Latest reviews by Brenda Morris

(2017)
"Rock N Roll Nashville "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was excited to see this race listed during my already planned girls birthday weekend with 3 other friends! This was my first time visiting Nashville, and I really had a blast! My friend Wendy also ran the half marathon with me, Trisha and Paula had fun supporting and being there at the finish line.

We all went to the Expo first thing Friday morning to have the rest of the day to go to Goo Goo Chocolate, Johnny Cash museum, the Grand Ole Opry and more. Our hotel was only a mile from Expo/Start and half a mile from finish line. The Clarion had a free shuttle service from 8am-9pm each day, so we took the free shuttle over and used Uber for other locations. Friday night we went to the Jake Owen Concert at Ascend Amphitheater, and it was so cool sitting outside and enjoying the views of Nashville and listening to 3 bands.

Saturday we got up at 5 am, and the hotel had a full breakfast ready for all of us runners, we then walked about a mile to the start and it was already 76 degrees! It was a great decision for the race to move the start up a half hour earlier due to temps reaching 90 degrees. It was very crowded at the start, and throughout the course, with over 30,000 runners. The start line had corrals for people to enter, and the church was open for runners to use bathrooms and was air conditioned, but we wanted to stay outside to acclimate to the warmth. The course was very well stocked with water, gatorade, sponges, oranges, and some water stops had ice. They had plenty of port o johns throughout the course, and amazing and enthusiastic volunteers. I was running with my friend Wendy who has been going through therapy, so we were going just for fun, and due to the heat it made us stay at a slower pace. I loved my Buff, as I would get ice and cold water and keep around my neck throughout the run.

Finish line was a beautiful sight, as my stomach was funky due to the heat. I did grab the Chocolate milk and pretzels, but gave to my friend as the heat made me loose appetite. It was sweet to just walk 10 minutes or so to our hotel. I didn't wear a watch or GPS as I knew we would be walk/jog/running the course. My friend Wendy was emotional and excited to cross the finish without pain, and I was so happy to be by her side. We met our other 2 friends for post race photos and celebration,

We went back to our hotel showered, and went to the Nashville Zoo, and an amazing Cuban restaurant and had a great Quinoa/avocado/salad :) We really fit a lot into the 3 night stay. I was surprised how much there was to see and do there, we all plan on a return trip to the area and I highly suggest the race for a fun racecation.

Loading Comments...

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Rock and Roll DC Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Expo/Packet Pick up: I drove down from MA, so I went on Thursday afternoon to avoid traffic. There was no line to get in at 2:00 which was sweet! It was very quick and easy to get my bib and t-shirt, also no lines. I like the women's cut t-shirt and design. There were several fun locations to take free photos at Brooks, Toyota, Geiko and more. We stopped by the Toyota location inside to make a fun Video which I actually seen while running, super cool. They also personalized my shirt, and gave me a pair of flip flops when I showed my Toyota car keys :)
On the way out I test drove the Toyota Rav4 and received a $10 Gift Certificate for Starbucks. This time I didn't need to buy anything, but if you needed anything it was there. They also had an extra sale on clothing due to the low temps.

Pre-race: Due to the fact the marathon starts at 7am, and the Metro wasn't open, I had my Dad drop me off a block from the start at 6:15am which was super easy, and not much traffic at all at that time. OMG! Cold wind chill at 6:15am, but beautiful sunrise. It was a sweet treat to see Dunkin Donuts there giving away free hot coffee samples. There was also tables with bottle water and bananas. There were lots of porta-johns with minimal wait time. UPS was there for another no line gear drop off. They did have Corrals and Pacers, which seemed to go very smoothly.

Course: Start line was busy but didn't seem over congested at all. I was surprised all the bands were out in the cold, as there were not many spectators. They had amazing volunteers at the aid stations. There was plenty of water, gatorade, gu, blocks, sports beans etc.. throughout the course. The neighborhoods were very friendly and supportive near the end, some handed out donuts, fruit, and even a location with champagne and whiskey :)

Post Race: I have to admit, I was so cold when I finished I couldn't stop shivering. I did change into dry clothes in the women's changing tent (which was a nice perk). They did hand out sweet medals, heat sheets, water and gatorade. UPS was right there with another no wait wait. The post food was pop chips, choc. milk, granola bars, and bananas. I was actually too cold to take off my gloves and eat or get my free beer. They also had food trucks there with Pizza, sandwiches and more. Of course, the post concert which was good. I walked over to the finishers tent to pick up my Marathon Finishers jacket which was awesome! I only wish the weather was warmer so friends and I could have hung out and had some cold brew, but I just wanted to get inside where it was warm. I opted for taking the metro to Springfield/Franconia which was only steps away from the finish line, which made it super easy.

I highly recommend this race! I'll be back next year, sign up now for best prices. I'm also registered for the Rock and Roll Nashville Half Marathon, and now even more excited.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Sedona Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I arrived at the Expo/Packet Pickup right at 2:00 on Friday, it was easy to park and get in, but small venue.
There were only a few vendors, but I didn't do any shopping, so it was quick and easy.

The shirts/swag are ok. I wish there was a little more color, but loved seeing Bibrave on the back. Otherwise, there really wasn't any other swag.

My boyfriend went to the start line with me, and we had no problem at all parking a few blocks from the start an hour before race. I love that with small races. There were plenty of port o johns, so very limited wait time.

I loved the stocked aid stations every 2 miles. They had water, gatorade, GU blocks and bananas at all stations. I had to stop and take a picture at mile 18 where they had the Marathon Shoe repair :)
The volunteers were very friendly and enthusiastic.

I was fighting a chest and head cold, so thank goodness for the beautiful scenery which took my mind away from how I was feeling. I took it easy and slow, and had a fabulous day! Yes, there's hills, but I'm used to them being from Worcester, MA. we have no flats. I took walk breaks second half so, I had no muscle soreness the next day, which paid off to enjoy some hiking the next few days. Did I mention the gorgeous views? OMG.... amazing

I have to say I was a few blocks from the finish line, but there was no signage at the 4 way stop and I waited as I was unsure which way to go, once I had a runner catch up we both were confused and decided to go up the hill, and others behind were yelling to us, unsure? Otherwise, the course was well marked.

I loved the enthusiasm at the finish line! The announcer had trouble pronouncing Worcester :) and was happy to see someone travel so far to join them.

I have to say my only disappointment was at the finish line we only received a bottle of water and a small sample size of cliff bar? No salty or protein foods. There's usually always some type of food box or post food at finish lines with that distance. As I was reviewing the race, I figured well maybe their FREE post party that they advertised in the paper and online, would have pizza etc... We went to the 4pm party at Old Sedona Pub, but when we walked over to check-in, the volunteer said "sorry but its for volunteers only, you can go to the bar where there's runners". We walked to the other room but it was just a dark bar, with people drinking, so we went upstairs to the deck and there were only 2 other runners at a table eating. I was starving as I didn't eat all day, so we stayed and I ordered a veggie dish and beer. I was starting to feel blah again and coughing so didn't finish my beer, and took the food to go, it was ok. So I wouldn't really suggest the Old Sedona Post party for runners if they have it next year.

I would love to go back again next year! I did spend 5 nights in Sedona and loved every minute, need to go back.

I highly recommend this race.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"RW Hat Trick Weekend! ( 2 days, 3 races, 5 medals)"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was excited to have RW Hat trick here in Ma this year, as I ran the one in PA last year and loved it. RW Classic featured a 5k and 10k on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday. If you run all three races you complete the "Hat Trick" There's also a Celebrity Mile race on Sat. and free kids run. The inaugural race weekend events took place at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA

Swag: All participants received the same blue cotton t-shirt which is ok, but I prefer different races and dates on shirts. My previous RW hat trick we received a nice beanie with Hat trick and date on it, I've also seen hats/visors with the hat trick embroidery on it, which was a nice touch. Otherwise, no other items besides the 5 medals you will receive, but I'm not one for the bling, so would have preferred a hat or socks.

Parking: Both Sat. and Sun. getting there and parking was a breeze. Since the race started/finished at the college, there was plenty of parking and volunteers to direct you.

PreRace: I have to say it was so pleasant with plenty of ports johns and no lines, plenty of vendors with fruit cups, juice, bagels, water, coffee and more. Music was playing, and they were very enthusiastic with Welcoming runners and getting everyone psyched up for the weekend. It was such a nice treat not to have any long lines, crowds, and stress. :)

Start Line: All 3 races were a breeze to enter and no stress getting out of the gate, which was a nice treat. Since its the first year and numbers pretty low, it was a great way to start. All races had plenty of room to run where you never needed to zig zag in and out of people which happens at big races, so I really enjoyed it.

Courses: All 3 races start and finish at the College. The races are fairly flat, with a few hills on the 10k and half. The course was mostly shaded which was nice due to the heat.

Support: Aid stations were amazing, so friendly and had plenty of water, gatorade and GU. I loved the singing aid stations, they were having so much fun. They had volunteers on bikes and on 4 wheelers with Medical staff checking in and cheering us on.

Runners Post Food Line: Great post food :) You had several different Yogurts, greek yogurt, red and green apples, several flavors of Kind bars, think thin bars, 3 flavors of Lara bars, 2 different flavors of dried Chick Peas, 3 flavors of chips , bottled water, and more :)

Post Food vendors: Yasso frozen yogurt truck had 5 flavors to choose from, I had Salted Carmel and Pistachio :), Muscle Milk had several flavors, Maple Water, Fruit Juices, Tazo Choc., and more!!! Also you got a ticket for a Hot dog and free beer. Plenty of food for your salt and sweet tooth.

Sat. I really enjoyed the Celebrity meet and greet and Mile Race with 29 local Celebrities. It was a great family friendly weekend with a free kids race and lots of vendors and free merchandise and information.

I was very impressed with how wonderful the weekend went off, especially being the first year :) I highly recommend this event for the entire family and every level of runner.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"Mad Marathon 2016"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was excited to run this one, as I love Vermont!

I arrived Saturday to attend the Bib pickup/Expo and Live Band at 7pm. Unfortunately, the expo only had 1 table of Chafex cream, and the kids race and band was cancelled without any posting on social media or email, so I waited around until someone told me about the cancelations due to chance of rain, but it was actually nice out, and a bunch of kids still did their own races or raced siblings. I went to American Flatbread, which is amazing local organic food chain, so yummy! Perfect place to find great food to carbo load.

Sunday morning, the parking was not bad as its a small town race, which is nice. The porta john lines were long, but moved pretty quickly. I liked the nice old time music they were playing. We started out on time, and I was impressed throughout the marathon how nice all the volunteers were at the aid stations, even when the rain was coming down pretty hard, they would always be smiling and thanking me for visiting, and saying hope you come back again. :)

If you like hills, this is the race for you! I loved all the farms, animals, views and small old time vibe of the run.

At the finish the RD Dori was there with a big smile and big hug :)

Post refreshments included: Coffee, water, cider, fruit, bagels, and chips.

The race didn't have much social media activity and no email sent out prior to race to confirm, but once I was there, I enjoyed the low key old time style :)

I'll be back!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.