- 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
Could not have asked for a better race!
The expo was super easy to navigate and very well organized. It had all the necessities and the finisher jacket on display which was great to see. The shirts were tech shirts and really cool, but the women's cut wasn't great. Unfortunately they were still super boxy and just really short. I am on the taller side so this is a common problem for me anyways. But the medal and jacket more than made up for the shirt!
Race morning parking was very easy as the start line was right near the mall so there was ample parking space! There were ample porta potties and a bag drop was offered.
The race started right on time and we had perfect weather! This was my first time in College Station so I really enjoyed getting to run through it. The course took us through beautiful neighborhoods and a good portion of the Texas A&M campus which is just beautiful.
The on course aid stations were great and, as a trail race enthusiast, I was thrilled that they had "real" food (aka oranges, bananas, Skittles and gummy bears) in addition to GU. The water and Gatorade were all in the same paper cups but the volunteers were great about letting you know what they had. At each station the water was with the first group of volunteers then there were several open feet followed by the volunteers with Gatorade so it was pretty easy to not grab the wrong thing. There was one station that confused me because it was backwards from the rest with Gatorade first....but the volunteers were loud enough and clear enough that I knew well before grabbing a cup exactly what I was going to get.
The cheer stations were also AMAZING! The Texas A&M Student groups were out in full force cheering with signs and sometimes costumes. I was not particularly well trained for this race so the extra motivation was huge to me and I was so appreciative that all these strangers were out there being so supportive of every runner that came through. The race also let you put your name on your bib which some of the cheer stations noticed and they would cheer you on by name as you came through. It may not sound like much but it really made a world of difference.
There were a few hills on the course but nothing major. The most difficult thing for me was the camber of the road. I don't run on the road very often so it was pretty rough on my legs. Some parts were worse than others, but I imagine if you train on roads it would not be quite so difficult. There were also portions where you could easily hop up on the sidewalk and run there instead.
I was definitely toward the back of the pack at the finish line but the announcer was amazing and didn't seem to have lost any enthusiasm. My husband was waiting for me and had already texted that he though the guy was great! The medal (which they kept secret until race day!) was HUGE! While you got your medal they were also giving out bottles of water then it was a short walk to snacks and finisher jackets. The jackets are the coolest race swag ever! The volunteers handing them out were super organized and there was a ticket on your bib to let them know what size you needed. Always a good thing since I don't think I could remember my own name at that point! After the jackets there were tables set up where you could get pizza rolls, breakfast burritos, margaritas, and beer....and not just any beer, delicious beer from Karbach Brewing (which is in Houston)! After a race just about any beer tastes good, but when it's actually good beer it tastes even better!
Overall I loved this race and hope to run it again in the future.