• Melbourne,
    United States
  • February
  • 3 miles/5K, 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Cassandra Balzarini

Winter Garden, Florida, United States
20 15
"Florida: The Marathon State?"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Cassandra Balzarini's thoughts:

PRE-RACE: There is plenty of information on this race available well in advance. The website is easy to navigate and informative and the races social media pages offered several opportunities to register for a discount. Email communication was limited up until the week prior to the race. The email newsletters were extremely informational and indicated when there were updates to information that had already been sent out. I felt very prepared showing up for this race. Packet pickup was quick and easy and although the pre-race expo left much to be desired, there was still a nice selection of Kerch and race swag to look at. Plus a great fuel vendor and even some pickle juice. Packet pick up is also available the day of for this race.

THE SWAG: The swag for this race was average but nice. A long-sleeve tech shirt with the races logo on front, plus a matching hat and bag. I loved the hat and ended up wearing it during the race. The bag was cool and unique (at least to me) because you were able to carry it as a tote or wear it as a backpack if you wanted, I enjoyed this feature. As I mentioned, there was a variety of other swag available for purchase at the expo that was fun and colorful.

THE RACE: The marathon course for this race is a double loop of the half-marathon route. This course is almost entirely flat minus the on-ramps of the two causeway bridges (technically four on the marathon) that you encounter on the route. The views from the top make the hustle worth it! This entire course is gorgeous and offers ample waterfront views. There were more porta-potties, water stops and aid stations along this course than any race I’ve ran, I felt well supported! Formally known as “the music marathon” this race course offers able course-side entertainment and most years even features a grand piano atop one of the causeways (the rain kept him away for my race unfortunately). The marathon pack was fairly small for this race (less than 50 people) but the half-marathon was packed! Great support and crowds at various points along the route and many neighborhood families cheering on from their front yards. This race is a combination of “highway” running and small neighborhood side streets. I loved the course!

BLING: The race medal for this race was fun! Every year the race celebrates one of Florida’s famous fruits and this year the rave medal featured a surfing strawberry with an outline of the sunshine state. Different colored lanyards differentiate between the Marathon and 1/2 Marathon medals, which I thought was a nice touch.

FINISH LINE & POST-RACE: This race finishes back where it started but this time, a red carpet greets you! This was my first marathon and I needed all the time I could get, I finished with about 8 minutes left on the course clock. I was disappointed when I arrived that most of the after-party had been entirely packed up. Rumor has it though that this race features pancakes and beer for all its finishers. Finally, enjoy an photos of you taken along the course for free, there are no charge for photo downloads. Overall a lovey race, 8/10 would run again!

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