresh legs but am glad I checked off two states. There is just over 100 feet of elevation gain total for the half. Just a couple of bridges to use different muscles. The marathon however is hilly in the parts that don’t share the half. I thought the course was fine but it was a little boring. the first few miles were downtown with lots of spectators. One spectator brought his adorable pet donkey which I got to pet. Then most of the course is through parks and around a lake. It is a pleasant run but a little boring. There are fall colors but it is nothing like New England or Upstate New York in the fall. There were some quiet areas that were harder to access without spectators but everywhere they could be spectators there were. The most impressive part of the race and why I rounded up to 5 sneakers (it is between a 4 and 5 sneaker race) is the amount of aid stations. There was one at least every mile. I have now done around 70 races half marathon distance or longer and this had the most and best aid stations per mile. All the aid stations had water and gatorade. 2 or 3 had gels. Some had fruit. Others had candy. There were also volunteers on bikes handing out tissues and candy and one lady handed out some twizzlers which is an automatic 5 sneaker. I did carry water but I definitely didn’t have to. There were also lots of musicians and entertainment on the course. I stuck with the pacer for about 9 miles and was feeling great so took off and ran the majority of the last 4 miles and ended up being 30 minutes faster than yesterday and was a few minutes under my 3 hour goal. At the finish line you get the medals. The half medal was a bit small but it was a really cute corn design. The I-35 medal is double sided and really nice. I didn’t spend much time at the finish line as I had to get to the game. I did stop by and get athletic brewing company non-alcoholic beer but didn’t wait in the food lines. I made it the game with the perfect amount of time to park, go through the gates, get food and get settled before kick-off so if you are wondering as long as you can finish in 3 hours you can make it to a late afternoon Chiefs game. Overall this was a great race. The course was a bit boring but the course support more than made up for it. The best part was along with the race being great the Bills ended up winning an exciting game. I would definitely recommend this race for Iowa either with Kansas City as part of the I-35 challenge or as a stand alone race

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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I chose the Kansas City half marathon for Missouri so I could do the I-35 Challenge with Des Moines and get Iowa as well on the same trip. Of note … MORE

I chose the Kansas City half marathon for Missouri so I could do the I-35 Challenge with Des Moines and get Iowa as well on the same trip. Of note you do have to register for separately and pay extra for the I-35 challenge. I had planned to do this trip this year at least a couple years in advance and was really excited when they announced the NFL schedule and my football team the Bills were at the Chiefs this weekend so it ended up being a great trip. I took a couple days off and flew into Kansas City Thursday morning. Friday I went to packet pick-up which was at Union Station in Downtown Kansas City. They gave you a QR code for free parking. Expo was kind of small but had the essentials. Packet included a small tumbler and a long sleeve shirt for the Kansas City race and an I-35 challenge shirt if you signed up. The shirts are polyblend not tech. They are nice quality but I’m not sure how much I will wear them as they are very light material and I usually prefer thicker, warmer long sleeved shirts. I stayed at the Marriott which was less than half a mile from the start/finish. The race starts at 7am and the Marriott has noon checkout so plenty of time to shower for most half marathoners before driving to Iowa. It was well priced for a race day Marriott and I’d recommend it. I went to a concert Friday night so I rolled out of bed as late as I could and got to the race about 20 minutes before the start. There is a special VIP tent for half fanatics/marathon maniacs but I got there too late to really take advantage of it. Probably my biggest complaint about the race was the start corral. It was jammed pack and there was no way to access it except from the back. There were signs to line up by pace. I arrived at the corral really late but I was planning to take my sweet time on this race so the back of the pack was where I needed to be. However there were a bunch of faster running pushing to get ahead. I completely understand why they did that as they should line up where they belong but there should have been several entry points so they could enter at the correct spot. They also could have made it longer and not so tight. The rest of the race was really well produced. The course definitely has great urban views and gives you a really nice tour of the city. Most of it is on closed, downtown streets which is really cool and you can enjoy the architecture and the sights. However it is extremely hilly. I’ve heard it was hilly but having done some very flat races for most of my other midwest races I assumed everyone was exaggerating but it was one of the hilliest halfs I have done. And the uphills were for long stretches and some were steep. Of course there are also some nice downhills including the last mile. As I said I was taking my sweet time this race as I just needed to finish with time to shower and check out by noon and I needed to save my energy to be fast in Des Moines so I could drive back to Kansas City for the late afternoon football game. I walked pretty much all the uphill and ran the downhill at a leisurely pace. There were adequate aid stations about every 2 miles with water and powerade and one with gu. I was disappointed in the number of spectators. Spectator support was pretty sparse for the size of the city but I appreciated those out there and there were some musical entertainment on course. One thing I loved is on the worst hill around mile 9 which was also probably the only boring section of the course they had it lined with home made signs from friends and family members. Some were cute little kid drawings, others funny jokes and others motivational. I thought this was great and I would recommend more races do this. It help entertain me on this awful stretch of the race. As I said the last mile is nice and downhill back to the finish line. One other minor complaint is I noticed the last 2 aid stations were mostly cleaning up when I passed them. The volunteers left out cups of water and powerade but were cleaning and not interacting with us or handing us cups. Kind of disappointing and while I was slow I was still ahead of the minimum pace to complete the marathon which has a 7 hour limit. At the finish line they announce the finishers and get your medal. The medal is nice with shuttlecocks which I guess are a symbol of Kansas City and different colors/size for different race. They had beer and food. I didn’t drink the beer. The food was barbeque pork sandwiches which I don’t eat but they did have some vegetable sandwiches which were literally just grilled veggies on a hamburger bun. It was kind of gross but better than nothing and I took a few bites to hold me over until I could get real lunch. If you do want good vegan barbeque in Kansas City I had a great vegan BBQ sandwich at Tree Hugger Kitchen. Overall I thought it was a good race and a nice tour of the city. I wish there were less hills though and more spectators. It’s a solid choice for Missouri and a great choice if you are hoping to combine states to do with Des Moines.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Le Roy, NY which is inbetween Rochester and Buffalo is the birthplace of Jell-o and even has a Jell-o museum. This was the inaugural year for this event and there … MORE

Le Roy, NY which is inbetween Rochester and Buffalo is the birthplace of Jell-o and even has a Jell-o museum. This was the inaugural year for this event and there was the option for a 7K or half marathon. I was on-call this weekend so chose the 7K but I kind of needed a rest before my next set of back to back halfs next week so may have chosen the 7K anyways. This was a pretty small race with about 100 people doing each distance. I got my packet the day of the race but there was also early packet pick-up options. Parking was easy on a field and there were attendants and they gave good directions. It started at the “Jell-o Barn” with packet pick-up in the barn. Packet pick-up included bib and one of the craziest, most colorful long sleeved tech shirts I’ve seen. My only crazier one is from the Earth day race by the same running company. Start was kind of laid back. The half started at 8:30 and the 7K at 8:45. The half started about 1/4 mile before the 7K. Each had a different color start flag. There was no timing mat at the start just the end. One minor production complaint is they literally just told us to go. No countdown or anything. Especially for a race without a timing mat at the start it’d be nice to get a countdown or something so we can be in running mode. It took a few extra seconds since people were just standing since they weren’t quite ready to start. Race was well marked and was basically just a square course back to the barn. It was open to traffic but on very quiet country roads. There were maybe 3 or 4 cars so not a big deal. The scenery was okay. There was some nice fall foliage but a lot of it was farmland and it was kind of boring. A few houses but it was too rural for many spectators. The best part was going past some very judgmental looking cows judging us for eating their hooves in the jell-o. One other relatively minor production complaint is there were some km and mile markers but not for every km and mile and also the 1st km and 1st mile marker came early since they were in the location for the half which as I said started a bit behind the 7K. There was an aid station a little past half way with water, gatorade and jell-o (but beware of judgy cows coming up if you take it). There were 2 big hills but the rest was relatively easy. Pretty average difficulty course. Finish line was behind the barn. My finishing time was pretty good and I was easily under my goal of 1 hour. You get your medal which is very fun but rubber but it kind of works for Jell-o. There were cookies and jell-o or pudding cups at the end. You also got a $3 coupon for a local BBQ but there was nothing vegetarian let alone vegan on the menu and I had to leave for work so I didn’t take it. Overall I thought this was a fun race with great swag. It wasn’t the best course and I’d imagine the half marathon would get a little lonely with so few spectators and small field. This is one I would recommend for locals or big Jell-o fans. If it grows bigger it will likely be even better. I’d consider this one again but there are other even closer races this weekend as well. Unfortunately on my way home my car broke down (don’t worry it was right by my house, I am fine and I was already planning on getting a new car that will be ready in a few weeks) but I am going to have to skip my race planned for tomorrow and may need to change some travel plans if I don’t get my new car soon. Luckily I am flying out of Rochester to my races next weekend.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

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I chose this race for Maine mostly because it was in Portland on a Sunday so I could drive there without taking any vacation days. I drove to NH Friday … MORE

I chose this race for Maine mostly because it was in Portland on a Sunday so I could drive there without taking any vacation days. I drove to NH Friday night and did the NH half on Saturday and then this race on Sunday. I went to concert in Boston Saturday night so I stayed in a hotel on the NH coast halfway between Boston and Portland instead of staying in Portland. It is a just under 2 hour drive from Boston to Portland so if you are flying and want to fly into a bigger airport it is not a terrible drive. Since I was in NH and Boston Saturday I just got my packet the morning of the race. However race morning was a bit hectic so I’d recommend going to the expo Saturday if you can. There is a parking garage with free parking for runners. I definitely appreciated free parking and a pre-race email telling us exactly where to park. However I don’t think the garage was set up for as large a crowd at one time. I planned to arrive around 6:45 thinking that would give me an hour before the race and would have a relatively relaxing race morning but it took about 10 to 15 minutes from the time I got to the parking garage to the time I parked. Packet pick-up was at the race start about 1/3 mile from the parking garage. Packet pick-up was easy and included tote bag and a nice long sleeved tech shirt with the race logo. It was a nice teal color. However it took awhile to go to packet pick-up and then back to my car and then back to the race start so I ended up lining up with only 10 minutes to spare. Start was well-organized and there were pacers. I was planning to start with the 3 hour pace group to not go off too fast but they did appear to go too fast since I lost them early on and my first mile was exactly 3 hour pace so that would be one of my only complaints. Maybe they were planning to bank time for the hills. The first couple miles are flat with coastal views. Then it is rolling hills in a pretty suburban neighborhood. It is mostly an out and back. While I would call it a scenic course I was a little disappointed in the scenery only because I was so spoiled my last 3 races. I was hoping for more coastal views and running through the city but after the first couple miles it was mostly neighborhood views. It was a very pretty neighborhood and there was nice fall foliage but not as nice as NH and was similar to running in my neighborhood at home. I just wish the scenery was more unique to Maine. The race was great though. Very well marked with closed or coned off streets though a few random cars made it on course probably from the neighborhood. There were plenty of aid stations and tons of on course entertainment. I think there were as many musicians providing entertainment as I have seen in any race. There were a lot of spectators especially for a mid sized race in a smaller city. A lot more than I was expecting making this a great race atmosphere. As it is an out and back with a half and full marathon there were a ton of spectators and entertainment for back of the pack half marathoners finishing with the fast marathoners and also long time limit for the half so very walker friendly. I would definitely recommend this for back of the packers. The course is somewhat hilly though the least hilly of the 4 half marathons I did in the past 2 weekends. Like NH the elevation profile is in the runner’s favor with it being net uphill the first half and net downhill the second half. I knew this would be a slow race given I am not yet back to my normal speed and this was my 4th half marathon in 9 days. I was expecting to finish around 3:30 and was about 10 minutes faster than that. Finish line has a bunch of spectators and you get your medal which is very nice with the race logo. There are the typical postrace food like bagels and granola bars. There are also food trucks and runners get $3 off. I was so excited there was a food truck called the Totally Awesome Vegan Food truck so got a very delicious and filling meal before my long drive home. Overall this was a really great race. While the scenery is nice, I’m guessing there are more scenic Maine races closer to Acadia or more along the coast but there probably aren’t any with better race atmosphere and this is definitely the most convenient race for travel. Also makes a great double with NH. If I lived closer I would do this race again but it was too long a drive for me to do unless I had another reason to be in Maine the weekend of the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I was doing the Maine Half Marathon on Sunday and was already planning to stay at my parent's house in NH Friday night so decided to make it a double … MORE

I was doing the Maine Half Marathon on Sunday and was already planning to stay at my parent’s house in NH Friday night so decided to make it a double and do this half marathon Saturday morning. This is located in Bristol which is about a 40 minute drive north of Concord. This is a small but not tiny no frills race with about 150 marathoners and 250 half marathons. The finish line is at a school in Bristol. Easy and scenic drive up there. The marathon is a loop. For the half you are shuttled to the half way point of the marathon and it is a point to point. I got packet pick-up the morning of the race. It is in the basement of the school. It was easy and included a nice long sleeved tech shirt and some coupons and information pamphlets about NH. I then went on the school bus that took us to the start. Shuttles seemed well organized. It was a cool morning. Perfect running temp but cold for standing around waiting to race so they kept one bus for runners to stay warm in. There were porta potties at the half start but the line was very long. As I said this is a no frills race. There is not timing mat at the start. Just a banner that says start. Still everything was organized and started on time. As this has a small field and the half and full had different start line it took everyone very quick to go past the start so you’d only lose a few seconds at most not having the timing mat. The course is rolling hills back to the school. It is a beautiful course with fall foliage and lovely lake views. One of the prettiest courses I’ve done in the northeast. It was very well marked and easy to follow. One negative is the roads were open. It was at first on quiet country roads which was fine but the last couple miles were along a main highway and there were cars zooming past. There were signs to watch for runners and a large shoulder to run on so it’s didn’t feel unsafe but it also could have been safer. The course is very hilly. It is about the same as the Rochester half marathon in terms of total elevation but at least the half is net downhill. The first few miles were relatively flat and more downhill. The middle was very hilly and rough and the end was mostly downhill. If you did hill training you could get a decent time though it’s not a PR course. There were plenty of aid stations about every 2 miles. A little closer together closer to the end when you need more. Finish line again just a banner but there is a timing mat and a clock with your time. My finishing time was fine for the amount of hills. I was aiming for about 3 hours. The medal is tiny. Just a little medal of NH. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have been giving the same medal for 20+ years. There was good post race food and festivities for the size of the race with the typical fruit, granola bars, bagels along with pizza including cheese. They also had students hold a bake sale. Overall this was a good race. It was not my favorite half marathon for NH and wouldn’t be my first choice as I’d prefer a bigger race with bigger medals and closed (or at least coned off) streets, but if you prefer low frills, smaller races or want to combine NH with Maine this is a good choice.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Even though I have now lived in Rochester for a couple years, this was my first time getting to do this race. In the past there was a marathon, half … MORE

Even though I have now lived in Rochester for a couple years, this was my first time getting to do this race. In the past there was a marathon, half marathon and a 5K. The marathon appears to be a causality of the pandemic and wasn’t held the past 2 years. I don’t know if they plan to bring it back in the future or not. This is produced by Yellow Jacket Racing who also produce the Flower City half marathon which is the big half marathon in the Spring in Rochester. A useful race guide is emailed before the race. I got my packet on Friday before the race at the Fleet Feet store. There was also a mini-expo. Packet pick-up was easy and you could buy anything you needed at the store and they had race discounts. Packet had a ton of swag: tech shirt, running buff, running gel, 13.1 bumper sticker, and a drawstring bag that could also be used as a drop bag. The race ends at the minor league baseball stadium in downtown Rochester and starts about 2 miles north in a park. There is plenty of easy, free parking at the baseball stadium and then shuttles to the start. Start organized and the porta potty lines weren’t too bad. For the start they had you line up by pace and it was chipped time at start and finish. The course is a very different course than Flower City but both are great. Flower City is more of an urban course while this is more of a suburban course with most in parks and neighborhoods north of the city. This race while it didn’t pass by the most historic parts of Rochester, it passed by the prettiest. It also went through places I have never been. The first couple miles are through neighborhoods then it is a really pretty run through the park by the Genesee River. There was one really pretty part where you are running along the boardwalk next to the river. Today was unfortunately a gloomy and drizzly day but it was still gorgeous and would be particularly beautiful on a rare sunny day. The next section is through neighborhoods and then you loop around and run back to the stadium. You again pass through some pretty parks and at one point over a bridge with beautiful views and another passed waterfalls. The last mile is through the downtown area and ends at the baseball stadium. Course was extremely well marked and easy to follow with roads coned off, volunteers at all intersections and mile markers every mile. There were 5 aid stations with gatorade and water. It was enough for the colder weather this weekend but if it were a warmer day I would have liked more aid stations. There was on okay amount of spectators. I was expecting more for a bigger city race but I think the rain deterred some of the spectators. There was still a good number of spectators and the people who did come were great. The course is known to be hilly. However it was flat compared to yesterday. It was actually easier than I expected but still slightly above average difficulty for a road half. There were only 2 or 3 steep hills that I had to walk. I didn’t like the elevation profile though as the first half is net downhill and the second half net uphill. There is a slog where for 2 to 3 miles around the halfway point it is just a gradual uphill. I was a little nervous about the 3:30 time limit but I banked enough time in the beginning and was able to run-walk the inclines and just walk the steep hills and finish well under it. I didn’t think it was too hard a course to get an average finish time but the second half being uphill makes it a tough PR course and one reason why the marathon wasn’t that popular as it is the loop twice and it would be a difficult BQ course. The final mile is mostly flat and I was happy I was able to run the entire last mile after all the miles this weekend and it was my fastest mile of the weekend. At the end you are cheered on and get your medal which is nice and has Rochester written on in very large. My finishing time was pretty solid for where I am. I would have loved to have finish under 3 hours which I wasn’t able to do but I was well under the time limit. If you are worried about the time limit it didn’t appear strict as people 10 to 15 minutes slower than 3:30 got finishing times but if you are going to be much slower than 3:30 I wouldn’t recommend this race. The finish area was nice at the baseball stadium and worked well with a band, hop water (non-alcoholic drink) and plenty of snacks like granola bars, bananas, mini muffins, etc. I’m not sure if there was actual beer or not. The finish area was a bit empty due to the rain but I’m sure on a sunny day it is really great. Overall this was a really nice race. It is somewhat hilly and not a great PR course but the hills are very manageable. I would recommend either this race or the Flower City half if you want to come to Rochester for your 50 state journey. Both are nice, well produced, mid-sized race. This one is better if you are looking for fall foliage while Flower City is better if you are looking for urban views. I will definitely do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This is my third year doing this race so my other reviews have more info. It is located in southwestern NY about 1 hour away from Buffalo and 2 hours … MORE

This is my third year doing this race so my other reviews have more info. It is located in southwestern NY about 1 hour away from Buffalo and 2 hours from Rochester. It is a small race and very hilly but probably my favorite scenery of any race I have done in NY state. For the race I stayed in the holiday inn express in Jamestown again so I wouldn’t have to wake up too early. There is race day packet pick-up. Since it is a small race, parking, packet pick-up and everything is very easy. Packet had nice long sleeve (but not tech) shirt and a bag with some coupons, gels and samples. It was quite cold in the morning around 40 degrees though warmed to perfect running temps in the mid 50s. For some reason the cold weather seemed to turn off runners as there was a record number of sign-ups but not a lot showed up so it was quite a small race this year with between 30 to 40 half marathoners. Start is sent in waves by distance. It is manually timed. But it’s a small field and a hilly course you won’t PR on so it’s fine. The course is super hilly with around 1000 feet of elevation gain and the hills are rather unrelenting. However the scenery makes it worth it and there is no time limit so you can enjoy it. I was doing two hilly half marathons this weekend and the one on Sunday had a 3:30 time limit so I decided to take this race extra easy to make sure I saved my energy for the race with the time limit. I sped walked most of the course and just ran a few downhill sections. The first 3 miles of the course are pretty farmland but all the best scenes are past the 10K turnaround so I’d recommend the half even if you have to walk a lot. After the half you go by all these farms with adorable animals. I saw cows, horses, sheep, cats, dogs and even had a few puppies run with me part of the course. There are also adorable Amish children who cheer you on. Race well marked and easy to follow. It’s an out and back but I don’t mind seeing the scenery twice. Also the second half is more downhill at least. There are very frequent aid stations about every 1 mile that are very well stocked. Almost ultra aid stations. Some of the aid stations didn’t have volunteers so the food and drinks were just laid out. But I was last for the half and there was always plenty of supplies and based on the small number of marathoners I doubt any stations ran out of food or drink. At the finish you get your medal. It is fine though not distance specific. My finishing time was obviously slow but I was aiming to finish around 3:30 which I did. This year they had a foodtruck at the end where runners got a free entree plus bag of chips. Not any vegan options but there was mac n cheese. I ate the mac n cheese since I had a long drive home and there isn’t much vegan food in the area. There were also donuts and beer and other drinks. Overall this is a tough course but definitely worth it. As long as I am not on call I will continue to do this race. I would recommend it for NY state if you are the type of person who prefers a small race or if you are worried about time limits. Even the marathon has no time limit but I don’t think I’d want to do 26 miles of those hills.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I lived in the Bronx for 8 years so I really wanted to do this race and was excited it fit in my schedule this year. It also worked great … MORE

I lived in the Bronx for 8 years so I really wanted to do this race and was excited it fit in my schedule this year. It also worked great with the Hamptons half marathon the day before for a double race weekend. As I said it that review I stayed in a hotel in Queens which was the most convenient location for both races. I had plans in Manhattan after the race in the Hamptons so I got my packet at the NYRR center on Saturday but you could also get packet the day of the race. Packet pick-up was easy at the center and also included a nice red tech T-shirt with the race logo. On Sunday morning I took a cab to the race since I wasn’t sure how parking was going to be and public transportation would take over an hour and I was going to a Mets game in the afternoon so it was easier to keep my car in Queens. Since I already picked up my packet it was very stress free just being dropped off. This is a huge race with over 10,000 runners. There are long porta potty lines which I expected so I went early. You are assigned corral based on pace. I was in the last corral since I expected to be slow. It took about 20 to 30 minutes for everyone to go through the corral but everything seemed organized. I knew this was going to be a very slow race for me. I definitely pushed myself as hard as possible yesterday and had very little gas left in the tank. I planned to walk most of this race but as with other NYRR there are a ton of back of the packers so even at a 15 min/mile mostly walking pace there is high energy and tons of people around. The course is mostly an out and back down grand concourse with a loop through a park at the turnaround point. Grand Concourse is very representative of the vibe of the Bronx and it was fun to run through where I lived for so long. I would have liked to have passed by a few of my favorite spots in the Bronx like my college and the Bronx zoo as opposed to just an out and back on the same street but I understand logistically why this race had to be this way. There were a medium amount of spectators and the ones there were very enthusiastic. The course is rolling hills. Nothing too steep but some of the inclines are rather long. There were mile markers and plenty of aid stations with water and gatorade. The finish goes a bit past the start and ends at Yankee stadium. My finishing time was really slow as expected but I had no issues finishing the race and was expecting to be slow after how hard I pushed myself the day before. There is a long finish shoot where you get your medal and a bag of recovery food. I like that the medal has Bronx very large on it and the ribbon has the names of multiple important Bronx landmarks. It is convenient that you end near the subway station. I then took the train to Manhattan for lunch and then to Queens to see the Mets. This was a great race and a really fun weekend. I hope it works out that I can do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I was interested in this race since I like flat, beachside courses and wanted to check out the Hamptons but it is a bit of a trek from Rochester being … MORE

I was interested in this race since I like flat, beachside courses and wanted to check out the Hamptons but it is a bit of a trek from Rochester being at the tip of Long Island. This year this race was the Saturday before the Bronx 10 Mile so it seemed like a perfect double. This also seemed like the perfect come back half marathon since it is flat and also has a 6 hour time limit so no stress about finishing. For the race you could have the bib mailed early. They only charged about the cost of postage which I appreciated. This made race morning easier since it was going to be a long trip for me. For the race I stayed in a hotel in Queens since that was the most convenient location for both races. It was about a 1.5 hour drive from Queens to the Hamptons. They had good pre-race communication and said where to park or you could purchase a parking pass for closer parking. It was very easy to park in the suggested public parking and was about 1/2 mile walk to the start. The start is at a school. They had samples from dunkins of their refresher drinks and a good amount of porta potties. Some lines but less than most races. There was a start/finish arch and announcer asked people to line up by pace. Calling the under 8 min/mile pace first then 10 min/mile pace etc so people were spaced out. This is a very nice sized half with about 700 participants and about 100-200 in the marathon. Start was organized and everyone seemed to line up pretty correctly. The course is really nice. It is first an about 3 mile loop then the rest is a lollipop loop. There are some parts you do see twice. The scenery is nice and is mostly extremely fancy houses. Though some are behind hedges. There are also some areas closer to the beach. The areas by the houses are shaded but the area by the beach is not shaded. It was around 70 degrees and perfect temp in the shaded area and a bit hot in the unshaded area. There were plenty of aid stations about every 1.5 to 2 miles. There were some spectators though not a ton. The elevation profile is exactly what I like. Flat with no true hills but lots of slight inclines and declines. This is the kind of course I am usually the fastest and I was super impressed with my time today. I was hoping I was going to finish around 3 hours but just wanted to finish but I felt great and ended up finishing in 2:48 which isn’t much slower than my normal half marathon time. I was so happy to have an almost normal finish time after dealing with injury and my last few halfs being quite a struggle. At the finish line you are cheered on and get your medal. The medal is a cute design with a sneaker but I wish it were more specific to the hamptons or the race. You can also pick up your shirt at the end which is great so you don’t have to carry it or bring it back to your car. My only minor complaint about the race is there is not much post race festivities. There are just basic snacks like bagel, granola bar and fruit. I’m not really a big post-race party person and I needed to leave right away as I had plans in the city but if you love a post race party this may not be the race for you. Overall though I thought this was a great race and I would definitely recommend it for a New York half especially if you are worried about the time limit or prefer mid sized race. It was also very fast so would be a good PR or BQ race. Even though it is a long drive away I would definitely consider this one again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I was in Austin for a conference the weekend of this race. I initially signed up for the half marathon but I wasn't sure I was up for a trail … MORE

I was in Austin for a conference the weekend of this race. I initially signed up for the half marathon but I wasn’t sure I was up for a trail half marathon given my training hadn’t quite been what I wanted this summer after returning from injury so I requested to change to the 10K about 2 weeks before the race. The race staff were very responsive and quickly changed my distance. The race had 2 options: Either a Friday open start or a Saturday mass start (you could also do open start Saturday if you didn’t want to do the mass start). I loved this. While I think most people by now including myself are fine with open starts, I do have a few friends who are either immunocompromised or who have loved ones who are immunocompromised who would prefer a safer option so having both options was great. I chose the Friday option not so much because I wanted an open start but because I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it Saturday morning with my conference schedule (that ended up being the case as I signed up for a different cheap race Saturday but couldn’t make it). The race is located at a park about 45 minutes out of Austin. There were good directions on how to get there sent to us but I did think there could be a few more markings in the park about where the park. The start was obviously very laid back or “mellow” for the open start. I picked up my bib and also got a nice race shirt. There is an ankle timer for timing. There were also some porta potties by the start. For the open start you just go whenever you want. There is a 5K course which the 10K does twice and a half course which the marathon does twice. The course was extremely well marked. One thing I liked is along with markers telling you which way to go. They had red signs telling you where not to go and had other areas taped off. It would be nearly impossible to get loss. The course was very pretty with some cactus and a mix of other natural scenery. Prettier than I expected for Texas. It’s a tough but not crazy tough course. There are some technical sections and I did see a runner fall but it wasn’t crazy. It was one of those courses that is a relatively easy hike but a tough run. I would have loved to have been able to do to half if I was fully trained but I was glad I only did the 10K as it did get a bit hot and I haven’t really done any trail training this summer. I was very slow but I was mostly just enjoying the scenery and making sure I didn’t get a new injury. There was an aid station around the halfway mark which was well stocked along with one at the finish line. For the 10K you did 2 laps. One warning is this appeared to be much longer than a 10K. My GPS had this more of a quarter marathon distance. I know most trail races aren’t exact and I’d prefer longer than shorter but just set expectations. At the finish the race staff cheer you on and you get your medal. The medal is very nice for a 5K/10K. It is not distance specific and I would say it is an average half marathon medal and probably slightly disappointing for a marathon medal since it doesn’t have the distance. However a lot of trail races I’ve done don’t have any medals. Overall this was a nice, challenging but not too challenging trail race. If you are a fan of trail running I would definitely recommend this race. If you don’t have much trail race experience this would be a good race to try it out. This is probably a one time race for me but if I end up in Austin again the weekend of this race I would do it again

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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This is a new race series one of the local runners from my track club has started in Rochester called west of the rivers series on the western half of … MORE

This is a new race series one of the local runners from my track club has started in Rochester called west of the rivers series on the western half of Rochester. I was on call the weekend of the race and a 10K sounded perfect so I decided to try this race. It was a very small race with only about 20 participants but it had excellent production for a new, small race. It started at a park in Greece which is a suburb of Rochester. There was packet pick-up at one of the park shelter. Along with bib packet included short sleeved tech shirt and potato themed goodies (potato chips, mashed potato mix, etc). The race was professional timed with chip timing at the end only. The RD gave announcements at the start line and we were off. The course started in the park for about 1 mile. Then there was about 2.5 miles through the roads of Greece and the final 2.5 or so miles was along the canal path and back in the park. The course was very well marked and for a small race had a ton of volunteers. One minor issues which the RD apologized for before the race is she was not able to secure police. There were a couple places you had to cross there were no police but there were volunteers but they couldn’t force the cars to stop. I had no issues with road crossing and the streets weren’t super busy. but some participants may have lost 20 to 30 seconds from it. The scenery was fine. A mix of suburbs and pretty canal path and park views. The park had some minor hills. The road had 2 big hills and the canal path was flat so good mix of terrains. Not an easy but also not a hard 10K. There was an aid station at the half way point. There were mile markers on the road but not the canal path where it would have been harder to place them. Finish line had a clock and you got a small medal. My finish time was as I expected. I was aiming around 1:20 and finished slightly over since I did have to answer a page in the middle. There was great post race food with a baked potato bar. It is also very back of the pack friendly with long time limits. However given it is a small race you will likely be running by yourself a lot. Overall I was very impressed with this race. For a new race it was very well-organized and had nice swag. I hope this race series grows in size since if it were bigger so there was a more exciting atmosphere with more participants and enough to have police at the crossings this would be a 5 sneaker race. I am going to be out of town for the November race but I will definitely do the races in this series if I am in town next year. I would definitely recommend these races to locals. However given how small the race is, I would caution about the half and full marathon in November if you are a 50 stater or half fanatic/marathon maniac and need it to count as there may not be enough participants. But hopefully that will change in future years.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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This is a 5K located in Canandaigua which is about a 30 minute drive from Rochester. I did this race last year so that review has more details. It starts … MORE

This is a 5K located in Canandaigua which is about a 30 minute drive from Rochester. I did this race last year so that review has more details. It starts at Crosswinds church and packet pick-up is inside. It was smooth and packet included a nice polyblend shirt. They are nice quality shirts. Race went smoothly. It is chipped timed at the finish only but it’s a pretty small race and not a PR course. The course is net downhill the first half and a steep net uphill the second half. About as hard as a loop, road 5K can be. Of course I also got paged right as the race started again today so had to walk some of the easy part so my time was extra slow. I honestly walked most of the race since I wanted to save energy for tomorrow. Course was well marked and it is a fine course through some neighborhoods and buildings and some prettier shaded areas. There was great post-race food options