- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
For this event, I participated in the Remix Challenge. This meant that I ran the 5k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday to score an extra medal. Here's the breakdown of the weekend!
Expo: Very well organized, lots of vendors, samples, coupons, swag. It was also high energy with a DJ pumping music and volunteers passing out balloons and suckers. There's also a gaming area that had a Connect Four game, Cornhole, and a giant Jenga game. The only downfall is that it was held at the Convention Center and you either have to pay $15 to park or walk quite a bit.
5k: Free parking is available about a mile from the start line. The course is smooth pavement with some rolling hills. There was a live band performing at the finish line and they were pretty energetic. The course had a few spectators and a water station. At the finish line, we received medals and cheezits and water. The beer garden area was great! Loved that it was Michelob Ultra over craft beer (sorry craft beer fanatics). Pricing: around $50 if you wait until the last minute
Half Marathon: Parking was all jacked up. Either arrive by 5am or be prepared to wait in long lines or drive around looking for a spot and walking 2 miles to the start line. There were almost 40 corrals and the waves moved pretty quickly. Lots of porta potties and gear check was easy and organized. The course had a few small hills and some of the roads were a little messed up and had holes and cracks. I watched someone fall on their face and then I sprained my ankle on the 4th mile, so not the best terrain...but not the worst.
Course support: Lots of spectators, a good amount of bands, and plenty of water and Gatorade stations. Lots of cheerleaders and other cheering sections. Someone even set up a bar at the 4.5 mile mark. Around the 5th mile, you will come to the Wear Blue: Run to Remember mile which is super emotional. The mile is lined with flags and faces of the fallen. It's heartbreaking and moving all at the same time.
Finish line: You are met at the finish line with your medals and then a bunch of snacks and beverages. But no bags? I'm not sure why they couldn't splurge on small bags, because it was a pain to carry around a bunch of snacks after finishing a half marathon. The festival is also a couple of blocks away from the finish line which was annoying. The finish line area was super crowded and then you have to push through and walk down a hill into the festival area. The festival area consisted of a beer garden, photo ops, medical tent, and bonus medal pickup. This is where I snagged my Remix medal for finishing both the 5k and Half.
Swag: Besides snacks and drinks, we also received a tech tee, spinning medals, a gear check bag, and a credit card holder for your phone. The gear check bag is just a cheap plastic bag with a drawstring, so a little disappointing.
Course Scenery: You run through a few of the little towns within downtown and then end at Waterfront Park. Besides Waterfront Park, there really isn't much scenery. But a lot of the bands made up for the lack of scenery, including a disco tunnel towards the end!
Overall: I enjoyed my experience at this event (minus the sprained ankle). The parking situation really needs to be addressed before next year's event. And I hope they splurge for a real gear check bag rather than plastic since it's kind of a pricey event. Also, they should offer bags at the finish line so you aren't carrying around a bunch of stuff. The finish line area in general needs better organization. And the course could be slightly changed to include some more scenic areas.