Latest reviews by Brenda Morris

(2018)
"Freedoms Run Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I had so much fun last year, I was excited to return for the second time!

I had limited time this year, so I decided to go to packet pickup on race day. I remember how efficient it was last year, so I arrived an hour before the marathon start time. I parked in the lot where you start, so I was only a minute away, I love this about small town races, plus only the marathon starts at Harpers Ferry. There was no lines for pickup or bathrooms. It was easy to find Ben and Vanessa ( also BIbRave Pros), so it was nice to chat before we started.
This course is epic! Lots of variety! You run through 3 National Parks, on the C & O its flat and groomed trail, then second half you get lots of rolling hills with epic views and history.

Finish line is at Sheperdstown University on the 50 yard line! They hand you a nice water bottle with logo, and a finishers medal designed by a local potter. Then walk over to the Pizza, fruit, and Kind bars. The post party across the street at the Bavarian Inn had live music, free beer glass and beer! They also had a wonderful recovery area, with massage therapists and Normatec boots. I love the compression boots, and enjoyed my session drinking my beer :)

I HIGHLY recommend this race!

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(2018)
"Freedoms Run Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I had so much fun last year, I was excited to return for the second time!

I had limited time this year, so I decided to go to packet pickup on race day. I remember how efficient it was last year, so I arrived an hour before the marathon start time. I parked in the lot where you start, so I was only a minute away, I love this about small town races, plus only the marathon starts at Harpers Ferry. There was no lines for pickup or bathrooms. It was easy to find Ben and Vanessa ( also BIbRave Pros), so it was nice to chat before we started.
This course is epic! Lots of variety! You run through 3 National Parks, on the C & O its flat and groomed trail, then second half you get lots of rolling hills with epic views and history. I was disappointed on the C & O section this time, as there was half the aid stations as last year? I had 6 other runners mention to me they were unhappy with the lack of water/gu also. I didn't carry mine as last year, there was so much. I was very dehydrated on this section with the high humidity. There was no GU or anything on the Canal, as posted or like last year? By the time I arrived at mile 15.2 at the end, I was happy to see the water and first time the GU, I actually had 5 cups of water there with my GU. 3 people read my BibRave shirt, and how it says write reviews, so they asked me to mention this. Otherwise, everything else was top notch.

Finish line is at Sheperdstown University on the 50 yard line! They hand you a nice water bottle with logo, and a finishers medal designed by a local potter. Then walk over to the Pizza, fruit, and Kind bars. The post party across the street at the Bavarian Inn had live music, free beer glass and beer! They also had a wonderful recovery area, with massage therapists and Normatec boots. I love the compression boots, and enjoyed my session drinking my beer :)

I HIGHLY recommend this race!

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(2018)
"Copper Mountain 25k - Holy Elevation... Beautiful and worth every step! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is a great location for a Runcation! I just love Colorado. I arrived Thursday, and drove to Breckenridge from Denver Airport. Copper Mountain is about 2 hours away depending on traffic and beautiful rest stops. I enjoyed some short hikes and walks around Breckinridge, Dillon, Frisco and Copper Mountain to acclimate and adjust to the 2 hour time change.

Friday I arrived at the opening of the expo at 2pm. Everything is in one area, with additional store, restaurants, and Starbucks. Its nice to see the start and finish, which is the same area as packet pick up. It was so fast and easy, I had 4 hours to spare before the Shake-out run, so decided to drive back to Breckenridge ( half hour away by car ), as the time change and excitement was making me tired, and wanted to rest for the next morning.
I registered for the 50k ( 2 loops) , what was I thinking? I ended up with 25k, but enjoyed every minute. I live in Ma, so the elevation kicked my butt. 1 loop was all I could handle, as I was finishing the first loop my headache was making me light headed and just out of it, I ended up in the Med tent for an hour or so, they were very nice and professional. My BibRave friends watched me for the evening to make sure I was ok, Thanks to all my BIbRave Pros for an awesome post run get together.

Course: BEAUTIFUL beyond words! The Course was well marked, you couldn't get lost if you tried :)
You ran up to the summit 12, 323 Elevation, and a fun switchback down hill to the start.

Aid Stations: ROCKED! Enthusiastic volunteers and very well stocked. Powerade, coke, ginger ale, Red Bull and Honey Stinger gels, chews, bars, waffles oh my! Also, fruit, pretzels, pb filled pretzels, chips, and more.

Post Race Party! Steps from the finish line, which is sweet! It makes it easier to watch the runners come down the mountain while you can eat, have a beer, listen to the music or just find shade. You had a coupon on the bib for a free beer. I never used mine, as it took several hours for me to hydrate and enjoy a Starbucks coffee before eating and drinking at the post party 4-6pm.

Under Armour Recovery Zone has a large tent with Rollers, yoga mats, HyperIce Rollers, compression boots, hammocks, and more.

I stayed in the area for 6 nights, as I feel like a kid in Colorado, there's so much to see and do in the area.

All 3 locations look amazing. I wish I could attend all of them.

I highly recommend this race, and I'm sure to return in 2019.

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(2018)
"Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I started my drive from MA to Montreal early Friday to avoid the afterwork traffic. I was excited to visit Montreal, and wanted to have some extra time to explore before Sunday's marathon.
I arrived in Montreal around 3:30. Of course, my GPS and phone was having trouble. I packed my maps from AAA, which worked out perfectly. But, I had trouble trying to find the EXPO, as there were absolutely no Rock n Roll signage outside the building, and lots of construction detours and signs. It was stressful for a little bit, as I tried to drive and find parking, while looking for runners with bags LOL
Once I entered the building, I finally seen some RnR bags, so followed the direction.

Once I entered, I seen the very long lines, and had Jenn's packet to pick up also, luckily we were listed in the same line, which was 40 minutes long.
I walked quickly around the expo, but I didn't need anything, and wanted to get outside and enjoy the weather and have dinner in the Old Port section.
I had a wonderful Thai dinner outside, walked about 8 miles afterwards taking photos, and then stopped at Pub Brewsky for a nice cold one sitting outside.
Saturday, I went for a run while the 5k and 10k races were going on, so it was great to see some of the bands, cheer the runners, see the 10k winners cross the finish line, and more. I then went for a nice hike at Mont Royal, it was a perfect day to be outdoors.
Saturday night another BibRave Pro Jenn and I shared a room at the host hotel, The Hyatt Regency. It was so convenient to be just outside the start/finish area.
Race Course:
The course was very flat, with beautiful views and tons of support out there. I loved running through the Botanical Garden. The weather was cloudy in the 50's, perfect for running!
Once you finished you received a kind bar, but that was all for food. The medal is ok, usually I love their medals, but it was alright this time. The shirt was ok also. I loved the live band, and got some cool down dancing in. We parked at the hotel across the street from the finish line, so it was quick to walk over afterwards. We then went to the food court in the Mall/Hotel entrance where you could get any kind of food you like, many restaurants.
I absolutely fell in love with Montreal! I will be back for sure.

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(2018)
"UA Mountain Running Killington, VT 25K "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was so excited to run another Under Armour Mountain race, and on the East Coast! So I jumped at the chance, and registered for the 25k, I had seriously thought of the 50k, but happy with my decision. OMG! How could there possibly be so much uphill? Well you get that on this course.
I arrived Friday around 6pm and had no line at packet pickup. We received the same shirt as Copper Mountain and a plastic UA bag to use for a drop bag. I was a little disappointed with getting the same exact color and shirt as Copper, it would be nice to have the name of the State, or different color, or something? But, it is a nice quality long sleeve shirt.
I arrived race morning about 45 minutes before the start and had no problem parking minutes away from the start line. I didn't use the drop bag being so close.
We had a nice group at the start, and a nice easy downhill start, which didn't last long. The climbs were beautiful and relentless at the same time. The aid stations were amazing and fully stocked with all my favorite Honey Stinger products, so all I carried with me was my small handheld. The volunteers and aid stations were so awesome!
The course was epic! If you know Vermont, you know there's no flats... LOL I have to say this 25k was tougher than Copper Mountain, as you could run all the way back down, this was more climbing and the mud and roots on the way down, slowed you down.
Finish Line: I had a nice dance going on, as I was excited about no more climbing for the day! It was entertaining and fun. The medal was the same as Copper Mountain, and everyone's medals were the same, 5k, 10k, 25k, and 50k. I'm not huge on the bling, but feel the 5k and 50k should have different finishers medals, I mean.... If I ran 50k I want one that says so :) Sometimes people also run the longer distance for that special (medal, shirt or something).
Post Party and Location was Awesome! I had altitude issues at Copper Mountain, but think the very loud speakers right at the finish line made it worse. I couldn't wait to get away from the finish line there. Killington I sat at the finish line with another BIbRavePro for about 1.5 hours cheering and watching the other runners come in. It was such a nice spot, without loud speakers. Then we walked over to the Recovery Tent. OMG! I LOVE the Normatec compression boots! Simply Awesome!
We bought some amazing veggie burgers and enjoyed live music which was so relaxing and fun! The weather was just perfect after a period of high heat and humidity. The 25k had 4, 250 feet of climbing, but worth every step. Your Quads will talk to you, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
Sunday I actually hiked up the Beast again, and a few other hikes as my legs felt pretty good, and I love the mountain. I have a 3 hour drive back to MA, so enjoyed stopping at a few local places, Quechee Gorge, Woodstock Farmers Market, Sugar & Spice for breakfast and Maple Syrup.
Killington, is such a great place to go for the weekend with family and friends, there's so much to do. They have a big adventure park, mountain biking, camping, and so much more.
I highly recommend this race and the series.
Next year I hope to attend Bachelor Mountain.

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