- 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
I ran the Nutrabolt Oktoberfest Half Marathon this past weekend, and it was one of the better races I've ever been to!
Held in the small city of College Station, Texas, this race is centrally located in the state, and offers a chance to visit the wonderful college town that's home to the Fightin' Texas Aggies. We may not have beat Bama this year, but we sure know how to put together a race! To start, the pre-race process was a breeze. The race did a great job of communicating updates leading up to the race, through emails and social media. In terms of the expo, I'm not sure I'd call it that - there were only 4 booths in total, including Nutrabolt's area and the race packet pickup. BUT it went smoothly and that's always a plus.
Race day morning, the race starts at 7, but it's a good idea to aim to be at the start line by 6:30, if you are meeting people, no later than 6:45 if you are riding solo. Parking and walking takes an extra 10ish minutes - not too shabby. You must pass through the underground tunnel leading to the start line before 6:45 to make it on time (it's part of the race course). Definitely get there earlier if you want to chat or use the bathroom... lines are not super long but they are there as usual.
My journey through the course was a pleasant one. The course starts going through campus (bonus if the sunrise is beautiful that day), then winds through one of the residential neighborhoods with a lot of students, the mall area, then another historical/residential district. It's a nice view! The course itself was fairly flat, with mild hills. As an Austinite, the course wasn't particularly challenging.
I also enjoyed the size of the race! It wasn't too crowded, and there were no aid station collisions. Friendly volunteers staffed the course, stocking the aid stations well with Gu's, bananas, oranges, Gatorade and water. I didn't have the greatest time overall because it turned out to be a hot day, but the smiling faces and excellent course made it worth the trip. The finish line was also inside Kyle Field, which was really neat. I didn't stay in there long though, because I was ready to get out of the sun and into the post race party.
Then we get to the post race party. Especially for a smaller race, this stands out! Karbach beer was on tap (4 different types). For runners, they also had pretzels and bratwurst, complementing the Oktoberfest theme, in addition to the other runner food staples of bananas, muffins, etc. There was only a line for beer, which also made it easy to enjoy the party!
Swag, though it wasn't super technical, was on point. We received the following: a finisher's medal, a tri-blend finisher's shirt, beer stein, Nutrabolt bag, beach towel and some goodies inside our bag. I'll take all of those things that I'll actually use over a cheap tech shirt that doesn't fit right any day.
I'm looking forward to coming back in the future - hopefully next time, we'll receive a cold front the week before. Texas fall is not a predictable season, and if the race director could have controlled the weather, this race would have been flawless for me.
Read a more in-depth look at the race on my blog: http://wp.me/p74Lch-lJ