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REVEL Kulia

M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '19

REVEL Kulia

BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve ever run a REVEL race, then you know exactly what awaits you on the Big Island… and if you haven’t, you may want to carry a … MORE

BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve ever run a REVEL race, then you know exactly what awaits you on the Big Island… and if you haven’t, you may want to carry a fire extinguisher just in case your legs spontaneously combust. With nearly 5,700 feet of descent according to my Garmin, Kulia wears the downhill crown as the steepest of the eight REVEL courses — which is a bit like calling the Pacific the deepest of the oceans.

Physically, my own race could be broken down into two clear segments — 18 miles of “Count me in!” followed by eight miles of “Get me OUT.” Even a tailwind in the last six miles couldn’t save me from imploding. Granted, I’d run Tokyo six days earlier or I might have expected more of a 20/6 or 22/4 split. In any case, based on my previous REVEL experience at last year’s Mt Charleston Marathon in Nevada, I knew the last few miles would be painful… I just didn’t expect that my quads and calves would call it quits in unison.

On the bright side, it’s Hawaii so the scenery is beautiful. Gazing out across the Pacific Ocean and seeing Maui in the distance certainly helped to distract from my mounting fatigue. Best of all, once you cross the finish line you are now free to move about the island and to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer — if you can still walk, that is. It’s no accident the medical tent is only steps away from the finish line.

PRODUCTION: This year’s inaugural Kulia race definitely delivered on REVEL’s promise of “fast and beautiful,” though the evidence suggests that with 5,700 feet of elevation loss, the company may well have reached the law of diminishing returns on speed.

Not surprisingly given its venue, Kulia is the most expensive of the REVEL events — I’d paid an early-bird registration price of $130 including a $10 discount code. Still significantly cheaper than say, Honolulu, and probably not a deal-breaker if you’re traveling from the mainland to run in Hawaii. Plus, your registration comes with all the niceties you’d expect from a REVEL event, including free gloves/heat sheet to stay warm on race morning, near-immediate results via email, free race photos, and even free goodr sunglasses. Race day also featured some distinctly Hawaiian touches including a pre-race conch blowing and native prayer, plus purple orchid leis at the finish line. And who doesn’t love a lei?

The expo was small and easily navigated, with several of the same vendors I’d seen at last year’s Mt Charleston expo including doTERRA (essential oils) and Rapid Reboot (recovery). We also met the garrulous race director of the Big Island International Marathon who was none too pleased (understandably so) that REVEL had shown up in his ‘hood and scheduled a marathon/half marathon one week before his own.

On-course support was excellent, including a bottle of Maurten that Katie dropped off and which was waiting for me at the mile 15 aid station. (Mahalo, volunteers!) Be aware, though, if you’re a runner who feeds off spectator support and raucous crowds: outside of aid station volunteers, I could count the number of spectators on two hands. On the plus side, few spectators meant few vehicles, and despite the fact we shared the road with traffic for much of the race, the organizers did a nice job of allowing us a wide berth such that safety concerns were minimal.

That said, the course definitely needed more trash bins, as discarded Dixie cups or GU packets in several spots lay one gust of wind away from becoming island detritus for a grazing goat to find.

The post-race party felt more functional than festive, held as it was in a gravel clearing on the side of the highway with a spread of Domino’s Pizza, water, chocolate milk and canned beer. As the lead singer of Suicidal Tendencies once lamented, all I wanted was a Pepsi, and sadly there was none to be had. Chocolate milk or beer definitely wasn’t going to cut it for a stressed-out stomach that wasn’t yet ready for protein, fat or alcohol.

On a semi-related note, with the REVEL team now in charge things are looking up for this year’s newly resurrected Portland Marathon, which after several years of poor management and underperformance (culminating in a 2018 cancellation and change of leadership) finally promises to live up to its potential.

SWAG: REVEL takes its swag seriously. In addition to everything mentioned above (gloves, goodr sunglasses, lei), their race tees are among the best in the business, while their finisher medals are always hefty and well crafted, even if they insist on featuring their company logo (and was this year’s spiral supposed to represent a… nautilus shell?) rather than, say, a true Hawaiian-themed design. But the ultimate swag, really, is the opportunity to explore and experience the beauty of the Big Island. In the words of legendary marathoner William Shakespeare, “I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”

Want a better sense for the REVEL Kulia experience? Check out my race report at https://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2019/07/09/revel-kulia-marathon-race-report/

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '15

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

This was my last marathon of 2015, and I registered kind of late. It was a Saturday race, which is sometimes a little harder to get to, and Little Rock … MORE

This was my last marathon of 2015, and I registered kind of late. It was a Saturday race, which is sometimes a little harder to get to, and Little Rock was a little expensive to fly into, but it was worth it. There wasn’t really an expo, just packet pick up at a running store (which happened to be next to a grocery store…score!! Race morning breakfast purchases made!). I prefer no expo, so again, this was a good thing in my opinion.

I stayed at a hotel just a mile or two away from one of the two designated parking spots. This was pretty convenient – no need to worry about getting to the start and parking. Instead, I parked in a large church parking lot and took the bus to the starting area.

The start was great. It’s the only marathon I’ve run where there was a heated tent for runners to hang out in, which in December, was very nice. They had coffee, water, and snacks pre-race and we only had to walk around the corner to the start. There were plenty of portajohns nearby as well. Definitely one of the best pre race starting areas I’ve experienced. The sunrise was lovely too!

The start was smooth. The whole course was really nice; I was astounded by the quantity and quality of footpaths by the river. They were asphalt and in great condition, with nice views pretty much the whole time. The last 10k was more in a park with small, rolling hills, but also pleasant. You cross three bridges (hence the name) which meant some incline, and there are a few minor hills during the course as well, but nothing bad in my opinion. The bridges were like milestones, I started looking forward to them because they had nice views and meant we were making progress.

Aid stations and volunteers were great. It’s not the type of race you run for thousands of cheering people along the course, but it was very pretty and quite enjoyable and I met some cool runners along the route, one of which I ran with for about 16 miles. I tend to prefer scenic over crowd anyway.

You run back by the finish around mile 20 and cross a bridge that leads into that park area by the river. On the one hand you’re thinking “crap that’s the finish but I’m not done…” but on the other hand it’s a party atmosphere and the announcer calls your name and where you’re from on the PA, so that’s cool. He also says it again as you re-cross the bridge to finish right at about mile 26.1. It didn’t bother me to pass the finish but some people might find it a bit of a bummer.

The post-race atmosphere was fun and there was a good selection of food and drink. The shuttles back to the parking lots were also great, as they ran pretty frequently right by the finish area, and dropped you off at your lot. From there I only had a mile or two to drive to my hotel.

The t-shirt was a nice long sleeve tech shirt. The medal was so-so but not bad. The real prize, pun intended’ were the age group awards. I placed in my division and collected a SWEET plaque to hang on my wall. Great swag in my opinion, with minimum hassle and a beautiful, extremely well-organized race.

Bottom line, if you need Arkansas for your 50 states quest, I HIGHLY recommend this race. It’s one of my favorites, and not just because we had beautiful, sunny, cool weather. It really felt like a marathon for runners, by runners, and it showed with every detail. I don’t anticipate running repeat races if I can help it, but this is one I would consider running again just because I enjoyed it so much.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

Profile photo of BJ Fuller
bjfuller2000 REPEAT RUNNER '18

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

Another personal favorite race. I’m already signed up for my 5th straight year to run this race. Bling is always top notch and a good and flat course through Louisville … MORE

Another personal favorite race. I’m already signed up for my 5th straight year to run this race. Bling is always top notch and a good and flat course through Louisville

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

jeannecorey64 REPEAT RUNNER '18

San Francisco Marathon

I love this marathon. This was the 5th consecutive year I've run it. This was my fastest year even though the course had changed and had to run on the … MORE

I love this marathon. This was the 5th consecutive year I’ve run it. This was my fastest year even though the course had changed and had to run on the sidewalk of the bridge. Logistic for this race are fantastic. Expo is one of the best that I’ve been to. I volunteered the past 2 years (from CT to CA) Post race party was great with Barefoot Wine as an additional choice. Course is hilly and challenging. The end of the race had a downhill that was tough! Breathtaking views on this course!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

Profile photo of Mark Wilborn
runner913 FIRST-TIMER '18

San Francisco Marathon

The race was executed without a hitch! That being said, I don't know how they did it! The planning, name changes, route changes, late addition of apps/sponsors/etc made the race … MORE

The race was executed without a hitch! That being said, I don’t know how they did it! The planning, name changes, route changes, late addition of apps/sponsors/etc made the race feel rather amateurish for such a big race.
The RACE itself was fantastic! I agree with a few others… the medal was kind of bland, and I assume that is to due to the fact that there was no title sponsor until the week of the race. I will/would be back… I have checked CA off my 50 list with this marathon #12.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

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Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

Profile photo of Misty Woolf
misty0475 REPEAT RUNNER '18

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

I first ran this one in 2015, I have run and will run it in all the following years. The Arkansas River Trail is my absolute favorite place to run. … MORE

I first ran this one in 2015, I have run and will run it in all the following years. The Arkansas River Trail is my absolute favorite place to run. This is a race for runners by runners, it’s all about conquering the 26.2 nothing more and nothing less. I have run 20+ marathons and my top 3 finish times are all right there at 3B26. It’s a challenging course but you always feel the presence of the running community the whole way! I love this race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '18

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

BOTTOM LINE: Tell me you’re on the hunt for a high-value, low-frills scenic marathon in an underrated city you may not otherwise visit, and I’ll point you straight to the … MORE

BOTTOM LINE: Tell me you’re on the hunt for a high-value, low-frills scenic marathon in an underrated city you may not otherwise visit, and I’ll point you straight to the Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon. Jacob was not only the race founder but an avid runner himself, having completed 154 marathons before his premature death in 2014. And though he’s no longer with us in the corporeal sense, 3B26 continues to honor Jacob’s memory as a race put on for runners, by runners.

The marathon is the only distance offered so the course never feels crowded, and there’s never a point at which tired marathoners suddenly have to merge with half marathoners or 10K runners. And what the race may lack in style — no colorful start-line balloons, live musical entertainment or showy bling — it more than makes up for in substance with a smart & scenic course, enthusiastic volunteers, a high-energy finish-line announcer and an awesome heated tent at the start and finish. Oh, and a friendly neighborhood Santa Claus greets each finisher with a white-gloved high-five. What’s not to love?

The three bridges — each of which runners cross twice — are the highlights of the race, along with the turnaround at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, which appropriately sits on the opposite side of the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge. (In case you didn’t know already, upon landing at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport you’ll quickly realize that President Clinton hails from Arkansas.). Both the Library/Museum and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitors Center — the latter of which tells the 1957 story of the Little Rock Nine and their battle for desegregation — are worth a visit for anyone with an appreciation of American history. All in all, there’s plenty to do in Little Rock to promise any visitor a full and fulfilling weekend, and 3B26 offers a more low-key option compared to the big-bling block party of the Little Rock Marathon in March.

For prospective runners, a $15 discount was available on the 3B26 Facebook page for Black Friday, lowering the already reasonable $90 registration fee to $75. Sold!

PRODUCTION: As mentioned above, 3B26 is clearly a marathon for runners, by runners. The race production itself was nearly flawless, with no superfluous bells and whistles but with plenty of positive vibes and small, professional touches such as race-day packet pickup plus a cozy heated tent (stocked with post-race pizza and drinks) that was large enough to accommodate nearly everyone before and after the race. Genius, that tent. Keep in mind this is a marathon only (no shorter distances), which allows the organizers to focus their efforts exclusively on the 26.2 crowd, from the Green Bay Packers fan I met in mile 13 who was tackling his first marathon to the woman on the morning trolley who was running her 50th. Perhaps ironically for a race that starts with a prayer, 3B26 understands that the devil is in the details.

SWAG: This was another aspect of the race that underpromised and overdelivered. The long-sleeve gray Sport-Tek shirt is more comfortable than most and sports the colorful green-and-purple 3B26 logo. Meanwhile the finisher medal, which likewise sports the 3B26 logo and which at first glance struck me as basic and lacking in creativity, in fact has an understated yet attractive stained-glass quality that I always appreciate. It’s smartly designed without being showy. Nicely done, 3B26!

For a more detailed description of race day and things to do in Little Rock, check out my race report at http://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2019/05/09/jacob-wells-3-bridges-marathon-race-report

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Bass Pro Shops Conservation Marathon & Cohick Half Marathon

Jenlovestorun FIRST-TIMER '18

Bass Pro Shops Conservation Marathon & Cohick Half Marathon

Loved the race swag shirt! Mostly flat course. I feel like it was mostly running through neighborhoods. Nothing spectacular, but nicely organized and nice community. MORE

Loved the race swag shirt! Mostly flat course. I feel like it was mostly running through neighborhoods. Nothing spectacular, but nicely organized and nice community.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

California International Marathon (CIM)

jamer133 FIRST-TIMER '18

California International Marathon (CIM)

The expo was a good size and easy enough to pick up my bib. Race morning was a bit hectic as I took a shuttle bus to the start; however, … MORE

The expo was a good size and easy enough to pick up my bib. Race morning was a bit hectic as I took a shuttle bus to the start; however, the driver took us to the wrong place. Luckily the mistake was caught early enough so off to the real start we went. They allowed us to stay on the bus for as long as we wanted as it was really cold outside to just stand.
The actual race was just ok. Plenty of fluid stations and good crowd support; however, this race is advertised as net downhill. That may be the case, but be prepared for hills. It was constant up and down the entire race and my calves were on fire by the end. The course itself was pretty boring. I just remember seeing a lot of dogs dressed up for Christmas which made me smile. 🙂 After race was nice…enough food and gear pickup was easy. I did PR which was amazing and the weather was spot on; however, this isn’t a race I would choose to repeat.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

HFM Maritime Marathon

KatieD FIRST-TIMER '16

HFM Maritime Marathon

This was my first time in Manitowoc. There was a full marathon, marathon relay, and half marathon. There were about 200 runners in the marathon and 200 in the half. … MORE

This was my first time in Manitowoc. There was a full marathon, marathon relay, and half marathon. There were about 200 runners in the marathon and 200 in the half. The half marathon started 15 minutes after the full. Packet pickup at the Maritime Museum went smoothly. The Museum also had some interesting exhibits. Free street parking was easy to find for packet pickup. Race swag included a cotton tee, running socks, and a packet of Gu. There was no race expo. The volunteers were very nice and helpful.

The course started at the University of Wisconsin Manitowoc and again parking was easy to find. The University was open to use the restroom facilities and also to take a shower after the race. There is a bit of running in the neighborhood by the school and then the course is on a paved trail along Lake Michigan. The trail is about 3 people wide, but passing was relatively easy due to the number of runners. Water/gatorade stops were plentiful. Both courses are out and back.

The full marathon course does a small loop in the town of Twin Rivers and it looked like it went onto a trail for a short distance. The majority of the course is the paved trail along the lake. The marathon course does go on the road for some of the course and the road is not closed. There are cones so that one lane of the 2 lane road is open. Traffic is fairly light in that area however.

The race day weather was perfect with starting temps in the high 50’s and a slight wind. The previous day was much more humid with a high in the 90’s.

There was a lot of cheering from other runners while passing on the way back and many cars honked their horns. There are not a huge number of spectators but they were friendly. It’s a fun atmosphere. The finish is a turn onto a downhill grassy area behind the school. Names are announced at the finish.

Race entry includes a beer or soda, food (brat, hot dog, or hamburger) and an ice cream sandwich. There are trophies for the male/female marathon winners and pins for the top 3 in the age group (10 year age groups).

This is a nice, smaller race that is scenic, well organized and is flat and fast.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
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4
SWAG
3
My Media

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Steamboat Marathon & Half Marathon

kenspruell FIRST-TIMER '16

Steamboat Marathon & Half Marathon

Race starts out super scenic after bus ride north of town. Both marathon and half follow the Elk River and surrounding mountains (and "cheering" cows) back to town. Last three … MORE

Race starts out super scenic after bus ride north of town. Both marathon and half follow the Elk River and surrounding mountains (and “cheering” cows) back to town. Last three miles into town we lose the shade and exposed to the sun, but 2016 weather was fortunately accommodating so no issues. Recommend the run – biggest race in Steamboat and views/organizers/volunteers make it great.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

rramnani FIRST-TIMER '18

San Francisco Marathon

I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenging full marathon. During the first half, the cool breeze was quite a relief along with the GG bridge view … MORE

I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenging full marathon. During the first half, the cool breeze was quite a relief along with the GG bridge view and surrounding scenery. The hills are quite challenging.
So please plan your training accordingly.
I think it is through the help of all the lovely volunteers who make such a big event a successful one. Please do reward them with a free race or at least a free lunch for recognizing their efforts.
Go ahead and earn your medal.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

hollybluedog FIRST-TIMER '17

San Francisco Marathon

I ran the 1st half the previous year, so only did this 2nd half to be able to brag I did the whole route (and got the awesome both halves … MORE

I ran the 1st half the previous year, so only did this 2nd half to be able to brag I did the whole route (and got the awesome both halves medal). However, while running this I fell in love, running through Golden Gate Park in the early morning hours was mesmerizing and after leaving the park running through the city neighborhoods as we make our way down to the finish was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The hardest part of the whole route was a couple of very steep downhill sections, it sucks when the downhill is so steep you have to take it slow, but the experience was well worth it! I would gladly do this race again!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

michaellhicks FIRST-TIMER '18

San Francisco Marathon

Race was organized very well, with plenty of drinking stations. The beginning was fast and fun, running along the ocean while you still have energy. Running across the Golden Gate … MORE

Race was organized very well, with plenty of drinking stations.
The beginning was fast and fun, running along the ocean while you still have energy. Running across the Golden Gate Bridge (miles 6-10) was amazingly enjoyable and meaningful to me, though some people might be put off by the fog. Plus you get a little bit of fun trail running in on the other side of the bridge.
After that you run city streets for a couple miles and then hit Golden Gate Park for about 6-7 miles. This part is tough because the half marathoners are all running past you at faster paces at this point, which feels demoralizing, but the park is peaceful, though with some tough hills.
For the last six miles or so, you’re just running through endless city streets, and it’s honestly pretty darn boring, especially when you’re feeling exhausted.
You get plenty of snacks and drinks at the end, which was really nice. Overall, it was a great race to run, and not as hilly as I was afraid of at all. I was just a little surprised/disappointed how few San Franciscans were out to cheer the runners, compared to other races I’ve run.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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San Francisco Marathon

ucd76 FIRST-TIMER '10

San Francisco Marathon

Be prepared for the hills, especially in the second half. Take it easy on the first half. Be prepared for cold and fog. Lots of turns so pay attention to … MORE

Be prepared for the hills, especially in the second half. Take it easy on the first half. Be prepared for cold and fog. Lots of turns so pay attention to running the tangents.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Morgan Valley Marathon

glenberger FIRST-TIMER '18

Morgan Valley Marathon

Less than 100 marathoners ran across BREATHTAKING country side. I saw more goats, cows, and horses that day than I had seen in a while. I enjoyed the marathon and … MORE

Less than 100 marathoners ran across BREATHTAKING country side. I saw more goats, cows, and horses that day than I had seen in a while. I enjoyed the marathon and the swag was worth it. The early start was a bit much in mountain time but helped combat the heat. I didn’t notice any elevation issues. Water stations were great with snacks as well. The only dislike is we were running along the country road so at times I wasn’t sure if a truck coming towards me saw me before it moved towards the center. I do recommend this course && It was SUPER cheap.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Morgan Valley Marathon

AprilleO REPEAT RUNNER '18

Morgan Valley Marathon

I really enjoyed this marathon. My favorite part was running through an area where several people had goats on leashes eating down the tall grass by the side of the … MORE

I really enjoyed this marathon. My favorite part was running through an area where several people had goats on leashes eating down the tall grass by the side of the road. I stopped and petted several. We also ran by other animals and I saw a mule deer (I think) up on a mountain. The course was good, not overly hilly or too flat either. The scenery was beautiful. They offered free pictures, but I’m slower and I think the photographer must have gotten off before I finished, because I only saw myself in one of the pictures and it was from the start. Other than than, everything went well. They offered massages and lots of food afterwards. I’d recommend this run for anyone looking to run in Utah.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Morgan Valley Marathon

jimenejm FIRST-TIMER '18

Morgan Valley Marathon

One of the best marathon experiences I have had. The field size was small (+- 100), the spectators few, and the course incredibly beautiful. A lot of the race it … MORE

One of the best marathon experiences I have had. The field size was small (+- 100), the spectators few, and the course incredibly beautiful. A lot of the race it was me, the course and nature. I loved that. The course is an honest course, which is refreshing considering most races here in Utah are screaming downhill.

The pre-race meal was great, the logistics easy (starts and ends in the same place), the SWAG good (beanie, nice shirt and nice medal), it was chip-timed, the course support was great (they even had a roaming aid station on an ATV), and the volunteers were well-trained.

This race would be great for a 50-stater looking for their Utah race. It is the only time I will get to both BQ and come in 4th overall! I must admit I loved that. I can’t say enough about how nice it was to run this marathon. I will be back.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '18

San Francisco Marathon

I was not feeling 100% (or even 80%) and almost downgraded to the 2nd half for this, since The course was changed to run on the side walk of the … MORE

I was not feeling 100% (or even 80%) and almost downgraded to the 2nd half for this, since The course was changed to run on the side walk of the golden gate bridge. I am glad I stayed in it, but did experience some slowdowns getting around people. the worst part was turning around, where the course goes under the golden gate at the turn around. it had very dangerous ruts and loose gravel, not a road marathon at all. The temperature was wonderfully cool, but a little windy on the bridge, and not much of a view from the deck, but we did see a dolphin playing at the bottom, and it stayed cool all the way through, a big relief from other years. We received a loyalty pint glass which was a nice touch. (a third year prize given to 4th year runners since it is new.) The race shirt is good quality. I also wish that the Berkeley / SF Challenge had something indicating the year, having multiple copies of the same medal year after year is not much motivation. the Marathon Medal was a plain hexagon, also somewhat lackluster. I love the challenge of this course, and I hope they can bring back running on the bridge roadway. They also need to make sure the roadways are maintained in some areas. some streets were really rough to run on.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
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4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

amy.schaumburg FIRST-TIMER '17

San Francisco Marathon

Since I live in the Bay Area, I'm a bit bias, but this is a really pretty, unique race and a GREAT way to see SF! There are a great … MORE

Since I live in the Bay Area, I’m a bit bias, but this is a really pretty, unique race and a GREAT way to see SF! There are a great number of hills, but nothing too outrageous. It’s well organized, starting line is gorgeous (under the Bay Bridge) and any chance to run across the Golden Gate Bridge is always special.

There aren’t very many places you can run a full in the States in JULY without melting – this is one of them. Definitely recommend!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Panama City Beach Marathon

Panama City Beach Marathon

This is the second year my running this race. I love to support local races, especially here in Panama City. Even though the course is not closed, we still enjoy … MORE

This is the second year my running this race. I love to support local races, especially here in Panama City. Even though the course is not closed, we still enjoy a run along the beach and back. What has not changed since last year are the logistics of providing a safe envnornment for runners. Imagine our suprise when at mile 2,3,4 7 and 11 when they had no water or ran out of cups to provide water to runners. At mile 11 I were offered a gallon jug of water to drink out of because of no cups. I were even berated by someone delivering water after we passed a water stop because runners were mentioning the stop was out of water. With the conditions as warm and humid as it was, this was an issue of safety for the runners out there. I had thought about switching to the marathon but glad I did not becuase ot the water situation. The volunteers were great dealing with what they were given but they too should have not been put in that position in dealing with angry and thirsty runners. I don’t think I will be back next year unless changes are made and runner safety is the top priority for the race directors.

DIFFICULTY
1
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1
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1
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2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Panama City Beach Marathon

Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '17

Panama City Beach Marathon

I ran this race for the first time in 2017. It's within driving distance for me. The marathon was much smaller than I expected for a beach race. Being in … MORE

I ran this race for the first time in 2017. It’s within driving distance for me.
The marathon was much smaller than I expected for a beach race. Being in December, the beach was empty but most shops/restaurants were also closed for the season.
COURSE: First off, I’m not a fan of flat courses. This is a pancake flat course with about a 25 foot gain/loss according to my Garmin. It’s basically an out & back with a few out & backs inside a state park. The road was partially under construction (for 2017) and traffic was not halted. There were several instances where cars came frighteningly close to runners. Police were at major intersections. The water stations were at each mile which is great giving the heat that day. The high temp on race day was in the high 70s. However, several were running out of cups and sports drink was rare! This was a major problem for a lot of runners! The stations were also manned by volunteers who clearly had no desire to be there and had no experience with races. At one station I passed – the guys were sitting in their car on their phones and didn’t notice that we had even passed and walked up to pick up a cup. Then there were one or two manned by older individuals (there was a group of older ladies) who were very enthusiastic.
The course was also poorly marked. A local who was familiar with the course was running with me and he is the only reason I went the correct way on several intersections. More arrows and volunteers are needed at turns & turnarounds. As far as the scenery, it was so-so. There was only one section where you could see the beach. May 2-3 miles worth. The rest was the busy Front Beach Blvd (with traffic) and then neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were nice, but being a beach race, It would have been nice to see the actual beach for more than a few miles.
FINISH LINE: They had water & oranges. That’s it. (Margaritaville was giving out free beer & gumbo.) There were a lot of people finishing dehydrated and overheated (from lack of sports drink on the course!). There was no ambulance or medical staff present either. This is a major problem!

Overall – With a race that claims “Run through Paradise,” they have some serious cleaning up to do. I wouldn’t pay to run this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Panama City Beach Marathon

swphotog FIRST-TIMER '15

Panama City Beach Marathon

This was PCB's inaugural race and while I know effort was put into it, it fell short of expectations. The course was not closed to traffic so we ran most … MORE

This was PCB’s inaugural race and while I know effort was put into it, it fell short of expectations. The course was not closed to traffic so we ran most of the marathon hugging a very small shoulder with traffic. Course support was so-so…volunteers weren’t overly helpful or friendly. By the end they just set cups out on a table and said help yourself. There wasn’t any food left by the time we finished and we were lucky to find a bottle of water. The course must not have been advertised locally because there were almost zero spectators which was a little disappointing. It unfortunately wasn’t a race I will run again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
1
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

2tallfritz FIRST-TIMER '14

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

One of my favorite races of the year. Everything was perfect from the downtown Louisville staging area with a host hotel within walking distance to the expo and race start. … MORE

One of my favorite races of the year. Everything was perfect from the downtown Louisville staging area with a host hotel within walking distance to the expo and race start. Plus a thriving downtown with lots of activities for the whole family. Then a GREAT race that showcased Louisville and all it’s attractions. A couple difficult sections but so worth it. My favorite part? The flowering trees and beautiful neighborhoods!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

dansolera FIRST-TIMER '12

Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon

This is one of the flattest, fastest half marathons out there that isn't a point-to-point, downhill run. It has remarkably few turns, has almost zero hills or elevation change, and … MORE

This is one of the flattest, fastest half marathons out there that isn’t a point-to-point, downhill run. It has remarkably few turns, has almost zero hills or elevation change, and takes place in late April, allowing for cool temperatures. It starts in the city and heads to the famed Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, before running back in almost a perfectly straight line on city streets. Additionally, the t-shirts and medals are very well designed and worth displaying. So if you’re within a 3-hour driving distance of Louisville (5 hours if, like me, you’re from Chicago), put in some speedwork and let that equine, Derby magic be the carrot for your next PR. I have heard that the marathon distance has a very hilly second half though.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

cjgarles FIRST-TIMER '18

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

Plenty of aid stations, well organized, enjoyable course and scenery, wonderful people. The food and drink spread both before and after the race were excellent as well. I would definitely … MORE

Plenty of aid stations, well organized, enjoyable course and scenery, wonderful people. The food and drink spread both before and after the race were excellent as well. I would definitely do this one again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Marquette Marathon & Half Marathon

jjleuck REPEAT RUNNER '17

Marquette Marathon & Half Marathon

The course is mostly down hill or flat. There are a few rollers but hardly noticeable. Much of the course is ran on a trail through wooded area, which provides … MORE

The course is mostly down hill or flat. There are a few rollers but hardly noticeable. Much of the course is ran on a trail through wooded area, which provides natural beauty. Nice t-shirt and medal. Exceptional food selection at finish line.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?