Latest reviews by Brenda Morris

(2018)
"Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon "
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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 "
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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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(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 "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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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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