- 5 miles/8K
- Road Race
I ran this race both in 2013 and 2014. While in 2013, there had been some fresh snow and it wasn't cleared off very well, I decided to return in 2014 with the persuasion of a friend.
As it's a "hometown" race, it's a shame to leave 1 star, but I need to be honest and unbiased. The registration cost is only $30, so that's very reasonable. The course is also downtown Appleton starting on College Ave, which is also a nice touch and you can hang out in the Paper Valley hotel beforehand to stay warm. Here's where it turns poor though. My friend and I went out for a warm-up run - we both know the area well so we ventured a bit north and east coming back through the Lawrence campus. Coming back down College, we could hear the national anthem on the loud speaker, which was a bit odd (it was only 7:52 am and a posted 8:00 am start time). We assumed there must be some announcements coming as we hustled the best we could through the crowd. Nope...national anthem finished at 7:55, followed by a 10 second countdown to the start. First time I've ever seen a race start 5 min early - not cool.
Appleton had gotten quite a bit of snow in the previous week and a light dusting the night of the race. However, the roads were not as clear as what you would expect. If you were running on the crown of the road, maybe you were good. But the sides still had a bunch of packed snow...especially around corners, which makes it difficult and more dangerous than it needs to be for running the tangent. To me, it seemed like they had run a pull down the center one time and called it good. It wasn't awful, just something that you'd expect to be done better given the size of the race.
Run at your own discretion - I'd advise keeping your warmup in front of the start corral and be ready for the course not to be cleared all that well.