This is a great race if you're a run/walker, new to running, easing back in, or running with someone who wants a more relaxing race experience. Beautiful day, friendly and encouraging course support, and a nice swag bag to top it off!
Registration was online and very straightforward. Because of work schedules, we weren't able to pick up our packets until race morning, and the organization was super accommodating to that! Parking was literally steps from the start, but the lot isn't super huge, so make sure you give yourself extra time! We lucked out and found one of the last spots left! We arrived about 30 minutes before the posted start time, but to our surprise, when we arrived, the race had already started! The race directors had decided to do a staggered start and allow runners to begin running as soon as they arrived. At first we were worried we had missed an email update, but once we learned what was up, we were glad they did! We went to the check-in booth and received our swag bags, which were surprisingly full of not just our race swag (more on that later) but also fun Valentine's Day candy treats!
Instead of a classic chipped event, this low-key race opted for a manual approach. Runners would approach the start, a volunteer would call out our numbers, count us down, and launch us in the order we were ready. While this did mean that sometimes slower runners/walkers were ahead of faster runners based on their arrival to the starting point, the park was spacious and prevented any bunching up. The course itself featured 1 small loop around the start/finish, followed by 2 larger loops around the park. Conditions were VERY ICY and SNOWY. There were numerous patches completed covered in snow and ice that made running difficult. If you are out to blast through this course, I'd recommend spiked shoes! Due to it being a small, COVID-compliant race, there were no aid stations on the course, but they had plenty of water bottles at the finish! The mile signage was a bit confusing at first -- we passed Mile 2 before Mile 1 -- but when we passed a volunteer, he told us that accounted for the loop and we understood. Shoutout to the volunteers cheering us on, notifying us when to turn off the loop for the final stretch, and taking pictures!
Due to the staggered start, we had a rolling finish as well. As we approached the finish line, volunteers would call our numbers and mark when we crossed the line so our times could be recorded. As for the swag -- this race featured a couple cool elements that I had not experienced at a race before! Instead of giving everyone the same swag, you had a choice between socks, a hoodie, a travel coffee cup, a beanie, or a blanket! I opted for the blanket and was surprised by how large it was! This was in ADDITION to the medal we all received! This race also allowed you to pick between 3 different medal designs -- how awesome! One featured the logo (my pick), another was a more simplistic silver heart, and the third was a photo frame medal!
- Prepare for ice! The course has a few small hills, and with the ice on the pavement, it can be dangerous if you aren't prepared! If you're not planning to slow up on ice, wear proper shoes!
- This race is a staggered start due to COVID. If you want to start with the first wave, expect to get there well before the posted start time in case they plan an early release.
- This is a low-key race, so anticipate a good number of walkers and families with small kids out on the track. This race is dog-friendly, by the way!
Loved the laid back atmosphere, COVID-friendly setting, beautiful park route and personalized swag bags! Overall, a wonderful time, despite the ice!