Find &
Review Races

Or Search By Race Name/Location

What people are saying...

Featured Review

Katie St Pierre

Loudoun Lyme   (2015)

Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb 20150517 120056767 ios

A few weeks ago I ran in the Loudoun Lyme 10k at the Brambleton Town Center. This race's main goal was to educate and spread awareness about Lyme disease, and to also raise money to help find a cure. There was an information fair with health professionals and specialists, county officials, veterinarians, and local vendors to help educate the public about Lyme disease, its causes, symptoms and treatments. To read more about Lyme Disease, please check out this post!

The race started out with a cool drone flying over head taking video and pictures (but unfortunately nothing has been posted on the race website yet). The 10k race started first, with the 5k starting a few minutes later. This was pretty much the same course as the Brambleton Ribbon Run that I ran a few years ago. It is pretty flat, and I love running through all of the fancy houses in the neighborhood.

The race took place on a morning that was very humid. It was misting the entire morning, which made it especially unpleasant to run. All I wanted it to do was to give a good rain to help cool me off while running!!!

Regardless, I finished in 1:13:26, which is an 11:49 minute/mile pace. I actually felt a lot more tired, hot, and sweaty than I look in my finishers picture!

I was super excited to find a gluten-free snack bar along with a banana and water at the finish line! Hooray!

I wandered around the educational fair for a bit and checked out some of the exhibitors before heading home.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

John Niedzwiecki

Loudoun Half Marathon   (2014)

Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb loudoun group

Let's start with some brief notes of the stuff leading up to the race. First, I want to mention pre-race communications. The Ashburn Area Running Club (AARC), who put on the Loudoun Half Marathon and 8K, did an amazing job with communications. There were updates almost weekly updates leading up to the race for about a month an a half which was phenomenal. They were emailed to you and linked to the updates portion of the website. They talked about the course map, preview runs, a look at the shirt design, reminders and inspiration. This doesn't even include any additional small updates and pics from their Facebook page. Best I've seen for any races I've run. Yes, even runDisney didn't give this much contact leading up to their races.

Packet pickup was quick and easy. Walk up, find your bib number, next table get your packet, next table for goody bag and shirt and you're done The shirt was a nice quality tech shirt. Granted, it was a small race, so there wouldn't really be lines expected, but even at that they were set up to be amazingly efficient.

Race morning was good as well. Parking was ample at the school. It was nice being able to drive and park easily at the race site. The meeting area was right next to the stadium, which was opened up for the finish area and included real bathrooms, which was a nice added bonus. When I arrived there was zero line. Closer to start there got to be a short line (even in the men's room). Then it was just walk out the gate to the starting like and away we go.

This was a smaller race, so no corralling. Water stops were well spread out. They also FULL of people cheering, which was very nice. On a course that rolls through Ashburn, there wasn't exactly people lining the streets to cheer. There were people at time, still out as slow poke me came by, which was nice. All the water stations cheered and helped try to pump you up. Many seemed like they were being volunteered by local students, either from the track team or sports teams or other organizations, such as Boy Scouts. It was nice to see them out there. I have to also call out one specific group. Later in the course, way down at the bottom of a long hill there's a water stop. I see noone else ahead of me at this particular point. But I hear cheering. Loud cheering and hollering and clapping. Even though I was way in the distance, they were letting me know they saw me and they were there. There was a group ahead of the station, that I can only assume where cheerleaders, as they cheered a very rhythmic cheer. And they continued to cheer as I went off into the distance the other direction. It really helped mentally.

The weather was beautiful. Even as the sun warmed up, there was a breeze that countered it. As it wore on, I got a little warmer at times, but the breeze was usually not far behind. The course featured some rolling hills, but nothing too steep or difficult. Around mile 9 the course goes onto the W&OD trail. When I was at this point there was no problem. When the race pack was there, it may have been problematic. There are many bike riders who use that nice path in both directions and it isn't very wide to support the large volume of runners for a race. The course would follow the trail all the way to back by the school. While running on the trail, it was really encouraging. Many people, runners and bikers alike, would give me some encouragement as they ran in the opposite direction and saw my bib. I received a lot of "great job", "you're almost there" and "finish strong!" It felt good. The last small chunk of the race was on the track back at the school.

I was greeted immediately with my medal and congrats at the finish line. Even being the 4th from the end, they were still there for me. Heck, there were even 2 people there for medals. After my medal I got the 2nd most important thing: a cold bottle of water. I drank that and waited for the person behind me to cross because I knew they couldn't be too far behind. I clapped and cheered as they crossed, grabbed a 2nd bottle of water and headed for the food, and they still had plenty. I also liked it because it was different than other race, which often sports bananas, other fruit and maybe the occasional bagel. They had fruit cups, rice krispy treats, some cookies. It was a nice touch. Everyone was still there at the finish, caring about the back of the pack. It was a nice way to finish. Later, there were even high quality and FREE pictures from photographers that were out on the course, icing on the cake.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Alexis Reed

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
   (2016)

Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb 37411647 race 0.0026528531783854836.display

Overall, I enjoyed the race experience. The race itself kicked my butt, but the post-race festivities definitely made up for my struggle to the finish line!

I attended the expo the evening before the race. It is a very small expo, but they had maps of the course, the pacer reps, and a few shops set up. The expo is not in the same location as the race (Doukenie Winery), but the expo was at the beautiful Landsdowne Resort in a spacious ballroom. At the expo, I picked up my race bib (which was in the shape of a wine barrel), shirt (which I've actually worn since, since it's cute, comfy, and a good material), and a little bag. At the Destination Races table, I was given a sweet Camelbak water bottle with the race logo on the outside. Score!

There were ample aid stations at the race, which I appreciated. It was definitely hot racing weather, and with all of the hills, bugs, and humidity, I took full advantage! I will say, I had never tried the Gu beverage before, and accidentally drank it (I thought I took a water cup, so this is totally user error!), and it was NOT. GOOD. Yuck! But, I didn't have to drink it, so I stuck with water after that.

There were some beautiful farms along the race route. A woman that was running my pace kept stopping to take photos of different farms, especially the horses on the farms. Because it was a smaller race, there wasn't much of a crowd, so in areas without much scenery or people, the race got a bit mundane.

The unpaved portion of the race really crushed me. From around mile 5 until about mile 9, the course was on unpaved, dusty, gravel roads. Needless to say, I was totally unprepared for this much unpaved surface! Definitely make sure you train on this type of surface before the race!

Race management was pretty good! I took away one star because I felt like the finish line could have been organized a little better. It was confusing to figure out where I was supposed to go once I crossed. This was compounded by the fact that I'm a slow runner. We didn't get much love at the finish line!

The wine festival was fun! I wish that this was included for runners, though. Nevertheless, my friends (who didn't run the race) and I got to sip on some sweet Virginia wines, which went well with the warm weather! It was weird to me that some of the wine festival activities were hidden. For example, I got to try out the compression boots, but I didn't see them until the very end. If I hadn't participated in the wine festival, I never would have even seen the massage tables and compression boots!

The bathroom situation for the festival could use some work. There was a really long line in the Doukenie Winery barn, as there were only two bathrooms. I think they could have some more entertainment after the wine festival, also, since it ends so early in the day. On a nice day, I think people would probably like to hang out longer.

Check out my full race recap here: http://www.flecksoflex.com/2016/06/the-hardest-race-ive-ever-run-so-far.html

Loading Comments... Ajax loader

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Amy Dedić

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
   (2016)

Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb img 9461

I pretty much enjoyed everything about the Virginia wine country half. I mean what's not to like about running and drinking wine?? The only negative I saw was that it was a bit pricey for a half marathon, about $100 which didn't include the wine tasting after the race. The tasting was an additional $25. It was also $15 to get your bib at the race rather than picking it up somewhere Friday. There were also fees for a race bus from DC and there was some other type of party later in the day at the Doukenie Winery where the race was held. That said, this race has a lot more to offer than your run of the mill half marathon. It's all set around the beautiful Doukenie Winery. It cannot be cheap to stage a race there. They also many touches and details all throughout the winery that help set the ambiance for the day. I think most runners noticed and appreciated the time and effort put into that, I know I did. There was coffee, water, GU brew and various snacks for the runners. There was plenty of port o potties to handle the crowd. We quickly received our medals and water after the race. There was also HUGE camelback coolers around so that we could get extra water which was really nice since it was humid.

The course itself was pretty hilly but definitely very pretty. There was also 4-5 miles of gravel in the middle of the course. There was more than enough aid stations with water and GU brew. There was also a couple with GU gels. All the volunteers were very helpful and energetic.

It was easy for us to get our wine glasses and enter the wine tasting area. Which I should mention, $25 for a wine glass and unlimited tasting is a pretty good deal. There was probably 10 different wineries, all very excited to be there and gave us lots of information about their products. This area also had a PT clinic who was giving massages and letting runners do sessions in the compression pants for recovery. They were AMAZING! They also had many tables, chairs and benches set up for people to sit, relax and enjoy the wine including many around the lake that was there. It was really a perfect finish to a race even for this beer drinker!

You can read more of my personal story here: http://runningmarathonmom.blogspot.com/2016/06/did-you-say-running-and-wine-virginia.html

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Katie St Pierre

Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon
   (2016)

Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon took place on Saturday, June 4, 2016 in Purcellville, VA – about halfway between Leesburg, VA and Charlestown, WV. The start and finish was at the Doukenie Winery.

I registered for the race about two months prior to race day. I had a free entry code thanks to BibRave, but my dad paid the full fee of about $100.

This is an expensive race, and there are still extras to add on for the full race weekend experience.

Some of the add-ons include:

Early bib pick-up in Arlington, VA
Race day bib pick-up
Welcome Reception
Bus transportation from Arlington, VA
Wine glass
Wine Tasting Festival
Finisher’s Reception

The Expo

The expo took place on the day before the race (Friday) at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. I drove over to the expo after work (about 40 minutes) to get my bib and to check out the expo.

Packet pick-up was fast and easy, and it didn’t take too long to explore the expo, which was about four different vendors. There was nothing too exciting, and I was in and out in 10 minutes.

The expo was definitely not worth the drive for me (40 minutes there and over an hour to get home), and looking back, I probably should have paid the $15 to pick up my bib the morning of the race.

The bib was pretty cool. It was shaped like a wine barrel! We also got a drawstring bag and the race shirt (which was too big for me).

Race Day

The race started at 7am at the Doukenie Winery. My dad and I met at 5am to drive the 70 minutes to the race start. The parking lot for the race was all field. It was a good thing that it wasn’t muddy because I was driving my Prius and could imagine getting stuck.

There was a line of port-o-potties at the start line. Luckily, the lines moved quickly and we still had plenty of time to take some pictures before the start.

There were some pacers lined up at the start so you could kind of gauge where you should be. There were 1500 people at the race, but it certainly seem that crowded at the start line.

The course for the race is an out and back, with a lollipop loop in the middle. About 30% of the race is on unpaved road and had some rolling hills, but nothing too terrible. The worst thing about the race was that it was super humid and started to get pretty hot.

There course was pretty scenic. There was a lot of tree-lined streets, animals (chickens, goats, cows, horses, deer), and cool buildings.

Watch my race video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyxtWu0-6h8

One great thing about the race? FREE downloadable race photos! Yay!

We finished the race in 3:04:31, with an average pace of 14:06. There was still about 100 or so people behind us. I did not know that there was a cut-off time for the race, but it seemed to be a limit of 3:30 (from what they were saying over the loudspeaker).

We crossed the finish line and got our medals and some snacks. I went to pick up my wine glass, and then we left. I did not stay for the Wine Tasting Festival that was taking place.

Want to learn more about this race?
Check out:
http://www.adventuresbykatie.com/virginiawinecountryhalfmarathon/
and
http://www.adventuresbykatie.com/5-reasons-run-virginia-wine-country-half-marathon/

Loading Comments... Ajax loader

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Connect With Us!

Some recent photos Follow us on Instagram

Beautiful, kinda tough
Stunning
Running to honor our fallen officers.
2 days, 3 races, 5 medals!

Find a race