- 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
I have been a pacer for this race since their first year in 2015 so I have seen how much this race has grown since day 1.
Now let me be flat out honest. If you are looking for a race with a bunch of frills, lots of swag, tons of people and flash this is not your race. This is a small, budget friendly, all-abilities race that caters to a different crowd. Your entry fee gets you your race, your choice of t-shirt color and styles (this is a rarity and the shirts are always my favorite every year) and your medal.
Packet pick up is a small affair at Dicks Sporting Goods. One thing that got my attention when I first started running this race is because this race is so small the race director greeted a lot of runners by name as they came in. His team is invested in you, and invested in your story. It was a simple and well organized process to pick up packets which consisted of your shirt, number and a couple coupons.
Race morning starts with an early start at 6am for the slower paces. This course is one of the few in the Northwest that is open for 7 plus hours for the marathon giving everyone a chance to reach for their unicorn moment. Once you arrive you can check your bag with the registration volunteers and do what you need to start.
This race is small enough there is zero need for corals. You line up by following the pacer closest to your pace and we all went out as one group.
For me, the course is one of the biggest highlights. You get to travel through Springfield from the city streets and nicer houses all away back into the Springfield backcountry. This course is extremely flat with a few gentle inclines spread out here and there.
This course is also well supported by both runners and volunteers a lot. This is the one race a year that feels like the elite runners are pulling for those of us who wish we could be faster, there had been so many high fives and nice comments out there. Also the volunteers truly had been excited even through the rain. They made it a point to share a smile with you.
The course is well marked (though the GPS had it run long) and had water stops just about the right intervals that had been well stocked with everything that you possibly could need.
Once you finished you had been met by a small party atmosphere. You collected your medal to the roar of the crowd at Crescent Village and got a chance to refuel with a home made buffet including sandwiches and burritos. The MC interviewed first time runners and runners who PR'ed on the course to share the inspiring and motivating energies.
As I write this, the perfect way to look at this race is think about running with some of your best most supportive group running friends while still getting your medal. Add to the fact that you are celebrated no matter the pace or ability. This has turned into one of my favorite races every year.