- 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This was my very first marathon this past weekend. I was happy with my overall experience. I was very impressed with the expo, the ease of understanding available services, where to be and when, and how easily I was able to get my bib, be transported on the shuttle, etc. I didn't have many questions or any feeling of confusion. The course was marked well and took us through some beautiful areas.
I did have two issues. First, the hills on this marathon were not communicated well by the course map and elevation chart. There was agreement by many other runners and myself that the elevation chart that came onto the website on the day of the race was not the same as the one posted when we registered. The one you see now looks accurate, but does not at all match the chart I signed up seeing. The hills very often and tough.
Also, I don't get the allure of running on the 163 -- yes, you're on a major highway and running in the lanes...but the pavement is deathly hot, and is completely uneven as you climb to the top -- my ankles were killing me. It's very rude to put a slanted, hot hill at the wall (mile 20.) I don't feel the decline at the beginning of the race made up for it.
The other thing that bothered me was the salesy quality of a lot of the programs offered. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to shell out five bucks to take a shuttle to the start line, but I don't understand why they charge for things like runner tracking. I feel like I was being charged at every corner for things that come included with the price at many other races.
Beyond those two issues, it was incredibly organized and a really wonderful day that I won't soon forget. I probably won't run it myself again, but I would definitely encourage others to try it -- but include more hill training than I did!