Latest reviews by Amy Yanni

(2016)
"Brave little race"
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Calvin Coolidge called Vermont "this brave little state," and the quote is now inscribed in marble at the Vermont State House. This race is brave, for offering up a challenging course and being proud of it. For now, it's a relatively small race, but if organization, scenery and a truly memorable experience count for anything in our running world, then it won't stay small. The Half Marathon and Relay insure that it's never lonely along the course, and the volunteers at the Aid Stations are incredibly supportive and kind. I was working out a cramp and walked the first half of the marathon, so I had the opportunity to experience a lot of time on the course. If you are going to walk a course, this is one to select, as the views and the people will buoy your soul and your spirits. Loved this one and really hope I can go back, even though it's a bit of trek from Florida.
The town is lovely, the race is less than an hour drive from Burlington, if you need to fly in to Vermont, and packet pickup/getting to and from the race couldn't have been easier. The RD is as special as everyone says she is, and really does wait at the finish to greet every participant. If a race can be charming, then this one is it.

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(2016)
"Lambeau Field"
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I was in Green Bay to run the marathon Sunday. Decided to run the 5K the day before. So glad I did! The race focuses on kids. Lots of school buses from all over with young runners, and everyone gets a medal. Super well organized, with starting carrels, folks all along the course, and lots of food afterwards. And just like the marathon and the half on Sunday, this 5K includes a run through Lambeau right before the finish. Stands are open for friends and fans.
If you're not running the longer races Sunday, or if are and want an organized 3 miler Saturday, go run this one. It was fun!

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(2016)
"Aptly Named: a run designed by and for runners!"
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This was my 130th marathon when I ran it in 2014. I went back and ran it again in 2015 and 2016. Needless to say, I rank it top tier of marathons. That is due to all the attention to detail that only other runners appreciate. There were plenty of aid stations as well as volunteers along the course, and they were superb. Dedicated doesn't begin to describe them. As is the case, we had some challenging weather one year (2014) and the volunteers were unbelievable. They kept us going.
The warm building before and after, hot food and drinks, great awards and again, absolutely fabulous volunteers who are on top of everything make this a exceptional marathon. Honestly, the food afterwards is exceptional in terms of selection and tastiness.
The relay has added some additional spirit and pep. The teams are fun to run with and they cheer us on as well. Makes it something to anticipate as you go from post to post. A lot of the race is on a beautiful bike path, and what is on the road is well marked and safe. Not a lot of swag as this isn't a corporate sponsored race. The shirt is one of my favorites: well made, fits well, and doesn't have advertising all over it. Understated and classy, just like the race.
Reston is a lovely town. Fly into Dulles, it's right there. Lots of art galleries, lakes, restaurants--good time for runners and families.

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(2016)
"Already a Community Favorite"
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I ran this 5K the day before the Boston Marathon. Created by the Watertown Police, the idea behind it is that the police had to lock down Watertown in the wake of the 2013 Marathon bombings, as the remaining bomber was eventually captured in Watertown. Feeling strongly that curtailing residents' freedom is not why police officers become officers of the peace, the Police Supervisors’ Association decided to commemorate the anniversary of the events that led to the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects by inviting the community to fill the streets of Watertown in a celebratory 5K road race and walk. Having followed the horrifying events of 2013, as did most runners, being able to run with abandon through the Watertown streets was incredibly moving. I cannot recommend this one enough.

Watertown is an old New England city, so the course includes some rolling terrain. And the streets have potholes--it's what you expect after winter in Massachusetts, so look sharp!

Proceeds benefit the WPSA, Watertown Police Relief Association, youth community programming and school safety initiatives.

Some other police officers from neighboring areas participate, and the pre-race ceremonies are appropriately respectful in remembering the victims.

The race starts and finishes at Tufts Health Plan, 705 Mount Auburn Street with chip timing, prizes to top male/female finishers, team awards, plus various age categories. Runners and walkers welcome — tell your friends and bring the kids!

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(2016)
"First Watch: First Rate"
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One of the great things about this race is that it is ALL ABOUT the half marathon. It's not part of a full marathon. The total focus is on the half, which is a super experience. In fact, I'd recommend this for a first time half marathoner. There is lots of crowd support and the course is interesting and varied, well, as varied as we get in central/south Florida! No real elevation issues, but there are the bridge crossings to provide a bit of challenge. Race is very well organized, lots of all the necessities: aid stations, porta potties, mile markers, food afterwards and views throughout. You see some different neighborhoods and landmarks in Sarasota and the sunrise over the Gulf. I've run it more than once, and drive up over an hour the day of the race. There is plenty of parking, but as in anything in life, if you cut the timing too close, you may well regret it. Get there early: there's a large spread of vendors and you can warm up or stand in line for the bathrooms. You'll appreciate the early start as once the sun rises, it can get hot. Dress accordingly! Really appreciate being able to pick up my number the day of the race.
Another nice new feature is AG winners can pick up their awards at the timing verification tables. For folks who have to get on the road home, this is big.
Experienced half marathoner or first timer, you really can't go wrong with this race. The relay is also handled very well; I've known a number of runners who've participated in it and they all give it high marks. The addition of the relay only makes the race better for those of running all 13.1 miles. Their hand-off is of course about midpoint for us, so there's a lot of support right when you can use it. That verve really gives you a boost and headed out for your last half of the race with some real positive energy. Beautiful finish by the shore and lots of room to celebrate your finish. Great photo ops abound!
They're not kidding, by the way; the race seems to sell out every year, so sign up asap or you may regret it!

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