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 3 hours, 36 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 and to run 50 marathons before I turn 50.

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 (26)

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
9.3 Challenge (5K + 10K) Los Angeles, CA Jan 5, 2020 1:39:01
8 Miler Ellicottville, NY Aug 16, 2020 1:56:45
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
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
1 Miler Londonderry, NH Jan 1, 2021 7:55

Future Races (50)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
7K Gulf Shores, AL Jan 29, 2022
Half Marathon Gulf Shores, AL Jan 30, 2022
5K Miami, FL Feb 5, 2022
Half Marathon Miami, FL Feb 6, 2022
Quarter Marathon Liverpool, NY Feb 12, 2022
5K Syracuse, NY Feb 13, 2022
Half Marathon Jackson, MS Feb 19, 2022
5K Hampton, GA Feb 26, 2022
Half Marathon Hampton, GA Feb 27, 2022
5K Little Rock, AR Mar 5, 2022
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 6, 2022
5 Miler Rochester, NY Mar 12, 2022
Half Marathon Rock Hill, NY Mar 13, 2022
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 20, 2022
15K Philadelphia, PA Apr 2, 2022
Half Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Apr 3, 2022
Half Marathon Salisbury, MA Apr 10, 2022
Half Marathon Rochester, NY Apr 24, 2022
5K Newport Beach, CA May 1, 2022
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 1, 2022
Half Marathon Oakhurst, CA May 7, 2022
Half Marathon Chicago, IL May 22, 2022
5K Buffalo, NY May 28, 2022
Half Marathon Buffalo, NY May 29, 2022
5K Wilson, WY Jun 3, 2022
Half Marathon Wilson, WY Jun 4, 2022
Half Marathon St Charles, ID Jun 9, 2022
5K West Yellowstone, MT Jun 10, 2022
Half Marathon West Yellowstone, MT Jun 11, 2022
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN Jun 19, 2022
15K Utica, NY Jul 10, 2022
Marathon Portland, ME Oct 2, 2022
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 15, 2022
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2022
Half Marathon Seattle, WA Nov 27, 2022
Marathon Folsom, CA Dec 4, 2022
Half Marathon Rochester, NY 2022
Half Marathon Kitty Hawk, NC 2022
Half Marathon Miami, FL 2022
Half Marathon Townsend, TN 2023
Half Marathon Louisville, KY 2023
Marathon Anchorage, AK 2023
Half Marathon Charleston, SC 2023
Marathon Inverness, United Kingdom 2023
Half Marathon Tucson, AZ 2023
Half Marathon Estes Park, CO 2023
Marathon Two Harbors, MN 2024
Marathon Staten Island, NY 2024
Marathon Deadwood, SD 2025
Half Marathon King George Island, Antarctica 2025

Past Races (152)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
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 Mt Jewett, PA Jul 24, 2021 36:42
5K Liverpool, NY Jul 24, 2021 32:26
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 was initially signed up for the full marathon in 2021 but I had to defer as I couldn't do the rescheduled date in March in 2021, then about 2 … MORE

I was initially signed up for the full marathon in 2021 but I had to defer as I couldn’t do the rescheduled date in March in 2021, then about 2 weeks before the race had to drop down to the half due to my foot injury. I had an issue dropping down to the half using Run Sign up since the deferral confused the website so I emailed the race and was very impressed that they replied and changed my registration within an hour of my request. Other pre-race communication was excellent with the right amount of emails and a nice race guide. This race is on the Sunday of MLK weekend so it is a great race to do if you don’t want to use vacation days. I flew into New Orleans on Saturday morning and it was a little bit over an hour to drive to Baton Rouge. There is also a small airport in Baton Rouge if you don’t want to drive. There is an expo Friday and Saturday. You can also pay to get your bib mailed if you can’t make the expo. The expo is at a convention center. I would have preferred an outdoor expo given the current state of the pandemic but I understand when planning the race they probably weren’t expecting things to get worse by now. The expo was the only issue I have with the race and I almost took a sneaker off due to the expo. The first section with packet pick-up was fine and all the race volunteers had masks on. Packet included bib, shirt and a drawstring bag with the race logo. Shirt is short-sleeved and polyblend. It is a light green color. It is fine but not exceptional. The next section with the vendors is where I had an issue. 90-95% of the vendors were not wearing masks and many participants were not as well. Right now hospitals are overwhelmed, I understand we need to figure out how to live with covid and we need to find balance but requesting vendors and participants to wear a mask at an indoor expo doesn’t seem too much to ask. I am someone who usually likes to buy local and support local companies at expo but I immediately left once I saw how few masks were being worn. For the race I stayed at the Hilton which is a few blocks from the start though a little further than I was hoping due to my foot injury. It was a cold day for Louisiana being about 30 to 40 degrees and quite windy. Though it was much warmer than Western NY (Go Bills!). Start of the race was organized in a corral and started on time. There was probably 2000 participants total between full and half which is a little less than usual. The course is really nice. Roads were blocked off and it was well marked and easy to follow. The race elevation profile is really nice. There is just one bridge which is the only “hill” and it’s not too bad. I did walk it only due to my injury. The rest of the race is flat but most of it is minor inclines and declines which is generally the fastest type of course for me. There was only about 160 feet of elevation gain for the whole race. The course scenery is quite nice. It starts by the capital building in downtown Baton Rouge. Then it is through some neighborhoods, then LSU campus and then around a Lake and then back to downtown. Running through LSU campus was my favorite part. It was cool to run by the football stadium. But I was sad the tiger wasn’t out though I probably would not have met my running goal if it was since I’m sure I would have stopped for 5 minutes. There were also some cool birds by the lake but it was really windy so I didn’t stop for pics. There were aid stations about every 1 to 1.5 miles. I did bring a handheld water bottle but you don’t need one. Almost all the aid stations had porta-potties. There were mile markers but some blew down so they weren’t all visible which is not the race’s fault. There was good but not great spectator support. I am guessing there were a few less spectators than usual given the cold weather and the omicron variant but I appreciated those that were there. The finish line area was nice with an announcer calling out the finisher’s names. My time was slower than usual since I am still recovery from an injury but I managed to be a few minutes under my injury goal of 3 hours. You are then given your medal. The medal is a nice size and quality. It’s an above average medal. The finish area was great and, unlike the expo, was set up very well for the pandemic. It was all outdoors and the separate booths for food, drinks and additional race gear were all spread out to keep participants spread out. I loved that they had vegan options. They had vegan gumbo and pasta salad. The vegan gumbo was absolutely delicious. Worth running 13.1 miles for. This was an excellent race. I really wish the expo was done differently because then I would have nothing negative to say. I also wish I was not injured because this would have been a great marathon given the elevation profile but it was a nice race to do when coming back from injury. This is one I would definitely recommend for Louisiana and given it is a Sunday on a 3 day weekend I would consider doing it again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was the second day of the New Years Double. More info is in my half marathon review. I was initially signed up for the 5K and the half both … MORE

This was the second day of the New Years Double. More info is in my half marathon review. I was initially signed up for the 5K and the half both days. This was the second day 5K. My foot felt terrible but I decided to see how the 5K went. I knew I couldn’t run but I thought I may be able to speed walk both races. The first two miles of the 5K went fine. I was walking a 16 to 17 min/mil pace but the third mile was a disaster and I basically had to limp. I knew that if I were to do the half marathon it would be a miserable 4+ hour hobble to the finish line. I didn’t think it was worth it given the likelihood of exacerbating my injury and not being able to complete Louisiana in 2 weeks which I already had to defer from full to half. I was disappointed I couldn’t complete the 4 races and get the challenge plate but I still got 3 nice medals and at least got 1 half done in Texas to check off a new state

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was a part of the New Years Double Race. More details are in my half marathon review. The 5K starts at 7am. It was kind of dark when it … MORE

This was a part of the New Years Double Race. More details are in my half marathon review. The 5K starts at 7am. It was kind of dark when it started. It was very foggy which was kind of cool since the course was otherwise not very exciting. It is just a smaller version of the loop used for the half/full marathon. It was a flat and well produced 5K. Given my foot injury I planned to walk most of this 5K. I ran a bit in the beginning and end of the race and while it would normally be a slow 5K for me I was aiming for under 45 minutes and that’s what I ran. There was a nice 5K medal at the end.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a New Years Eve/New Years Day challenge that is located in Allen, Texas which is about 30 minutes outside of Dallas. Since New Year's was on a Saturday … MORE

This is a New Years Eve/New Years Day challenge that is located in Allen, Texas which is about 30 minutes outside of Dallas. Since New Year’s was on a Saturday this year I had New Years Eve off and a 3 day weekend so this was a convenient way to get Texas without taking a vacation day. I was hoping to do the 5K/half marathon double for which participants get a challenge plate along with excellent medals since I love my bling. However I was having major issues with my foot and had to skip the New Years Day half marathon. Pre-race communication was just the perfect amount of information and emails. For the race I flew into Dallas Thursday evening. One warning just for planning is that since Allen is about a 30 minute drive from Dallas by the time I got the airport and got my rental car and drove to my hotel it ended up being close to 2am so if you can it would be good to take an earlier flight but as I said I didn’t want to use vacation days. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Allen. It was reasonable price and about a 8-10 minute, easy drive to the race. The race has race day packet pick-up. It was super easy. Participants picked up their packets that had bibs and shirts. The shirts were fine but not special. They are polyblend tech shirts. You get one for each day. One is long-sleeved and one is short-sleeved. One thing I really like is instead of picking “men’s” or “women’s” shirts you picked “relaxed fit” or “fitted”. I loved this and wish more races would do this since I prefer the “relaxed fit” or “men’s” style and get sick of being told I am in the wrong line when picking up my shirt. This was also a very nice size race for the pandemic with a few hundred participants. The 5Ks are first at 7:00 and the half/full at 8:30. There is plenty of time to walk the 5K and do the half or full. The start was in 3 corrals. I kind of felt bad since I was in “B” corral even though with my injury I knew I was going to do more of a “C” pace but if I was healthy I would have been in right corral. This is a race with a lot of back of the packers since there are long time limits especially for the half. Corrals worked well to spread it out. The course is very boring. It is just a double loop on paved trails through a park. But I understand why for a race like this it needs to be that way. Also the loop did add some comradery. It is fun running with the same people so many time. The course is super flat. There is barely any elevation gain. While it was a boring course it was well marked and had accurate mile markers. There were aid stations about every 2 miles. I would have liked more since it was humid out but the volunteers were great. I had a really rough race. I was hoping my foot would heal but the humidity seemed to make it worse. I had a walk-run strategy that should have took me about 3 hours to finish but ended up being closes to 3:15. The finish line has an announcer and you get your medals and some food. Food kind of disappointing just bananas and bags of chips. The medals are very nice and this year the theme was “time” so they look like clocks. I wish I could have gotten the challenge plate but it wasn’t in the cards and I had to prioritize my health and skip the New Years Day half marathon since I didn’t want to aggravate my injury more as I want to make sure I can complete some of my upcoming new states. Overall while it was a boring course. It was a fun event and well-produced and I would recommend it to locals and those looking for a fun challenge.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

When I was planning my race schedule I was trying to do doubles most weekends to make sure I got to 100 races this year since I wasn't sure if … MORE

When I was planning my race schedule I was trying to do doubles most weekends to make sure I got to 100 races this year since I wasn’t sure if there would be cancellations. I was looking for a 5K near NYC the day after the Big Apple Half and was excited to find this one as I love donuts. I stayed in NJ near this race. Pre-race communication was good. The only thing a little confusing was the parking instructions just because I wasn’t familiar with the area but I had no issues finding street parking by the race. The plan was to mail the bibs and beanies beforehand but due to shipping issues only the bibs were mailed and the beanies were given after the race. There is a separate start and finish line with a timing mat at both. It is a pretty big 5K with close to 1000 runners. They had us split in 3 corrals. I stayed in the back of the middle one as I knew this would be a rough race. My left foot is injured and my right foot got a nasty blister on it yesterday not from the race but from stepping in a puddle and walking around NYC with wet socks and shoes. Anyways my game plan was to just run about an 11 to 12 min/mil pace and not hurt myself further. The race starts on top of a hill which is smart so it is technically net downhill. The course has some mild hills but nothing bad. I walked a bit because both my feet hurt but normally I wouldn’t have to. Roads were closed to traffic except one where half the road was closed off. Very easy to follow and there were balloons each mile as mile markers. It was a nice pleasant race through some pretty neighborhoods. There was a water stop in the middle with little water bottles so I didn’t use it. My finishing time was exactly as I expected. My biggest complaint of the race is the end was extremely crowded. It was clear the organizers were concerned about covid with their emails and modifications and they requested runners leave but no one seemed to listen and it was packed. There were also long lines for the medals, donuts and beanies which would have been somewhat alleviated if the beanies had been mailed as planned though not their fault. The donuts included 3 different donut holes in a mason jar. They were big donut holes. I’m not badmouthing the bakery I’m sure when fresh they are delicious donuts but it was clear the donuts had been baked and jarred a few days ago as they were a bit stale which was disappointing. The medal is cute but it is rubber. The beanie is really cute. I wish I had it before so I could have wore it during the race. There was also water, sparkling water and some fruits if you wanted a healthier post-race snack. This was a nice little 5K. I enjoyed it. I just wish the donuts were fresher. I’m going to rest for the next 2 1/2 weeks to let my foot recover before the New Years Double in Texas.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is possibly my favorite weekend to visit NYC since the city is all decorated for christmas but it's not too crowded yet so I decided to use this half … MORE

This is possibly my favorite weekend to visit NYC since the city is all decorated for christmas but it’s not too crowded yet so I decided to use this half marathon as an excuse to visit. Last year I did the 4 miler that NYCRUNS held to replace this race so I’m kind of in between a repeat runner and a first timer. Pre-race communication was pretty good. Things like bag check and porta-potty location were clearer this year. However there were a few details lacking. For instance they referred you to the race page for additional questions but I could not find my question of the race time limit on the race page and had to search around the general NYCRUNS FAQs (BTW – the time limit is 3:30 given my foot injury I was concerned about my finishing time and I wanted to make sure it didn’t have a 3 hour only time limit). This weekend I actually stayed in NJ since I had a race there Sunday and there was a concert I wanted to see in NJ Saturday night. This made parking Friday night easier. I took a cab from NJ to the race and then spent the day in the city and took a cab back. It was nice to not deal with parking in the city. Bibs were mailed which also made race morning pretty stress free. The race started on the upper west side. The finish line and bag check were in the middle of the park a few blocks up. I brought everything with me and didn’t check a bag. Luckily weather wasn’t too bad today. It was in the 40s and drizzly. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect. It was kind of perfect for this race. Last year when I did the 4 miler there was perfect 60 degree weather and all of NYC was in central park so it was a bit chaotic. The weather was just bad enough to deter non-runners from coming to the park but not bad enough to affect the race experience. There was a mass start and self-seeded corrals by pace. It was chipped time with a timing mat at the start and finish. The course is nothing special just 2 1/2 laps around Central Park. If you’ve never run in Central Park it is probably cool the first time. If you live in NYC, you probably get really bored of races here. As a former NYC resident who visits a few times a year I am somewhat in the middle. I don’t mind running in Central Park. It is hilly but I know what to expect. The course utilizes the northern part of the course which is hiller. It only does Harlem Hill twice. I know some runners complained about the hills. I honestly don’t find the hills in Central Park too bad. It’s not a fast course but to me it never seems as difficult as the elevation gain suggest. This felt much easier than the Jingle Bell half last week but my Garmin said they had the same elevation gain. Maybe it’s just I know what’s coming so no hills surprise me. Central Park is pretty. Today was kind of gloomy so it is less pretty than usual. If it snows it is gorgeous. There were plenty of water stops on the course. There were 3, two you passed 3 times and one you passed twice so 8 total and about 1.5 miles apart. I actually wish I didn’t bring a handheld water bottle as I didn’t need it and then was stuck carrying it around the city all day. All aid stations had water and gatorade. There was no on course nutrition so that is one area of improvement. There were also lots of porta potties on the course. Mile markers were accurate and there was a clock at each mile which was great. The race is open so there are occasional tourists and horse-drawn carriages to look out for. The loops are a little annoying since it results in a mix of people running different paces. There were a little over 1000 participants. Overall it wasn’t too bad. I’m guessing it is more annoying for the fast runners weaving around us slow-pokes on their later laps but not much can be done. I was actually feeling good and 5 days of rest allowed my foot to heal somewhat and was making a good pace. I started to feel my foot a bit around mile 8 which is when there were runners around me going to the finish line while I still had a lap to complete which is a bit disheartening. I had to walk a bit more the last lap because of my foot but overall I was very happy with my time for the circumstances and was under 2:45 and over 10 minutes faster than last week. At the finish line you get your medal. It is a nice, big apple themed medal. There were bagels and fruit for snacks along with gatorade. I heard there is normally hot cocoa but I think it was too hot. You can also pick up your shirt at the end. It is a nice long sleeve tech shirt but an ugly mustard yellow this year. Afterwards I walked to Ayurveda Cafe my favorite vegetarian restaurant on the UWS for my post race meal. Overall this is a fine race. It is just laps around central park so don’t expect anything too exciting but production was good and swag was decent. If you are a local or looking for an excuse to visit NYC, it’s a good race to do. However there are more exciting courses in New York state if you are a 50 stater. As I said, I really like visiting NYC this time of year so I will more likely than not do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I did this race for Massachusetts due to its convenient location. It is located right across the NH border so it was a very easy way to get a new … MORE

I did this race for Massachusetts due to its convenient location. It is located right across the NH border so it was a very easy way to get a new state since I was visiting my family in NH this weekend. My dad also did this race with me. It is produced by Loco Running/Ventures Endurance the same group that produced Smuttynose Rockfest. Race day was super easy. It is located at a community college with plenty of parking. Packet pick-up was efficient and in the gym of the college with masks required indoors. Packet included bib and a really, wacky and fun ugly christmas long-sleeve tech shirt. It is my second craziest race shirt after the Earth Day tie-dye one. Participants also got a sweatshirt. They appeared to be leftovers from the virtual race and said “virtual jingle bell” but free swag is free swag. There was a long porta-potty line but otherwise the start was easy. It is a small to medium size race with about 800 total participants with about half doing the 5K and half doing the half marathon. It was a nice size so you were generally not running alone but also there is not much congestion. Just a mass start but the beginning is wider roads in the community college. The rest of the course is on open roads through the neighborhoods of Haverhill. There is a 5K loop which is shared between both distances that goes back to the community college and then 5Kers split to go to the finish line while half marathoners do a 10 mile loop. While the road was open, it was coned off during the more crowded part shared with the 5K and the busiest streets. The quieter half marathon sections weren’t all coned off but there was tons of signage about the race and there were police offers patrolling to make sure everyone was safe so it was as safe as possible for an open course. Course was well marked and easy to follow. The signs also helped you know you weren’t lost. Race was very hilly. It was those “rolling” hills. None of the hills were terrible but they were somewhat unrelenting and the longest one was near the end but it at least had a more gradual slope. Due to my foot injury I purposely walked a lot of the hills. The course was pleasant through countryside and neighborhoods. We lucked out with the weather and it was the high 30s. However the scenery would have been prettier on a colder, snowy day but the race would have been even more difficult. The best part of the scenery was passing by some farms. I saw a number of horses and was extra excited to pass by some buffalo. There were even baby buffalo. That was a surprise for Massachusetts. Aid stations were good but there were only 4 of them. Technically you passed the first one twice but the first pass was after about 1/3 of a mile when you didn’t need water due to how the 5K loop worked. Aid stations were approximately every 2.5 miles. I’m glad I brought a water bottle as I like more aid stations than that. The first aid station was just water, the second and fourth water and gatorade and the third water and a gel. Even though I was one of the last runners given my injury, aid station volunteers were still enthusiastic and encouraging and all were still well stocked. My biggest production complaint is the same as Smuttynose is the mile markers were again off by quite a bit. The first mile marker was at about mile 1.15. The second one was correct. The rest of the mile markers were off by about 0.2 miles pretty consistently hitting the 3 mile marker at 2.8 miles, 4 at 3.8 miles, etc. I came to the 13 mile marker at 12.85 and my worried the course was a bit short but the finish line was about exactly 13.1 miles. It’s not the end of the world but if I were trying to pace myself for a goal the inaccurate mile markers would be quite annoying. The finish line had a finish arch and the announcer called your name. They were very enthusiastic even for the later runners like myself. My finish time would normally be disappointing but with my injury I was just going for under 3 hours and I did that. The medal is cute and christmas themed but a little small. There were granola bars, cookies and coffee. I think there may have been hot food but they ran out by the time I finished but other than that the race was back of the pack friendly. My mom was meeting us down in Haverhill for lunch and to pick up my dad so I could drive back to Rochester from Massachusetts so I didn’t need hot food anyways and just had some delicious sugar cookies. Overall I was satisfied with the race. It was a little hilly and wasn’t a super special course but it had a fun Christmas theme. I’m sure there are better races for MA for 50 staters that are a little more specific to MA in terms of scenery and theme but this isn’t a bad choice and it was very convenient for me and I was glad I was able to get a new state that worked great with my travel plans.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was visiting NH this weekend for my birthday so I signed up for this run on Saturday. It is produced by Millennium Running and has the same start location … MORE

I was visiting NH this weekend for my birthday so I signed up for this run on Saturday. It is produced by Millennium Running and has the same start location as the Manchester City Half. This is a fun Christmas themed race. You can get a Santa Hat and Costume and most participants were dressed up. Packet pick-up was at the start of the race. The race started at 3pm which is a little annoying for eating but worked very conveniently as I had plans for a concert in Boston after the race and Manchester is on the way to Boston from my parents house. This is a pretty popular race with over 1000 runners and it is an out and back so I was worried this was going to be a very congested course but the set up was really smart. The course is essentially an out and back along Elm street in Manchester. They had participants line up by predicted pace but it was a mass start though chipped time at start and end since it too maybe 20 to 30 seconds to get to the start. The first half mile had the whole road open so there was plenty of space to spread out so the start wasn’t toocongested. Then after 1/2 mile the street was coned off so the runners coming back had their own lane. By then runners had found their pace so the tightening of the course wasn’t a big deal. Another smart thing about the course is instead of a straight out and back which often results in a log-jam at the turn around. Runners went off Elm street for one block so there was never any sharp turns. The final half mile also wasn’t coned off so if you had energy to speed up at the end you could generally find a straight path. It was also a smart course as the street is pretty much flat but it is a barely perceptive uphill the way out and a slight downhill the way back making it a fast course. Adding to the festiveness there were 4 fun aid stations: a candy station with candy canes, a maple syrup station with maple syrup packets, a candy station with Hershey’s chocolates and a cookies and milk station. The start and finish line was festive with a Santa. I was aiming for an 11 min/mil pace since my foot is still bothering me and was slightly faster but normally this would be a good course to really push the pace. I’d like to run it uninjured to try to break 30 minutes. Along with the treats from the course there were some yogurt, fruit, etc. along with non-alcoholic beer and the bib had a coupon for a free alcoholic beer. This was a really fun race with a well-designed course so that it was fast and to prevent congestion as much as possible for a large, out and back course. The only reasons I took a sneaker away though it was between a 4 and a 5 sneaker race was it’s not a particularly scenic course and I would have liked a more practical swag item like a shirt or winter hat as opposed to a Santa Suit. However you could buy a shirt if you really want one. Again I don’t plan around shorter races but I will probably visit NH on my birthday again and if I do would definitely run this race again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a 5K that always starts the first day of Chanukah and is located in Swampscott, MA which is on the coast north of Boston. I also did this … MORE

This is a 5K that always starts the first day of Chanukah and is located in Swampscott, MA which is on the coast north of Boston. I also did this race in 2019 as well. The race starts at the Jewish Center in Swampscott. There is a race day packet pick-up which always includes a very cute baseball style long sleeve shirt. There were also mugs with chocolate coins. This is a smaller race with about 100 participants. This year I decided to walk the race with my mom to play it safe because of my foot injury (which is feeling better so I should be fine for my upcoming half marathons). The race starts with a really nice prayer from the rabbi. Then the racers go. It is a really nice course. There are beautiful ocean views and it is a very scenic neighborhood. It is a lollipop loop. It is on the flatter side but there are some inclines and one hill in the middle but it is a fast course. When I ran it in 2019 I ran it in 30:24. Since I walked with my mom I was obviously slow this year but we were well under 1 hour. It is chipped time. After the race there is a band and food. In 2019 it was very festive with tons of community members, a huge spread of food including latkes and other traditional Jewish foods and a band with dancing. This year due to covid it was appropriately a little more subdued. There were less community members but there was the band outside and there were still some delicious latkes. This is one of the best smaller, community races I have done. I don’t plan around 5K races but I usually visit NH a lot between Thanksgiving and New Years so if I am visiting again during this race I will likely do it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

This is a Thanksgiving race that is a fundraiser for my former high school that my mom currently teaches at. Since it is a hometown race for me and my … MORE

This is a Thanksgiving race that is a fundraiser for my former high school that my mom currently teaches at. Since it is a hometown race for me and my parents were going to be there, I worked it out for this to be my 100th race. My parents got the swag early. The shirt is very nice this year. My dad actually designed the course. He loves hills and the course is ridiculous. There is ~350 feet of elevation gain in 4 miles. I am still dealing with the foot injury so I walked a lot of the uphill and had to be careful on the downhill. It was also a little icy so I wanted to be careful to make sure I finished. But I did finish though a little slower than I would have liked. There were lots of snacks but my parents got me a cake for my 100th race so it was a very fun morning. I did my goal of 100 races in 2021 and I still have a month to go

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a 5K that takes place in Southern, NH the day after Thanksgiving. It worked out very well with my 100 race plan. Unfortunately I had a minor foot … MORE

This is a 5K that takes place in Southern, NH the day after Thanksgiving. It worked out very well with my 100 race plan. Unfortunately I had a minor foot injury from the race on Thanksgiving but I still powered through this one but a little slower than usual. The race was located by City Hall and took place outside. It was a small race with about 100 participants. Packet included bib and a pretty average cotton shirt. Everything about this race was pretty average. It was timed by Millenium Running so it was chipped time and accurate. The course was a moderately hilly loop through the suburbs. Scenery was pretty enough and I passed some horses. Course was pretty well marked with arrows at every turn. There is no medal or other swag. There was decent post race snacks with water bottles, granola bars, fruit and donut holes. You could also redeem your bib for soup. Overall this was not the most exciting but a completely fine race. I would do it again if I were in NH since there aren’t many other races this day.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race was started 50 years ago by a local cross country coach as a work-out for the team on thanksgiving and the course has stayed the same for 50 … MORE

This race was started 50 years ago by a local cross country coach as a work-out for the team on thanksgiving and the course has stayed the same for 50 years. It is pretty cool that people have run this same race for 50 years but this race was designed for a cross country team not 3000 runners so there was some issues. This race was taken over a number of years ago by Yellow Jacket Racing. I do think production was good given they kept the tradition but there were too many runners for the course. Packet pick-up is recommended at the store Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday but there is race day pick-up if needed. Packet included bib, sticker, and your choice of sweatshirt or T-shirt. I got the sweatshirt. It is very comfy and good quality. I do wish it had more of a thanksgiving design but I will definitely wear it. The race takes place mostly on the roads around Webster Park. There is not enough parking at the park so you either need to arrive super early or take a shuttle. I was leaving for NH right after the race so opted to park there. I arrived over 2 hours early and the closest lot was already full. I still parked pretty close. I had to kill an hour and a half on my phone. There was plenty of porta potties nearby. There are 2 race distances with about 1500 runners each. I did the 4.4 miler which started at 10am. The shorter 2.5 miler started 10 minutes later. The race is through the neighborhoods around the park. It is pretty and there were some spectators. Difficulty is pretty average. A few hills but nothing too tough. The race was pretty crowded. I started in the middle and it wasn’t too bad. However there are a lot of participants who don’t run races regularly so not the best race etiquette. But it wasn’t too bad until a little after 2 miles when we merged with the 2.5 milers. This section was about 1/3 mile but it was a disaster. I have never been in a race with this much congestion. I was keeping a good 10 min/mil pace and so were the others around me but the 2.5. milers were around a 14 to 15 min/mile pace. I am not complaining about the participants. I think everyone should be able to participate at any pace but I am complaining about the course set up. It was impossible to keep a consistent pace with this many people as many 14 to 15 milers are run-walking and those 14 to 15 milers who were speed walking or slow running consistent paces were running to the sides so I couldn’t keep my pace there either. I had to walk the hills on this section since it was too tricky to weave around people. Luckily this was short and I picked up my pace again but then the entire last mile we then merged again with the 14 to 15 min/mile 2.5 miler. The end was a mess. I am usually fastest at the end but I was slowed down by having to weave around so many people. The absolute worst part was the last 1/4 mile or so was on trail leading to the finish. At one point it was absolutely impossible to run. This was an extremely frustrating end. I was on pace to potentially finish at an under 10 min/mil pace but I couldn’t do it due to the congestion. I’m sure it was also very frustrating for the fast runners to join with 2.5 milers running my pace at the last 1/4 mile too. I’ve done 150+ total races and this had the absolute worst congestion and worst merging of race distances of any I’ve done. It was so bad I am not sure I would do this race again when there are so many other thanksgiving races to choose from. I don’t know all the logistics with road closures, city permits but a simple solution would be to start the 2.5 milers 20 minutes after the 4.5 milers in at 10:20 instead of only 10 minutes later. Then the fast 4.5 milers would finish before most of the 2.5 milers and the middle 4.5 milers like me who took 45 minutes would finish with 2.5 milers running the same pace and the congestion would be less of an issue. Other solutions would be changing the 2.5 mile course or possible putting cones in the middle and doing separate lanes for 4.5 and 2.5 milers. The finish area was exciting but a bit crowded. There is a nice arch and you are handed a bag with the medal and some snacks. The medal was very nice. The snacks kind of meh but it’s okay. I was happy it was easy to leave after the race. I did like the swag and the course but the course congestion and having to park so early may make me decide to try out some other Thanksgiving races for future years

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was hoping to run a race today so the Galloping Gobbler next week would be my 100th race this year but for the longest time there were no races … MORE

I was hoping to run a race today so the Galloping Gobbler next week would be my 100th race this year but for the longest time there were no races within driving distance today. Then then this race was announced about 1 month ago so I signed up. It is produced by the Greater Buffalo Track Club and is located in Delaware Park by the Buffalo Zoo. There wasn’t much pre-race communication and the website was pretty bare bones but I figured out how to get there this morning. The course is all of the golf course and consists of 3 loops. You do the left loop first, then the right loop, then the left loop again but go through the finish shoot instead of back to the start. Bib pick up was easy. I guess I was supposed to get a shirt but no one handed me one and I am registered for so many races I can’t keep track of which ones give shirts. However the RD just emailed me to arrange picking up the shirt so I guess I will get it (also thanks for the email very appreciated). Everyone involved with the race was very nice. It was a small race but there was a decent amount of runners for the short notice with maybe 50ish people. The start was by a flag. The RD explained the course. The entire course was on the grass in the golf course. The course was very well marked with tons of flags so as long as you did the loops right you couldn’t get lost and there were volunteers at key locations. The loops were easy to figure out. There were mile markers that were very precise. I was impressed with how precise the distance was for a race like this. Since it was a cross-country course it is obviously more difficult terrain than a road race but this was easy for a cross country course. There were a few gradual hills but I never had to stop to walk. I don’t really like running on grass and the scenery while not unpleasant was just a park so this wasn’t my favorite race but I had no issues with the actual race. It was manually timed and I haven’t seen the posted times but there was a clock at the end with your time and I saw people recording times and tearing off the corner of our bib so it seemed to be timed accurately. I wasn’t going to have a fast race running on grass the day after going 16 miles but I was happy with my time. There is no medal. I’m glad there is a shirt since at first I thought there was no swag but this was a cheap $20 race so swag isn’t that big a deal. There was a lot of food at the end for a race like this with bananas, granola bars, and donuts along with water bottles, coffee and apple cider. It wasn’t my favorite course since I don’t like grass and I prefer cross-country courses that consist of more mixed terrain with some trail mixed in but it was well done for a smaller race and allowed me to get race #97 of the year done!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a 6 hour race located in Shortsville, NY that raises money for a dog park. Shortsville is about 30 min East of Rochester. The race takes place on … MORE

This is a 6 hour race located in Shortsville, NY that raises money for a dog park. Shortsville is about 30 min East of Rochester. The race takes place on a rail trail that is next to the dog park. The race consists of a 2.3 mile out and back on the trail that you can run as little or as many loops of during the 6 hour time period to be counted as an official finisher. I was on call this weekend and this kind of race works great for me as a fun way to get my long run in on call. The races is from 9am to 3pm. Luckily I didn’t have to go in the hospital today but I confirmed with the RD you can start after 9am but it would obviously mean you have less total time to run. The start is at the sort of trailhead. There was a tent with bibs and raffle items. I was very excited to see a Noxgear light up running vest as a raffle item as I was planning to buy one tomorrow now that it is getting dark so early so I bought some tickets. I wasn’t planning to push myself today so my goal was just to run at least a half marathon so it would count for the 100 half marathon club. My initial plan was just to do 6 loops (13.8 miles) and leave but I had a feeling I was going to win that Noxgear vest so I wanted to stay until 2pm when the raffle was and changed my game plan to running about 10ish miles and then walking a couple laps to kill more time until 2pm. The course is pretty nice. It is either gravel or paved rail trail. It is just gradual inclines and declines. There are no hills. The only difficult thing is in is net downhill to the turn around point then net uphill back to the start. I didn’t notice it the first couple laps but noticed it the later laps. At the start/finish there is a timing mat and the race was professional timed with a board that had your miles so you could make sure you went your goal. The trail was mostly pretty a lot of it next to the canal. A few areas not as pretty. It was a little past peak fall foliage but still nice. There is one road crossing. There was no police or course marshal which is understandable for a low budget race like this. But there were cones and a large sign that said “Race in Progress” and I had no issues with cars not stopping. The trail easy to follow and turn around was obvious. At the start there was also a bonfire and a table with snacks. For drinks there was water, sodas and an electrolyte drink. There were a bunch of snacks. They were mostly all junk food (candy, chips, donuts, cookies) except some fruit. I didn’t mind this but if I were taking the race more competitively I would have liked more healthy options. Around noon they had pizza which was amazing as I don’t think I could make it to 2pm without real food. At a little before 1:30 I finished 7 laps or 16.1 miles and decided to call it a day. At the end you get your medal. It is a little wooden medal but it is cute and pawprint shaped. I like that every participant gets a medal whether you walked 2.3 miles or ran 30+ miles. It was definitely a race for athletes of all abilities and there were people of all abilities pushing themselves which was awesome. At 2pm there was the raffle. And guess what? I won the Noxgear vest so now I don’t have to buy one tomorrow

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is another race I did with Bishop's events. Even though this was my first time doing this specific race it was essentially the exact same race as the Summer … MORE

This is another race I did with Bishop’s events. Even though this was my first time doing this specific race it was essentially the exact same race as the Summer Georgetown Race I did so I said repeat runner. Bishop’s events are low key, relatively cheap races throughout the DC region that raise money for charity. This one raised money for autism research which is great. I parked the same place I did last time near Georgetown cupcake and it was smoother since I knew where to go. However race day did not go as smooth as usual. For some reason I never got the pre-race email with wave info maybe that was why. Packet pick-up and the porta potties had very long lines. I got there early and it was not a big deal but as a result the races started a few minutes late and there was some confusion by some participants with the wave starts and some people stuck in line started late. Not a huge deal but it could have been improved. The course is fine. It is on non-technical trail along the C&O canal path. Scenery is fine but a little boring. The course is easy but there is a few rocks and puddles to maneuver around. Swag was okay. There was a short sleeve tech shirt and a small medal. Production and swag were fine for a $25 5K. Again these are not the most exciting races but good if you are looking for a low key race experience and convenient for double race weekends.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I have the week off and am taking a road trip down from NH to the mid-Atlantic region and then back to Rochester and this race worked out great. It … MORE

I have the week off and am taking a road trip down from NH to the mid-Atlantic region and then back to Rochester and this race worked out great. It is on a Saturday and Richmond is a little too far for me to drive to on Friday night so I could only do this race since I had the week off. Pre-race communication included the right amount of emails and a detailed athlete’s guide emailed the week before. Race has packet pick-up at an expo on Thursday or Friday. The expo is open late until 8pm which is great. There is not morning packet pick-up unless you pay $40 for it but that is an option if you absolutely can’t make the expo. The expo was at the speedway which was very smart this year so it could be outdoors. It was medium sized and had the typical expo stuff and a few booths. Packet pick-up was easy at the expo and included bib and race shirt. Shirt is a really nice long sleeved tech shirt. The half marathon one was a nice red color with a very nice design. For the race I stayed at the Richmond Marriot which is the host hotel. I thought it was a little pricey but the staff were very friendly, there were special perks for runners such as water, gu, gummies, etc set out the morning of the race and burgers (unfortunately beef only) for runners after the race. The race started about a block from the hotel so I could roll out of bed. Weather today was absolutely perfect but I’d imagine some years it could be cold. You were assigned corrals based on predicted finishing time. Each corral went off every 2 minutes. It was a very organized start and the announcer was very clear so everyone knew what was going on and when to run. This was the largest race I have done since the LA marathon with about 6000 half marathoners. Even though the race was crowded the corral start worked well and I never felt like I had to weave around a bunch of people. The course is very nice. It starts in Downtown Richmond for the first couple miles which is cool. The next mile is not as scenic but then you go through a scenic neighborhood and then a few miles in a park and then back to another scenic neighborhood. The scenery while not super exciting was lovely and the fall foliage was perfect. I saw a deer in the park. In the downtown area and the neighborhood there were tons of spectators. The most I’ve seen since the LA marathon and the most I’ve seen in a race this size. I really appreciated all the spectators except the man with an offensive politic sign. He sucks and was not appreciated (please keep politics to yourself and if you can’t help it at least keep it positive and don’t have signs with f-bombs on them). The production of the race was top-notch. Roads were all closed and easy to follow. There was aid stations every 2 miles for the first half and every mile for the second half with porta-potties at the aid stations. There was also a junk food aid station with candy and soda which is my kind of aid station. There were also very accurate mile markers. The course was pretty easy but not as flat and easy as I thought. I had a busy week and never looked at the elevation profile so this is my bad but I thought it was going to be an extremely flat course. It was definitely not a hilly course but there were a few gentle hills. Still a pretty easy course but if you are looking to PR or BQ look at the elevation profile and account for the hills. I went off a little too fast not expecting them. The final 1/2 mile is a steep downhill which is fast. The finish line was nice and very exciting with tons of spectators. I still had a pretty fast time and finished a few minute under 2:40. Unfortunately due to shipping issue the medals weren’t ready but will be shipped. You did get a finisher’s blanket and hat. The blanket is excellent and very soft and adorable. The hat is kind of meh but overall it’s a lot of swag for a race. I put the swag at 5 sneakers assuming the medal is at least average but I will lower it if the medal is terrible or doesn’t come but based on the other swag and race organization I would be very surprised if either of those are true. There is a large, outdoor post race party in a park. There were typical race snacks such as banana, chips, trail mix and granola bar and runners can also get pizza and beer. I had a cheese pizza but no beer. Another issue which was again my fault for not looking at the course map is the hotel is about 3/4 mile away from the finish line and it is an uphill walk. It was fine after the half marathon but you may want to find transportation to the hotel if you do the marathon and if you are driving I would recommend parking at the finish not the start. Overall this was a great race. Extremely well organized, nice course and tons of race support. Unfortunately with it being a Saturday race I wouldn’t normally be able to run it without taking Friday off so it may be a one time race for me but I would definitely recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Last year I did the full marathon so you can read my prior review for full details. This is an extremely well produced race by Millennium Running but extremely hilly … MORE

Last year I did the full marathon so you can read my prior review for full details. This is an extremely well produced race by Millennium Running but extremely hilly and probably my least favorite marathon course I’ve done. This year I happened to be in NH this weekend but wasn’t looking for a long race so I did the half marathon relay with my dad. One of the fun things about a relay is coming up with a name. Our team name was “A Flock of Seagroves.” Packet pick-up is either the morning of the race or the day before at the Millennium Running store. I got it at the store right after the 5K since I also forgot to bring my handheld water bottle to NH and needed to buy one. Again it was set up as a mini kind of expo in the back. Packet included an ankle timer for the relay, the 2 bibs and 2 shirts. I wasn’t a huge fan of the shirts this year. They are long sleeved tech shirts but they were dark grey and the design was kind of simple. The shirts were much better last year. This year weather was perfect. Cool but not too cold and sunny. My dad’s favorite part of a race is the start and mine is the finish so he did the first leg and I did the second. It was a little cold when not running in the morning so I stayed in the car until closer to my leg so didn’t see the start but it had a mass start this year. The relay was well organized and very clear where to go and what to do. My leg was the worst part of the race with all the hills in the suburbs. It is rough. It was not as rough not doing a full marathon but there was still about 500 feet of elevation change in my section. Scenery a mixed bag. Most of this section is in the suburbs and kind of blah but there was pretty fall foliage. There is a pretty but short section on trail. I don’t think downtown Manchester is scenic at all. This is the only marathon I have done where the second half of the marathon that doesn’t share the race with the half is more scenic since the second half is along the rail trail. However I was very happy to just run straight to the finish line and not have to pass it four times like in the marathon. The finish line is set up really well. The medals were great again this year and different from last year. I’m not sure which one is a nicer design though the marathon one is appropriately bigger than the relay one. There was basic food like granola bar, chips, bananas, yogurt, etc and non-alcoholic beer at the finish. There was also soup and alcoholic beer somewhere but I didn’t get those. I still feel the same way about this race. Not my favorite course but top-notch organization and super convenient location if you are traveling to NH.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

They listened to me and decided to keep the Manchester City 5K on Saturday before the longer races on Sunday which was great so I could do a double this … MORE

They listened to me and decided to keep the Manchester City 5K on Saturday before the longer races on Sunday which was great so I could do a double this weekend. They used the same course they did last year which is an out and back along the rail trail behind the baseball stadium in Manchester. Packet pick-up was the morning of the race. This year it was a gradual mass start where we lined up by pace and went off a few at a time to avoid the trail being too crowded. It was chipped time at start and finish. I lined up at 10 to 11 minute/mile pace which is what I ran. Runners did a pretty good job lining up and were most running my pace. There was a bit of a back-up on the uphill at the bridge as a few people walked this section. Other than the bridge the rest is flat or just an incline/decline along the rail trail. It is paved but soft pavement so a nice surface for a warm-up. They call you name at the finish and there were a few snacks, water, chocolate milk and non-alcoholic beer. There is no extra swag if you do the 5K and a longer race but if you just do the 5K you get the race shirt. It is a long sleeved tech shirt. It’s nice quality but I didn’t like the color this year (dark grey) and the design was kind of plain. I still wish they would have some kind of challenge medal or other extra swag item for people who do the Saturday 5K and a longer Sunday race. Overall nice warm-up. Not the most exciting 5K course since it would probably be too much to close the streets of Manchester both Saturday and Sunday. I’d recommend this race if you are doing a longer distance on Sunday

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a Halloween themed trail race in Thatcher State Park outside Albany, NY. This race worked great for me this weekend as Albany is on the way home from … MORE

This is a Halloween themed trail race in Thatcher State Park outside Albany, NY. This race worked great for me this weekend as Albany is on the way home from Connecticut. I was initially signed up for the half marathon but when I saw the weather reports with how much it was going to rain on Saturday I switched to the 6 miler the week before since 13 miles of mud sounded terrible. That was one of the best decisions of my life. This event is produced by AREEP the main race company in Albany. I drove to Albany Saturday and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Albany. I discovered a new vegan burger place in Albany called Wizard Burger which was absolutely amazing and the best burger I’ve had outside of LA if you are looking for vegan food recommendations. Thatcher State Park is about a 30 minute drive from Albany but there isn’t much lodging by the park and the race starts at 9:30am so you don’t have to get up early if you are driving from Albany. Packet pick-up was easy and included bib and either a race specific hat or what appeared to be a generic AREEP blanket. I got the hat. It is a cute winter hat with gorillas and squirrels. The start of the race is super fun. There are tons of Halloween decorations, gravestones with runners names and a gorilla or two running around. There is a short kids race at 9, then a costume and gorilla imitation contest which were all just goofy and fun. Then the race starts. The half marathoners and 6 miles run together. This is a popular race for a trail race and I thought waves or at least a separate start for the 6 miler and half marathoners may have helped with congestion. The start and finish are the same place but we just lined up by the start line and did not pass the timing chip so it was gun time. The first mile is not bad. Most of it is through a field. It was very well marked. There was one section with gorgeous views. Then you go in the woods and it gets muddy. The positive is the trail was absolutely beautiful with the fall foliage. The negative is it was crazy muddy. Sections were ankle deep with mud. Without the mud this would be a pretty average trail race in terms of difficulty. The mud really slowed me down and made it hard to fully enjoy the scenery but I trudged along. Course was extremely well marked and I was very impressed there were volunteers at just about every intersection. You couldn’t get lost. The volunteers also all had costumes on. There were a few aid stations. It was a cupless event and you were told to run with a water bottle. The aid stations had jugs to refill your bottle but there were also volunteers to cheer you on. One aid stations had candy which was fun. I was extremely relieved to be out of the woods at mile five as the rest was back through the fields and to the finish line. The half marathoners do a different 7 mile loop which I heard was also very muddy. Yikes. I did want to run any more in this mud. At the finish line they call your name and you get a medal. My finishing time was incredibly slow and I finished covered in mud but uninjured (the real goal today). The medal is just a wooden cutout of a squirrel (or gorilla for the half) with the race name written on it. Kind of simple but better than no medals. At the finish there is food catered by a bread company and there is sandwiches, soup, salads, muffins and bread with lots of vegan options (yay!). Other than the mud which was out of the race company’s control this was a well done event. The swag wasn’t the best but it was a cheap race especially the half marathon so can’t complain and some trail half’s I’ve done have had no swag. I’m not sure I’d do this one again. On the one hand the trail was beautiful, the production was great, the theme was fun and it’s an excuse to go to Wizard burger but on the other hand that mud is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I would however definitely consider another event produced by AREEP.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race is normally in March but this year was changed to October due to Covid. I chose to run this race because it was a new state within driving … MORE

This race is normally in March but this year was changed to October due to Covid. I chose to run this race because it was a new state within driving distance that was happening this weekend. There is a race day packet pick-up which is great since it is a Saturday race and Connecticut is about a 5 hour drive for me so I didn’t have to leave work early or pay extra to get my packet shipped (another reason I picked this race for Connecticut). I would have liked a little more pre-race communication such as when the race was officially approved, etc. but they did send an email the week before with all the important race info. I drove Friday night and stayed at the Hampton Inn in West Haven. It was nice and about a 5 or so minute drive to the start and a reasonable price. Packet pick-up was at the convention center. Due to covid we weren’t able to wait inside. It was a rainy day and the forecast looked terrible so most people waited in their cars. Packet pick-up was easy and included bibs and shirt. The shirt is a short sleeve tech shirt. It is nice quality and I like the design but it is white which is not my favorite color to run in. There were also plenty of porta potties with almost no lines out front. The race starts by the beach behind the convention center so close to the cars. Luckily the weather seemed to clear up just for the race. It was very rainy in the early morning but just drizzling at the start. The race has the same start and finish line and is a loop. Runners just lined up and went. I think some sort of signs to indicate pace or something could have helped spread us out more as this is a decent sized race with about 500 people but it spread out quick enough. The first 2 miles are lovely and along the beach and you are treated to very pretty views and very flat, fast running. Then you go through town. Town was much more mixed in terms of difficulty and scenery. The first two miles in town were flat. I was making good pace and thought I could potentially break 2:30 but this is a trick. The next 6 miles are super hilly. There was about 500-600 feet of elevation gain in this race which overall isn’t terrible but almost all of it was in this 6 mile stretch. Scenery here had some beautiful sections of fall foliage with changing leaves, some boring neighborhood sections and one very un-scenic short, industrial section around the mid point of the race. At mile 10 the race flattens out again and goes on the road next to the beach. I was able to have a fast last 3 miles. I didn’t even come close to 2:30 with the hills but the fast ending let me finish a few minutes under 2:45. I would say the overall difficulty is average but it is a strange course with half the race super easy and half the race super difficult. The course had aid stations about every 2 to 2.5 miles. Aid stations had water, gatorade, Gu (at just about all of them!) and lots of friendly volunteers. I’m glad I carried water since I personally like aid stations more frequent that this but it seemed enough in the cool weather. There were also accurate mile markers for both the half and the marathon. Course was mostly well marked and safe. It was on open roads. All intersections had arrows and most had police. Much of the road was coned off but a few sections were narrow and made it harder to pass people and some runners retreated to the sidewalk a bit. As long as you paid reasonable attention you should be safe and not get lost but I could see how a runner could miss a turn if they weren’t paying attention. For the half there was always runners running around me and there were some spectators. However as the marathon is 2 loops, I’m guessing the second loop of the marathon is more lonely and easier to miss a turn. At the finish line the announcer calls your name and you get your medal. It is a cute medal with a shark on it but the ribbon is plain. There was no food this year due to covid though that was mentioned in the email and I kept a granola bar in my car to eat when I finished. I also really lucked out with the weather as the rain picked up again after I finished but it was just a pleasant drizzle most of the race for me. Overall this was a solid race for Connecticut. It also has a 5 hour time limit for the half which makes it great for walkers. I wouldn’t go out of your way to do this race but if it works with your schedule it is not a bad choice for Connecticut.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race normally takes place in the Spring but this year was moved to October due to Covid. I was excited the Ann Arbor half marathon fit into my schedule, … MORE

This race normally takes place in the Spring but this year was moved to October due to Covid. I was excited the Ann Arbor half marathon fit into my schedule, since I have a friend in Ann Arbor who works at an amazing place called the Barn Sanctuary and I’ve been wanting to visit since I moved closer to Michigan. The October date meant colorful leaves and cool weather but also meant a football game on Saturday which made some of the logistics a bit trickier. I had trouble finding a hotel since they were all booked because of the football game and also traffic getting into Ann Arbor was a mess. I don’t think this would be the case in the spring. There was an excessive amount of emails. I appreciate a lot of communication but I felt like I received an email about this race practically every day. I did really appreciate a few emails such as the one when they officially got their permit and the one with the athlete guide. The rest weren’t as necessary and could have just been added to the website or combined into one longer email. For the race there is an expo the day before from noon to 4pm and also race day packet pick-up. You only get the goodie bag if you go to the expo. I actually liked this as it was a smart way to incentivize going to the expo without punishing those who can’t make it with extra fees for race day packet pick-up. I made it to the expo Saturday but due to traffic and plans with my friend I could only go for a few minutes. The expo is not huge like you see with the LA marathon or an RnR event but it was a nice size expo for a race this size. They had an incentive where if you got a hole punch from visiting all the booths you got a free old race T-shirt. That seemed fun but I didn’t have time to do it. Packet included the shirt, bib and a goodie bag. The shirt is a nice, long sleeved tech shirt. The goodie bag is okay. It had a buff, an energy bar and a few other things. It was nice to get more swag than a shirt and medal but not worth going out of your way to go to the expo for. Race morning went pretty well. Parking is at the football stadium and is free. However it is about 1/2 mile from the start which would be very annoying for the marathon. There were lots of porta potties at the start. There was a big corral with pacers. However the slowest pacers were 5:00/2:30. I was aiming for 2:45 knowing this was a hilly course and I did a marathon 2 weeks ago and have a double next weekend. I would have liked a 2:45 pacer. I did stick with the 2:30 pacers in the beginning to make sure I didn’t go too fast and lost them on some of the hills as expected. The first quarter of the race is pretty cool and goes through University of Michigan campus. There are a few big hills this section. Then next half of the race is kind of boring through parks and a golf course. It is pretty but just not exciting. This part is a little flatter though I wouldn’t call it flat. The last quarter of the race gets interesting again going back to University of Michigan and at around mile 10.5 you go through the Arboretum which is really pretty. However it is on non-technical trail and there is a killer hill at mile 11. I was on pace to finish 2:45 but I lost too much time in this section. I still really enjoyed it since it was so pretty. The last mile is mostly downhill through campus and fast but I didn’t make up enough time to make up for the hill at mile 11. The marathon does the course twice. Yikes the hill would be killer at mile 24. The course was very well marked and easy to follow with lots of volunteers. It could easily be confusing since there were four distances and a lot of intersections on campus but it was not. There was a ton of water stations. About every 1 to 1.5 miles. I did carry water but I definitely didn’t need to. All had water and gatorade and one had Gu. Volunteers very helpful and friendly. My only complaint about the course is the mile markers. They didn’t have markers for every mile. They had marathon markers from mile 16 to 24 and half marathon markers from mile 7 to 11 but didn’t have markers for the first and last miles. I just thought it was odd for a race that paid such close attention to detail to not have these details. It wasn’t really a big deal especially for the half but I love seeing the 26 mile marker when I do a full. Spectators were mixed. I think 8am is a little early for college students so there were actually more spectators at the end of the race and for the slower half marathoners. They call out your name at the finish line and you get your medal. My finishing time was fine. I was a little slower than my goal due to the hill at mile 11 but I thought it was fine for the course difficulty. The medal is really nice and sparkly. The half marathon medal is nice sized. The marathon medal is ginormous. Maybe it is worth the hill at mile 24. There was a ton of finish line food. They had granola bars, bananas, pretzels and also some hot food. I was very excited they had vegan mac n cheese and vegan pancakes (along with non-vegan versions). This race was somewhere between a four and five sneaker race but the vegan options made me decide to round up. After the race I got a vegan burger at Detroit Street Filling Station. Overall I thought this was a very good half marathon. If you have a connection to University of Michigan this is a must run, if not this is still a good race and seems to be a good choice for Michigan.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was looking for a Saturday race in-between Rochester and Ann Arbor and was excited to find this one since it sounded really fun. There are several of these Gourdy's … MORE

I was looking for a Saturday race in-between Rochester and Ann Arbor and was excited to find this one since it sounded really fun. There are several of these Gourdy’s pumpkin runs throughout the midwest. Since I love medals, I also signed up for the Tough Pumpkin where you get an extra medal for running with a pumpkin (you do have to pay extra for this). The race started in Downtown Akron and they had packet pick-up either the day before or the morning of the race. Akron is about a 4 drive for me so I obviously picked it up the morning of. I arrived early so I could have first pickings of the pumpkins. Packet pick-up was easy. You got your bib, a tote bag and a very nice, tech material hoodie. I then went to pick out my pumpkin. Some people choose the biggest pumpkins they can to see how tough they are, not me. I carefully looked and found the smallest pumpkin I ever saw. It weighed 1.2 lbs. The race had a starting arch and for the start you were supposed to select a corral based on predicted speed. I choose “corral” C which was 10 to 12 min/mile. They had an announcer who instructed each corral when to line up. However the corrals were a mess. I don’t really think it was the races fault other than they could have had labeled bibs and been strict about assigning corrals (not sure it is worth the effort for a fun run). It was very clear to me exactly when to go and what corral was right. The race was chipped time at the start and finish so no advantage to running early. Each corral left about every 2 minutes but some participants just randomly went between the corral. I expected the run a little over 10 min/mil and figured I should be the fastest in my corral so lined up near the front but no one was running the same speed as me. Oddly it wasn’t just walkers and slow runners who moved up but people much faster than me running 8 minute miles. It was just weird and I don’t know how to fix it without again being super strict which would take the fun away from the race but if you are participating in a race like this please try to choose to right corral it is about safety so we don’t run over each other. The course isn’t super scenic but nicer than I expected. The first mile was through downtown Akron and the last 2 miles along a canal path. The canal path was a little tight and there were a lot of cracks and potholes this is where the crowding became a bit of an issue. The course was well marked. There was no water stops but it was a cold day and it was fine without water. I actually didn’t carry water since I carried my baby pumpkin. It was pretty flat just some inclines. I was pretty fast today and ran a little over 10 min/mile just as I expected. At the finish line there is water and bananas. I would prefer a food item other than bananas but I had snacks in my car. You then get your medals. The medal is ridiculous. It is bigger than most of my marathon medals. The tough pumpkin one is nice since it was really hard to carry a 1 lb pumpkin. There is also an area where you can get a delicious cup of apple cider and all participants get a pumpkin so I got two pumpkins. This was a very fun, fall 5K with great swag. I wouldn’t really drive 4 hours for this race alone but if this race or another Gourdy’s pumpkin run fits in with another race I am running, I would definitely do it again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was initially going to do a different 5K that was closer to me this weekend but it went virtual so I had to Scramble and luckily found this Monster … MORE

I was initially going to do a different 5K that was closer to me this weekend but it went virtual so I had to Scramble and luckily found this Monster Scramble. This is a Halloween themed 5K or 10K race that raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. They have races in multiple locations including one in Rochester earlier this month when I was out of town. This one took place in a cemetery right outside of Buffalo and was about an hour drive. The cemetery was a great location for a Halloween race and had a lot of roads to run out so no road closures required. As I said in my last review for a $30 charity 10K I don’t necessarily expect road closures or a really exciting course. Parking was across the street from the cemetery. Packet pick-up was easy. There were a number of covid protocols in place. More than most races which I feel is very appropriate for a race that raises money for a condition where the treatment is often immunosuppression. Even though packet pick-up was outdoors you had to wear a mask at all times except when participating in the actual race. Packet included bib and T-shirt. It is a black cotton T-shirt with the Monster logo which is quite cute. The start area was set up nice for a small race. There was a little over 100 participants. The emcee was much more encouraging and not obnoxious. They also had a Zumba session before the race. A lot of participants were in costume and there was also a 1 mile walk so there were some cute kids in costume. The 5K and 10K started at the same time but were about 0.1 km apart. The larger 5K had a corral and a start flag. The 10K just a flag but the start was well coordinated and someone was there to start both groups. It was chipped time at the end but not the start but it was a pretty small race so not a big deal. The course is cool through the cemetery but since there is not 6 miles of road in the cemetery it is multiple loops. The 5K is one long loop and 1 short loop and 10Kers do it twice for 4 loops. It was great scenery for a Halloween race but I took a sneaker away since it was a little redundant with all the loops. The course was pretty well marked. There was definitely a marker at every intersection but some intersections just had arrows taped on the ground and if you weren’t paying attention they could be missed. There was a water station and volunteers at the most confusing point where the long and short loop deviates. They were friendly but it was just little water bottles (as I said there was appropriately a lot of covid protocols). The course is pretty flat. No true hills. Just some inclines. There is one incline that is a little longer on the long loop. Other than when I stopped and walked to answer a page, I ran the entire race. The finish area had an arch and you got your medal. The medal is on the smaller side but is again very cute with the monster logo. It is fine swag for a race like this. There was a good snack selection at the end with mini muffins, granola bars, cheez-its and a few other things with water, coffee and gatorade. It was actually a better snack selection than yesterday. My only complaint is they started putting everything away around the time I finished. I was one of the last runners but there were a few others running at about exactly my pace so it wasn’t like it was just me. They did give us food though. Overall this was a well done charity race. It was a much better race than yesterday and it was $20 less. If I am in town I would do this one again or the one in Rochester.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a replacement for the Empire State Marathon and it was the inaugural year for this race. It is located in Syracuse and there is a 5K and 10K … MORE

This is a replacement for the Empire State Marathon and it was the inaugural year for this race. It is located in Syracuse and there is a 5K and 10K on Saturday and a half and full marathon on Sunday. You can do a combo of Saturday and Sunday races for the “Excelsior” Challenge and get extra bling. Since I am on call and recovering from a marathon I just stuck with the shorter 10K on Saturday. I was excited for this race and it seems like they are trying to revamp what was the Empire State Marathon and make it a premier NY state running event but it was a disappointment and a lot of it was a mess. Weather did not look great and there were severe thunderstorm warnings this morning but the weather magically cleared up for the race. The race starts at the NY state fairgrounds. Parking was easy and free but is about 1/4 mile from the start. Not a big deal for the shorter races but it would be annoying for the marathon. Packet pick-up is at a mini expo. It is indoors but it was spread out and everyone had masks. It’s not a great expo but about what you would expect for a smaller race with an area to buy race merchandise, a few vendors, indoor bathrooms, an area for pictures and packet pick-up. Packet pick-up was smooth and along with bib you got a nice blue long sleeved tech shirt with a fine design. The start was set up pretty well with a nice arch and a corral area. The emcee though was extremely obnoxious, loud, not funny and not encouraging. They should hire someone else next year. One critique of the start is there was no signs to line up by pace. The course is kind of tight and it wasn’t the easiest run around people. The course was pretty mediocre. It was mostly on a paved public trail around the lake. The 5K is an out and back. The 10K is supposed to be about 2.5 miles out then you run back and then at about the 4.5 mile mark you do another mile out and back. The course was very congested until the 5K turn around. The scenery was mixed. The views of the lake were nice but the other side was just along the highway and there were some super, super ugly industrial views and a view of an abandoned parking lot. This had some of the worst views I’ve seen and the nice lake views didn’t cancel it out. The course difficulty isn’t too bad. There are a few bridges with some inclines but nothing crazy. About 200 feet of elevation gain. There were mile markers and aid stations with friendly volunteers with cups of water and gatorade. Other than not being the most scenic course and some congestion, things were going pretty smooth until we passed volunteers at mile 2.5. I don’t believe it was the fault of the volunteers and there was no markings on the course but I believe they were supposed to tell us to turn around but instead they told us to keep going. I thought it 2 things were odd. 1. I hadn’t seen any fast runners run past me by now and 2. We were now running on a sidewalk next to a gas station and a mall which was somehow even less scenic than before and there were no course marshals at the crosswalks. I thought maybe due to weather there was flooding and they made a last minute course change or something. Anyways I get to mile 3 and think it is odd I don’t see a turn around then I see a whole group of runners who tell me they never marked a turn around and to turn around after mile 3.1. I ran a hair past 3.1 to make sure I would go a full 6.2 miles and turned around. On the way back the mile markers were obviously not correct. Then we go to the 4.5 area where the 10Kers were supposed to do the extra mile and the 5Kers were supposed to run back to the start. Even though we all went extra miles they still told us to turn to do the extra mile of the course. I was like heck no I just ran a marathon last weekend and two 10Ks this weekend was ambitious without adding an extra mile so I just turned the way the 5Kers were supposed to go and ran a 10K. About half the 10Kers seemed to do what I did and about half did the extra mile. Since some people turned around even further back than I did I heard some people did about 8 miles…Yikes….big mistake. The runners were not happy. At the finish line the obnoxious emcee was giving high fives and when I didn’t give one he made a snarky comment and I yelled at him for trying force people to high five him during a pandemic (At this point I realize we need to start getting back to normal and I don’t have a problem with offering high fives but the pandemic is still happening and if someone doesn’t want to high five you they should not get a snarky comment about it. In fact that should be the case even if there isn’t a pandemic). Please fire this guy. At the finish line you are handed your medal. It is a fine medal. Not exceptional to make up for this mess of a race but adequate. Finish line food was okay – granola bars, bananas and little water bottles. My finishing time was mediocre but I wasn’t running too hard since I’m still recovering from the marathon last week. I went to look up the times a few hours later and laughed that it is reported as 10K-13K times since everyone just ran a different distance. It was a choose your own adventure type of race. Honestly even if this course was marked correctly it still would have only been a mediocre race. It was priced way too high for a race on public trails. I completely understand using public trails to cut costs and make logistics easier but if I spend $50 on a 10K I expect some of the course to be somewhere I couldn’t just run uninterrupted anytime I want. If this was a $30 10K I would be fine with the course (if it were marked correctly). If this race wants to be a premier NY state race that 50 staters come to run they really need to make some big improvements. This race costs about the same as the Buffalo marathon which is a much, much, much better event if you are a 50 stater looking for recommendations. This race is close by so I’m open minded to give it another chance and there were some things done well and the swag was decent but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for this race. I hope things go better for the half and full marathoners tomorrow. If you are doing this race tomorrow, study the race map and if the course seems to deviate definitely question it unless you are looking to potentially run an ultra.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

How did I end up going to Kansas for 31 hours to run a marathon this weekend? It's a bit of a long story but I was planning to do … MORE

How did I end up going to Kansas for 31 hours to run a marathon this weekend? It’s a bit of a long story but I was planning to do my fall marathon this weekend so I could also do virtual Boston at the same time since I want a unicorn medal but am never going to be fast enough to BQ and don’t want to raise thousands of dollars. I was originally planning to do the much closer Steamtown marathon but that got canceled and I needed a backup. I wanted to find a backup I knew would happened. I asked the Marathon Maniacs Facebook group for recs for this weekend and someone suggested this one. I was intrigued as it was a new state and happened last fall so was definitely happening this year. Since it was on a Sunday I could potentially go for just the weekend but I would need to find perfect flights. I looked for flights and found perfectly timed flights and decided to go to Kansas for 31 hours to run the “Boston” marathon. Logistics, this is a very convenient race as the packet pickup, race start and finish and race hotels are all within about a block of each other. If you want a race you don’t need a rental car this is a good one. I flew in to Wichita early Saturday and took a cab to the hotel. I stayed at the Courtyard Marriot. It was really cheap at $100/night and very nice for the price although a fire alarm falsely went off at 10:30pm when I was asleep so that was annoying. Packet pick up is the day before right by the start line. There was no expo but it was outside and efficient. There is no race day packet pickup but it is a Sunday race so that’s not as big a deal for me. However I do think they should have kept packet pickup open a little longer. It stopped at 4pm. That may be tight for some people. Packet included a personalized bib, the race shirt, athlete guide and a magazine with things to do in Wichita. The shirt is a nice blue polyblend shirt. I’d prefer a tech shirt but it is very comfortable and the design is nice. The race is in Old Town Wichita and there are enough interesting things nearby within walking distance to keep you entertained for a day or two. I also found great vegan/vegetarian food at Lotus Leaf Cafe and Sabor Latin Grill. Race day starts at 7:30am. The half and full start together. There were about 1600 runners all together but much more were doing the half than the full. The start was set up well. There were lots of porta potties and a place were you could get coffee and small snacks. There were pacers which helped runners line up by pace. I liked that they had pacers but I wish they had them for slower runners as they stopped at 2:30/5:00. The start went well and was on time. There is a different start and finish chute both with timing mats. The first part of the course is a 3.5 mile out and back along one of the main streets of Wichita that is about for a total of 7 miles. Then there is about a 6 mile loop along the river. Marathoners do this twice. Scenery for the race was okay. This was probably my least favorite scenery of any marathon I’ve done but I’ve generally chosen very scenic marathons. It’s probably the best scenery they could find in Wichita as Wichita is not exactly Los Angeles or Red Rock Canyon. The main street has some interesting buildings and lots of spectators. The loop had a cool view of the science museum, some nice views of the river and a very well done blue mile at mile 8. The second loop was the same with less spectators and they took down the blue mile. Course was easy to follow and the streets were closed or a large area was coned off so very safe. There were accurate and very big mile markers and lots of aid stations. The aid stations were approximately every 1.5 to 2 miles. All had water and gatorade. 2 had gu the first loop but there was none the second loop at least for slower marathoners. Also the volunteers just left some cups and left at one of the aid stations on the second loop but that seemed to be a one off as all the other aid stations had volunteers on the second loop and this may have been the volunteers and not the race’s fault. The course is very flat but not quite pancake flat. There are a few minor hills/inclines on the out and back. It would normally be a very easy and fast course but today was very hot. It was in the high 70s for most of the race and there was no shade. This made the race quite difficult and slow. As a result I walked the inclines and just a lot of the race but if I were doing the half and it were 10 degrees cooler there was no place on course I would have to walk. The finish line was great. An announcer called out all the runners names and there were quite a few people cheering even though I was slow. This is one of my slowest marathons but with the heat I just wanted to finish under 6 hours and I did that. At the end you are given your medal. It is a really cool medal. The more I looked at it the more I appreciate it. It is shaped like Kansas, has the distance, date, the cute running bunny logo and lots of little details specific to Wichita/Kansas. Great medal for a 50 stater. Only complaint is it is one sided. There was also water, gatorade, bananas and granola bars at the finish line. There was a nice area for post race celebration. There were multiple beers to choose from if you drink along with pizza and some samples of some meat. I passed on the meat and beer but did take some pizza. They had extras and actually offered me a full pie but I wasn’t that hungry but got several slices of cheese pizza. They also had massages and there were chairs and picnic tables set up. Overall I thought they did a really good job with this race. Production was really good for a mid size race. The worst part was the weather which was out of the race director’s control. I did think the scenery got a little boring especially since it’s a double loop race and the energy in the first loop was definitely better than the second but that’s true of most marathons. This definitely seems to be a good option for Kansas especially with the medal. However if it wasn’t for the fact I needed a full marathon this weekend for virtual Boston this would be a race where I would say to just do the half if you are like me and doing a mix of halfs and fulls to get your 50 states. I’m still very glad I did the marathon this weekend to get a new state and my unicorn medal along with my cool Kansas medal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I will start off by saying this is an awesome race and probably my second favorite half marathon of the year after Surftown. This race is produced by Loco Running … MORE

I will start off by saying this is an awesome race and probably my second favorite half marathon of the year after Surftown. This race is produced by Loco Running who is the other big race company in NH besides Millennium. However earlier this year Loco was bought by a larger national race company Ventures Endurance so this was the first time Ventures Endurance produced the race. The people from Loco are still involved. I did think the event was overall well organized but there were a few minor issues I’m guessing that were likely a result of the change in management which is to be expected. My dad also ran the half marathon and my mom and her high school students volunteered at some of the water stops so it was a family event for us. Pre-race communication was pretty sparse. There was an email sent Friday. It had the basic information but there could have been more specific details. The race starts at 8am but my mom had to get there at 6:30am to set up the water stop so we woke up super early since it is about an hour drive from my parents house. Parking was very easy and free that early. I thought packet pick-up could have been more organized. I was originally registered for Half at the Hamptons which is another Loco race back when it was owned by Loco earlier this year but that got moved to a date I couldn’t do so I opted to defer to this race. However unbeknownst to me, there was a waiver for this race I never filled. After I waited a few minutes in line for my bib they told me I couldn’t pick up my bib because I hadn’t signed the waiver and that I had to speak to the woman at the end of the registration table. However after waiting in line to talk to the woman at the end she had no idea what I was talking about because the actual woman I was supposed to talk to stepped away for a few minutes. She eventually came back and I figured it out and electronically signed the waiver with her and then had to wait in line again to get my bib. Not a huge deal but kind of annoying waiting in so many lines and there would have been a few much simpler solutions. The simplest being having paper copies of the waivers at the bib pick-up stations. I understand wanting to go paperless so 2 other solutions would be to have emailed people without a waiver beforehand and/or having it so the bib pick-up people could also do the electronic waiver. After the bib pick-up drama the rest was pretty smooth. It was easy to get the fleece pull-overs. They are extremely nice. One of the nicest clothing articles I’ve received from a race. The start of the race was relatively smooth. My only critique of the start is there were no porta-potties by the start line only at the finish line which was a couple blocks away. They had runners line up in self seeded waves. I went to the last one which was 11 min/mile or more and waited near the front figuring I would be one of the faster of this group and everyone around me was running a similar pace. The race is chipped time with a timing mat at start and finish since this is a large race and it took a couple minutes for the end of the line to get to the start. This was one of the biggest races I participated in since the pandemic though not as big as usual years which made the race extra fun. However there were pretty much no covid protocols. Whether this is a good or bad thing I will leave up to you. The course is super nice and super flat. The first section is a short loop down the main area of Hampton Beach then through some beach neighborhoods and then an out and back along the ocean back to the main Hampton Beach street followed by a lollipop loop the other direction along the ocean and through a neighborhood then back along the ocean to the finish along the main street. You do pass the finish line a few times. This can be frustrating for some people but it also great for spectators. Unlike Surftown and Surfcity where you couldn’t really see the ocean for most of the race, there were absolutely gorgeous ocean views this race. The neighborhood though was much nicer in Westerly, RI. There were some friendly spectators here but no celebrity mansions. The course is pretty much pancake flat until the neighborhood where there are some minor hills. Total elevation under 200 feet. Weather was gorgeous today. This is often a cold and windy race according to my dad whose run it a few times before but today it was in the low 60s and there wasn’t much wind. Compared to Surftown there was no wind. It was barely a factor today. However I didn’t think there were quite enough aid stations for a day this warm. The volunteers were great and I’m not just saying that because my mom was running 2 of the aid stations. They genuinely were but I think there was only 5 aid stations and they were about 2.5 miles apart. This would be enough for a cold day but today was a little humid and I sweated a lot. Luckily I was carrying water. Half the aid stations were just water and half had water and gatorade. There were also volunteers handing out gels. I appreciated the gels but I thought it was odd the gels were given out about 1/2 mile from a water station as I like to wash down my gel with water again luckily I brought my own water. There was plenty of porta potties on course which was good since I needed one since I couldn’t go right before the race. Also the roads were either completely closed off or half the road closed off so you never had to worry about dealing with traffic. Course was really easy to follow too. My biggest critique of the course is the mile markers were crazy off. The mile 1 marker was correct but the mile 2 marker came up at 1.67 miles. The 3rd and 4th also came about a quarter mile short. I was nervous the race was measured wrong but luckily the mile 5 marker was in the right place and they were mostly right after that though seemed to be off by like 0.1miles here and there. Anyways between the beautiful weather, fast course and exciting atmosphere I was super fast today and realized if I pushed myself the last 3 miles I could actually break 2:30 something I hadn’t done since January and I did it! This was actually my fastest half marathon this year and my fastest since the New England half nearly 1 year ago and second fastest since the pandemic. At the finish line you get your medal. It is a nice medal. I would say compared to other half marathon medals it is above average though not a top 25% medal. The medals always have the cute harbor seal that is part of the Smuttynose label which I like. At the finish line there are bananas and water. Then you can go to a food tent where there are lobster rolls and clam chowder and even better they had vegan minestrone soup and hummus wraps. The hummus wraps were freshly made and delicious. The soup was pretty good too. There was also a booth with hint flavored water. Overall this was a really fun race and a great and fast course. The swag was very nice along with the post race food. There were a few minor details that could be fixed but I think they will once the new management company is more familiar with things. Would definitely recommend this race for NH or just in general. There are a few other races I want to run that occur on this weekend but I will definitely consider this one again!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I don't really know if this is the world's most awesome dog themed 5K as their slogan suggests but compared to 2 prior dog themed 5Ks I've done in CA … MORE

I don’t really know if this is the world’s most awesome dog themed 5K as their slogan suggests but compared to 2 prior dog themed 5Ks I’ve done in CA before I was a Racerave regular, this race was exceptionally better. I was planning to be in NH this weekend for Smuttynose Rockfest and wanted to run a warm-up 5K on Saturday and was excited to find this one since I love animals. I know I have cats but I love dogs too, cats are just easier when you travel to races almost every weekend. This is located in Nashua, NH about 45 minutes from my parents house. It started at a Stadium in Nashua. Packet pick-up was the morning of the race. It included a really nice, quality and beautiful pinkish orange colored tech shirt. Great shirt for a 5K! You are also supposed to get a medal at the end but unfortunately they were stuck in the mail again but it should be mailed. I will update the swag after I receive the medal but put it at 3 sneakers for now. There is a spring and a fall race and you get extra swag if you do both. They also give a medal to the dogs that run this but the dog medals were also stuck in the mail. There was about 150 runners. For the start there was an arch and a timing mat and runners lined up 2 by 2 and went to space things out. It worked pretty well. The course was fun but nothing special. The first about 1 mile is on a road that is coned off. One side of the road is scenic with views of a pond and park and the other side is extremely unscenic with views of businesses. You then go through a school parking lot and into a park. This part is more scenic but nothing spectacular. The first half through the park is on a paved path and the second part is on non-technical trail. It is a pretty easy course. There were no true hills just some rollers and about 60 feet of elevation gain. It wasn’t a particularly fast course though as the trail slowed me a bit and it was a bit long. My Garmin said 3.25 miles though longer is better than shorter. It was cute to run with the dogs. All the dogs were well behaved and the start kept everyone spread out. My time was fine but this was a warm-up run so I wasn’t going for a PR or anything. I was embarrassed to be beat by a dachshund. As I said the medals didn’t come in but they did send an email with your finishing time. There was a solid post race snack selection with granola bars, rice krispy treats, fruit roll-ups and dog biscuits. Other than the medals getting stuck in the mail, everything went extremely smooth. It was a nice but somewhat generic course. This isn’t something I would go out of the way for but I would definitely do it again if I happened to be in NH. The organization was 5 sneakers though I’m not sure the course was special enough for an overall 5 sneakers but if the medal is spectacular I may change my overall rating.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I had completing a triathalon on my running bucket list but I am not much of a swimmer and I am terrified of open water so I wasn't really sure … MORE

I had completing a triathalon on my running bucket list but I am not much of a swimmer and I am terrified of open water so I wasn’t really sure how I would accomplish it but then I found this race which is a paddle-bike-run triathalon so no swimming required! This race is located in Silver Lake, NY not to be confused with my old LA neighborhood. Silver Lake is just under an hour from Rochester. This race starts at 10am so I had plenty of time to get there and no hotel is needed. Packet pick-up can either be the day before or on race day. Packet pick-up was practically on my way home from Randolph so I got my packet Saturday at a local brewery. Packet included bib and a nice technical long sleeved shirt. I also stayed and went for a hike at Letchworth which is right nearby on Saturday since I didn’t think a half marathon and a triathalon were enough for a weekend. Letchworth is amazing, definitely visit if you are in the area. I was very anxious about this race Sunday morning and I realized triathalons are not great for anxious people as there is so much that can go wrong. Luckily Wolfpack Multisport knows how to run a triathalon so nothing went wrong except for the medals getting stuck in the mail but they told us about that. They did email an athlete’s guide the week before. I think it had enough info for an experienced trialthlete but personally I would have liked a bit more about how the transitions etc work but race day was pretty flawless. Kayakers dropped their kayaks off first and then parked and brought their bikes to the transition area. The kayak start was interesting. Everyone got in their boats starting at about 9:45. Then we had a mass start. The kayak was about 1.2 miles. It was a square and you went around very easy to spot buoys. Luckily weather was great today as I heard the kayak section was rough last year when it was stormy. There was a bit of a current but it wasn’t too bad. The only difficulty is the final leg of the race was the most against the current. The kayaking was a fun, easy way to start. Much better than swimming in scary open water. The kayaking took me around 20 minutes to my relief so I had plenty of time for the bike. There is a 2 and 1/2 hour time limit to finish the kayak and bike portion and then an additional hour to finish the run. I am a terrible biker so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time. After the kayak we pulled our boats to shore and there was about 0.4 miles to the transition area. This was a little annoying but we were told about it. Then we went to the bike transition area. I was nervous about this part since I am not much of a biker. I just do easy bike rides along the canal path as cross training or to ride to work and don’t really ride on hills or streets. The bike ride is 16ish miles. The first half is wonderful through very rural scenic area around the lake and through farmlands. I also saw some adorable cows but didn’t get off my bike to take a picture. The bike course was well marked and most but not all intersections had volunteers. I did hear of one person missing a turn. I was very paranoid about getting lost so I was paying super good attention but it seemed easy to follow to me. Around mile 8 you go more through town. I didn’t like this as much. Along with being terrified of open water, I am also terrified of dying in a bike accident (again why a triathalon was on my bucket list who knows?). I do think the race did everything they could to make this safe and there were course marshals at every busy intersection and I was absolutely never in danger but they can’t patrol every drive way and small street so this part made me nervous. The roads are also kind of gravely not the most well maintained in the town area. There are some potholes. I have a hybrid bike and am used to terrain like this so it was not particularly a problem for me but definitely slows you down. There were two really steep hills near the end one at mile 11 and one at mile 13. I had to walk my bike up these hills. The rest of the hills were rolling and easy and I am even worse at biking up hills than I am at running hills. I actually thought the bike part was great just my own not really enjoying bike riding got in the way which was not the races fault. I was relieved to get back to the transition and then it was the 5K. The 5K was both extremely easy and tough. It was nice to end on what I am familiar with and nice to know I would definitely finish but also after stepping out of my comfort zone so much for this race, it was kind of anti-climactic and I really didn’t feel like a 5K after that bike ride. The 5K course was fine but more of an afterthought and the star was really the bike course. It was an out and back through some neighborhoods by the lake. More scenic than average but no spectacular views. Rolling hills. Not too bad but more uphill the second half. Also well marked with a water stop at the 1 mile mark you pass twice. My time was really slow for a 5K but not bad for all I had done this weekend (half marathon & 5 mile hike Saturday, 1.2 mile kayak and 16 mile bike ride right before the 5K). I was so relieved and happy to get to the finish line. I finished around 2:38. I haven’t seen the official results. My time was about exactly what I thought I would do but my main goal was to finish and not die. The RD was very friendly and cheerful at the end. As I said before the medals got stuck in the mail and didn’t arrive on time. It was disappointing to not get a medal at the end as this is one of the races I am proudest to finish. I really stepped out of my comfort zone for this race in some ways more than I did for the 50K I did earlier this year. But they did say they would mail the medals and to make up for them not being there on time would engrave our names and finishing times. I will update the review when I get the medal and if they are really nice add an extra star to the swag. The end had some basic food and also pizza including cheese. Overall I am very happy I completed a triathalon. I’m not sure I will do another one. While I thought this race was great and have nothing negative to say except don’t save the worst hills for the end, I really don’t like racing with my bike very much. Plus I have much more of a one sport athlete mind set. I would rather use all my training and dedication to running so I can be mediocre at one sport instead of terrible at 3. It was still a great experience and one of my proudest accomplishments and I would recommend this race to you crazy triathletes!

*** Update on the medals – There was a lot of communication about the medals and they were sent a few weeks later. The medals are nice. I don’t have a triathlon medal to compare them to but they are the size and quality of a nice but not spectacular half marathon medal which seems right since this was about the difficulty of a half marathon. I am happy with the medal though it is not spectacular enough to raise the swag rating. I was also surprised I got third place in my age group so got another medal. I looked and there were only 4 participants in my age group but hey I had to beat somebody ***

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is my second year running this race. It is probably the most difficult but also most scenic of all the road half marathons I have done. This is located … MORE

This is my second year running this race. It is probably the most difficult but also most scenic of all the road half marathons I have done. This is located in Amish Country in Southwestern NY. About an hour drive from Buffalo and 2 hours from Rochester. While I could have gotten up really early and drove I decided to stay at a Holiday Inn Express in nearby Jamestown so I wouldn’t have to get up really early. This race offers either Friday or day of packet pick-up. I got it the morning of the race since I arrived a little late on Friday. Packet pick-up was easy and I was happy the swag was better this year. This year you got a long sleeved, cotton T-shirt with the race logo and got either a winter head band or beenie with the race company logo and a swag bag full of samples, coupons, a race sticker and some race logo bib buttons. Last year I was bothered by the lack of covid protocols but that wasn’t as big of an issue this year since I’m vaccinated and really no races I’ve done recently have had any covid protocols. Since this is a smallish race it actually seemed to be one of the safest I’ve done lately. Production of this race is good for a small race. It does not have the flawless production of some of the larger races by bigger race companies but no real issues with production. The race starts with the marathon at 8 then the half marathon at 8:05 and then the shorter races. There is a nice corral area. It is manually timed but it is a small race so you cross the start line right away and the only way you are PRing is if this is your first time running your distance. This course is crazy hilly but crazy wonderful. I took it extremely easy today since I had my first triathalon the next day and didn’t want to push myself too much. There is no time limit so this is a good race to take easy. The scenery is breathtaking farmland. Again once you get past the 10K turn around it’s the best so I’d recommend doing the half. Once you pass the 10K turn around there are a bunch of Amish families with adorable children who cheer you on. And even better there are so many farm animals. If you read my reviews you know I love farm animals especially cows. I took about 50 pictures today of all the amazing animals. Along with a ton of cows and horses, I also saw some chickens, turkeys and sheep. I was happy to see the two adorable calves from last year were back and much bigger. I included a pic of one who stood right by the road and another adorable little cow. It is an out and back but the scenery is so good you don’t mind it twice. The hills though are unrelenting and there is well over 1000 feet of elevation gain. There are very frequent aid stations and porta potties on course. The aid stations are close to every mile. This year there was some issues with getting volunteers so some were unmanned but there appeared to be plenty of food, water and electrolyte drink though the water was in bottles. The electrolyte drink was self serve cooler with little cups. The aid stations have gels, candy, chips and pickles. There is usually a bacon one but this year to the delight of me and the animals and the disappointment of the other runners they couldn’t get a volunteer to make the bacon. There were volunteers at a few aid stations and the most important intersections. All intersections were well marked and there were also mile markers. The roads are open but they are very quiet with the occasional car or horse and buggy. The only good thing about the elevation profile is the last mile is downhill. At the finish line they cheer on the runners and you get your medal. It was a nicer medal than last year though still not distance specific. My time was incredibly slow since I took so many pictures lol. I set a road half marathon personal worse but I had a blast. At the end there is a tent with food. It was again beef sandwiches and this year there was beef chili and also mac n cheese and donuts. How can anyone eat beef after running this? The mac n cheese and donuts were good though. Overall this is a great hidden gem of a race. I’d highly recommend it. I’m tentatively planning to run the Clarence DeMar marathon next year which I believe is the same weekend so I will have to skip this one next year but definitely plan on doing it again.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was very surprised and impressed by this race. As you may know I am trying to run 100 races this year and this was the only race I could … MORE

I was very surprised and impressed by this race. As you may know I am trying to run 100 races this year and this was the only race I could find within driving distance today. This race is named after a little girl with cancer who loves Tutus and raises money for families of children with cancer. There is an option for a 1 mile untimed fun run or a timed 2.2 mile run. I thought 2.2 miles was an odd distance and then I realized “two-point-two” “two two” “tutu” and I felt stupid that it took me like a week to get that. This race is in Auburn about an hour East of Rochester closer to Syracuse. This was the inaugural year and they did a great job. It is located on a campground. There was a large sign where to enter and park. The start was set up really nice and had music, an ice cream truck, a raffle with cute prizes, and someone selling popcorn. The packet included a bag with the T-shirt which is again just an okay cotton shirt but there were lots of other goodies including a frosted cookie, a sticker, a rubber bracelet, a beer kozie and some coupons. Lots of swag for a short race. Race day started with a kids dash on a field at 9am. It was adorable especially the little girl in a purple tutu who refused to go with the other kids. There were also some volunteers dressed in shark costumes with tutus on running with the kids and cheering them on. Then at 9:20 there was a 1 mile walk. The 2.2 mile run started at 9:45 once just about all the walkers finished. This was also manually timed but they did have Willow Running do the timing so it was professionally timed and my time was accurate. If you ran the race in 22 minutes you got a pint glass. I got ambitious. The course is an out and back on a quiet country road through the campground. It is a smart course as it is such a remote road they could keep it closed without much support. However it was kind of hilly. Nothing hard just rollers but it was too hilly for me to maintain an under 10 minute mile for 2.2 miles and it was harder than I expected. I did run the first mile under 10 minutes, then I crashed at about a mile and a half and had to walk a hill. Oh well. If I just did a steady 10:30 minute/mile pace I wouldn’t have had to walk and would have been faster. There were also water stops with cups of water and gatorade at the 1 mile and 2.2 mile turn around. My time was okay I went too hard in the beginning and will learn for next time if I do another 2ish mile race. I actually hated the distance. I’d much prefer a shorter or longer race. It was not short enough to just go all out and run as fast as you can like with a mile race and it was not long enough to get in a zen, peaceful running zone. At the finish they did give a small, little sparkly tutu medal and there was a good selection of post race food with donuts, granola bars, fruit, and milk along with the ice cream and popcorn you could buy. Overall I was very impressed with the organization and fun atmosphere for this race especially for an inaugural race. The swag was also quite good for a short race. This was a $30 race where I definitely got my money’s worth. I’m not 100% sure I would do the race again since I didn’t like the distance but I’d do it for sure if it were the only race in town again and I would highly recommend it for families and casual runners looking for a short race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I will start off by saying I kind of feel bad writing this review. This race was for a great cause helping animals and the race organizer was extremely nice … MORE

I will start off by saying I kind of feel bad writing this review. This race was for a great cause helping animals and the race organizer was extremely nice and enthusiastic but this was definitely one of the weakest races I have participated in. The race is located by Watkins Glen. It’s over an hour drive but worked out conveniently since this was an evening race at 4:30pm and Canandaigua where my first race was is on the way to Watkins Glen. I didn’t receive any pre-race emails and the race page was pretty limited. The link the facebook page didn’t work. I eventually searched facebook and found the race page since I wanted to make sure the race was on and found there were a lot of updates on facebook. There was also apparently an email that went out the week before the race that myself and a number of other participants didn’t get. Although the race organizer was extremely nice and sent us the email from her personal email when she found out we didn’t get it. The race takes place along Catherine Valley Trail which is a pretty and non-technical trail. Packet pick-up was outside at a nearby elementary school parking lot. It was outdoors. Packet included a T-shirt. It is okay. It is cotton, the design is cute and it’s a nice color. You also got a beer cozie with the cute design. The swag was fine but it wasn’t the greatest swag ever especially since this was a $30 race. This year there were not many people who signed up for the race. I think there was maybe 30ish. I guess they had bad luck as a few races near Watkins Glen moved to this date and most people don’t run two races in a day like myself. I also think an improved race page and better advertisement would make more people sign up. The start was about a quarter mile away from the school at the start of the trail. There was a sign with the race name and balloons. The race organizer described the course and apologized it wasn’t on run sign up and said she had issues with run sign up this year. That might explain the email. Still other races haven’t seemed to have problems with run sign up. There was a 3K and a 5K option. You didn’t choose when register you could just decide the day of. I guess that is nice but everyone did the 5K so they wasted time measuring and marking the 3K. The trail is actually quite nice. It is non-technical and very pretty. There was a slight incline and two minor “hills” on the way out and the way back was mostly downhill or a slight decline. Better elevation profile than this morning. It was easy to follow but there was one intersection that maybe could have been confusing that didn’t have signs but it was easy enough to figure out. The course was also not measured right either. I got to the turnaround at about 1.45 miles and the course was just under 3 miles. Oh well. It was manually timed and not by a professional timing company. I saw someone record the times but then they emailed me to confirm my time so who knows if they did. I haven’t seen the race results yet. I had to answer a page so I wasn’t very fast so if I never see published times my life will go on. At the end there was just lukewarm water bottle with no food and I was hungry since I didn’t eat much lunch. The race was also too expensive for the swag and production at $30. If it were a $15 to $20 race I’d probably add a sneaker. The good news is that even though there were so few participants, the race was so low budget that they did actually raise quite a bit of money. If you are looking for a great race where you will get your money’s worth, this is not the race for you. But if you are looking for a pretty run in the woods and to give money to charity then go for it. While I wasn’t particularly impressed with the race I’m not opposed to doing it again if I’m in town more as a way to give a donation to help animals. I just won’t set high expectations.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a 5K that takes place in Canandaigua which is about 30 minutes East of Rochester. I am on call again this weekend so staying local. The race has … MORE

This is a 5K that takes place in Canandaigua which is about 30 minutes East of Rochester. I am on call again this weekend so staying local. The race has race day packet pick-up at the church that sponsors the race. Packet pick-up was easy but I would have preferred it to be outside on the lawn rather than inside for safety reasons. Packet included a fine royal blue, comfortable polyblend shirt and bib. The races starts at 10am which I think is a little late as the weather would have been perfect at 8am. It still wasn’t bad but a little hotter than ideal. Although the 10am start was convenient as I was able to see patients before the race and then stick around in Canandaigua after since it’s on the way to my next destination. The church it starts at is on top of a hill which makes this a pretty brutal race and not the fastest 5K. There was no timing mat at the start but there were race flags and it started on a wide street and isn’t a huge race with about 150 participants so not a huge deal. The first mile is great. Almost all downhill and quite easy. But what goes down must come up and starting about the halfway mark of the second mile it is all uphill. The third mile is pretty much all uphill and quite steep. While I have been overall slower with racing so frequently I have improved my race strategy and have negative splits most races but not this one. I don’t think anyone could. If you are aiming for a specific time make sure you bank time or energy for the end. Besides the awful hills on the third mile the course is quite nice. It’s not a super special course but it goes through some nice neighborhoods and Canandaigua is very pretty and green. There were also mile markers with timing clocks. But the clocks were off by two minutes so it made you seem faster which is the main reason I dropped a sneaker for production. There were also a couple water stops but they were giving out water bottles and I was carrying a handheld water bottle so didn’t use them. You finally get to the top of the hill at mile 3 and then it is a fast finish where there is a finisher arch and lots of post race food. There are Boston cream donuts from Dunkins with the adorable race slogan that this race is “A Boston Cream Qualifier.” There were also granola bars, cheese sticks, yogurt and fruit. There were also some food trucks where you could purchase food. Most of the food trucks were pretty meat heavy but there was a delicious boba truck for a post race treat. There are no medals unless you place which surprise even though I was pretty slow I was third in my age group so I did get a medal (and there were more than 3 people in my age group. Okay to be honest there were only 7 but I did have to be in the top half to place). The medal is really nice and since this is a small race you apparently don’t need to be fast to place in your age group. This was a good local 5K. As long as you are prepared for the hills on mile 3 and don’t plan on PR’ing or getting negative splits, you will enjoy it. This is one I wouldn’t plan around but would do again for sure if I am in town.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race takes place in a coastal town in RI right by the Connecticut border. It is produced by the Hartford Marathon Foundation who did an excellent job. This wins … MORE

This race takes place in a coastal town in RI right by the Connecticut border. It is produced by the Hartford Marathon Foundation who did an excellent job. This wins as my favorite half marathon of the year so far and I’ve done close to 20 so far this year. This race is quite similar to the similarly named Surf City half marathon in CA which just happened to be on the same weekend this year but I actually thought this course was more scenic! For the race I stayed in Mystic CT which is about 20 minutes away at the Holiday Inn Express. My mom met me in Mystic Saturday evening and she walked the 5K while I ran the half. I got there a little earlier and did Saturday packet pick-up at the beach. However I was only able to pick up my packet and not my mom’s as you need a signed and printed waiver to pick up other people’s waiver. That was my bad as I didn’t read the rules and I wouldn’t hold it against the race but mentioned it just so others are aware. Packet included bib and a nice, pretty colored blue tech shirt. Race morning went pretty smooth. There is free beach parking but it does get a bit congested. My mom got her packet in the morning. There were plenty of porta potties at the start. The race is set up very smart where half marathoners start at 7:30 and 5Kers start the opposite direction at 7:40 so there is very little if any mixing of the races. The start had signs to line up by pace. I was aiming for an under 2:45 finish knowing this was an easier race than yesterday but that my legs were still a little tired so I stuck with the 2:45 pacers. It was nice to have pacers for a race. Everyone seemed to line up well and this is a nice sized race with about 1000ish participants so lots of runners but not too congested. The first about 2 miles were on the main beach street. This part is very similar to Surf City and you can’t really see the beach but you can smell the ocean air, see some wetlands and kind of the cheesy touristy beach stuff. This part is pancake flat and the start was fast as we were going with the wind. Then there is about a mile through a nice neighborhood. There are a few rollers but nothing hard at all and the slight elevation change is nice to work out different muscles. Then it’s another about 3 miles on the main beach road. While this is pancake flat, it was tough this direction due a strong headwind. Then it is about 5 miles through some really, really nice neighborhoods. I mean like ginormous, beautiful mansions including Taylor Swift’s. This part is again not flat but mostly just little rollers. There is one hill called “Watch Hill.” Everyone acted like it was this big monster. It was an absolute joke compared to yesterday. To be fair while it wasn’t very long it was on the steeper side and it occurs at mile 9.5 which I think is the absolute mentally toughest part of a half. I did walk it since my legs were tired but I’m not sure I would have if I didn’t run a half yesterday and I wouldn’t have walked it in a shorter race. The views were amazing at the top. The rest is mostly downhill and then the last mile and half is flat, fast and with the wind down the main street. The course was very well marked and also the areas that were open to traffic had areas coned off for the runners and course marshals on bikes helping to make sure everyone was safe. There were also frequent water stops with cups of water and Nuun and one in the middle with Gu. It was nice to have nutrition on course. Today there were like a million porta potties on the course when I didn’t have to go. Weather was pretty nice. It was a bit hot but not too bad and the biggest issue was the headwind. I actually felt great for this being my second half marathon this weekend and knew I had enough energy to run the last few miles faster than the pace of the 12:45 pacers so I went ahead and killed the last couple miles and actually finished under 2:40 and had negative splits. I would have been happy with my finishing time if I didn’t run a half marathon yesterday and was especially impressed with it given I did. You get the medal at the end which is very nice, big and surf themed. My mom’s 5K medal is a cute little surfboard. For food they had bananas, granola bars, granola and clam chowder. Unfortunately they were out of granola bars and granola when I finished which is my only complaint about the race. Luckily my mom grabbed some for me since I don’t eat clams and bananas don’t sit well with me for some reason. My mom enjoyed the 5K a lot but was disappointed it was broth clam chowder not traditional, cream based New England clam chowder. It is a little congested driving out of the race. Not big deal since there is free beach parking so can’t really complain but plan accordingly. After the race we went back to Mystic and had lunch at Pizzetta which has the absolute best vegan pizza and there are non-vegan options there too and then went to the Mystic Aquarium before heading home. Overall this was an awesome race! I would highly recommend it for Rhode Island and honestly just in general if you are looking for a great race. It is also a fun place for a weekend trip and this is one I would love to do again and was worth the trek!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race is located in Southern Vermont right across the NY state border so it's a pretty convenient race for me. I was looking to run 2 half marathons this … MORE

This race is located in Southern Vermont right across the NY state border so it’s a pretty convenient race for me. I was looking to run 2 half marathons this weekend in lieu of the traditional 20 mile training run in preparation for my upcoming marathon since I don’t really do long runs any more just races. This seemed to be the most convenient race to do before the one I had planned in RI on Sunday. Manchester Vermont is about a 4 hour drive straight East of Rochester. If you run this race, I recommend booking lodging early. I have been waiting about 1 to 2 months before races to book hotels given the uncertainty of things and had very limited options. Pretty much either a cheap motel or a very expensive bed and breakfast. Went the cheaper route which was fine since this was an in and out trip but would have liked a nicer room. There is race day packet pick-up which is great since it’s a Saturday race. The race starts in a park. There is easy parking and packet pick-up was also easy. Packet included bib and technical shirt. The shirt was a nice, red short sleeved shirt. The race started in the park and had a different start and finish and had timing mats at both the start and finish. There is a 5K and a half marathon that start at the same time. This is a mid sized race. This year it was capped at 400 but I don’t think there is usually a lot more than that. This is a nice number to make the race not stressful but also generally be running with people. It was a mass start. The course is mostly a loop through some of the streets around Manchester. Like pretty much all Vermont races, it is very scenic and very hilly. It was nice to do a half that wasn’t just an out and back. The course goes through the charming little downtown, then some mountain and farm views. There were also some cool sites along the course including going past a sculpture garden and my favorite part when we ran right past a petting zoo. I did not actually stop to pet the animals as tempting as it was but they were right by the course and I walked over and said hi and took pictures of the animals lol. I should mention I wasn’t taking this race too seriously since this was the hillier of the doubles so I took it pretty casually. The hills were pretty tough. There was over 800 ft of elevation gain. Not quite the hilliest half I’ve done but it was up there. It was mostly ups and downs but mile 8 to 9 is pretty much all up one giant hill and it’s a slog. The last 4 miles are great though and mostly downhill which is why I rated difficulty 4 not 5 sneakers since the end was nice. Also the weather was absolutely perfect. The course was pretty well marked. There were course marshalls at all the most important intersections but there were a few spots I thought could have used a volunteer and there was one spot I thought could have used a sign. The course was open to traffic. Some of the streets were on the busier side. I was never in danger but I did think there could be cones or signs or something to make it safer and/or give us more space to run. There were mile markers and frequent aid stations. There was no on-course nutrition but this was communicated. I also didn’t see any bathrooms on the course. They said there would be some around the half way point. Maybe I missed them but I had to go and had to wait until I got to the finish line. Finish line is nice with announcer and arch and clock. At the end you get your medal. The medal is okay. It is a wedge and the medals for 2020 (which was virtual), 2021 and 2022 connect. On it’s own it’s not that special and on the smaller side but it does have a nice covered wagon design that is very “Vermonty”. This is a pretty cheap half marathon though so the medal and shirt are fine for the price. My finishing time was okay. I took this race easy and just wanted to run under 3 hours and I did that. I probably could have broke 2:45 if I spent less time looking at the animals at the petting zoo but what’s the fun in that. At the end they had typical race food including bagels, fruit and chips. They also had an ice cream truck where you could buy treats and they were giving samples of a drink called “Tost” which is non-alcoholic champagne alternative. The Tost was good I am going to buy some for New Years. After the race I got a delicious vegan tofu banh mi and an oatmilk latte from Bonnet and Main in the downtown area. The downtown is cute but I had to head to my next destination. Overall this was a very good race. I wouldn’t call it a “must run” but it’s a good choice for Vermont. I wouldn’t go out of my way for this race but it’s on my way to NH and other New England destinations so I’ll likely end up running it again.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is an annual 5K that takes place on Labor Day and is sponsored by and raises money for the Groton High School Cross Country Team. Groton is a small … MORE

This is an annual 5K that takes place on Labor Day and is sponsored by and raises money for the Groton High School Cross Country Team. Groton is a small town outside Ithaca. It is about an hour and 45 minutes from Rochester which is a little far for a 5K but I am on a mission to run 100 races this year and with the delta variant already starting to wreak havoc on my falling racing schedule, I need to do every race I logistically can even if it means driving 3.5 hours total for a low budget 5K. There wasn’t really any pre-race communication but the website was updated with information. Packet pick-up was the morning of the race at the high school. Packet included bib and a grey cotton shirt with the race logo. It’s a very okay shirt but fine for a cheap $18 fundraiser race. I will use it as a pajama top. The start was about 1/4 mile from the school. There was a 1 mile race first at 9am followed by the 5K at 9:30. The 1 miler started by the school and it was mostly adorable little kids. It was a ton of fun to watch them and cheer them on. I think that was the best part of the event. The 5K start was a little past the school. It was just a line in chalk with 5K start written in chalk. Not the best but oh well. This was a very similar course to yesterdays course. A very hilly race through neighborhoods and countryside ending on a high school track. I had bad timing this morning and got paged just as the race started. I spent the first half a mile on the phone and my first mile ended up being about 15 minutes. I spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. The first mile was through neighborhoods. It was fine and there were some spectators. There is a killer hill at the end of the first mile. It was shorter than the one yesterday but much steeper. I doubt many people tried to run it. The second mile had one absolutely beautiful view of the countryside. Then there was a short about 1/2 mile section of rail trail. This was quite pretty and normally would be nice but it was a little annoying as I was behind a bunch of slower runners and kids and it was not the best place to pass people. This would not be an issue if I didn’t lose time from the phone call. The last mile was again through neighborhoods and had some minor hills. You then ran through the school parking lot and onto the track for a fast finish. The course was pretty well marked. There were arrows drawn on the ground at all intersections with chalk and volunteers at most but not all intersections. It was pretty easy to follow but it could have been marked a little better and some signs would have been helpful. There were also a couple water stops with friendly volunteers. Course was open to traffic but there were course marshals and traffic wasn’t an issue except in the parking lot. I was super slow due mostly to spending half of the first mile on the phone so runners were leaving and there was a lot of traffic running though the parking lot. The finish on the track was nice and there was a timing mat at the end. My time was quite awful but if you take away about 4 minutes and use my average pace the last two miles (~ 10 to 11 minute/miles) it wasn’t too bad for the difficulty of the course. This one was actually hillier than yesterday. Again its just a road 5K but definitely a tougher than average road 5K. At the end you are given a finisher ribbon. I like this for a 5K. I don’t necessarily need a medal for every 5K I do and especially a fundraiser 5K but it’s nice to get a little memento and a finisher ribbon seems right for a 5K. There were also water bottles, chocolate milk (yuck!), apples and some delicious homemade baked goods at the finish line. Overall this race was fine and it was a fun morning and it was cute seeing all the families there. It’s not the best produced nor most exciting race but for a fundraiser race sponsored by a school cross country team I thought they did a good job. I can’t say I would definitely drive 3 1/2 hours for this race in a year when I am not trying to run 100 races during a pandemic when I have no idea how many of my Fall races will actually happen and I really hope we are never in this situation again. Still this is one I would recommend to locals and may do again since it’s hard for me to resist a four race weekend and this seems to be the closest race to Rochester on Labor Day Monday.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a race located in Geneseo that takes place the Sunday of Labor Day weekend with a 5K or half marathon option. Geneseo is a cute, little college town … MORE

This is a race located in Geneseo that takes place the Sunday of Labor Day weekend with a 5K or half marathon option. Geneseo is a cute, little college town about 30 minutes south of Rochester. As I am on call this weekend, I chose the shorter 5K distance. There wasn’t a ton of pre-race communication but they did send an email with packet pick-up and race info the week of the race. There was early packet pick-up closer to Rochester on Friday and packet pick-up in Geneseo on Saturday along with race day packet pick-up. I did it race day since I didn’t have time Friday between work and my evening race. Race day packet pick-up is at Geneseo Central School. It is set up so the race festivities are in the middle of the track area and the races ends at he track. Packet pick-up was easy and included bib, shirt and the first 100 people to pick up their packets got some delicious cocoa almond nut butter. Glad I woke up early for that. The shirt is a short-sleeved tech. It is a mustard yellow color with the race logo. It’s not my favorite color but I’ll wear it. One issue with the shirts is they had gender specific shirts but when you registered they just assumed women would want “women-cut” shirts and men would want “men-cut” shirt and didn’t have registrants pick a style. I was handed a women’s medium but asked for a men’s medium instead since I don’t like women’s cut and a women’s medium would be too small and they did give me the shirt I wanted since they were letting people exchange sizes but this could have been avoided by having registrants specify preferred shirt style. There were bathrooms by the track and the line wasn’t bad. The start is about 1/4 mile down the road. The half marathon starts at 8am and the 5K at 8:15 am. The start “line” could have been better. There was no timing mats at the start just a sign that said half marathon start and one that said 5K start. However the lack of a true start corral did allow more room for runners to space out so there was very little time from when the first runner crossed the “start” than the last runner so the lack of timing mats didn’t matter much. The start of the 5K is kind of fun because you got to see the half marathoners running by and can cheer them on before you start. The first mile of the course is mostly flat and relatively fast. It was pouring rain on us while we waited for the 5K to start but it cleared up during the race. I got paged about 1/2 mile in which made my first mile a little slow. The first mile is along the main road. This is a pretty area so it’s quite scenic and then you head downtown. The downtown area is cute. Despite the weather there were some spectators and volunteers cheering us on downtown. Then right after mile 1 there is an absolutely brutal, killer hill. There was no way I was running this entire thing. It was steep and long. My Garmin showed a total elevation of 141 feet and most of it was this hill. But what goes up must come down so the last mile and a half is downhill or flat with just the occasional roller. The half marathon does not go up this hill but I’ve heard there is a different brutal hill for the half. The race also had separate 5K and half marathon mile markers and for the 5K there was a water stop at the halfway mark. At the end of the race you turn back into the school and finish along the track. The end is really nice. It is a fast and fun way to finish. There was a finish arch, timing mats and an announcer who cheered each runner on. My time looks bad but I actually got paged twice on this race and