- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
This race is now called the Half Hastings and they no longer offer a full marathon option. There is a reason for that ... in fact, they only offered the full one year, and there is reason. I'm sure the half and the 5k are better races and better experiences, but this one was not a very positive one for me.
Now, let's start off with excuses for the following review:
1. It was the first year (and only) running a full marathon
2. Severe storms over night and into the morning that pushed the start back by two hours
3. Small race, small(er) city
Now to the main show ...
The Expo -- The night before, the expo was at the city middle school. It was easy to check in and get your stuff and there was a nice little spaghetti feed that made sure you were full before leaving. There was no real "expo" in that there weren't vendors or booths. You checked in, and got free food. No frills, but nice.
The Course -- This was the confusing part. This course literally went up one street, then back down the next block for around 9-10 miles before you cross the highway to the lake area. It was too much. Once crossed over the highway and by the lake you get your first glimpse of the finish line and then run by it as you make your way into the neighborhood for another 2-ish miles, then you run by the finish line a second time. Then you go back through the neighborhood -- here is where I got lost because there was no volunteers and the course was marked with chalk ... which washed away with the overnight/early morning severe thunderstorm. So I went an extra half mile up the road before a man who was mowing his lawn directed me back to where I was supposed to turn. After running this entire neighborhood you make your way out onto a country road ... but not before passing the finish line another two times, without crossing it ... to head up to another neighborhood to run through. Then back to the country road, and another neighborhood, then down by the golf course and then back. In total, you run by the finish line four times before you're allowed to cross it on the fifth. Very disheartening ... not to mention the added mile.
The Aid Stations -- The stations were equipped with water and sports drink. Good. However, they missed one station. There was no aid station set up between miles 19 and 23. That station is vital, and it was missing. That sucked, a lot.
The Crowd -- There was none. I actually had multiple people ask me why there were people running in the street. It did not have a following.
The Swag -- The shirt is nice, and I still wear it frequently. The tote bag was a great one, I loved it, but after three years it finally gave out. Not a bad product for what it was. And the medal was OK, but disappointing that all of these goodies were the exact same as those given to the half marathon runners. I feel that there should be a distinction.
Overall -- There is a reason they scrapped this level of run after the 2014 race. It was not well run, and many things went wrong. I want to give the benefit of the doubt, but it's hard on this one. Since this race, they have rebranded and dropped the 26.2, but this one was not good. Sorry.