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Christine Guenther

Philadelphia Marathon   (2014)

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I've run the Half Marathon a few times when I lived in Philadelphia and I came back to run the Full in 2014.

Price: sign up early as it does get on the pricier side of marathons and there really aren't a lot of promotions (I missed one or two of them). I paid $125 and I signed up in July ish.

Hotels: stay downtown. It'll make it easier to walk to the start at the Art museum and make it semi decent to get to the expo. Aren't to many places that are close to the start/finish though to be honest. If you're local, there are lots and garages to park in, get there early.

Expo: held at the Philadelphia convention center (right next to reading terminal market). Well run this year (compared to past years too). Same old stuff though in terms of venders, but be sure to look for races as some of them offer discounts (read the Pittsburgh Half/Full) that I haven't seen otherwise

The start/finish: At the Art Museum. Multiple corrals, but the start is done rolling style so every few minutes a corral is let loose. Good amount of port a potties but could use more. Don't forget your clear bags due to the events of Boston a few years ago.

The course: relatively flat, though beware for a ridiculous hill around mile 8. The first part of the course runs through historic Philly- think market street, Penn's Landing, Independence Hall, etc. You also run down chestnut street and eventually make your way to 30th street station, Drexel, Penn and the Zoo. You see a lot of Kelly Drive and the river and then make your way back to the art museum, where the half and the full split off. The full marathon course takes you down the opposite side of Kelly Drive and into Manyunk and back. A lot of smaller hills, which feel worse 20 miles in. Mayor Nutter is at the finish high fiving finishers, though this year, Bart Yasso was missed

Medals: good bling this year, the front had the art museum on it

The shirts/swag bags: similar design, different colors every year. Really hoping it gets changed up next year to be honest

Post race: Broth is the best thing ever!!! Especially with a late November race, it actually tastes good. I love how they hand you a bag of food, because the last thing I want to do is pick up food, especially after a full.

Head over to http://drrunner.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/philadelphia-marathon-race-review/ for a full review!

Emily White

Gilbert 10k   (2014)

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Thumb gilbert

This was the first year for this local race. There is also a half marathon and they are hoping to have a full marathon next year as well.

There were a few hundred running the 10k. It started at Crossroads Park and did a U-shaped route basically down 2 miles, over 2 miles and up 2 miles. We ended at the Civic Center, where they had a decent spread of vendors set up.

The packet pickup offered a few alternative dates and locations. I went to Cadence Running, which is really small and not set up for a packet pickup situation. On race morning, they delayed of the start by 17 minutes so that the lead half marathon runners could pass by. It seemed rather pointless, as we literally cheered on 2 runners. It was cold out and we just wanted to get started.

That being said, they have nice medals! Yes a medal for a 10K! The half marathoners had a totally different medal design, almost like it was from a different race entirely. The shirts were an extremely bright neon yellow/green, but that didn't stop most people from wearing them for the race.

The one negative is that 10kers ran a point to point race course and had to be bussed back to the park where we started. That required a 5-10 minute walk through an unkept field over to a nearby parking lot. They were pretty much on schedule, so that helped.

All in all, I would do it again. It was fairly well organized and had that small local race feel.

Jeremy Duehring

Annapolis Running Classic   (2014)

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Bottom Line: This was a fun race with a FANTASTIC Post Race Party!

Pre-Race: Good Communication before the race.

Race Day: The weather was COLD! But definitely got nicer as the day progressed. I really liked that the race started at 0700 rather than a later start time (I've been seeing 0900 start times recently to "allow for warmer running temps"...no thanks, I'll just wear another layer!). Big PROPS to the race organizers too. The starting line was great and the race started right on time! That's a big plus.

Parking: The race started/finished at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. There was plenty of parking.

Post-Race: Great festival and music following the race. They were serving warm chilli at the finish as well-much appreciated after running in temps below 30F.

Course: The course started out running through downtown Annapolis. What a view! It was relatively flat and fast through the first 5 miles or so. Then it headed out into some hills. Not the worst hills I've run, but best to be prepared. The hills continued through about mile 11 or so.

Course(part 2): Three "out and back" sections. While the course was generally beautiful, there were 3 sections that were out and back. One even had you run ACROSS the other runners going the other direction! Fortunately, I was able to see a spot and jet across the roadway, but I'm sure that was a disaster when there were crowds in both directions.

The second out and back had all the bigger hills.

Swag: The medal was nice and large with a great image of Annapolis. The race "shirts" or "premiums" could only be picked up in the runners tent following the race (a nice touch, really). They were long sleeve running jackets. I'll definitely be wearing this one as we move into the winter weather.

This was a great race and they gave a discount for military personnel. There were USNA Midshipmen throughout the course and as would be expected, they were shouting, "GO NAVY!" throughout to the runners. It was fun atmosphere and you just can't hardly beat the scenery of Annapolis. Definitely a great race and one I recommend to anyone that is in the Maryland area.

Christopher Chun

Men's Health Urbanathlon San Francisco   (2014)

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This year the urbanathalon added the sprint course and i did that as my first ocr. I gotta say as a noob this was difficult and rewarding. The wall was one location i needed a massive boost on and i got it from the people that were there for just that reason. The wall was just wow a unmovable object blocking from the finish line.

You leave from parking lot A right in front of att park, pass in front of att park towards the embacardero. you hit the under construction obstacle and i really enjoyed going over plastic barriers. After you loop around the embarcadero and hit more obstacles. You do eventually end up going up the stairs at att park. climbing and jumping on top of pallets was fun too. My favorite was hopping over cars. it was loads of fun!

The ATT park stair climb killed my time; cause i really did not want to eat it so high up, so i went slow and methodical.

The wall will fall!

My main gripe: they ran out of bananas at the finish line. How do you run out of bananas? That is like a staple of post race refueling for me. oh wells beyond that it was a great first ocr experience.

Wear some gloves when you do this because hands and asphalt kinda hurts. DO THIS RACE!

Christopher Chun

49ers Rush   (2014)

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This was my chance to run through the new 49ers stadium and practice field in santa clara and it was a great experience. The race is actually 4.9k to go in concert with the 49ers theme versus a traditional 5k. You get to run across the entire stadium all the way around, you see where they practice, park their cars and play. it was an incredible experience. The finish on the field was sweet! Since it was the start, the expo quality was okay. not too much to see. DO IT!!

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