This is my third year (2013, 2014, 2015) doing the half and I really enjoy it. It's a very small and local race and is in conjunction with the Marion Arts Festival. They have a cap of 2000 runners for both the 5k and half marathon.
The expo is very small. They do allow you to pick up your packet the morning of the race which is very helpful. Many runners, including myself, pick up their packet on race morning. The process is smooth, and well organized making it an easy process. The color of the shirt this year was a bright yellow - not my favorite choice in color, but the design on the front is neat.
There are aid stations at miles 1.75, 3.5, 5, 7, 8.5, 10 and 11 and at there is water and Advocare Rehydrate at the stations. There are only a handful of volunteers handing out fluids at the stations. At the mile 3.5 aid station, they were scooping water out of the jug when I got there versus it being handed out.
Overall the course is flat except for 4-5 short, but very steep hills. The course starts in downtown Marion, and then winds through neighborhoods, then near a golf course, next to the local high school which takes you to a small trail. After this trail portion, you wind through neighborhoods again, taking you to a small park, more neighborhoods, and the final gravel trail. As soon as you cross the bridge on the trail, you make your final stretch finishing where you started.
There isn't a parking ramp or large parking facility in Marion, leaving it difficult to find parking, especially if you don't know the area and or arrive late. There are many side roads, small parking lots for business that you can park in throughout the area. All parking is well within walking distance to the starting line.
I always enjoy doing this race! Always well organized and spectators throughout.