Latest reviews by Samantha Andrews

(2021)
"A Christmas Story Virtual Race 2020"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

The A Christmas Story Virtual 5k was my last race of 2020. To be honest, virtual races brought a little "normal" to my running routine this year. I also earned many medals for races that I would not be able to run. I ran the A Christmas Story Virtual 5k on December 26, which was also my nephew's 10th birthday. While I could not get him to tag along, I did enjoy running the 5k in my home state of Florida. It was a cold day.

I ran the 5k on a looped trail in Gainesville, FL. My ankles were a bit sore so I decided to run intervals. I enjoyed all the Spanish moss and the wildlife were still asleep. My finishing time was. 39:14.

I received my swag when I returned home after the holidays. The jacket, hat, and medal were nice, especially for a virtual race. The wreath medal is a unique addition to my medal collection.

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(2021)
"Publix Savannah virtual half marathon "
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I ran the virtual half marathon on October 24 using fun route that took me through a few neighborhoods in ATL. My time was 2:52:58. It wasn't my best time, but my worn out shoes got the best of me at mile 8 and it was a slow run to the finish. I had fun earning the medal and I hope to return to Savannah next year.

The race officials were great with communication from the initial rescheduling of the race from March to November and then when it was converted to a virtual event. My only criticism of the race is that they only send your race items if you submit a finishing time. Since people already paid their registration fees, the items should have been sent automatically unless they deferred or cancelled their registration.

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(2020)
"Mount Dora Half Marathon 2020"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Mount Dora Double Dora Race to evaluate as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!”

One of my favorite things to do is to end my racing season in my home state. This year was special since I haven't run any in person races since the Publix Half Marathon on March 1. It was only fitting to conclude this year's in person racing in Mount Dora, FL, a nice small town in Central Florida. This year was my second time running the Mount Dora Half Marathon. I decided to get the most out of the weekend and take on the Double Dora Challenge. The Double Dora consisted of a 5k on Saturday (Dec 19) and the half marathon on Sunday (Dec 20).

Expo
Similar to last year, packet pick up was super easy. Since I ran the double Double Dora, I received one bib to wear to both races. I also picked up two tee-shirts, one for each race, and a reusable tote bag. A few vendors had race products for sale. Everyone was wearing a mask to practice safety protocols.

Half Marathon
The half marathon was held Sunday at 7 am. Last year I had a cold and it was raining. This year I was healthy and the weather was perfect. Since I was in a haze last year, I don't remember hardly anything about the course and if it changed. The course had a mixture of rolling hills and lakefront running. The water stops for the half marathon had small bottles of water that were given out by the volunteers.

The runners started in pace waves. I finished the race in 2:40 which was a 16 minute improvement from last year. I ran intervals so that I could keep my pace as even as possible. When I saw Santa as I approached the finish line, I was able to hightail it to the end. The post race items were bagged for grab and go. We also received a race branded towel.

My only criticism of the race is that at mile 9-11 there were trucks driving on the course. While the trucks were driving slowly, they could have easily run over a fallen runner. I wish they would have just closed off the course completely or had the truck ride on the shoulder.

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(2020)
"Mount Dora 5k"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Mount Dora Double Dora Race to evaluate as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!”

One of my favorite things to do is to end my racing season in my home state. This year was special since I haven't run any in person races since the Publix Half Marathon on March 1. It was only fitting to conclude this year's in person racing in Mount Dora, FL, a nice small town in Central Florida. This year was my second time running the Mount Dora Half Marathon. I decided to get the most out of the weekend and take on the Double Dora Challenge. The Double Dora consisted of a 5k on Saturday (Dec 19) and the half marathon on Sunday (Dec 20).

Expo
Similar to last year, packet pick up was super easy. Since I ran the double Double Dora, I received one bib to wear to both races.

I also picked up two tee-shirts, one for each race, and a reusable tote bag. A few vendors had race products for sale. Everyone was wearing a mask to practice safety protocols.

5k Race
The 5k took place at 7:30 am on Saturday at the same area as packet pick up. I loved all the Christmas props and "snow". Runners could take pictures in the photo booth before or after the race. It was a bit chilly at the start, but the weather was perfect throughout the race.

The race participants were released in waves according to pace. The course was fine, with a few rolling hills. People seems to distance themselves as much as they could. Honestly I felt like I was running in my neighborhood. There were water stops in which the volunteers were giving out small bottles of water. My finishing time was 33:23 (10:44 min/mile). I am very proud of that time, all my training this year has been paying off. The post race items, snacks and medals, were all bagged for easy grab and go after we finished.

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(2020)
"Virtual Double Pump Race"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This year was the 30th Anniversary of the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run. The race was originally scheduled as an in-person race on December 5. This year due to the pandemic the race was converted to a virtual event. This year I registered for the Double Pump race. The Double Pump is a 15k that is divided into a 5k and 10k races. In person, the 15k is three trips across the Talmadge Bridge.

In the spirit of the in-person race, I ran the 5k and 10k as separate races. Due to my schedule, I ran them on two different days and I tried to find at least one bridge to run across during the race.

5K
I ran the 5k on December 5 and ran through my neighborhood along the PATH and found one bridge. The day was perfect and I couldn't have asked for a better race. I ran the 5k at 33:49.

10K
I ran the 10k on December 6 using a route through Emory University. I found a bridge on North Decatur Road as I headed to the campus. The weather for the run was great and I finished the 10k in 1:12:15. This was probably one of my best 10ks of the year. I ended the race at my favorite watering hole.

Both races went well and while I missed running across the Talmadge Bridge 3 times, I enjoyed completing the race in my neighborhood. A week after the race I received my medal, tee-shirt, and surprisingly an Age Group Award!!!! I was so stoked over the Age Group Award since I have NEVER won any running award. It was a great surprise and made my entire running year.

The race swag included a medal, shirt, reusable bag, beverage holder, and bib.

The medal was a trolley with a view of runners on the bridge. After the in person race, we used to ride the trolley from the finish back to our car. It is unique addition to my medal collection.

Hopefully next year I will be able to run this race in person. I enjoy running in Savannah and missed the spirit of the race. I think the race organizers communicated with the participants throughout the race as it transitioned from in-person to a virtual event. My only criticism is the same as it for the other races managed by the Savannah Sports Council is that they will only send your medal and race items if you submit your finishing time. This removes the flexibility of the race since people may have not been able to run the virtual during the scheduled time. Participants have also already paid for the race items.

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