Latest reviews by Caitlin

(2014)
"Finish on the 50!"
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This race was amazing! If you're looking for a " fun run" in the Columbus area, you must check out the Buckeye 4 Miler next year.

There is no expo but plenty of " things to do" when you first arrive at the stadium. The course is pretty simple and straight forward. It is a big loop around campus and the best part is you finish on the 50 yard line in Ohio Stadium ( the shoe). You pretty much share the same experience as the football team as they enter the stadium every game:) For those of us Buckeye fans, that's always a plus!

Parking was quite easy. Although the university makes a pretty penny on parking, it was very convenient to find a spot. Parking was generally $5.00 at every lot but like I mentioned before, there are plenty of places to park..most of the lots around the stadium required very little walking to and from the start line. I do recommend getting there early! The race this past year brought in around 10,000 runners- it was insane! a.k.a cars everywhere...

The course itself was beautiful. You got a glimpse through the beautiful Ohio State University campus and the weather in September is typically VERY nice here in Columbus so it was a great day to run. No hills, a pretty straight forward course. They had 1 major water station which did get a little crowded at times.

My only complaint would be the sizing of the long sleeve t-shirts. They actually had a really big issue with sizing and all participants were able to re-submit for a new shirt. Unfortunately, when I received my NEW small..it was still the size of an XXS. The design of the shirt was great and I liked the long sleeve option. Hopefully they figure out the sizing for next year.HOWEVER, the finisher medal was AMAZING! great quality and it was the OSU Football Helmet.

An added bonus was the entertainment prior to the start of the race. They had many of the previous big time OSU players come back and help pump up the crowd. Lots of music and an awesome/famous rap group in the Columbus area was there to get the party started!

Overall, I loved this race. I did it with 4 girlfriends for the first time this year and we decided it will be our annual fall girls fun run from now on. It's definitely worth a nice weekend trip to Columbus!:)

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(2014)
"Hot & Heavy at Emerald City!"
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This year was my first experience racing Emerald City. It was only my 2nd half marathon so I really didn't know what to expect. All I can say is it was HOT and HUMID! Lets get down to the details.....

Expo-No Expo at Emerald..it's a small-ish race but they did have a great pre-race area with plenty of restrooms and places to hang out.

T-Shirts/SWAG-All runners received the typical race day bag full of coupons and goodies. The race shirt fit well; blue and green to go along with the theme. I'm usually not one to wear many of my race shirts but I actually like this one. It has a great v-neck fit and the quality seemed to be pretty good.

Parking- The race start line was wedged in between a huge shopping plaza and a hospital. I found parking to be extremely easy and there was plenty of it! I know they also offered a shuttle service from some of the near by hotels but overall, I was pretty happy with the ease of parking in the wee hours of the morning. My only complaint would be the exit strategy. It was a little nuts trying to navigate out of the plaza post race.

Elevation Difficulty- Not too bad! This course definitely had some elevation with 3 major hills I can recall. The back half of the race course took you through a metro park and it was generally pretty flat. This course was a good mix..not overly flat but I have seen much worse when it comes to the hills!

Aid Stations- They were okay! They offered Gatorade and water, per usual. Some of the stations even offered GU's, although I'm never one to take those because they just don't jive with my regular nutrition/hydration plan. It felt like some stations were more packed with volunteers vs. others so at times the consistency in hydration availability was up in the air.

Course Scenery- Not my favorite. This race is pretty boring when it comes to scenery/entertainment. The first half is pretty much out in the open/country roads that wind through a very nice neighborhood. The back half is throughout the metro park like I had mentioned before. I prefer a little more scenery on race day, however, I definitely will run this course again. It just helps to know what you can expect!

This is a great bench-marker if you're running a Full in the fall. I used it as my " check-point" to gauge my progress as I was marathon training. I definitely will be back next year! Hopefully it won't be as steamy:)

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(2014)
"A first timer!"
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Glass City was my very first 1/2 marathon experience and I have to say, I really can't complain. I was so excited to run this course. It's about 20 minutes north of my hometown and I knew it would be a fairly easy for my first 1/2. The expo wasn't overly huge but had plenty of vendors and was well organized. The race starts and finishes at the University of Toledo so parking was pretty easy. They provided a nice map with all parking lot availability/ options in conjunction to how close/far each lot was from the start and finish line.

This race is at the end of April and I have to say, it was still pretty darn cold. It's always a crap-shoot with Ohio weather that time of year though. The course definitely had some elevation to it. I was surprised...Although, I will say the back half runs you through Wildwood Metro Park and then along a bike path next to the train tracks. It wasn't exactly what I called the most entertaining race course. The crowd is sparse on the back half as well just because it's hard to get to.

The race swag was great- no complaints at all. Post race snacks included a couple of free beers! This was a plus:)

The finish line was the best part- Center Field in the football stadium. That made finish line spectating so easy for everyone.

No real complaints on this race other than April weather can definitely be up in the air. I don't know much about the full marathon course but I can honestly say it's really not on my list to tackle due to the the boring-ness of the course. Although I did hear it's an easy one to BQ.

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(2014)
"Do the Hustle"
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The Hoover Hustle was pretty awesome! This was my first 10 mile race adventure and I was pleasantly pleased, not to mention I set a nice PR for next year. This race is in mid April. Located in Westerville, Ohio ( a suburb of Columbus) you run along the Hoover Dam which makes for beautiful course scenery. The course winds up a pretty hefty hill into the disk golf course and then back through some rural roads. There is a good mix of elevation, which I appreciate. Race management does a great job blocking off the roads and providing a clear path for the runners as well. This race is mid size and also offers a 5K and 10K option. Parking was easy, as there is a huge open lot across from the Bel Lago restaurant where the race starts. It's an easy walk across the street to the start line...and it's FREE. The finisher medal and long sleeved race t-shirt are cute! Nothing overly special but definitely worth the race entry:)

Overall, if you're looking for a " no frills" 10 miler in the mid spring, I highly recommend adding the Hoover Hustle to your list.

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(2013)
"Bundled & Snowy!"
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This is such a fun little run through the Dublin ( suburb of Columbus) neighborhoods. It's an out and back course. Nothing overly special about this race but it's fairly cheap and typically small. Lots of kiddos run this so just a heads up you might have to do some dodging. Last year it snowed.......a lot! It was pretty cold but what else do you expect in December?:)

The long sleeve t-shirt, mug, and medal were super cute! I use the mug all the time to support my coffee/tea addiction. Parking is also super easy. The race starts at the Dublin Community Center so there is plenty of room for parking. Everyone camped out inside of the Community Center prior to heading out..not to mention restroom availability is key:) Bananas, coffee, bars, and lots of yummy goodies were provided at the finish line. I will say, there are no aid stations so if you absolutely need fuel/hydration for a 5K you will want to bring your own.

The course is very, very flat. Again, nothing special about the Dublin Snowflake run but it's a nice 5K to add to your list in early December before schedules start getting hectic for the Holidays.

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