I recently ran this event, and this distance, for the first time. New race distance equals instant PR.
Pre race communications were awesome and abundant with information. I know a lot of folks who have run this event in the past, and it was highly recommended.
Starting with the expo.... Well, it was held in the University Mall in Chapel Hill. Biggest pet peeve about this event is the fact that they do not offer race morning packet pickup. I understand why they don't do it, with 6,000 runners registered for the event, but this was highly inconvenient for me. Packet pick up was only one day, and you had to attend. Luckily this was the only part of the event that I didn't like.
Race morning was early, parking plentiful. Follow race instructions for parking, and get there early. With so many runners descending on Chapel Hill, traffic delays can be an issue if you don't allow yourself enough time.
The start of the race was at the UNC Chapel Hill Bell Tower. Let me just say this. Chapel Hill during the height of the Springtime is incredibly beautiful. Full bloom race course equals amazing views. Spectators and locals were out in force to welcome runners.
The race course was tough, yet doable. A gently rolling course that moves through pretty neighborhoods, down Franklin Street and finishing in Kenan Stadium. A stadium finish? Yes, it was pretty epic to finish that way. Mile 8-9 was the toughest, including Laurel Hill. Embrace the hill! Know it's coming, and conquer it.
Post race food and drink were abundant, and the medal was awesome. Results were available at the finish, and there was plenty of room in the stadium for family reunions, post race pictures and relaxing. This race is a must run.
Here is a link to my full race recap. http://wp.me/p3u1nG-1Ba