Latest reviews by Brenda Morris

(2018)
"Newport Rhode Marathon "
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I was excited to run this race, since I just love the Newport area. I also love the fact it's on a Saturday during a long weekend. We lucked out this year, as it was the best day of the Season so far, and went down hill the next day. I'm in winter gear today!

EXPO: I went to packet pickup on Thursday, since I also wanted to get my first bike ride in at the East Bay Bike Path. I arrived at 4pm when it started, and was in and out in minutes. They had 3 tables with at least 8 volunteers, so it went smoothly.

Saturday I drove down from MA, about an hour and a half drive. I parked in the Full Marathon lot and lucked out with being the last one on the Shuttle before heading to the start. I met up with friends and met another BIbRavePro at the start. My 7 friends all ran the half, so I was the only one in for the full marathon. I guess I wanted more guilt free pizza and beer :)

The Newport Races all start at Easton Beach, the marathon at 7:30am. The first half of the marathon was along the coast, wide open ocean vistas, historic mansions and beautiful views. The only thing I didn't care for was running into the finish line, to have it split for the Full marathon to continue, as I was alone at this point. It was hard going by everyone finishing and drinking beer and enjoying Pizza. I would have preferred to stay on the road and run past this circling of the finish line/post party. After Passing Easton's Beach, we headed up to Middletown and Surfers's End, which was awesome to see so many surfers out enjoying the beautiful day! First of the season. The aid stations were amazing and well stocked with water, gatorade, Multiple flavors of GU and Blocks. There were plenty of porta johns at the start and on course.

Post Party: The multiple choices of Pizza were awesome! I had 2 slices, Veggie and Broccoli. I then headed over to the Beer tent, where you also had a selection to choose from. I love the beautiful finishers medal.

I ran 3 other locations last year, and have to say the Race Management is fabulous!

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(2018)
"Big Sur International Marathon "
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Where do I start? I've been lucky to run over 100 road marathons, and Big Sur is the most beautiful and magical! I participated in the Boston to Big Sur in 2014, 2 marathons 6 days apart. I had a tough time after Boston 2013, as I was headed to the finish line on Boylston St. when the bombs went off, so 2014 was still emotional and sad for me. Big Sur was therapeutic and made me enjoy finish lines again, so I had to return and enjoy the mesmerizing location.
I made my own challenge, 3 marathons in 2 weeks, as I don't participate at Boston anymore. I ran 2 marathons before heading to Ca. I wanted Big Sur to be the final prize, and it didn't disappoint.

I arrived at Midnight Friday ( 3am EST), but I was so excited and couldn't sleep. I went to the 7am shake-out run with the Treadmill running store, and the Champ Adam Roach. It was so much fun, I just wanted to keep running.
I then volunteered working at the Expo for 4 hours, meeting wonderful people.

Sunday we got up at 3am, to get the 4:00am bus to the start. The energy was amazing and energetic! The weather was perfect! So much support out on the course, and the most beautiful views in the U.S.! Amazing volunteers at the aid stations, drumming, Bixby Bridge and the piano player. I didn't want to get off the course. I mean, what hills? You don't even realize it, since your so distracted by the views and happy energy everywhere.

Finish line/Post Party: So much fun! Goodie bag as you cross, then hot soup, beer, massages, and more.

EVERYONE who runs need to participate in this epic event! There's a distance for everyone. Oh, I wish I could attend every year. So magical

I highly recommend this race to all! Bring the family and friends. So much to do in the area.

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(2018)
"Rock and Roll DC Marathon "
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I had so much fun last year, I returned hoping for just warmer temps. Score! It was a bit warmer, as I wasn't frozen at the start. The 7am start was cold, but once we got moving it was nice. I kept my jacket on until mile 20.

My family and I arrived at the expo on Thursday at noontime when it opened, which is a nice time to go if you are available. The expo sold everything you could need, I didn't purchase anything as I over packed as it was, so it wouldn't give me an excuse to purchase. We had our lunch there (for free), as they were giving away Greek yogurt and Sabra hummus was there with the hummus/pretzel packs. At this time, no lines for bibs, shirts, and vendors.

Saturday morning my Dad dropped me off at the Start, since it was too early for Metro and cold. It worked out perfect, as again no lines for bad drop off, porta john, and easy access to the start.

Beautiful flat course, with a few inclines, as I live in a hilly area, it seemed flat to me. Lots of great bands, support, and views along the course.

Finish line: Pizza, popcorn, chips, choc. milk, water, gatorade, and more hummus/pretzels. More vendors, live band, beer tent and more. I actually stayed this year, as the weather was better and was able to meet up with Vanessa from Bibrave.

I highly recommend this fun and beautiful course! I'm sure it will become an annual event now, as I love the location ( with so much to do) and great winter training run.

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(2017)
"Jingle All The Way 15k "
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The Jingle All The Way is a flat and fast course, but I was chatting and not really racing today, as its also very festive. There's 2 distances to choose from, 5k and 15k. I participated in the 15k race which started at 8:30am, the 5k started at 8:00am. Both races started and finished at the Washington Monument.

I've run several races with the Pacers Running Club, and always enjoy the course and great organization. My family and I went to Pacers Running Store in Alexandria, Va on Friday and picked up my bib and awesome Boco Gear winter pom pom hat. No Shirt this year, but I loved how they gave you 3 options this year, winter hat, donate $10 to charity or $10 pacers bucks to spend in the store.

Race Day: I arrived an hour before the race, and had no problem finding a metered parking spot. I paid for the full 3 hour limit ( $6.45) At the start there was plenty of Port o johns, I had a no wait line. The announcer was high energy and playing upbeat music. It was fun to see so many costumes and festive hats/sweaters.

The course was very pretty with the snow on the ground. The aid stations had water and gatorade. As you crossed the finish line they had granola bars, water, bananas, donuts, hot coffee. Your bib has a coupon for a free burger from Shake Shack to use for up to a week.

Race Management is very good with social media and emails keeping you updated on all needed information.
I think this will be an annual event now! I recommend this holiday run.

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(2017)
"Bike The Coast Oceanside CA "
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I was really excited to travel to Ca from Massachusetts to visit and ride in San Diego! I have never been to the area before, but have friends who moved there and talk about how bike friendly the area is.
I arrived Friday at SD airport and picked up my rental car, rental bike from Nytro Multisport in Encinitas. I then made my way to Oceanside Pier for the packet pickup and expo. Oh!I was so excited with the ocean views, breeze, temps and just in awe :)
We received a nice goodie bag with some coupons, and a pint glass :) I picked up my cycling jersey, which is sweet.
There was no stress since its not a race, its a ride.
Saturday morning 6:50am start was just beautiful, course was well marked, aid stations stocked with everything you need, and enthusiastic volunteers.
Finish line had medals, bike valet, food trucks, beer tent, live music and more.
I have a full review with more photos on my blog.
I highly recommend this beautiful coastal course, as it offers 25, 50 and 100 mile options, at a very no stress level. Follow their Facebook and Instagram sites to stay updated, and they have contests on entries, shirts, gift certificates and more.
Put this destination ride on your list. There's nothing like riding the coast of Ca!
#bikethecoast

http://brendaruns.tumblr.com

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