My Profile

@thestudadam

Gig Harbor, WA Raving since 2019 50 States hopeful/finisher, World Marathon Majors Six Star hopeful/finisher active 4 days, 5 hours ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    New York City Marathon, Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon, Missoula Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    The final 5 world Marathon Majors (London, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo)

  • I run because:

    It keeps me healthy and I enjoy doing something that other people think is so hard.  Also the fact that it allows me to eat nearly anything I want without gaining weight is a huge plus as well.

My races

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

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

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 5, 2017 3:18:15
Half Marathon Orem, UT Jun 9, 2018 1:29:54

Future Races (10)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Dec 15, 2019
Half Marathon Thayne, WY Jul 11, 2020
Marathon Hopkinton, MA TBD
Marathon Chicago, IL TBD
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Two Harbors, MN TBD
Half Marathon Oklahoma City, OK TBD
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN TBD
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL TBD

Past Races (18)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Denver, CO Oct 20, 2019 1:35:21
Half Marathon Milwaukee, WI Apr 13, 2019 1:33:07
Half Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 15, 2018 1:32:25
Half Marathon Orem, UT Jun 9, 2018 1:29:54
Half Marathon Boise, ID May 19, 2018 1:33:18
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 5, 2017 3:18:15
Half Marathon Redmond, WA Sep 4, 2017 1:36:34
Half Marathon Seattle, WA Jun 18, 2017 1:35:37
Half Marathon San Diego, CA Jun 4, 2017 1:35:35
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 15, 2015 1:33:07
Half Marathon Vancouver, Canada Oct 25, 2015 1:33:54
Half Marathon Seattle, WA Jun 13, 2015 1:39:21
Half Marathon Portland, OR May 18, 2014 1:31:43
Half Marathon Mercer Island, WA Mar 23, 2014 1:38:46
Half Marathon Mercer Island, WA Mar 24, 2013 1:36:01
Half Marathon Mercer Island, WA Mar 25, 2012 1:36:50
Marathon Seattle, WA Jun 25, 2011 3:22:14
Half Marathon Mercer Island, WA Mar 20, 2011 1:42:58

My Raves

Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon

I really enjoyed the portions of this race that could actually be controlled by the organizers. I flew in from Seattle late Friday night and stayed with some friends in … MORE

I really enjoyed the portions of this race that could actually be controlled by the organizers. I flew in from Seattle late Friday night and stayed with some friends in the area. I attended the EXPO on Saturday during the late morning. This was my 10th state that I have run at least a half marathon in, and my 8th time doing a Rock & Roll Race. As always with a R&R race the management is top notch which is why you pay a little more for these races. I arrived at the race my normal 1 hour and 15 minutes before the start and other than the workers setting up the event, it was deserted. Likely due to the 40 degree temperature and the 20mph winds. I personally took refuge in a Port-o-Potty for 30 minutes just to stay warm.

EXPO/Packet Pick Up: The location was really easy to access right off the interstate and there was only a tiny line of cars trying to park. I had a friend drop me off while I did the expo for 30 minutes, he left so he didn’t have to pay to park. Packet pickup and shirt pickup took mere minutes and I was on to the expo (One minor complaint that I didn’t notice until race morning was that there were no safety pins in the pick up bag, i certainly might have missed them if they were in a supply box but I feel as though just having the 4 in the bag when you get your bib should just be standard). R&R expos always start with the R&R gear shop and they had some nice printed banners with all of the runners names on them. I made use of the free Brooks Gait analysis that they had set up. I always run in brooks shoes but this allowed me to confirm that I am using the correct Brooks shoes (Adrenaline). After you leave the R&R area you get to the vendor portion of the expo which was quite extensive, lots of people were trying things out and it seemed well attended.

Parking/Access: The race started and finished right next to the state capitol building. I would think that traffic could have gotten congested later but it seemed like everybody was on time. I was there so early that getting dropped off at the designated area was a non issue. When my friend came to pick me up at the end of the race he was still able to find pay parking 2 blocks from the start so I would think that nobody had an issue in that regard.

T-Shirts/SWAG: The shirt was a black long sleeve shirt(see picture), it was really nice soft running material and had the race logo on it. I did kind of like how the back of the shirt was blank instead of covered with the logos of tons of sponsors. The race medal like all R&R medals are really high quality and featured local Colorado things like the evil blue horse near the airport and the state flower. A nice improvement from the last 2 R&R’s that I did in 2017 was that the medal ribbons were really high quality and had things like the state flag ‘c’ and the city skyline rather than being an ad.

Aid Stations: The aid stations were well stocked and spaced every 1.5 to 2 miles they all had water and most also had sports drinks. There were even several aid stations from local community groups along the course. The aid station around 7 miles also had gel packets that were given out. I didn’t hear anything about things running out at any time during the race. My nitpicky complaints would be that one aid station just had cups on a table rather than people holding them up for runners and one of my cups had a leaf in it due to the high winds which I choked on. The race can’t really control these factors and being critical of volunteers is pretty hard to do without being a jerk so all in all they were just fine.

Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: The Course Scenery was quite varied and nice for a city race. We ran near or around the football and baseball stadiums during a very turn heavy first 5 miles. The last 8 miles were mostly an out and back to a large city park that we ran through for about 2 miles before heading back to the finish. I also liked running directly in from of the capitol building steps at the 13 mile mark. This is 20 feet from the medallion on the capitol steps that marks 1 mile above sea level which you should definitely take a picture at. I wavered between a 2 and a 3 in terms of difficulty and went with a 3 in the end for two reasons. First there were several bridges/overpasses which make things a little hard for brief moments but by itself i would only call that a 2 out of 5. The other part of the difficulty would be the elevation above sea level. I never really struggle with elevation during climb to the top of a mountain type hikes so it didn’t really affect me but I am sure that it affected several out of town people. I was 2 minutes slower than normal but I attribute that to the last 3 miles being straight into 20mph winds but the elevation could have affected me some.

Weather: The 40 degree temperature at the start nearing 45 when I finished with a beautiful sunny day would have made for some pretty decent to ideal running conditions. The wind however really made things much harder. Sustained 20mph with gusts of up to 28. During the first several miles you were protected by buildings but running into an intersection at times felt like somebody was pushing you hard from the side. The wind was at your back from mile 5-7 which helps times some but never as much as it hurts you when you run the final 3 miles straight into it. The locals told me the wind is never like this so it was probably just an unfortunate fluke.

Race Management: As always with R&R races this was very well run. Great EXPO, SWAG and organization. I really like the corral control that they exhibit keeping people with people who run the same pace. They had extremely friendly and helpful pacers running as fast as 1:30. Plentiful bathrooms as long as you didn’t just stop at the first one you came to and easy gear check in and pick up. I really enjoy the bands throughout the course which helps break up the race and keep your mind off of any discomfort. Special kudos to the bands playing in those cold windy temperatures, I’m sure that wasn’t easy. The finish corral really loaded you up with goodies. Water, Gatorade, Chocolate milk, Pringles chips, granola bars, crackers, and fruit. They also give you a foil blanket to help you stay warm. I was loaded up with so much stuff that my shorts were starting to fall down from the weight of it in my pockets and the rest in my full hands.

Overall I really enjoyed the race and would recommend it to people.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Brew City Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brew City Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I had a really good time at this race, it is still a pretty new race but they are doing a lot of things right so far and with a … MORE

I had a really good time at this race, it is still a pretty new race but they are doing a lot of things right so far and with a few tweaks they could make it great. This race seems to be getting more popular. For the half in the 4 years they have gone from 350->700->750->1000. There were also nearly 1000 people for each of the 5k and the 10k.

I flew in for this race from Seattle a few days early so that we could visit my wife’s family near Madison. Driving to the race the morning of was seamless and easy, we tried to arrive at the start area an hour before the race.

EXPO/Packet Pick Up: I can’t comment on the expo because I was staying so far away so I elected to pick up my packet the morning of the race at the start line. For this race there was no bag given away with goodies and advertisements. You just walked up to the gazebo with your bib number (which they provided on both a big pin up board and via email), and they gave you your bib with safety pins and your shirt. I was there an hour before the start and this process took me less than 1 minute. They made a point of saying picking up the day of is not recommended but with the size of the race still being ~1000 people it really wasn’t an issue. Maybe it would be harder if I was trying to pick up my packet 10 minutes before the start but personally I’d recommend picking your bib up at the course.

Parking/Access: Getting to the start line couldn’t have been easier, it was less than a mile from the interstate and parking was directly next to the start area. Again I was there early so parking was still available but the closest lot was probably full 45 minutes before the race, they had maps posted on their website with other free lots which were all pretty close and they supposedly provided shuttles.

T-Shirts/SWAG: I really liked the shirts and Medals for this race. The shirt was a half zip pullover which is really soft and would likely be great for colder training runs and races. It is very simple with just a small race logo in the top corner so it is easily something that you could wear around outside of a running event and not feel out of place. Looking at some of the past medals for this race I was not really a fan but I really liked the medal this year. It was in the shape of Wisconsin (as someone trying to run in as many states as possible I really appreciate this) and had the roof of the very unique Milwaukee Art Museum on it. There is also a picture of a beer and a bratwurst which were things they were giving away at the finish line. I was fortunate enough to place third in my age group which also earned me a much smaller version of the finishers medal with a description of what it was for on the back. The only minor critique I would make on the medal is that they all say 5k/10k/Half, the smaller the distance the smaller the medal they gave out and the medals for the half had some color on them that the 5k medal did not. I would prefer that my medal just said half marathon so it was easier to distinguish what it was for, but that is really nitpicking.

Aid Stations: The Aid stations were spaced at 1.5 miles and then about every 2 miles the rest of the way. I had no issues with the stations but I was up front with few people around. The volunteers all did a great job calling out who had Gatorade and who had water. The aid stations were a bit small though in terms of number of volunteers so (just assuming no first hand knowledge) things would have gotten a bit crowded and the volunteers would have trouble keeping up when the big part of the pack of runners was showing up. My other critique of the aid stations was that they need to put a big garbage can with a volunteer ~100 feet past the water stations so people would toss their cups there. With no obvious place to throw things cups were getting tossed everywhere which would be a pain for the volunteers to clean up and it just felt weird littering like that in a park.

Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: At this time of year the course is not especially pretty because there are no leaves on the trees. You start in a park on Lake Michigan then quickly run up an overpass and are then on a greenbelt along a river for ~12 of the 13 miles. The bike path is nice and so is the river but until the trees start to come alive this place isn’t anywhere near as pretty as it will be during the summer. The course itself is extremely flat which makes it pretty fast. It is an out and back with most of it along the exact same path which I assume led to some traffic issues near the turn around point which the larger pack of runners were going through. It is a slight uphill on the way out which pays you back with a downhill on the return, very gentle so nothing that really hurts your stride or pace too much.

Weather: The temperature and the wind did add a degree of difficulty. 15-20 mph gusts, probably expected so close to the lake. The temperature at the start was also a brisk 35. I had a running hat and running gloves which after getting warmed up a few miles in I tossed the hat to my family at mile 4 then tossed the gloves to them on the way back at mile 9. Very few spectators were on the course so that option wouldn’t be available to most people which probably made running in that temperature pretty tough due to either carrying gear back or being cold to start. I’m not from the area so I’m not sure if those temperatures are the norm for mid April, but the past 4 years the weather has been. 70 and sunny, 30 and snowing, 40 and raining, 35 and sunny so be prepared for anything.

Race Management: Lots of good things to like about this race, a few things to improve.
Things I liked: T-Shirts/Swag, Lots of Port-o-potties, they had everyone lined up by goal pace then called everyone who was <8 min mile pace (indicated by the color of the numbers on your bib) inside the start corral to start before everyone else I really appreciated the attempt to allow the faster people start more easily, Beer, Brats, and Cheese Curds at the finish, very tasty and very Wisconsin, top 3 by age group medals for all events
Things to improve: The trail was not closed for public use, this wasn’t an issue during this race because it was so cold but people riding their bikes into a 1000 runners in the opposite direction can be dangerous, the finish line was a bit of a mess after you got your medal-they tried to combine all 3 races towards the same finishers area to get food and freebies but it was very hard to figure out what was where. All of the races started at the same gate, the half marathon people returned to the same gate while the 5 and 10k people used a different nearby gate to finish, all of this is fine but at least according to my wife who missed me finishing it was not made clear who finished where (in all fairness she could have not been listening but either way it could have been clearer for spectators. They also need to add some garbage cans near the water stations which I mentioned earlier.

This was overall a very fun race that I would recommend, I feel like they are doing very well for a race that is only 4 years and with a few changes could be great.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

This race is actually a medium to small size race which is actually pretty surprising for a state with a population the size of Montana. The only way to get … MORE

This race is actually a medium to small size race which is actually pretty surprising for a state with a population the size of Montana. The only way to get so many people to come from so far away is to flat out do a fantastic job in terms of race experience. This race delivers on that, it felt like the entire community came out to support this race. This was my 14th half marathon and my 8th different state that I have raced in.

EXPO: The expo was easy to get to and had plenty of parking and was held at the university of Montana. There were lots of freebies in the expo bag with your shirt and there were a decent number of booths.

T-Shirts/SWAG: I loved both my medal and the shirt for this race. My light blue shirt has a hard to describe plaid/checker pattern although the shirt is still all the same color. It is a unique look but nothing crazy so I enjoy wearing the shirt around. I also really enjoy the race logo itself. The race medal is traditionally rust colored and it was again this year. Some years they have had horse shoe shaped or more bizarre shapes, this year was a pretty standard circle but still had a cool design on it that I really enjoyed. Run for the bling people will be happy.

Parking/Access: We stayed less than a mile from the University of Montana parking lot where you need to catch a bus to the start line. This should have taken us mere minutes but instead took closer to 30-40 minutes because so many cars were crowding onto the bridge to access the parking lot, while I was never really in jeopardy of missing the start I like to be at the start line early which kind of got cramped by this traffic and people who were getting there after me probably felt much more pressed for time. The lines for the buses were long but moved fairly quickly and once you were on them getting to the start was pretty easy.

Aid Stations/Elevation/Course Scenery:
Aid stations throughout the course had water and electrolytes and had the normal spacing on the course, no issues there. The course has some hills and is not flat but none of the hills were particularly steep. I’d call it 50% flat at least with gradual to moderate hills on the rest. The scenery on the course is the kind of thing you hope to see when you are in the big sky state. You start but running through some winding wooded roads that are very pretty before you start to run by peoples houses on large acre properties around mile 3. During these first few miles the crowd support was very unique, I saw both a man playing the bagpipes while wearing a kilt and something I never expected to see ever while running a race, certainly not a rural race, a man had rolled his grand piano out into his yard on a tarp and was wearing a full tux while playing classical music, it was awesome.

The course continues over some old railroad looking bridges and passes things like a giant cow (like 20 ft tall). You slowly start to run through neighborhoods with good crowd support before finishing at a bridge in downtown. There is a hill at like 12.8 miles that leads you to a good quarter mile downhill to the finish that is lined with people. Overall crowd support on the course was great.

Race Management: These guys really shined, other than the difficultly with traffic getting to the start these guys have the organization of a major race. They had tons of different pace groups, even really fast past groups, I was running with the 1:30 pacers who were two former cross country runners from the University of Montana, they did a great job and were really funny guys. The finish area was well stocked with recovery food and drinks and lots more booths. When you wind all the way to the finish you can get free finishers photos printed on the spot and they even have a free pasta and other things lunch to eat. When you are all done with the finish party area you can walk a few blocks to a bus pick up location to get you back to your car. Other perks include that all race photos are also free. I am a person who is slowly trying to run a race in as many states as possible and in my opinion this marathon is the only choice to make when picking a race in Montana.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Utah Valley Marathon

Utah Valley Marathon

I really really enjoyed this race, it had a lot of unique things that I had not experienced in a race before and of course setting a new half marathon … MORE

I really really enjoyed this race, it had a lot of unique things that I had not experienced in a race before and of course setting a new half marathon PR after more than 4 years since I had set my previous PR leaves you with really good feelings in regards to a race.

I flew in to Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon, got picked up by my cousin at the airport and drove straight to Provo so I could pick up my packet at the EXPO. Plan on at least 45 minutes to an hour to Provo from the airport.

EXPO: The expo was quite small and so was the parking lot associated with it, although parking was free. Packet pick up was quick and easy and had several freebies in the bag. Overall nothing special about the expo other than a few booths but it is a small race so it is about what you would expect.

T-Shirts/SWAG: The T shirt for this race is a little unique, it had bright red sleeves and a black shirt. The Utah Valley logo on the front and giant “Pain You Enjoy” letters on the back. I actually like the shirt in the sense that it stands out from the rest of my race shirts but i definitely heard some complaints that people didn’t care for it. The race medal was really nice, it is a large spinner medal so the outside of the medal is a solid ring with a disc in the middle that can spin. Another unique addition to my collection, the only negative would be that it doesn’t have anywhere to have my name and PR time engraved but I still really like it. Another thing they do that I liked is that the race bib isn’t simply a rectangle. The top of the bib is jagged and has a mountainous design, I have done a few other races that did something unique like this but little touches like this are things that I love about a race.

PARKING/ACCESS: This is a point to point course so you park near the finish and take a bus up to the start in the mountains. Parking was at a shopping mall and more than abundant. The buses were easy to find and had plenty of room although I got there pretty early so there wasn’t much of a line yet. Once on the bus you drive up a highway into the mountains where they drop you off at the start area. There were plenty of outhouses at the start, especially if you kept walking towards the start line from the drop off area and didn’t just stop at the first one you found. One thing to know though is that even during the summer it gets very cold up there at 4:30 am, waiting for the 6am start time. They do however have camp fire barrels set up along the start area to keep warm which I really welcomed. They had a big truck right by the start line to check your bag which really just meant have your bag labeled and throw it in the back of a UPS truck but that did allow you to keep your warm up clothes on until only 10-15 minutes before the race. As for getting back to your car after the race the finish and the parking lot are over a mile apart and while you could walk it they do have buses to get you there which were easy to use.

Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: Aid stations were spaced every 2 miles or so throughout the course and were well stocked with water and electrolytes. Because you are running through a canyon there isn’t much crowd support during the majority of the course until you get near Provo/the finish but you don’t really mind it. The canyon portion of the course is very pretty, there are waterfalls and nice views and while you are running the sun is rising so it only adds to the beauty. As for the elevation I found this to be the easiest elevation race I have ever run. It was almost entirely a very very gentle downhill with only 2 minor uphills. The great part about the downhills was that the gradient was so slight that it helped you keep running fast while never feeling like you were pounding your knees trying to slow yourself down as you would if you were running down a steeper hill. The only reason I didn’t rate this as a 1 star elevation difficulty is that all downhill running can be very hard on your quads. I’m sure the people in the full marathon felt it, I didn’t have any issues during my race but during the next 1-3 days I thought it was weird that my quads were really sore until I realized that the elevation is what did it. I’m sure some people started to feel it during the race which could at least add a little difficulty. This race is made for you to PR and I managed to finish in 1:29:56 for a PR, finally breaking 1:30.

Race Management: I really enjoyed the execution of this race. Busing to the start was smooth, fires and plenty of bathrooms at the start was great. They have a beautiful downtown finish location by the courthouse after you pass by BYU (the edge of campus so unless you know its there you wouldn’t assume it was a university you were passing). They have several other nice touches like a PR gong which you can ring, you tube videos of the finish so that you can see how you finished, and FREE pictures. They had finish time printouts which you could get to show your results.They also had lots of free food at the finish including Popsicles and cinnabon. The bag pickup area is a little concerning because they just lay everyone’s bags out and you just grab yours with no real security but it didn’t seem to be an issue.

I do want so give one final shout out to the race management for going above and beyond for me. For the first time in my life I placed in my age group at a race but I didn’t realize that they gave awards out all the way to 5th in your age group instead of 3rd so after my wife finished we went home. I later realized that if I had waited around for 15 more minutes I would have received by age group award but by that time I had already flow home to Washington state, after several emails I was able to get a hold of the race director who I offered to send money to in order to ship me my plaque. They said they would figure something out and then shipped it to me for free. I know it only cost them a few dollars but it did take their time and it was just a really nice gesture on their part which I appreciate. I have my eye on this race for future years when I might try to get my full marathon BQ here.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

Famous Idaho Potato Marathon

I finally got the chance to run a half marathon in my home state and I was very pleased that this was the race that I selected. EXPO: I was … MORE

I finally got the chance to run a half marathon in my home state and I was very pleased that this was the race that I selected.

EXPO: I was not able to go to the expo proper the because I didn’t fly in until Friday evening and the race was on Saturday. My parents picked up my race bib for me which they told me was easy and smooth with plenty of parking and easy access. The said the expo was pretty small but had a decent number of booths.

Parking/Access: There are two options in regards to getting to the start, you can get dropped off at Lucky Peak Park or you can park at the finish and take the bus to the start. I chose the option of getting dropped off since I had family in the area and I thought this worked out really well. We had no problems getting in and out although if you were running late it might have been hard since they stopped letting cars in and stopping along the highway would be problematic. The bus option seemed to work well for most people as they were steadily being dropped off. Apparently there were some traffic issues that caused the final bus to be late but they were kind enough to delay the start by 10 minutes so that everybody could start together, although jumping off a bus with no time to stretch and then quickly toss your gear bag was probably less than ideal I think that is more on the people for cutting things so close with which bus they chose than a negative reflection on the race. Parking at the finish was plentiful and pretty much 100 yards or less from the finish line. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

T-Shirts/SWAG: I am never a fan of shirts and medals celebrating the number of years of a race because they often look similar and are not very creative. The grey shirt is good quality and soft, a potato of course easily lends itself to act as the ‘0’ in writing and they used that here as well. I don’t hate it like some of the anniversary races I have done, but I didn’t love it either. The logo was repeated on the race medal. It is a small but sturdy gold medal with the race logo on it and a relatively small lanyard compared to most races. Again good but not great so a solid 3 stars.

Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: Aid stations throughout the course were at good intervals and had both water and electrolytes. They went pretty smooth although a few of the aid station volunteers were not doing enough vocalizing who had water vs. electrolytes so i missed getting anything at the final aid station but I find it hard to really be critical of people who volunteered their time early on a Saturday just to hand out water to sweaty runners for a couple hours. I chalk this up to just some bad luck and since I was towards the front they probably figured it out as things went along.

The elevation on the course was very easy. You pretty much follow a very slow gentle downhill along the river from Lucky Peak to downtown. I think the worse hill on the course was going over an overpass over the Boise river and even that isn’t much of a hill to speak of.

The course itself was a pretty diverse mix of scenery. You start by running out of Lucky Peak through the canyon along the highway with the river at your side. You then get to run along the base of the Boise Foothills before turning and running on the greenbelt for several miles. Towards the end when you are entering downtown you run through a few neighborhoods and over a couple bridges before reaching the finish. No major cool Boise landmarks on the course, but enjoyable and pretty just the same.

Race Management: This is a smaller race, ~900 people in the half but I still feel like they did a really good job with it. Everything was pretty easy to manage and navigate and I really didn’t have any complaints. The finish area was quite enjoyable and had the giant potato truck for some pictures as well as quite a few booths with chocolate milk and of course their signature baked potato bar. I have to admit that when I heard about the baked potato bar at the finish, I thought it was a cute local idea but not likely something I would enjoy at 8:30 am. When I finished however I decided to give it a try and to their credit they had all the toppings you could want on a baked potato. I also need to admit that while I originally thought that a baked potato would not sound good after a run, I was very very wrong. A carb rich baked potato right after a run was amazing! It was a uniquely Idaho way of finishing things and I loved it.

Another nice thing about running a race back home was seeing current students from my high school running and representing as well as running into several old high school cross country teammates and friends. I’m sure this type of thing is common for people who still live near where they grew up but for me coming from out of town it was a great bonus.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

New York City Marathon

New York City Marathon

This was a truly amazing experience. I have run large races before but this race was on an entirely different scale. It is also a race that I will never … MORE

This was a truly amazing experience. I have run large races before but this race was on an entirely different scale. It is also a race that I will never forget.

I managed to get extremely lucky and get in via the lottery on my first attempt. This race also thankfully gives you a 9 month lead time to plan and prepare since you are notified of your acceptance pretty soon after you apply. This should be standard (WTF London Marathon). They do a good job of sending you lots of emails in the months leading up to the race, lots of them are ad type things but you can’t just ignore them all because important things like your registration confirmation email which you have to take to bib pick up is sent via email, the ferry/bus selection email and well as the email notifying you of your need to pick a post race poncho or check a bag are in there as well so it is not all spam.

I flew cross country from Seattle on Thursday and then went to our hotel on the upper west side. I highly recommend staying in the upper west side if you can afford it for two reasons: First the exit for people who got post race ponchos dumps out there so you can find hotels that are only a few blocks from the finish, also the #1 red subway line has various stops in the area and drops off at the Staten Island ferry which is also how I recommend that you get to the start line. You can take the #1 red line without having to make any transfers.

It is important to arrive a few days early to adjust to the time change, but unless you are from the area you will likely want to see some of the sights while also trying to stay off your feet. A few things I would recommend are taking in a Broadway or off Broadway show and then something I never would have though of on my own was the bus tour of the marathon route that my wife bought for me. This was nice for two reasons, it allowed me to see the city and familiarize myself with the course and hills. It also allowed me to have a much better picture of the course in my head in my memories, when I am racing I tend to get in a zone and don’t really notice the scenery around me, i tried to do a little more of this while I ran this race but there are many things I would not have seen without the bus tour.

EXPO Quality:
We took the subway across town to get to the EXPO which was a thing to behold. A massive building with banners and decorations everywhere. If you really only want to get in and out to get your bib then you would have an easy time because it was very well organized and not crowded. The rest of the expo was actually quite crowded even on Friday afternoon/evening when I was there. There was tons of merchandise (something I never buy at expos but for a marathon major i made exceptions) and tons of vendors selling everything under the sun. An expo tip for NYC would be that if you find something you like but they only have the item available in giant sizes that won’t fit you, you can find it all online in the weeks after the race for the same price or cheaper. Just take pictures of the tags and item numbers and get it shipped to you, very easy. Do yourself a favor and buy a shirt or two for the memories then at least spend some time walking around. They also have a booth where you can find all of the pacers (I was able to meet the guy I would be running with 3:15) and they also have pace bands you can put on your wrist which would give you all your split times for your goal pace.

GETTING TO THE START:
I was scheduled to take the 6:15 Staten Island ferry since I was in Wave 1 (9:50 start time). I took the red #1 line from the upper west side and got to the terminal around 6 am. The terminal was packed and it quickly became apparent that I would not make the 6:15 ferry. My family and I were able to make the 6:30 ferry, barely. The ferry is nice because it allows you to sit down during the transit and it also allows you to go to the bathroom if needed which you can’t do if you take the bus. The ferry also goes close to the statue of liberty which means you can get some nice pictures. Once you get off the ferry things get much more crowded. My family took the free ferry back to Manhattan before heading to the course while I got in a giant line of people waiting for the bus. This probably took close to an hour slowly shuffling forward in a giant crowd of people before we made it to the bus. Then it was a 15 minute drive to the unloading area and another bit of a walk to the start area, security was very tight between the bus and the start area.

THE START AREA:
I found this area to be remarkably easy to navigate and really not overly crowded. I was able to find a place to sit down, I was able to walk around and get some free breakfast and the bathroom lines were very short. This all must be taken under the lens of me being there from 8:30-9:00am, i was leaving in wave 1 so not many people from later waves were there, I’m sure things got a little more crowded as the day went on and people who missed their start mixed with people who made it on time. I had warm throw away clothes from good will and was not checking a bag (they still give you a bag for the start area so you can carry a few things), which is what I highly recommend you do. When I entered my corral they had a little walled off area with bins for throw away clothes and plenty of bathrooms although finding a place to really stretch out was a little tight. We were in this area for a long time (probably 30 minutes) but it was completely fine. You then trudge to the start area in a big crowd and hear the national anthem and cannons.

COURSE/ELEVATION/AID STATIONS:
The first two miles of the course are the bridge, it is both oddly quiet as there are no spectators but also exciting because you are so amped up to start the race. Do yourself a favor and make sure to take in the view while you are on the bridge. If you are on the lower deck stay near the center as people are famous for peeing off the upper deck and showering those below them. I really don’t understand why because I found bathrooms to be plentiful in the start village.

When you come off the bridge the spectators are there in full force, make sure to move to the side from time to time to get some high fives. Also if you can write your name on your shirt do it because people will cheer for you directly. Brooklyn is most peoples favorite part of the course due to both the fan support and I suspect that fact that you always feel your best during the early part of the race. You are on slow rolling hills that you need to be careful on to keep your pace. People were on their stoops cheering, church choirs were out front cheering, it was amazing. Queens had fewer fans and was pretty short before you head to Manhattan via the queens-borough bridge.

That bridge SUCKS, it feels like a 1.5 mile uphill that just wont ever end. The downhill into the wall of sound in Manhattan is great and gives you a lift but that bridge really takes something out of you. The early miles in Manhattan were well attended and fun and it where you finally really have room to spread out across the full breadth of the road. The long straight to the Bronx can really feel long since there is not much to break up the monotony. The Bronx was also quick but well attended and had good cheering sections but it is also at the 20 mile mark so you will probably start to feel it at this stage.

Coming back into Manhattan there is a very long slow uphill which really started to hurt my pace until you finally reach Central Park. It was a minor boost to make it there and know only 3 miles remained but I was getting tired so it felt super hilly and hard and I wasn’t able to enjoy the beauty because I just was ready to be done. You leave the park for a quick half mile then enter back in on the southern end of the park to “sprint” to the finish. I crossed the line with a 3:18:15 PR. My GPS watch showed I ran an extra half mile which of course is partly due to satellites but also due to not being able to cut tangents due to how crowded it was and due to the amount of weaving around people I was doing. The course doesn’t have steep hills other than the bridges but it is almost never flat, lots of slow uphills and downhills, I would call the elevation deceptively hard. Aid stations throughout the course were plentiful and well stocked, due to the number of racing amateurs you will likely encounter aid stations can be a bit frustrating with people who get a cup and just stop dead in their tracks nearly causing collisions, but that is not the fault of the race just inexperience.

The finish chute is long, very long. You get your medal and lots of pictures taken then have to walk a good .5-.7 miles even if you did the poncho option which is much shorter than the walk to the gear check line. You get a finishers bag with some food and then you get the wonderful fleece lined poncho. We had some drizzling rain through most of my race so this poncho felt fantastic. I can’t recommend the poncho option over the gear check option enough.

TSHIRTS/SWAG:
The free shirt is long sleeve and pretty nice. The design and things were not amazing but because of the race it represents I still really like it. The medal is all one color and if it were a normal race you would call it pretty bland but the medal has been similar for so long that I would call it more classic and understated and again is one I cherish.

RACE MANAGEMENT:
First class all the way. It is crowded and you are on your feet for a long time before the race, but when you consider the logistics of organizing the largest marathon in the world and making it go as smoothly as it does it really is amazing. The app they have for the race is great because they have timers at every single mile so your family will have an easy time tracking where you are within less than 5 minutes. Make sure to set up places on the course where you know your family will be, the crowds can be 5-10 people deep in places so you need to know exactly where they will be and again where they will be after the finish so you can find them.

If you like to run, do this race, enter every year for years if you have to, but if you get the chance to run it you will never regret it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Overlake Medical Center Labor Day Half

Overlake Medical Center Labor Day Half

I would rate this race higher but during the 2017 race they committed the cardinal sin of race management. Their course was too short by between .5 and .6 miles … MORE

I would rate this race higher but during the 2017 race they committed the cardinal sin of race management. Their course was too short by between .5 and .6 miles

Expo Quality: I didn’t attend the Expo proper but the morning of there were a few booths set up around the start area which seemed appropriate for a race of this size.

Parking/Access: This race was run out of a mall parking lot which meant that parking was plentiful and easy to find very close to the start area. Probably the easiest access of any race I have ever run.

Shirts/SWAG: The shirt for this race was actually a pullover which was a nice change of pace from the many T-shirts you begin to accumulate over time while racing. The medal was also of nice quality and size. No real complaints although the designs were nothing special which is why only 4 stars.

Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: Aid stations were pretty spread out on this course which adds a little difficulty especially when this was such a hot day, but I didn’t find them to be lacking in water/electrolytes and the number of stations was decent for a race of this size. It really is a flat course for the most part, you essentially run a big loop/square, the first half along the shoulder of a road and the 2nd half along a green belt path. About the half was point in the course you find the only out an back, just a quick jut up the trail for what should be a half mile to add distance before rounding a cone and following the green belt back to the finish. This is where the error was made, likely just a miscommunication between a volunteer and an official who told them to put a cone at a half mile, someone thought it meant total distance added, the other thought it meant a half mile out and a half mile back, most people with GPS watches immediately noticed that the 6 and 7 mile markers were way to close but hoped that it was just a misplaced mile marker and not an error on the course, sadly it was the latter. The first half of the course is not very pretty and just along the road, the 2nd half if really quite nice along the green belt and is enjoyable.

Race Management: Aside from the already discussed short course I have a few other things that could be improved and some to really compliment. No real start corrals or division by expected pace meant quite a jumble at the start and some very slow people to dodge in the first few hundred yards, very frustrating. Also the green belt is still fully open to the public which means people running on the course or walking on it sometimes in the opposite direction. Some things to compliment, aside from the ease of access they had plenty of port-o-potties to use before the race although they were not immediately noticeable and instead people were waiting in huge lines for the public mall bathrooms. Also I’m a sucker for any event that has a free kids race/ kids dash which helps get the future generations of runners interested.

Overall if they didn’t mess up the course I would give this race a 3 star rating and am still willing to recommend it. If they could keep the course a little more closed and do a better job separating people by pace I would even consider giving it 4 stars.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

This was a well organized fun half marathon. I would certainly do it again. Expo: This is a Rock & Roll series race so it is going to have a … MORE

This was a well organized fun half marathon. I would certainly do it again.

Expo: This is a Rock & Roll series race so it is going to have a large well attended expo. If you want to get in and out quick and just grab your bib it is pretty easy, the Events Center is big and well laid out for these kinds of things. If you want to walk around the expo you can find all sorts of things to fit your running needs. The only annoying part of this expo location is that there is virtually zero parking in the area unless you have someone drop you off you are going to have to pay

T-Shirts/SWAG: I was a bit disappointed in the medal and shirt for this year, it was the 20th year for the event and the shirt celebrated that with balloons but nothing on the front unique to San Diego. The finishers medal was similarly disappointing, it was meant to look like a silver colored vinyl record complete with a middle spinning disc but in the end just looks like a big silver circle with again nothing unique to San Diego about it. Other years have looked much better so hopefully this was just a one off problem. The shirt and medal are both of high quality the designs just felt like they were lacking.

Parking/Access: Parking was going to be difficult for this race since the start and finish were a decent ways apart and parking isn’t plentiful for a race this size. I was dropped off by a friend which made things pretty easy, they were doing a good job policing the drop off area and it was an short walk to the park where I could do my pre race routine and stretching.

Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: Aid stations during the course were well stocked and offered electrolytes and water. They were also well spaced throughout the course. The race started on the edge of Balboa park then headed to the northeast winding through neighborhoods. The elevation changes at this point were not much although the scenery of just running through neighborhoods was nothing very exciting compared to the overall beauty of what i normally think of in regards to San Diego. Eventually you head back towards the park and go up a decent sized hill entering the park, then a pretty significant downhill through the park before heading to downtown and finishing on a nice decline. The course is pretty flat overall but the few hills there are can be a bit steep both uphill and downhill which left my hip a bit sore by the finish.

Race Management: They did a good job with this race. The corrals are well managed and the finishers area was well organized and very large, it was pretty easy to meet up with family and friends near the waterfront when I was done. An unusual thing I will give the race credit for managing was when someone went through cones and drove onto the marathon course at some point there were quick notifications and the police were all over it (this didn’t affect me in the half thankfully). This race also started really early in the day, 6 am, which was a tough start but also made sense considering how hot the weather can get especially for those running the full at a slower pace. The bands along the course also offer a welcome break along the route. The combination of the bands, cheerleaders, and start corral organization are all things that I really enjoy about Rock and Roll races.

Overall this race isn’t particularly pretty other than when you run through the park however the management and size of the event make it fun and worth it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon

This was a very unique experience and one of the most fun races that I have ever done. The combination of the bands, running at night, the lights of the … MORE

This was a very unique experience and one of the most fun races that I have ever done. The combination of the bands, running at night, the lights of the strip, and just being in Vegas make this a destination race that every runner should do at least once. I often tell my friends who are not serious runners or who would like to do a half marathon once just to say they have done it that this is the race for them. Yes the entry fee is a little steep even with early entry and yes the combination of flying to Vegas/getting a hotel can be expensive but it is an extremely unique experience that you won’t forget. Can’t recommend it enough, now the details:

Expo: All R&R Races have good expos but since Vegas is their biggest event it also has the biggest expo. Plus Vegas is kind of made for conventions/events. You can find pretty much anything you would need/want at a running expo of this size. Its as close to a marathon major expo as you will find without actually being at a major. Getting in and out of this expo was a bit harder than most smaller races but taking the bus there was pretty easy, just crowded inside.

Parking/Access: Parking is actually decent at/around hotels in Vegas but some could be pretty far from the start/finish. The best advice I can give would be to stay at a hotel between the start and finish (you can see them on a course map). We stayed at the Luxor which is right by the start and was actually a lucky break that we didn’t stay near the finish because the finishers chute in Vegas is actually quite long so it takes you quite a ways back towards the start and backtracking up the course can be difficult due to the crowds cheering the finish and the ever growing pack of finishers milling around.

SWAG: There was a decent amount of freebies in the bag they give you at the expo, more than most races. The shirt was a bright neon yellow which can look a bit crazy if you just want to wear it around but it showed well in a night race and it is actually a good shirt to wear if you are running in the early morning or near dusk when visibility to cars can be hard. The event design was pretty blah on the shirt. The finishers medal was a unique slot machine design where the slot machine wheels were cards that could flip from symbols to a 13.1 or 26.2 depending on your distance, very cool.

Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: It doesn’t get much easier elevation wise than a pancake flat course, a complete non issues. Aid stations were also well stocked and well spaced, i heard there were a few issues with temporarily running out of things for the later runners. Also for aid stations it should be noted that this race has a TON of first time half marathoners and other people who may not be well versed in the etiquette of starting in your correct corral and how to go through an aid station. Many of my slower friends and family said they would be running behind someone when they got to an aid station then the person would take the cup of water and then stop dead in their tracks and then get run into. It’s one of those things that you don’t know until you run a few races but it certainly can be frustrating and a little dangerous for those used to drinking on the go or getting a cup and then moving to the side after they get their cup so they can drink. As for the course itself it was really cool, you started with a quick out and back around the welcome to Las Vegas sign then started a 5-6 mile straight run back past the start towards the heart of the strip, it is such a long straight stretch that it makes it hard to motivate yourself with the usual tactics of just run hard to that corner etc but the cheering and lights and scenery make up for it. Around the 8 mile mark you make a quick jut off the strip before coming back on Freemont street then heading back down the strip. Heads up for those who are unprepared like me and the pack I was running in were for Freemont street. There is a 30 foot tall metal praying mantis that every so often shoot explosions of flames out the top of its head. It sent a group of us cowering and ducking a few steps to the side when it scared the crap out of us, very cool if you are expecting it, heart attack if not.

Running back to the finish was a bit into the wind but it is not consistent because the casinos will shelter you off and on. The wind blows strong through the gap between the buildings then shoots up both directions of the course so you end up running with the wind in your face as you near an intersection then get it at your back for a little while as you continue past the intersection. The finishers chute is long, it can take a while to get through it, get your gear and then get back towards the finish if you are trying to watch family and friends. Also you want to make sure you have warm clothes in your gear check back as you will cool down quickly at night since you will be sweaty.

Race Management: They do a great job at this race, the corrals are well organized and so is the entire event. One thing that can be challenging for slower runners is that because there are so many corrals the slower people can be waiting a long time to start. They also enforce the time limit pretty strictly with a car picking up stragglers which can make for a tight window for people starting in the back to finish, they probably really need to work on starting that hard time limit when the final people start not when the first people do. Overall though I can’t recommend this race enough.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland 1/2 Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland 1/2 Marathon

I set my Half Marathon PR on this course by several minutes. It is really well set up for running fast. EXPO: This was a well put together EXPO although … MORE

I set my Half Marathon PR on this course by several minutes. It is really well set up for running fast.

EXPO: This was a well put together EXPO although parking an access was a bit difficult which can be expected in most major cities when the EXPO is downtown. As with most Rock and Roll races the EXPO is really well done and large with numerous vendors and things to do.

Parking/Access: Parking in any major city especially near an event is going to be terrible. We took the MAX light rail system which made things a breeze. Plenty of parking at those locations and easy train access in and out of the event.

SWAG: I love my Portland Rock and Roll shirt, several of the shirts I have from the R&R series are a bit hit and miss but i loved the big block Portland letters with scenes from the city inside the letters and the little series name and city logo down around your hip on your back. Very unique. Most Rock and Roll series medals are nice but I especially love my Portland one, the Lanyard/Ribbon that goes around your neck is plaid (very Portland) then in the middle of the medal the shape of Oregon is punched out as a hole and the hole even has a bottle opener on it. I don’t even drink and I think that feature is amazing and unlike anything I have on any of my other medals in my collection.

Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: The course started with a quick out and back covering the first 3 miles on the west side of the river before going up an overpass then across a bridge to the east side of the river, and few quick turns and then a slow gentle up hill heading east for the next 3-4 miles. While a long uphill sounds terrible when it is gentle like this is doesn’t break up your stride where you are running on the balls of your feet. Also after a mile heading north at the top you turn back towards the river for 3-4 miles of gentle downhill. This was perfect for the 2nd half of a race and really helped you keep your pace as you began to tire. We crossed another bridge over the river then turned south for the final mile along the river. This course took my PR from a 1:35 to a 1:31, a large jump which i attribute to the course and the cool overcast conditions. The aid stations were well stocked and well spaced. They gave out GU at the halfway point.

Race Management: As with any R&R event the management is well done. They have pacing groups of all speeds and abilities and do a good job managing corrals so that people are spread out with people of similar abilities. The bands on the course are actually quite entertaining and really break up the monotony of a long run/race.

I highly recommend this race, sadly it has been discontinued though 🙁

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Mercer Island Half Marathon

Mercer Island Half Marathon

I have actually run this race 4 times, 2011-2014 but decided to combine my reviews all into one since my experience was similar during each of them. Full Disclosure I … MORE

I have actually run this race 4 times, 2011-2014 but decided to combine my reviews all into one since my experience was similar during each of them. Full Disclosure I am also writing this review several years after the race so the race experience may have changed over time however the course has still remained the same.

This was actually the first half marathon I ever ran, and ended up being the first 4 of the over 15 that I have now completed.

EXPO/PARKING: I have never gone to the proper expo for this race and have instead always used the morning of packet pick up option. The day of there isn’t much of an EXPO to speak of but a few things are set up. This has always been no problem and I have easily been able to get into the area and get my packet in mere minutes. Parking has also rarely been an issue although it is a bit of a walk to the race site and I tend to arrive pretty early for a race because I prefer to be relaxed and have lots of time before a race. Most of the parking is in various strip malls near the race site or in surrounding garages although parking was always free.

SWAG: If you run the half you always get a long sleeved tech shirt which is nice. Most of mine look pretty similar just in various colors although one of them is covered in footprints which makes it a unique addition to my collection. Not much else to speak of in the SWAG bag. If you run the 5 or 10k you get a short sleeve shirt. There was no finishers medal in 2011 or 2012, 2013 & 2014 did have ones but they were cheap and flimsy, I’m sure this has improved.

Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: The race starts and ends at the Mercer Island Community Events Center. The start lines up along a driveway that dumps out onto a main road. It can be a little crowded for the first mile or so before people start to spread out. The course essentially just runs around the entire perimeter of the island. You are not running directly on the water but you can see the water through the trees and houses as you run. The trees and crazy expensive houses make for a nice view while you run. After the first mile or so the course narrows down to the right hand lane (water always on your left) which it maintains for the duration of the race aside from a quick use of a greenbelt in the final mile or so to get you back towards the finish. The course is almost all gentle rolling hills and turns. If you have ever driven a mountain road along a river you get a feel for the bendy nature of this road. At the 11 mile mark or so there is a pretty significant hill. Aid Stations are about every 1.5-2 miles (7 total) and have both water and some form of electrolyte drinks, they also give you a Gu packet at around the 7 mile mark. I’m fairly speedy so there is always still liquid available but I haven’t heard friends complain about them running out.

Race Management: This a pretty well run race, especially for the price, (normally <$50 as late as Christmas time). Volunteers were nice and helpful. My only real gripe is as someone decently quick (~1:35 pace) the division of people by expected finish time/pace was not well managed. They have signs up which hopefully would get people sorted where they should be but it feels like many people ignore it and then crowd towards the front which can make the start a bit dangerous and frustrating as you dodge around people, a few of whom are even walking 100 yards into the course.

One other nice thing that I’ve never seen at another race is they have a walking half marathon option that starts 1.5 hours before the runners, dodging the walkers as early as mile 7-8 can be a minor annoyance but having a walking half option is a really nice touch for people who are not quite ready to run one. They also have a kids dash which while I didn’t have children at the time of the race I now really appreciate.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

This was my first ever full marathon so it is also one I will never forget. At the time this was the largest race that I had run. Full disclosure … MORE

This was my first ever full marathon so it is also one I will never forget. At the time this was the largest race that I had run. Full disclosure I am writing this review several years later so the course is now much different but the race experience remains similar.

EXPO: No day of pick up which is to be expected for a race this size, they had the expo in the events center attached to the Seahawks Stadium. I went in the evening after work so parking and getting to the expo was not really an issue if you know where the free parking is (most who have been to Mariners games know). As with any other Rock and Roll series the EXPO is really large and filled with vendors of all kinds and you can get your running needs met. I bought a few shirts to commemorate the experience (again first marathon) while I now tend to buzz in and out and just get my bib.

SWAG: A few coupons and pieces of food from around town but nothing special. The finishers medals as with all the rock and roll races is solid and nicely made and shows off the scenery of the city. The short sleeve tech T shirt was nothing special although the design is mildy interesting.

Parking/Access: This was a point to point course from Boeing Field to the Mariners/Seahawks stadiums finish, this means that someone had to drop my off. The course has changed nearly every year some as a loop some as a point to point which means you either need to get dropped off or find parking in downtown, neither of which is easy/cheap.

Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: The course started near Boeing Field which isn’t a real pretty area and made its way towards lake Washington where we ran along the water which was really pretty. We reached I-90 and the half/full split happened at around the 9 mile mark. The half marathon people headed for the stadiums/finish, the full marathon people got on the I-90 express lanes and headed on an out and back along the freeway to Mercer island and back (this was safely guarded by barriers and was actually pretty cool, friends who are slower or ran in hotter years have told me this stretch can be hot/brutal due to the lack of shade). The course headed back towards downtown through the I-90 tunnel which was really cool and had a band inside. After running by the stadiums we ran on through some of the tunnels and roads all the way towards the Freemont bridge over lake union where we turned around and ran back on HW99 and then the viaduct (RIP) before finishing in front of Safeco field. Running on the top level of the viaduct made for some really pretty views.

It’s Seattle so of the course was hilly which can be difficult especially at the end of a race (did they really need to make us run back up to the top level of the viaduct at mile 24.5 just to run down the off ramp to the stadiums a half mile later?)

Aid Stations were plentiful throughout the course, I’m pretty quick (3:22) so there was plenty of liquid there when I ran through but I have not heard of friends telling me they ran out at any time. They also handed out Gu packs twice on the course.

Race Management: I love how the R&R series does starts and uses Corrals, they do a decent job of policing things and then they give a little gap between letting each group start which means that you are running almost entirely with people with the same goal pace as you (you can also change your corral at the expo if your expected time changes). Also this meant that it took only 2-3 minutes before I had room to run and stride out since they close the entire street that the race is on. The bands on the course are a really nice break every mile or two even though you only get to listen for a few minutes. Also something that I thought was really cheesy when I heard about it was how they ask the cheerleaders from local schools to come out and cheer for the runners (elementary through high school). For the first 20 miles or so I ignored them and ran by them, but towards the end of the race especially when crowd support was sparse I really really appreciated the encouragement and now always give a wave and say thank you when I run by similar groups in races.

I highly recommend R&R race series events due to their high level of management. The Seattle event continues to be one of their best and most attended.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

My Followers