PRE-RACE: I first learned about this race when I was visiting the Mighty Squirrel Brewery (who hosted the entire event) with some co-workers. I was able to find ample information about the event online via the registration website and facebook. We received an email somewhat late in the evening (certainly could have been missed by those who are early to bed) with a lot of information regarding the next mornings race. A highlight of this email for me was the fact that they describe the course as "a brutal hill from mile 1 to 2 which kinda keeps going up past mile 3." This incredibly honest description cracked me up but also had me feeling pretty nervous for the race. Another quirky part of the pre-race experience was the fact that packet pick-up was advertised to end 30 minutes before the race began. On-site however it did not appear to be largely enforced. Grabbing my packet was easy and despite the event being sold-out, I never waited long in any line.
THE SWAG: There was no swag included in this race, but you certainly can get your money's worth of free beer at the after party. Shirts were available at packet pick up for an additional cost. All proceeds of this race and merchandise went directly to charity, which was a nice element.
THE RACE: They were not kidding when they described the hills of this race as BRUTAL. I actually happen to live along the race-route of this event so I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into and signed up anyway. The hills seem to never stop, which isn't far off from the truth when you consider that hills are at least 3 if not 3.5 miles of this entire race. The course is one large loop which starts and ends at the home of race hosts Mighty Squirrel Brewing Company. Passing through the campus of Bentley University and through several neighborhoods of Waltham the course is largely residential and takes runners both on roads and sidewalks throughout. A downside of this course was how close cars got to runners a few times, I never felt unsafe directly but certainly felt spooked on more than one occasion. I was never really made aware if their were aid stations along this course or not, but there were two staff water stops every 1.5 miles or so.
BLING: Medals were initially available for runners at this race for an additional $5 donation. Unfortunately, they were misprinted and ended up being unavailable for the race.
LINE & POST-RACE: The after party for this race makes the whole hill ordeal worth it. Two free beers and Mighty Squirrels amazing pretzel sticks are available for all runners. I had heard that there was pizza being delivered at 11am, but I never actually saw it or had any. The entire taproom was open for runners and fans and the atmosphere was extremely lively and fun. It was really exciting to spend time with a Fellow Bibrave Pro Danielle who's boyfriend had run the race (we spent much of the course together!) we hung out for several hours enjoying beer and swapping race stories. I had a great experience with this race overall despite a few kinks in their organization and process. For an inaugural event I would consider this a huge success. I look forward to next year!