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@seagroves87

Rochester, NY Raving since 2020 50 States hopeful/finisher, Half Fanatics #18410 active 7 hours, 24 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Los Angeles Marathon 2020

  • Race that's calling my name:

    New York City Marathon, Zion Ultras

  • I run because:

    Running changed my life! 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 Races

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

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (10)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Los Angeles, CA Mar 8, 2020 5:20:34
30K Pacoima, CA Feb 9, 2020 3:45:00
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
4.5 Miler Henrietta, NY Sep 9, 2020 1:09:08
5K Los Angeles, CA Dec 14, 2019 28:40
3 Miler Henrietta, NY Aug 22, 2020 36:03

Future Races (15)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
5 Miler South Hero, VT Sep 20, 2020
5 Miler Victor, NY Sep 25, 2020
Half Marathon Randolph, NY Sep 26, 2020
Half Marathon Victor, NY Sep 27, 2020
5K Rochester, NY Oct 10, 2020
Half Marathon Concord, NH Oct 11, 2020
5 Miler Erie, PA Oct 17, 2020
Half Marathon Ellicottville, NY Oct 24, 2020
Marathon Manchester, NH Nov 8, 2020
5 Miler Pittsford, NY Dec 5, 2020
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Feb 27, 2021
Half Marathon Wilmington, DE Apr 25, 2021
19K Seneca Falls, NY Jul 17, 2021
15K Utica, NY 2021
50K Springdale, UT 2021

Past Races (24)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
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

This is an absolutely gorgeous, pancake flat non-technical trail marathon or ultramarathon in Northern Pennsylvania. I stayed in Corning in Southern NY which is about 45 minutes away as I … MORE

This is an absolutely gorgeous, pancake flat non-technical trail marathon or ultramarathon in Northern Pennsylvania. I stayed in Corning in Southern NY which is about 45 minutes away as I had originally planned a small vacation to Corning for Wineglass weekend but when that went virtual I switched my vacation weekend to coincide with this race but there is also closer lodging in Wellsboro PA or you can even camp on site if that is your style. Since the marathon had a late start at 9am I still didn’t have to get up early with the 45 minute drive and Corning is lovely. I was not very impressed with pre-race communication at least via email. However there were many updates on Facebook so make sure you like their page if you are going to run this race. All the other races I did during covid had very detailed procedures but this was mostly vague like don’t congregate too much and we are serving mostly prepackaged food. The marathon is very small (about 30 participants) so even though there weren’t as specific of covid procedures it felt safe enough but I’m not sure how it felt for the more popular ultra distances. The marathon is very simple a 13 mile out and back on a trail then a 0.2 mile run through the parking area to the finish line. The start was kind of odd there was no timing mat at the start at 9am someone just said go and you went. I was a little worried about a 9am start and running in the middle of the day in September but the weather was cool and absolutely perfect. I was also worried an out and back on a trail may be boring but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. You could easily get lost in thought and it was very peaceful and zen and luckily as it was on one large trail it was very easy to follow and would be hard to actually get lost. For the marathon there were 2 aid stations you pass twice. They were well stocked since it is an ultra race with the usual gels but also candy, chips and sandwiches. I would recommend bringing either a hydration pack or a handheld water bottle as the aid stations are as far as 8 miles apart but they gave you a collapsible cup with your swag and if you don’t need much water you may be okay without one. At 13 miles there is just a sign that says turn around. It wasn’t super big and there was no volunteer there so it could easily be missed. It also didn’t say the distance the turnaround was for. Obviously if you were running the marathon you knew to turn around there and the longer distances to keep going but as the 100 mile runs the course twice I believe I could see getting confused in the middle of the night. You turn around and run 13 miles back where you came from and then do a 0.2 miles loop through the parking lot to complete the marathon distance and there is a timing mat at the end which I’m guessing gives you a time based on how long you are after 9am. The race is pancake flat the change in grade is barely perceptible and the terrain was technically very easy. A marathon is never easy but this course is as easy as possible. Mentally its a little tough without as much crowd and aid support but you pass by some of the ultra runners who all cheer you on. Also it is so pretty it helps. My finishing time was okay but I would have liked to have run under 5:30 but I was happy enough with it especially since I didn’t do any specific training for this race and had no runs more than 16 miles before the race as opposed to the LA marathon where I religiously followed a marathon training guide. If you did train properly this would be a great PR course as it was much easier than the LA marathon. But if you didn’t another great thing about the race is it has practically no time limit. Basically the 100 mile race has a 30 hour time limit and the other races need to finish by then so the marathon pretty much has no time limit (technically it is 27 hours) and the 50 miler and 100K have very generous time limits of 28 and 29 hours respectively. So great course for walkers or beginners. At the finish line you get your medal which is wooden with the race logo and distance. It is a fine medal. Not particularly big or special but also not gaudy. Normally I would want a fancier medal but the simplicity of the medal worked for the simplicity of the race. There was also food. They were making hot food for the ultra runners which wasn’t ready but they had other cold items including chips and hummus my favorite snack which was enough to hold me over until I could get into town for my traditional post-marathon veggie burger. Other swag could be picked up either the day before at a local store or the morning of the race. I got it the day before. It came in a nice simple tote bag that I will definitely use filled with lots of useful goodies including a buff, small flashlight, poncho, the collapsible cup, this cute lady bug cold pack and the best part some maple candies. It also had the shirt which is super ugly. It is a hideous lime green with these weird black stripes over the sleeve. It is also not distance specific and just says pine creek challenge 100 which is kind of cool because if I am brave enough to wear the shirt in public people will think I ran 100 miles. Its actually a decent shirt other than the color and is tech material so I’m sure I will use it. Overall I really enjoyed this race and am so happy to have done a marathon during the pandemic. I did think there were some production issues which is why I took away a star but nothing that got in the way of the overall experience. I’m not sure I will do the marathon again given there are so many other fall marathons I want to do but I could be convinced and would absolutely do it again if we are stuck with limited options again next year. I wish there was a shorter either half marathon or 30K distance so I could run this race regularly. If I ever decide I want to try a 50 mile race I am definitely picking this one given the easy terrain and generous time limit but right now the idea of running nearly twice the distance I ran today sounds pretty awful.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This is usually the first race in a series of 5 midweek, low-key trail race put on by Yellow Jacket Racing that highlight different trails around Rochester. However this year … MORE

This is usually the first race in a series of 5 midweek, low-key trail race put on by Yellow Jacket Racing that highlight different trails around Rochester. However this year due to Covid it ended up being the third race. It was the only one I had the opportunity to do and it was a ton of fun. As the name says these are dirt cheap. They cost less than 20 bucks and are all about the trail. There is no swag unless you sign up for the series in which you get a shirt. This one is at Mendon Pond Park which is my favorite place for trail running. It is not my favorite place because it is easy. It is about as technical as possible to still be mostly runnable. This race was 4.5 miles through the trails and they definitely chose all the most challenging parts. The race had a rolling start from 4pm to 6pm and you came, picked up your bib, they checked your temp and you went. A little anti-climatic but the RD is there with music making it a bit more fun. The course starts easy enough with some relatively flat, not too technical trails and I had a really fast first mile. Then you get deeper in the woods and it gets technical. Some big hills. One was really steep up and even steeper down. Along with lots of rocks and roots there are also some fallen trees to climb over or under. To top it off a nice stair climb. Miles 3 to 4 were through this muddy, marshy area. Yep there was mud. Pretty much this was nature’s obstacle course race (well other than the stairs which were man made). The mud was kind of fun at first but as I was running very carefully because I didn’t want to get injured before my upcoming marathon I ended up walking through the muddy area after I almost tripped. After the mud it is a small stretch through grass. There wasn’t as much grass in this race and it was mostly connecting trails. Then you head back to the more runnable trails to the finish. At the finish you get some prepackaged food (chips, protein bar, water). No medal but swag isn’t the point of this race. I ran it very carefully so purposely had a pretty slow time. Race was the perfect difficulty to feel really hard-core for finishing but not a complete masochist. The course also had some pretty areas and I even ran past a deer which is not an uncommon finding at Mendon. I look forward to doing the race series next year and hope they can produce their winter trail race series this winter. Highly recommend this race. Even if you aren’t up for a difficult trail race it is short enough you can walk it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I am originally from NH and now that I am back on the East Coast I am planning to visit quite a bit as long as covid rates stay low … MORE

I am originally from NH and now that I am back on the East Coast I am planning to visit quite a bit as long as covid rates stay low in both NH and NY therefore I was very happy to hear the Millenium Running in NH is planning to hold all their fall events with social distancing protocols. I was very impressed by the organization of this race and the ability to host a race with over 500 runners safely. Each runner was placed in a wave based on predicted finishing time with faster runners in earlier waves so there is less passing. Each wave is limited to 100 participants and each gets a number 1 to 100 and stands at a cone 6 ft apart based on their number then every few seconds a new runner goes. Each wave is given a time for parking, packet pick up and entering corral to avoid large congregations. Parking was easy but since I was in a later wave I had to park kind of far. Packet pick was that morning (or the option of early pick up at the store but I arrived too late the evening before). You got bib and T-shirt. Only issue with shirts and really only production issue is they were out of men’s mediums (I switched to choosing men’s sizes since women’s sizes are too unpredictable) but they had women’s larges left which ended up being a perfect fit for me. I have mixed feelings about the shirt. It is tech and fits nice. I like how the race logo has the elevation profile incorporated in the image but the color is kind of an ugly charcoal grey. The start went quite smooth and I like how they personally introduce each runner before they start adding more excitement to the start line. The weather at the start was gloomy, cool and slightly drizzly which I actually like running in weather like that. The course itself is quite tough and very tough for a road race. They aren’t lying about the hills. It was pretty nonstop up and down for the whole race. This year the race was run the reverse direction as usual so the runners ran against traffic and roads didn’t need to be closed. With the wave starts, spaced out runners, and lots of signage it felt safe running on the open roads. This changed course meant the steepest hills were up front which is better but the finish was not downhill which is worse. There were 3 water stops with small water bottles and the last 2 had small powerade bottles. This seemed very hygienic but not very good for the environment. So many half full water and powerade bottles in the garbage. I hope they get recycled and even though I prefer to run lighter I plan to use my hydration pack next race to reduce the waste. The course went around a pretty lake and the views of the lake were nice. The rest of the race was pretty (it’s hard to find a not pretty 10 mile in NH) but not as pretty as a New England race in the Fall. The hills were tough and this had probably the second toughest hills I dealt with on a road race after the Chinatown Firecracker 10K but after those mountain trail races I can’t give it a 5 star in difficulty (but it may be that difficult for exclusive road runners). About halfway through it started to rain hard and I no longer liked the weather (I can’t always expect perfect weather now that I am out of LA). Most of the race was road but the last mile was on the rail trail. Normally I’d like some easy, non techinical trail at the end of the race but not in the rain as it was muddy and hard to avoid puddles. Also the last mile was a slight incline so it was a tough end. At the finish line they called out all the runners as they crossed another nice personal touch. Given the hills and weather I was happy to finish under 2 hours. At the finish line there was water, powerade, fruit cups, coconut bars, bananas and apples. You were also given your medal. The medal was amazing. It was huge and by far my largest medal from a non half or full marathon. However it didn’t have the year but from what I saw online was a different medal than last year. I will forgive RDs this year for not putting the date on the medal since they may not have been 100% sure the race would happen when they ordered them. This was not the most pleasant race with the rain which was not the race’s fault but was very organized and felt very safe. I’m not sure in a year with multiple races to choose from that I would choose to visit NH for this race alone but if I had another reason to be in town the week of the race I would absolutely run it again. I hope Millenium Running can keep holding their events like this as I am hoping to run the New England Half and Manchester City Full. But their cancellation policy is more than fair offering credit to any future Millenium Running event so low risk to sign up for their races if you are local or visit NH a lot.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I like the concept of this race, part trail and part road, and was very happy Yellow Jacket Racing (YJR) was able to produce this race this year and especially … MORE

I like the concept of this race, part trail and part road, and was very happy Yellow Jacket Racing (YJR) was able to produce this race this year and especially happy they added an extra day and extra spots since I hadn’t originally signed up for the race since the original date was last March. I chose the 3 miler because I was on call this weekend and had to round in the hospital after the race (and after a shower of course). Like all YJR events I have done this race was impeccably, carefully, and safely produced. The corral system was the exact same as for the Shoreline Half marathon. Only production issue is the direction link on the race website didn’t take me to the right place but when I googled Stewart Lodge I got right there. This is at Mendon Ponds Park which is my favorite place in Rochester for trail running and hiking. The first mile was pretty nice. It was about half a mile of mostly gradual downhill, fast road racing. Then there is about a half mile of non techinical, pretty flat trail. The second mile is where the fun begins and by fun I mean about half a mile of more technical stuff starting off with what pre-covid would have been a very intimidating hill for me but after these trail races I’ve done on ski mountains was nothing to me…okay it wasn’t nothing I did hike instead of run a bit of it but I wasn’t intimidated by it. Then there is some more technical downhill sections which are quite fast. It is helpful to have trail shoes for this section as there are some rocks and roots but if you don’t have trail shoes just be careful on this section. The technical section is quite short so not worth getting trail shoes for this race alone. After the technical trail you are back on the road for about another half a mile. This part is mostly slight inclines and declines. It felt like there was more up than down but nothing to bad. It got kind of hot by now and the road wasn’t very shaded so that was the most difficult thing about this section (although heat shouldn’t be a problem in March when the race usually takes place). The final mile is where the fun ends and my least favorite part of the course. It was mostly all on grass and most of it slight uphill. I have learned that I do not really like running on grass. I got paged and took a call on an uphill section that seemed particularly annoying to run on and just walked it. I do have to say though the grass and the course were very well marked. I feel like the last mile was kind of a cop out mile to make the mileage fit exactly. I would have preferred a more interesting 3ish mile race on more real trail instead even if the distance wasn’t exact. You are then back on the road for a very short section for a downhill finish. I am enjoying the smaller city running culture and the RD now knows who I am and cheered me on as I crossed the finish line and gave a personal cheer to most of the other runners as they crossed as well. My time wasn’t great mostly because I answered a page during race but even though it was slower than all but one of my 5Ks, this was technically another PR for me as it was my first 3 mile race. For swag, you get a nice, cotton T-shirt and a bag of prepackaged food at the end. There is no medal. I love medals and keep all my medals even for 5Ks but to be fair I don’t really need a medal every time I run a 3 to 5 mile race. The race was also pretty cheap so while there wasn’t a ton of swag, the swag seemed fair for the price. Overall I loved the trail, liked the road, and disliked the grass. This is a good race for those curious about trail running but not yet ready to make the commitment. Difficulty would depend on your experience. I would have found this race quite difficult 6 months ago before covid forced me to learn the joys of trail running but it is probably quite an easy race for an experienced trail runner. As I am somewhere in the middle I rated its difficulty in the middle. Personally I’d kind of prefer a fast road race or a technical trail race but the mix was fun (without the grass). It wasn’t my favorite course but I did like the first 2 miles and I’d do it again if I didn’t have other plans and would choose the 5 miler if I weren’t on call.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

After the Battle at Bristol Mountain I was a little hesitant to sign up for another race at a ski resort but as this was the only real race I … MORE

After the Battle at Bristol Mountain I was a little hesitant to sign up for another race at a ski resort but as this was the only real race I could find in a 100 mile radius of Rochester this weekend I decided to check out the website and while it was up a mountain it had a much more forgiving elevation profile so decided to sign up and I am glad I did. For the race you signed up for a certain time frame. There were 2 time options for the 4 miler and 2 for the 8 miler. I decided to sign up for the later 8 miler slot as I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to drive to the race in the morning or get a hotel (it is about a 2 hour drive to Ellicottville from Rochester). In the end I decided on a hotel which was great as I was able to spend Saturday hiking in nearby Allegany State Park and Ellicottville was a cute little town and I found a place with vegan buffalo wings. Packet pick up was on race day and you were assigned a time slot to pick up your packet based on your race time. Packet included a really nice and soft (but not tech) shirt, a neck gaiter featuring the race company’s logo and some tickets to some activities at the resort. The start was a rolling start where you could start anytime in a 15 minute time slot but most people started at the beginning and you stood on X’s 6 ft apart and a new racer started every 5 seconds. Course was tough but doable. Terrain was mostly non technical trail. There were a few loose rocks so I’m glad I had trail shoes but they weren’t completely necessary. The first 3 miles were mostly uphill with a few downhill sections. There were some steep sections but at most there was a 20% grade and most of the uphill was more gradual than that. If you had more experience with trail and mountain running you could probably run it all or at least most. I do not have much experience so I power hiked a lot of the uphill. It was a tough run but not a terribly tough hike. The good thing about a mountain race is what comes up must come down so the last mile is downhill. It’s a little steep to take complete advantage of the downhill as you have watch your footing but is completely runnable. For the 8 miler you do this twice. It was a little demoralizing as the fast 8 milers in the wave ahead of me caught up with me just before my second lap and headed to the finish when I had to do it again. However I have to say trail runners are the nicest people in the universe and all of them told me good job in a genuinely nice way as they passed me. The 4 mile loop wasn’t too awful so I didn’t mind repeating it again. There were aid stations at the 2 mile mark which you passed twice and the 4 mile mark with cups of water and Gatorade. At the end you get a bag of food and a wooden medal. There were lots of treats in the bag (clif bar, apple, banana and muffin). It was a tough race but not “you have to be crazy to run this” tough. I rated it as 5 stars in difficulty as it was definitely the second toughest terrain I have raced on but it was a cake walk compared to Bristol. I wasn’t very fast but reached my goal time of under 2 hours and technically it was a PR since this is my first 8 mile race. I really enjoyed this race and loved the challenge. I am now open to more mountainous and challenging trail races as long as there aren’t 30 to 40 degree grades like at Bristol. I’m not sure if this race will happen again or was just a covid pop up but I would do it again and will definitely run other events with this company even if it is a 2 hour drive.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I have no idea if this race was really this great or only seemed this great because it was my first long-distance road race in exactly 5 months (if there … MORE

I have no idea if this race was really this great or only seemed this great because it was my first long-distance road race in exactly 5 months (if there is a silver lining to this pandemic it is that ordinary things that we used to take for granted become extraordinary), but I was so happy to be running this race. I was also so lucky to be running this race. I signed up for this race last winter (pre-covid) once I took a job in Rochester as it was initially scheduled my first weekend in Rochester and thought it would be fun to do. Then covid happened, registration for the race was paused and only those who were signed up already were allowed to do it due to NY state group size regulations. Also luckily the race was pushed back 1 month as I would have had to self-quarantine during the initial date. If I could give an extra star for production with all the planning and hoops that had to be jumped through with NY state park restrictions I would. The RD had to call me to confirm I was not living in CA (when I registered I didn’t have a place in NY yet so used my CA address) and I had to send my lease as proof. I have absolutely no issues with this and understand why NY state has these restrictions but this is just an example of everything that went into this race to produce it safely and in accordance with local guidelines. Packet pick up was outside fleet feet the day before and very easy. Although they also had day of drive through packet pick up if you couldn’t make it though it was discouraged to do it. Packet included a tech tank top. I liked that they gave a tank top you can actually use while running in the summer. The design was nice and simple but I wish it wasn’t white since it’s a little see through. The start of the race was like a well oiled machine. Runners were assigned to waves in groups of 15. Waves were assigned based on when you registered and they tried to put people who appeared to be running together i.e. same last name in same wave. This seemed like a very fair way to do it. There were 3 corrals set up. 1 with temp check, one to wait and one at start and every 3 minutes a new wave went through each corral. The corrals had markings where to stand 6 ft apart. I really liked this start while it was a little complicated and you had to time things perfectly, it was exciting to start with a group even if it was a small one and I liked it more than the rolling one hour time window approach most of the other races I’ve done during covid have used. The course starts in Hamlin state park and the first 3 miles are through a pretty wooded street. I will warn you there is very little shade and it can be hot. It has been an extremely hot and humid summer here. We were lucky today wasn’t as hot and humid as it had been but it was still hotter and more humid than I’d prefer. Then you leave the park and run the next 7 to 8 miles through farmland. As I was running past fields of corn and farmhouses this is where I realized I am not in Los Angeles anymore. I actually really enjoyed the lovely farmland and while it definitely didn’t have the energy of a big city race, it was very picturesque and serene. For this part of the race you ran on the shoulder of the road and it was open to traffic but it seemed very safe as there was barely any traffic (again did I tell you I am not in LA anymore). There was only one water stop at about mile 6 so you had to carry water (this is not normally the case and just due to covid and they warned us about this ahead of time). I had my handheld water bottle. I appreciated the volunteer at the water station filled my bottle up as they could only give out water bottles and I thought I was going to have to grab a water bottle and fumble around with it to fill my handheld. While there were limited other volunteers I appreciated the ones there and they were at all the right places to prevent you from getting lost especially since some of the race I was running by myself. Also one of the volunteers recognized me from Bristol mountain. Another perk of being in a smaller city, people are already starting to know me 2 weeks into the Rochester running scene. At around mile 11 you go back into the park and this is the prettiest part of the course where you run along a paved trail right next to the beach. Then you run to the finish line where you are given a bag with some packaged goodies (bars, chips, banana) and your medal and a water bottle. It felt good to actually get a medal at the end of the race. Medal is cute with a seagull and the race logo but not year or distance specific (to be fair after all these race cancellations I know now why a race may not want to put the year on their medals). I hope this doesn’t mean there are the same medals every year but that wouldn’t stop me from running this again. I also really liked the course elevation profile. It was relatively flat (especially for the Rochester area) but not pancake flat. There was no true hills but some little rollers and some inclines and declines which is how I like a race. I was overall happy with my time. I didn’t have high expectations given the heat and knowing I was a little rusty from not running as many road races as usual but I achieved my goal of under 2:30 and was nowhere near a DNF with the 4 hour time limit. If the weather somehow was cool during a normal year with regular racing and more aid stations this could be a PR course but it is often hot so I wouldn’t plan on it for a PR course. Normally there is a barbecue at the end (with vegetarian options !) but that obviously couldn’t happen this year. I have no idea if this is actually as amazing of a race as it seemed today but that being said it is definitely a well-produced, nice local race with a great elevation profile. I will definitely run this again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

So I knew this race was going to be brutal but not DNF because I couldn't finish 10 miles in 4 hours brutal. This is one of the toughest trail … MORE

So I knew this race was going to be brutal but not DNF because I couldn’t finish 10 miles in 4 hours brutal. This is one of the toughest trail races you will find and you basically go up and down a mountain at a ski resort and it is a battle. I had just moved to Rochester about 3 weeks ago (so I am post the 14 day quarantine period) and was very excited that Yellow Jacket Racing just announced they were having their first live event since the covid pandemic started which was this. When initially looking at races in Rochester this was not on my “to run” list as I really didn’t want to tackle going up and down a mountain but with so many events canceled and nothing else to choose from I thought why not. I knew the half was ambitious but I am hoping to level up in half fanatics so thought I’d try it. The half is the 10 mile course + the 5K course and you have to finish the 10 mile course in 4 hours to continue (24 min/mile) which sounds easy enough as I normally run 10 to 12 min/miles and even in trail races have always maintained under 15 min miles but man was I was wrong. I’ll start with production and logistics. This course was amazingly well produced especially given how strict NY state is with covid. It was done very similarly to Zion at Night. There was an outdoor packet pick up at Fleet Feet Thursday which was very smooth and you signed a covid waiver. They also had race day pick up if you couldn’t make it. You have to bring you own water and I used a hydration pack (a must as you want your hands free so I do not recommend a handheld water bottle). The race had a rolling start from 7:30 to 8:30am. They checked your temp before you start. Again a little bit of an anti-climatic start but I came at 7:30 and everyone was lined up 6 ft apart and excited for real racing. The first part of the course is uphill on gravel. This was too steep to run on but I power hiked at an under 20 min/mil pace and was feeling good. Once you get to the top after about 1.5 miles it is downhill. However these are skiing trails and are pretty much untrimmed grass which is not something I practiced running on. I was very impressed with how well the course was marked and how easy it was to follow given we weren’t running on actual trails. I actually thought it was quite fun to run downhill through the grass but not the fastest surface but maintaining an under 15 min/mil pace on the downhill so not too bad. Then you get to this killer hill that had grades of 30 to 40% and I pretty much died. Took about 30 mins to get up the hill but eventually you get to the top and there is an aid station. The aid station is well stocked with gels, bananas, bars, chips, and candy. My only complaint about the aid stations is they had water bottles. I understand how this is better for hygiene purposes but it would have been hard to fill up your hydration pack and I wish they had a system like Zion at Night did. I just grabbed a water bottle and stored it in a pouch and drank from the water bottle when I was hiking and didn’t need my hands and used the hydration pack while I was running or the steep parts where I used my hands. The next part is really nice and is about a mile or so of more typical trail in the woods and is shaded. FYI most of the hills are not shaded and it was hot. Then there is a downhill which was very steep too steep to really run on. Then you get to this absolutely killer hill that never seemed to end around mile 7. Yikes. I made it to the aid station at mile 8 (it is the same one) and had 41 minutes left before I would be DNF and thought I can do this. The next mile was downhill. Again really steep but I did it in about 20 mins. Then there was a giant, steep hill again and I realized I wasn’t going to make it. At that point since I knew I wouldn’t make the time limit I just enjoyed myself (as best you could hiking up a hill with 35% grade) and chatted/commiserated with the other runners. Finally I made it to the top and the rest was downhill. I knew I was too slow and even if I had been fast enough I don’t think I would have wanted to do those extra 3.1 miles. I still made it to the finish line and was proud of the 10 miles I did. I was hoping they would give me a 10 mile time instead of a DNF but sadly they did not (it’s okay it’s my fault I thought I could do this). But to be fair I don’t really think I want anyone to see my pace. At the end you get a goody bag with food and if you finish on time a medal which sadly I didn’t get and man it would have felt good to get a medal at a finish line (again my fault not the RDs). Even though I got a DNF I had a great time meeting local runners and participating in a real event. I wasn’t planning to do this race pre-covid and I don’t think I would do again unless there are still limited races next summer but I’m glad I tried today and did it once. If I did it again I definitely would do the 10 miler or less. I’m not sure going up and down practically vertical hills is for me but if it is for you, you will love this race. There is normally a 50K as well (it was cancelled this year) and I can’t imagine the kinds of masochists who would want to run that loop 3 times but to each their own. Overall not my most successful race but a very memorable one.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I am so happy Vacation Races is being creative to work with local guidelines to produce safe races at this time. This was a small group trail half marathon. How … MORE

I am so happy Vacation Races is being creative to work with local guidelines to produce safe races at this time. This was a small group trail half marathon. How it worked is runners ran in waves of up to 50 and signed up for specific times over the course of 2 nights. The times were from 7pm to 7am. So if you are a morning person you can choose the early morning or night person the evening or if you want to save money there was a discount for the middle of the night. I choose 8pm on night 2 (Saturday night). This was a good time as it was light for the beginning and most of the race but was dark at the end so got to experience running at night. There was no expo. You just parked within a half hour of your start time and go to a booth to pick up your bib and shirt. The shirt was really nice, technical and perfect size. They also had another booth selling some VR items and porta potties near the start line. With wave starts bib pick up was smooth and there was no lines for the porta potties. It was also so exciting to see an actual start and finish line. The start was a little anti-climactic a staff member just scans your bib and you go with no official start (you can pretty much start anytime within a half hour before or after your selected start time). The race itself was beautiful but quite tough. I’m glad I ran some of it before dark because unfortunately there were clouds so there was not as many stars as I’d hope (not VR’s fault). Running in the scenery around Zion was absolutely amazing. I was not very prepared for this race as it was announced only 2 weeks ago and had mostly done road races and had pretty much only been training on the road since trails had been closed in LA for most of the past few months. The altitude change was also difficult. I had only arrived the day before so wasn’t really acclimated. I did a run/walk strategy and absolutely loved the race even though it was my slowest half marathon by 30 minutes. It was very peaceful and serene and the exact opposite of my last race the LA marathon (but I still loved both of them). There were limited aid stations. I used a handheld water bottle and the aid stations were spread out perfectly just when I needed water. It was definitely a trail race and had some technical elements but nothing crazy. I didn’t have trail shoes since again it was announced 2 weeks in advance and I had been a mostly road runner and I was fine but it probably would be better with trail shoes if you had them. The elevation gain was very gradual. If you were an experienced trail runner and acclimated to the altitude you could run the whole race. The course was a loop and the finish line was where you started. The medals weren’t ready yet but I appreciated they gave a Zion Half Keychain at the end. You also got a box of snacks I was happy to see all the snacks were vegan (they were also all gluten-free). And then you just drove out. One issue is there are no restaurants open late in the area (not sure if this is normally true or just due to reduced hours from covid). I thought about getting take out and heating it up but ended up getting food from the Taco Bell in Hurricane which was pretty much the only option but I do love Taco Bell. Overall I absolutely loved this race and decided I want to get better at trail racing and would love to do more of vacation races trail races in the future. In terms of social distancing, I felt as safe if not safer during this race than I do running in my neighborhoods or the local trails by me that recently opened. There were aspects of this format I liked better (no wait time for bibs and porta potties) and aspects I liked worse (no expo, less aid stations, no spectators) but it was definitely much better than a virtual race and I hope Vacation Races produces more of these (maybe on the East Coast since I am moving back East in 2 weeks…hint, hint) and other race companies consider similar formats. I am also very excited to run a Vacation Race in the future and get the full experience when things are normal and excited to get my medal in the mail!

FYI as a post-race update I did receive the medal in the mail and it is absolutely beautiful and as big as my marathon medals!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This was the best (and hardest) 26.2 miles of my life. What an amazing race seeing all the sights in LA! It is basically a running tour of the best … MORE

This was the best (and hardest) 26.2 miles of my life. What an amazing race seeing all the sights in LA! It is basically a running tour of the best of LA. There was tons of pre-race communication. Almost too much, although the frequent updates were much appreciated this year with the uncertainty of the coronavirus. They email a nice final instructions packet that has all the info you need. The expo is at the convention center in DTLA on Friday and Saturday. Unless you pay for the VIP hospitality you need to pick up bib before race day. Take the metro to the convention center if you can as parking is very expensive (the expo line goes from santa monica right to the convention center). The expo was big and crowded as expected. There was a line to get in but once in bib and packet pick up was smooth. Bib numbers are assigned beforehand and you just line up by number. My Conqur LA challenge sticker was right on my bib making that part easy. Then you pick up shirt and gear check bag. Shirt is nice and tech quality but it’s sized a little small. The expo had all the typical booths and you could get any race day needs you forgot. There were lots of things to try at the expo but very little samples to go home with. The only thing I came away with that I didn’t pay for besides the shirt was a small clif bar. For race day parking you can park at santa monica and take a shuttle to dodger stadium or you can park at dodger stadium but there is no shuttle back. This is really my one major complaint about the race. I live really close to Dodger stadium (and therefore very far from santa monica) so I parked at Dodger stadium but getting back there to get my car was a mess after the race. If you are coming from out of town I’d recommend staying in Santa Monica. After reading other reviews I thought I would add that I woke up at 3am and arrived at the stadium around 4am. While I had to wait at dodger stadium for many hours it seems worth it to be up so early as there was no traffic getting in and parking there was super easy for me. Lining up for the race was not the most organized but seemed about as organized as possible for a race with >20,000 people. Try to get a seeded corral if you can. The open corral was sort of a free for all but it moved surprisingly fast and I was happy to be at the start line only 20 minutes after the first runner started. The course is difficult and crowded but absolutely amazing. Luckily it is net downhill but most of the downhill is in the first 2 miles and last 3 so there is a lot of uphill in the middle. There are only 2 bigger hills in the first few miles downtown but lots of slight inclines throughout the race. The course is designed to go through as many landmarks as possible. It starts at Dodger stadium, then Chinatown, then DTLA, then Echo Park and then goes through my usual hangout spots Silver Lake and Los Feliz so it was fun to run past all my favorite cafes and coffee shops (I didn’t realize how many coffee shops I love in Silverlake until I literally ran past all of them). The next part was the most fun for me. I generally avoid places like Hollywood, the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills so this was actually my first time after nearly 6 years of living in the LA area that I saw Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Chateau Marmont and my first time going down Rodeo drive. It was fun to pretend to be a cheesy tourist. After Rodeo drive the course is a little more boring but that is where the spectators come out. The last 3 miles of the course through santa monica are downhill and super fast so save your energy. I was able to run pretty much the entire last 3 miles. Unless you are a really fast runner just walk the inclines in mile 22 and save your energy. I saw so many people struggling to keep running form that mile only for me to fly past them on the downhill. The course ends along Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. There was plenty of course support with aid stations almost every mile and plenty of spectators giving out goodies. However the aid stations were kind of slow handing out drinks but I think it may have been due to the last minute changes due to coronavirus. At the finish line you get your medal which is really nice. It isn’t the biggest or flashiest medal but it is beautiful and classic. If you do the Conqur LA challenge (Santa Monica Classic, Pasadena Half and LA marathon) you get an additional medal which is huge. Finish line had typical food and water. I skipped the finish festival since it was packed and I don’t drink alcohol so can’t comment. Getting back to Dodger stadium was a pain. I took the train to my favorite vegan burger joint on the East side of town for a post race meal and then took an uber back but apparently the uber was supposed to enter at a different gate than the one we entered in the morning so it was an adventure figuring out where to drop me off. We eventually figured it out and my uber driver ended up getting a huge tip from me (it may have been nice if how to drop someone back to their car at dodger stadium was mentioned in the instructions or even nicer if they provided shuttles back). Aside from the mess getting back to dodger stadium, overall this was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it. While I did manage to PR (it was really only because this was my second marathon and I avoided the mistakes of my first) this is not a great PR course. There is a ton of weaving around crowds and it’s almost impossible to get the tangents right so my GPS said I ran 27 miles. Also the course is pretty difficult. So don’t run this race to PR instead run the race to enjoy all that LA has to offer. If you were only to run one marathon in your life this would be a great choice given how awesome it is. Plus is it one of the biggest, if not the biggest, marathon in the US without qualification or lottery to enter. I am moving out of LA this summer which means I won’t be able to make this a yearly race but I am hoping to come back and run it again in 5 years for the 40th anniversary.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Overall I really enjoyed this race but I'm not sure it was worth the price. I decided to run the race because it was focused on women and benefited a … MORE

Overall I really enjoyed this race but I’m not sure it was worth the price. I decided to run the race because it was focused on women and benefited a great charity. I chose the 10K because it was 2 weeks before the LA marathon and I didn’t want to risk getting injured in a half. I thought the price was kind of high for a 10K. For instance it was $10 to $20 more than the Santa Monica Classic and the LA Chinatown Firecracker 10Ks I had done previously this year and they were bigger and a little better produced. Since some of the money went to charity it made me feel a little better about the price tag. Parking was very easy and free and they gave clear instructions. Bib pick up also easy. This was a pretty small event compared to other runs I have done which made things smoother. I really liked the design of the shirt. It was tech quality and had a simple design with the name and date of the race on the front and an inspirational quote on the back. However the shirts ran about a size too large. They did offer to swap sizes but I don’t really mind my shirts being big. The race was nice through the park and across the dam and then you turn back and go over the dam again and a shorter run through the park to the finish line. But after having just ran across that dam twice for the SRLA 30K mentally it was tough to do it two more times. Something about that dam it just seems endless and has a slight incline so it is deceptively harder than it looks and there is no shade but luckily the temps were perfect today. One side of the dam has really pretty views of the mountains and the other side has ugly industrial views. I was happy with my finish time while I didn’t PR, I did run my second fastest 10K time. I actually finished third in my age group. I was disappointed because the website says there were age group prizes but the final instructions were that only top 3 overall got prices. I understand it’s a little excessive for such a small race to give so many age group prizes but please change the website. Since the field is small this is a good race for moderately fast runners to place in the top 3. The finisher medal was fine with the WRLA logo, year and location. But they were not distance specific and the ribbon was plain. It was a good medal for a shorter distance race but I would have been disappointed with it if I ran the half. I enjoyed that they had free topo chico and cold brew oat milk lattes at the end (literally my 2 favorite drinks). They also had a food truck and a Papusa stand to purchase food from along with the usual free bananas, oranges and bagels. There were some other interesting booths to stop at. I’m happy I did the 10K over the half marathon since the half marathon didn’t really add anything except 6.9 miles since it was essentially running the 10K twice with a slightly further turn around spot and the shirts and medals were the same. Overall this was a good race and I probably would have given it 5 stars if it were $20 cheaper. I liked it enough to sign up for the 5K in Oxnard in May since I was planning to do a 5K that weekend anyway. I am moving out of California this summer but if I were staying I would do the 5K or 10K again but I don’t think I would do the half unless it fit perfectly into my marathon training.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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This race is a challenge but it is worth it. Unfortunately I had to work the day before so I couldn't pick up my packet saturday and get the noodles. … MORE

This race is a challenge but it is worth it. Unfortunately I had to work the day before so I couldn’t pick up my packet saturday and get the noodles. However sunday went very smooth. I arrived early and found a $5 parking lot right nearby. Bib pick up was easy but it likely took longer if you showed up later. The T-shirt is my absolute favorite race shirt with year of the rat theme. Somehow they made the rat cute. You also got a drawstring bag with rice and crackers. There were a ton of vendors and I got so much free stuff (clif bar, cold brew, energy drink, green juice, etc) that the race practically paid for itself. The start is super fun with the dragon dancers. I do wish they at least had suggested waves or something telling walkers to go to the back because there were people walking in rows of three or four that I had to run around in the beginning. The first 2.5 miles of this race are pretty much straight uphill in Elysian park. I did not do enough hill training for this race and had to walk a small portion of the uphill. You are rewarded with some beautiful views of LA and also pass by Dodger stadium. The next mile is amazing and you fly downhill. The rest of the race is mostly downhill but there are 2 smaller hills in last 3 miles. In some ways these were mentally worse than the beginning because you thought you were done with hills. This was definitely the most challenging road 10K course I have done. But it was very rewarding. I would not recommend it to those looking to PR or for someone’s first 10K. I was happy with my finishing time. I didn’t come close to a PR but I ran it in my average, usual 10K time and this is not an average race in terms of difficulty. The medal is nice and double sided with the cute little rat. Highly recomend for those who are looking for a challenge and love hills. Overall very fun event and even if you don’t love hills as long as you don’t mind walking some of the uphill you will enjoy it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This is the perfect training run for the LA marathon. This is a students run LA event (which is a great program) and most of the runners are students but … MORE

This is the perfect training run for the LA marathon. This is a students run LA event (which is a great program) and most of the runners are students but it also open to the public. I was planning to do an 18ish mile training run this weekend as part of my LA marathon training and saw this race advertised on the LA marathon facebook page and thought it would be a fun way to do it. It was a pretty no frills race but it was well organized and a good price for the distance. It doesn’t cost much more than some 10Ks in the LA area. As a result it isn’t the most scenic or have the best swag (you do get a cotton t-shirt and a small finisher medal). Parking was a mess, arrive earlier than 6:30 because you don’t want to be like me and have to walk a mile to your car after the race. The course was a 9 mile loop that you run twice and it was pretty challenging with some hills and inclines especially the dam at the end of the loop. I overheard someone say this race is harder than the marathon which I hope is true because while I had no problems finishing the race, my pace was a little slower than my goal. This was also a great event for all the students involved. While it wasn’t the most exciting or scenic race I’ve done, if you are training for the LA marathon this is a good race to keep you on track. I would recommend signing up for the Pasadena Half and then this 30K to keep you on top of your training.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

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I ran this race as part of the beach cities challenge. Overall it was a fine race and I had a good time but the race didn't seem prepared for … MORE

I ran this race as part of the beach cities challenge. Overall it was a fine race and I had a good time but the race didn’t seem prepared for the number of runners. Pre-race communication was well-organized and getting to the expo/race was easy. I went to the expo and ran the 1-miler on Saturday as part of the Cowabunga challenge. Expo was well-organized and had a decent amount of stuff to look through. Getting my bibs was easy except the person handing them out didn’t know how to give my Cowabunga challenge stamp so I had to go to solutions. The 1-miler was a silly but fun run on the beach. It turns out I have no idea how to run on sand so it was slower than all 13 of my miles on Sunday but fun way to get 2 extra medals. On Sunday, I parked in a public parking lot off Main St. since I planned to stay in HB during the day for the game. Parking was easy and cost $15 for the whole day probably less if you only stayed for the race. There were also free parking lots with shuttles off site. The start of the race was kind of a mess. There were self-seeded waves instead of assigned corrals and participants just seemed to be randomly choosing waves. I chose the 2:16 to 2:45 wave and finished in that time frame. However I spent the first 5 miles weaving around walkers. I have no issues with people walking a half marathon just please go to the correct wave. You are not finishing in under 2:15 if you are walking the entire race and shouldn’t start in a wave ahead of me. The course was fine there were pretty views of the beach and bolsa chica reserve but I thought it got a little monotonous mainly just running along the PCH. The course should have had plenty of water/aid stations. However even though I was right in the middle of the pack, they ran out of Nuun (electrolyte drink) at most of the aid stations which means half the half-marathoners didn’t get it. I felt it and had some hand cramping/numbness that occurs when I need electrolytes. When I finished the race they were almost out of food so I’m guessing about 1/3 the half marathoners and a good amount of marathoners didn’t get food at the finish area. If the aid stations were properly stocked this would have been a good PR race since it is flat. The medal at the end was fantastic with the wooden surfboard and doing the Cowabunga challenge I ended up with 3 medals from the weekend. The shirt was also a very nice long sleeve tech shirt with a cute design. The only issue with the shirt was it did not differentiate half from full marathoners so I could see marathoners being disappointed with it. You also got a cute tote bag. It was fun staying in HB to watch the Superbowl and hang out at the beach afterwards. This had potential to be a good/great race if there were seeded corrals and a more organized start and if the aid station/finish line had enough food/Nuun. The races sold out and there were more runners than prior years so I just think they weren’t prepared for the number of runners. Hopefully they will fix this next year. I can’t wait to get my sea turtle beach city medal in OC in May

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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I participated in this race as part of the Conqur LA series and it turned out to be one of my favorite halfs! The race was extremely well-organized starting with … MORE

I participated in this race as part of the Conqur LA series and it turned out to be one of my favorite halfs! The race was extremely well-organized starting with pre-race instructions and emails. I liked that there was remote packet pick-up at several locations instead of an expo. I had to go to the mall anyways so it was very convenient to get my bib along with some shopping. If you spend less than an hour at the Westfield Century City parking is free so I shopped quickly. I got to the Rosebowl very early about 5:15 and parking was pretty smooth but there were already a lot of cars there so I wasn’t as close to the start as I thought I would be. I was very impressed by the organization of the corrals and the start of the race. I am a middle of the pack runner and was put in corral 4 out of 8 which seemed right. Other than a few people who snuck in the wrong corral everyone was running a similar pace to me and the corrals were sent off in waves so I didn’t feel like I was constantly having to run around walkers like I have in all the other large halfs I’ve done. I really enjoyed the race course. Pasadena isn’t super exciting but it is super pretty. The course had the right amount of water stops and all but the first had Nuun (electrolyte drink) and there was also honeystinger on the course. The views of the mountains from the hill were amazing. The worst part was definitely the uphill around the Rosebowl but it was worth it for the downhill finish. My last mile was one of my fastest. As a sports fan I loved ending at the 50 yard line in the Rosebowl such a cool experience. Overall the course was nicely challenging with the hills but manageable. I would recommend studying the course elevation and making a game plan about when to conserve and when to expend energy running if you want to PR which I did. The race is very expensive for a half but it was so well-organized so the price is understandable. However the Swag wasn’t the best. The medal is really nice but the T-shirt was just fine and not a tech shirt. There really wasn’t any other swag. The post-race festivities also didn’t seem as exciting as some races but I usually just leave and get brunch afterwards anyways. There are also free photos and free parking which is a plus. I would definitely recommend this race and if I wasn’t moving out of California this summer would definitely run it again. I may come back to visit LA on an MLK weekend to run it again

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

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I believe this is sadly the last year for the New Year's Race so this review probably won't help anyone but in case it comes back. Overall this is a … MORE

I believe this is sadly the last year for the New Year’s Race so this review probably won’t help anyone but in case it comes back. Overall this is a very fun way to start the New Years. I actually love night races since I am not a morning person so I am always happy to find evening races. I did the 9.3 challenge. I wish there was an option for just the 10K but the 9.3 challenge was fun. The race is in DTLA by city hall which is always a fun and convenient place since there is a metro stop. The 5K was first and I had a goal to run under 30 mins while saving as much energy for the 10K as possible. Somehow I timed myself perfectly and ran 29:59 exactly. It was annoying to wait another hour for the 10K but I understand they want to make this event walker friendly so it is nice that people of all levels of experience can complete this challenge. I was a little tired from the 5K so I ran the 10K at a comfortable pace and had a mediocre finish time but I would be happy with my overall time for a 15K. I think due to previous complaints of hills, they made the course as flat as possible in DTLA. I’m not saying it is completely flat but much flatter than the turkey trot although also not as scenic either but running through the tunnel is fun. You get a total of 3 medals and the 9.3 challenge one is very big along with a sweatshirt if you do the challenge. There is a fun finish area with food trucks at the end. If this race comes back, I would recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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So I'm a little biased as a pediatric endocrinologist but I did really enjoy the event. It is at Griffith Park and follows the typical 5K loop. The course is … MORE

So I’m a little biased as a pediatric endocrinologist but I did really enjoy the event. It is at Griffith Park and follows the typical 5K loop. The course is on dirt but really flat and easy. Before the race parents of kids with growth disorders told their stories which was great and there were quite a few booths to look at. While I enjoy races at Griffith Park usually they aren’t my fastest but I was on fire the day of the race and had my second fastest 5K and easily broke 30 mins. At the end you get a small pretty basic medal. Not the greatest medal ever but a lot of 5Ks don’t give them out so I appreciated it. Instead of given at the finish line each runner went on stage to get the medal which was a nice personal touch. You also get a cotton T-shirt with packet pick-up. I know the doctor who leads the event and he did a great job. There was also pizza afterwards which you could eat with the families but this was when I was still a crazy strict vegan so I opted out of the pizza. Along with a fun morning of running the race raises money for children’s growth disorders something near and dear to my heart.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Great way to spend Thanksgiving morning so you can eat your meal guilt free. I picked up my packet the weekend before and it was very easy. Along with the … MORE

Great way to spend Thanksgiving morning so you can eat your meal guilt free. I picked up my packet the weekend before and it was very easy. Along with the bib you got a T-shirt, sunglasses, a drawstring bag and a clif bar. I took the metro to the race. I enjoy races that are at metro stops so I don’t have to worry about parking but parking in a nearby lot didn’t seem too bad. It was a chilly and rainy morning. It really rained during the 5K but luckily the rain slowed down for the 10K. It was probably too cold for most Los Angelenos but I actually loved the weather. The course went through downtown LA and there were a lot of hills and a lot of great architecture. I took advantage of the downhills and the chilly weather and PR’ed by nearly 6 minutes despite this not being an easy course. Although it is well designed so the hills are mostly in the beginning and it starts uphill and the last segment along spring street is pretty flat. You got a small finisher medal with a cartoon of a turkey and LA. There were some vendors and booths in front of city hall to look at before and after the race. Afterwards you can go enjoy your turkey (or tofurky in my case)

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch … MORE

I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch potato to marathoner in a year. Overall I enjoyed the race and the accomplishment. The day prior to the race is an expo at the Long Beach convention center. Bib pick up was easy and the expo had a nice amount of things to look at but felt a little cramped. Also I didn’t like paying for parking twice. Race day I arrived early and parked at convention center. Great idea for marathoners since it generally isn’t full by the time the marathoners would arrive and is right by finish line. The beginning of the marathon was smooth and there was a nice amount of runners in the full. Enough to always be running with people but not so many that it felt like I was constantly weaving around people. I’m guessing the half feels kind of crowded since there are a lot more runners doing the half. The parts of the marathon course that shared the half were great. Downtown long beach all lit up in the dark was beautiful and I loved that sunrise was occurring while running on the beach. The second part of the full that diverges from the half was much more boring. It was just through residential neighborhoods and cal state long beach. There weren’t a ton of spectators and nothing super special to look at. The course is relatively flat with a few easy hills except a lot of the hills are closer to the end. There is also a really long 7.5 hour time limit making this a great race for first timers or walkers. I got a little injured during training and knew I was going to have to walk some of the second half. I ended up finishing well before 6 hours but knowing there was no way I would miss the time cutoff made the race much more enjoyable. There was a nice long sleeve tech shirt and a nice big finisher medal. I’m moving out of California but if I were staying I’m not sure I would do the full again but I would definitely do the half.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I normally train at night because I am not a morning person so I actually love nighttime races. I signed up for this as a training run for the Long … MORE

I normally train at night because I am not a morning person so I actually love nighttime races. I signed up for this as a training run for the Long Beach marathon and choose the 10 miler. I arrived early afternoon and checked out the expo and hung at the beach. The expo was small but had a few booths and vendors to check out. The race is just 5 miles out and 5 miles back on the PCH so it is very easy and flat. All 3 distances (5K, 10K, and 10 miler) start at the same time. I wish they would have staggered the races so the 10 milers had a head start. It is designed so all the runners run through sunset. As a result the first 3 miles of the sun setting on the beach were absolutely gorgeous. The last seven were very dark. It would be nice to have an earlier start so less of the race was dark. There was plenty of nutrition and water stations. The smoke from the bonfires was a little annoying but it didn’t bother me too much. I took the race pretty easy and enjoyed it. Finisher medal was a nice glow in the dark surfboard but it was a little small and not specific to the race distance. I thought it was a great training race for the Long Beach marathon but it looks like next year the Long Beach marathon is scheduled before this race so that is too bad.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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I ran this as part of the Conqur LA challenge. Like all the Conqur events I have done it is very well-organized. I parked at one of the public parking … MORE

I ran this as part of the Conqur LA challenge. Like all the Conqur events I have done it is very well-organized. I parked at one of the public parking lots close to the finish line. The start line was about a mile away. This is best so you can get a warm-up walk in before the race and not have to walk far after. Parking was just a few bucks. Bib pick-up in the morning was super easy and fast. Pretty much my only complaint about the production is there was not enough porta potties at the start line and I waited in line so long I ended up in wave 3 even though I am more of a wave 2 runner. As a result I had to weave around some walkers and slower runners in the beginning of the race. The course is fine but it is on the road and there isn’t as nice of ocean views as I expected. There are no hills per se but the first four miles are a gradual incline. The final 2 miles are a slight decline and are super fast. I feel like they could have designed a better course so there is more downhill and less uphill but I understand it may be logistically tricky since they can only do the race on the main roads as opposed to beach paths since it is such a large race. The finisher medal is really nice especially for a shorter distance. It’s probably my nicest 10K medal. I liked the shirt design but I wish it was tech. The finish area on the pier was okay it was kind of crowded and there were very large lines. I just got my shirt and left for brunch. Overall it was a well-organized and good 10K but I’m not sure I would do it outside of the Conqur LA challenge.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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This race had the typical Griffith Park route. I thought it was well organized for a smaller race and very fun. I enjoy running in Griffith Park although it is … MORE

This race had the typical Griffith Park route. I thought it was well organized for a smaller race and very fun. I enjoy running in Griffith Park although it is not a great place to PR since I find I can’t run as fast on dirt as road. Race is relatively flat. There was congestion at the water stop and at one point, the slow 5Kers, medium 10Kers and fast 10kers all crossed paths at the same time. Finish area nice with Hawaiian themed entertainment. Nice medal and non-tech shirt especially for a short race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This was a very tough race. I was planning to go to OC this day and saw there was an evening race so decided to sign up. I was not … MORE

This was a very tough race. I was planning to go to OC this day and saw there was an evening race so decided to sign up. I was not prepared for this at all. I had run half marathons and thought I can run a 10K under any condition but I was wrong. Despite having to walk a lot of the hills and finishing about 20 minutes slower than my usual 10K time I still had fun and it was a very rewarding race. It was well organized and the organizers were really nice. Beautiful views.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

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This was one of the most fun racing experiences I've had. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event from the expo to the finish line party. I went to the expo … MORE

This was one of the most fun racing experiences I’ve had. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event from the expo to the finish line party. I went to the expo on Saturday at the San Diego convention center and it was huge and well-organized. They had it clearly labeled where to go for everything. There were so many vendors and products I think I spent a good 2 hours there looking at everything. I did not like paying for convention center parking though. I stayed at a hotel about 5 miles away from the race and shared a Lyft with another runner so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking. There were so many street closing the Lyft dropped us off about a mile away but it was a nice warm-up walk and got to meet other runners. My biggest complaint about the race was that they seemed to assign me to the wrong corral. There are a ton of runners and the corrals were clearly marked and it was well organized I was just in too slow of one I put my predicted finishing time as 2:20 and ended up in one of the later corrals and both the 2:30 and 2:45 pacers were in corrals ahead of me. I didn’t quite make my goal of 2:20 but finished a few minutes under 2:30 but never caught up to the 2:30 pacer because they started about 10 minutes before me. Other than the corral mess and having to weave my way around walkers the first 2 miles, the rest of the race was a blast. It isn’t the most scenic route through San Diego but it is designed to not be too hilly. That being said, there are hills but none are very large. Personally I like a race with some rolling hills. The crowd support for the race was absolutely amazing running through the local neighborhoods. People were giving away everything from fruit to donuts to tequila shots. I don’t drink alcohol but if you do and don’t take this race seriously you could have a lot of fun. There were also numerous bands and musical acts and the finish line in downtown San Diego was great. The finisher medal was nice and San Diego themed but it was smaller than most of my other half marathon medals. The T-shirt was tech quality. I’m glad I got the men’s/unisex because the women’s shirt was an ugly color. They weren’t ready at the expo so we had to pick them up after the race. The finish line festivities were great. There is a post-race concert and food trucks and then you can enjoy San Diego. This was the most fun I have had in a race. I am moving out of California this summer and am going to be out of town during the race this year, but I am hoping to come back sometime in the future to do the full

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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This was my first half marathon. I choose this race due to timing and because it raised money for a great cause. It was a very fun local race. I … MORE

This was my first half marathon. I choose this race due to timing and because it raised money for a great cause. It was a very fun local race. I picked up my race packet the day before and it was very easy. Parking was free for packet pick up and the race. There were around 500 or so half marathon runners and you lined up based on predicted finish time. This was a nice number of participants. There were generally always other runners around you but there was also plenty of space. The course was nice through some of the neighborhoods and parks in Irvine. It didn’t have the energy or the iconic scenery of a big city race, but Irvine is very pretty. The volunteers at the aid stations were great. The course had a few rolling hills but nothing too challenging. The medal was huge and really nice although it didn’t say the year so I am not sure if they give the same medal every year. After the race there was some food trucks and booths and other entertainment. For participating you also got a shirt, half marathoners got a hat and you were given a bag with some coupons and goodies. I was very happy with this for my first half marathon. Great race if you are looking for a mid-sized race and/or a race for a good cause.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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