Latest reviews by Brenda Morris

(2017)
"Freedom's Run Marathon ( More Than a Race)"
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What a fantastic weekend!

Friday my family and I went to Packet Pick up at Sheperdstown University, where there was plenty of parking, small but nice expo and no line waiting for bib and t-shirt.

26.2 Miles encased in National Park Land, with some country roads and history town that connect them. Its a point to point with a small net elevation loss. Start line, nice and early (7:30am) at Harpers Ferry National Park, then 10 flat miles on the beautiful and flat C&O Canal, rolling hills to Antietam Battlefield for a couple of miles, and pretty flat 4.5 miles to the finish line into Sheperdstown, where you get to finish on the 50 yard line at the University :)

I have to say, this is now one of my favorite marathons for so many reasons, starting with the great communication with the RD on social media and emails. The way the race gives back to local charities, helping with hurricane donations, and much more that I'll add to my full review on my blog.

The first time I heard about this race and the fact we run through 3 National Parks, I was sold! But, it was honestly more beautiful and well supported than I expected. Aid stations were well stocked with water, gatorade, Honey Stinger Gels and fruit. So many wonderful friendly and helpful volunteers made the weekend go so smoothly.

Great Post Race party! Pizza, fruit, water, and water bottles and glasses to fill with your free beer/soda. Free massages and I tried the Nordic Compression Boots, and it felt amazing. The finishers medal was designed and molded by a local potter, which adds another nice local touch.

ADD THIS MARATHON TO YOUR LIST! I very highly recommend this race. Honestly, I took about 100 photos during my run. You get a very nice variety, rolling hills, flat trail, running over a bridge and down a spiral staircase ( which was cool).

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(2017)
"Ocean State Marathon"
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2015 was the inaugural year for the Ocean State Rhode Race, so its still new. My friends who live in Rhode Island didn't even know about it until I mentioned it to them.I was excited to get the chance to run this race, as I wanted my Rhode Master Runners hat for running 3 out of 5 races this year :) The race weekend featured the marathon, half marathon and 5k distance. The Marathon course is USATF Certified and is a Boston Marathon Qualifier, which is great for locals, since its such easy access and small.
Coming from Massachusetts, I decided to go to packet pick up race morning. Sunday morning was a nice easy 1 hour 15 minute ride, enjoying my coffee and no traffic. I have several friends who live in the area, I stayed with them for the 2 other races, but they were out of town this weekend. This is a small race so no expo, which is fine with me. I try not to buy anymore, after running so many years, I have what I need already.
I arrived at Narragansett Town Beach 1 hour before race, and parked right in front, very easy access. My friends and others were also surprised how easy and fast parking, bib pickup and lines to port o johns were! Love small races for this. You received a bag with some samples, maple water, bars, tech shirt and my runners hat.

Start Line: Plenty of NO LINE, Port-o-Potties. Marathon started at 7:30am, Half at 8:00am.
It was a nice fast start with no chaos, and on time.

Course: Beautiful, and well marked with enthusiastic volunteers and plenty of aid. Water, Gu drink, Gu, Gu blocks, fruit and more every mile or 2.

Post Race: PIZZA , with about 5 options of toppings, They even had broccoli pizza! There was bars, fruit, water, and Maple water.

Since it was raining and windy, and I had plans in NH for dinner, I decided not to go to Whalers Pub for my free flight ( which was a very generous offer).

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(2017)
"Jamestown Half Marathon "
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was excited to run another race as part of the Masters Series, and add to my bling collection! :)

I was really impressed with the course and race management in July, for the Bristol, RI half marathon. The Jamestown Half Marathon, was exceptional also.

I was unable to attend the bib pickup Friday night, so arrived at the start line/bib pick up Saturday morning an hour before the race, and had friendly volunteers directing me to the parking lot and registration line. We received a goody bag with some great samples inside, which I love to try items like this to see if I like. I also love the fact they go green, with not paper advertisements that I usually put in recycle bins. I was done in 5 minutes :) There was plenty of port o johns, and no lines also.

Fort Getty Park was cloudy and cool, but still a beautiful start. The course was very nice with some rolling hills and plenty of water, gu and electrolytes.

I love my tech shirt and beautiful bling :) See photo above.

I really have to admit, there is no negative feedback at all with this race, or the first one I ran with them! :) I highly recommend this race and the series.

www.RunRI.us

Twitter: racetherode

#bibchat #bibravepro #RhodeRacesJTN

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(2017)
"DMSE Classic Hat Trick ( 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon) Review"
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I was happy to return for a second year! The DMSE Classic is a weekend race series including a 5k and 10k on Saturday morning and half marathon Sunday at 7am. You can run one of them or the five and dime, or all 3 (hat trick). I figured why not all 3? :)

Race communication was great, all your information was on the website, FB and emails. Last year the packet pickup was so quick and easy, I opted to save the Friday night drive and arrive a little earlier Sat. morning. It was great, they had volunteers directing the cars into the college parking lot, so I was in and done with my packet pickup within minutes. I had 45 minutes to spare with no lines at the line of Porto Johns, which is another perk while hydrating.

Expo: Since I didn't arrive on Friday, I'm not sure how much they had to offer. Sat. and Sun. I really didn't see vendors where you purchase items, but for me I've been trying not to buy any more running gear, and I less than an hour away, so I didn't need any last minute items.

Sat. the 5k and 10k started on time and great weather, last year was really hot and humid. There was plenty of enthusiasm and a small field, so not so much chaos which I prefer :) Both races start and finish at the college. The course has a few small hills ( if your used to new england hills, you can't avoid them). I prefer hills over flat courses especially on pavement.
Finish line goodies: 3 medals for 5k and 10k combination, for those who love the bling.
They had volunteers handing out cold water bottles with the medals, and then you had the runners food tent, which had bananas, granola bars, chips, and GF chips. I was so excited to see Yasso Greek yogurt pops there again this year! Yes, I had a different flavor after each race. I also received a soft purple Yasso Yogurt T-shirt, just for telling them how much I LOVE their product. Muscle Milk was also there and I tried the Blueberry flavor, which was so much better than the other flavors I've tried in the past. Our bibs had food and beer tickets, but I have to admit the food was disappointing, as it was a ticket for Popcorn or a Pretzel? I was hearing comments about the pretzel, so I preferred not to waste my carbs on something that didn't taste good. I'm pretty sure last year they had some real hot food. But, Thank Goodness for Yasso as that was my fuel, since I didn't eat breakfast and ran on water only, I was happy to have the protein post run. Since it was morning, I didn't use my beer ticket either.
I stayed to see the Children's Fun run and of course the emotional Celebrity Mile. Since 2013 Boston Marathon bombing still has an effect on me, it is inspirational to see Jeff Bauman and Adrianne Haslet participate. They also had some live entertainment and autographs from the local and national celebrities.

Sunday was the half marathon at 7 am, again no lines or chaos, very smooth and easy! The only thing is I wish the 3 courses had a different route, or at least the half marathon. I know its easier logistics wise, but it would be nice to have another route, I did hear others say the same.

Overall, I loved this weekend. I highly recommend this race as they have something for everyone!

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(2017)
"Bristol Independence Half Marathon "
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I was excited to run this race since its on such a beautiful course! I have been cycling and running parts of the course the past 6 weeks, so knew most of the course.

I went to Bristol Friday to bike on the East Bay Bike Path and have lunch, before attending Packet Pick up at Colt School. Packet Pick up was very easy to find, park and lots of volunteers inside made it go quickly. There really wasn't an expo but they did have a table of some items for sale.

Sat. morning I left my house at 4:30am since its about an hour drive, and the race start was at 6:30am. I was glad it was an early start as the humidity was extremely high and my car already said it was 70 degrees at 4:30am. I arrived in Bristol before 6am and parked a few blocks from the start, and had a nice quick walk to the start and port o potties. The race was sold out, but plenty of room and space without over crowded feeling. Such a gorgeous ocean view start with lots of 4th of July decorations around the town and on the course.

There was plenty of support, aid stations, porto johns, and gorgeous views along the course. The start and finish was at the same location, and lots of vendors, music, restaurants and views to take in.

My friend Bryna ran with me, and we both had a wonderful time! We are looking forward to running more of the series. Next year I want to run all 5 for the sweet bling that connects to one another.

The race was quick to post the results, and today posted FREE photos to download, which is another great perk.

I highly recommend this race.

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