Prince Edward Island,
- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
I had mixed emotions about this race, as I had been hoping to do the full marathon, but due to injury and lack of training, ultimately changed my registration to the half distance. That being said, I had heard a lot of positives about this event and it would be my first race in PEI - making it the last Atlantic Province in which I had raced.
I'll start with the areas I felt could be improved a bit - although to be clear, none of them are major, just things that could be addressed to make the event even better.
The race swag, particularly the t-shirt and gloves weren't the best. The quality of shirt was fine, but I think it's a little heavy to run in and it's quite "busy" - not something I would wear casually. The gloves were uni-sized, meaning that they were too big for me - naturally. Again, they seemed more like a gardening glove as opposed to something I would wear while running. Lastly, the course maps included looked a little slapped together and were confusing based on scale, clarity, etc.
On course, my only concern was the volunteers at some of the aid stations. Some of the volunteers weren't saying whether they had water or Gatorade and at times I saw them stepping in front of runners to pick up discarded cups. That being said, there were a LOT of volunteers, and the vast majority seemed to have an excellent handle.
The positives far outweighed any concerns and make this event a slam dunk to recommend. The on course direction and traffic control by volunteers was exceptional. Signage directing the runners of various distances was large, clear and well placed and any possible turns were manned by people.
The course is somewhat hilly, providing a decent challenge but not so much that it should scare off people. It is also pretty varied, going from residential streets to trail to larger, main roads. There are also some very scenic areas along the water early in the course which was quite nice.
Kit pick up was very simple and the expo, although small, had some interesting things there. Parking for both the expo and race day were fine and I had no issue parking close to the start line.
The finishing medal was very well done, with a gorgeous ribbon (uniform for 5, 10 and half finishers, unique for the full). There was also plenty of food and refreshments at the finish, always a welcome site when you've finished a race.
Overall, this was a well organized and enjoyable event. PEI is a beautiful province to visit and if you're a runner looking for an excuse to go there, the PEI Marathon weekend is an excellent choice.