Latest reviews by Katie St Pierre

(2017)
"Nice Half Marathon "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Prince William Half Marathon was held on October 1, 2017 in Bristow, VA. The race was close to where I live, and I knew a lot of people who were running it. My dad and I signed up for the race earlier in the year, with full intention of training. However, life got in the way. I was only slightly trained (with a progression of three race weekends leading up to the race: Memorial 5k, Glowstick 10k, and the Clarendon Day Run Double), but we decided to run the race anyway.

Packet Pick-Up

Packet pick-up took place two days before the race at the Freedom Center in Manassas. This is on my way home from work, so it was easy to get to. I was in and out  in just a few minutes. There wasn't much to look at, except for a few race items such as clothes and pint glasses. I was lucky to get there on the first day so I could exchange my race shirt size (since the shirts ran extra, extra small)!

Pre-Race

The Prince William Half started and ended at Jiffy Lube Live. There was plenty of parking in the huge parking lot, but traffic to get in the lot was very long. We pretty much made it just in time to put on our shoes, go to the bathroom, and make it to the corral for a pre-race photo before the race began. It was good that we didn't have much extra time because it was pretty chilly before the sun came up!

The Course

The course was on all paved roads. It took you from Jiffy Lube Live over an overpass and onto the roads that go through the Manassas Battlefield. While running, we passed the Stonewall Memory Gardens, a few monuments, and lots of hay bales. The course was a bit hilly at times, but only in shorter spurts. There were a few out-and-backs so we always saw other runners and didn't feel so much as back-of-the-pack that we were.

There was a high school marching band and cheerleaders cheering us on during the first and last mile, which was very helpful for that last stretch of road.

Post-Race

After the race, we grabbed our water and banana and headed to see what food was being offered. We received a drink ticket and a food ticket. Unfortunately, both Moes and Tropical Smoothie were considered food. I opted for the smoothie, and luckily they agreed to make me one without yogurt.

We did not stay for the music as we were tired and wanted to leave. All-in-all, the Prince William Half is a well put-together race, and I would run it again if I had someone to run with.

For more info, check out: http://adventuresbykatie.com/prince-william-half-marathon/

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

Bishop's Event's Burke Lake 5k & 10k took place on October 14, 2017 in Fairfax Station, VA! The event was in partnership with the American Cancer Society and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness month and took place through the trails of Burke Lake Park.

Before the Race

Bib pick-up took place starting an hour before the event. It was easy and fast. There was plenty of parking in the park's parking lot. There was also indoor bathrooms adjacent to the parking lot. The 10k race began at 7:45 a.m., and the 5k began at 8:00 a.m.

The Course

The course takes you down over a few gently rolling street "hills" before entering a trail around the lake. The ground was packed dirt, with some rocks and tree roots. The path was pretty clear, but it you still needed to pay attention to where you were running. The course was out-and-back, with the 10k continuing further around the lake. There were a few minor inclines, but nothing really too bad at all.

It was pretty because the leaves are just starting to change and there were some leaves on the ground. Even though it was a bit warm and humid, the scenery made up for any discomfort.

SWAG

Runners received a Finisher’s Medal, a pink Technical (Dri-fit) Event Shirt, and a Chip-Timed event. There was also water and Gatorade on the course, and a few snacks at the end. Final winners were awarded additional prizes.

 
For more info on how I did, visit: http://adventuresbykatie.com/burke-lake-5k-10k/

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

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Clarendon Day Run
The Clarendon Day Run took place in Arlington, VA and included two different distances: a 5k and a 10k. There was also a Double if you were feeling brave enough to attempt both distances. The Start Line was in Clarendon, about two blocks from the metro. The course took you down hill through the city streets and onto the highway, before turning around and ending in Rosslyn. Those who were attempting the Double had to make their way a mile and a half uphill to get back to the start line for the second race.

Bib Pick-Up

Bib pick-up was available at the Pacers Store the month leading up to the race. They also offered race day pick-up before the start of the race. I chose this option since the store isn't too close to my home or work. The 5k race didn't begin until 8am, but I had gotten to the race site super early. I was worried about parking (though, there was no reason to worry - there was plenty of street parking). My wait time was super quick because I was probably the first person to pick-up my bib that morning!

The Run

I had signed up for the Double Run with John from Run. Geek. Run (disney). You can read his review of the race HERE! I was not particularly trained up for the race distance as much as I wanted, but we both wanted to try running both races. We decided to use the intervals 30:30, but also running the downhills.

How Did I Do?

John and I started the 5k out pretty strong and enjoyed our downhill run. We finished the 5k in 40:19, which is my average 5k time these days. As we ran through  the finish, we grabbed a water, banana, and potato chips and quickly turned around for our 1.5 mile uphill climb. This took us a little longer than we anticipated, and we saw the 10k starting before we were back at the start line. We hustled and crossed the start line and began the 10k race. 

The downhill section of the 10k was just fine, but when we got to the open highway section, it started to get HOT! There was not a lot of shade and our energy was really dropping. We were at the end of the pack, but still trucking along, despite the heat and my foot really starting to hurt.

About a half a mile from the finish line, we were approached by the pick-up vehicle and we were forced to board. They needed to open up the highway to traffic, and we were not allowed to continue running. They dropped us off back on Arlington roads and we were allowed to continue to the finish line. Our final 10k time  was 1:32:19, and our Double Time was 2:12:38.

While it wasn't our best race, we both felt good that we put in the miles. The 1.5 uphill walk back to our car was slow, long, and painful (I walked barefoot because my foot was hurting so bad). In the end, we had run/walked/climbed about 12.5 miles.

 The SWAG

The race shirt is a bright orange - yay! If you also ran the Double, you got an extra medal. There were drink tickets on our bib, but I was way too exhausted to go to the restaurants to claim them.

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, the Clarendon Day Run was a fun, downhill race. I liked the additional challenge of being able run the Double, I just wish there were a FEW more minutes in between the races!

Loading Comments...

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Downhill was nice, and then it got hot"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Clarendon Day Run
The Clarendon Day Run took place in Arlington, VA and included two different distances: a 5k and a 10k. There was also a Double if you were feeling brave enough to attempt both distances. The Start Line was in Clarendon, about two blocks from the metro. The course took you down hill through the city streets and onto the highway, before turning around and ending in Rosslyn. Those who were attempting the Double had to make their way a mile and a half uphill to get back to the start line for the second race.

Bib Pick-Up

Bib pick-up was available at the Pacers Store the month leading up to the race. They also offered race day pick-up before the start of the race. I chose this option since the store isn't too close to my home or work. The 5k race didn't begin until 8am, but I had gotten to the race site super early. I was worried about parking (though, there was no reason to worry - there was plenty of street parking). My wait time was super quick because I was probably the first person to pick-up my bib that morning!

  

The Run

I had signed up for the Double Run with John from Run. Geek. Run (disney). You can read his review of the race HERE! I was not particularly trained up for the race distance as much as I wanted, but we both wanted to try running both races. We decided to use the intervals 30:30, but also running the downhills.

How Did I Do?

John and I started the 5k out pretty strong and enjoyed our downhill run. We finished the 5k in 40:19, which is my average 5k time these days. As we ran through  the finish, we grabbed a water, banana, and potato chips and quickly turned around for our 1.5 mile uphill climb. This took us a little longer than we anticipated, and we saw the 10k starting before we were back at the start line. We hustled and crossed the start line and began the 10k race. 

The downhill section of the 10k was just fine, but when we got to the open highway section, it started to get HOT! There was not a lot of shade and our energy was really dropping. We were at the end of the pack, but still trucking along, despite the heat and my foot really starting to hurt.

About a half a mile from the finish line, we were approached by the pick-up vehicle and we were forced to board. They needed to open up the highway to traffic, and we were not allowed to continue running. They dropped us off back on Arlington roads and we were allowed to continue to the finish line. Our final 10k time  was 1:32:19, and our Double Time was 2:12:38.

While it wasn't our best race, we both felt good that we put in the miles. The 1.5 uphill walk back to our car was slow, long, and painful (I walked barefoot because my foot was hurting so bad). In the end, we had run/walked/climbed about 12.5 miles.

 The SWAG

The race shirt is a bright orange - yay! If you also ran the Double, you got an extra medal. There were drink tickets on our bib, but I was way too exhausted to go to the restaurants to claim them.

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, the Clarendon Day Run was a fun, downhill race. I liked the additional challenge of being able run the Double, I just wish there were a FEW more minutes in between the races!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"At least it stopped raining in time for the race!!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

*Disclaimer: I have received a free entry into the Crystal City Twilighter as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro Ambassador (tell them I sent you!), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!*

I am always a fan of night races. I'm not sure why I love them so much, but I think they are a lot of fun! Arlington, VA is right near where I live, so getting to Crystal City for the race was super easy. I've run Pacers Running events before: Run with Santa and the Let Freedom Run 5k, so I knew what a great race the Crystal City Twilighter would be.

*The Weather*

Here is what I had driving up I-95N/I-395N into Arlington:Torrential Summer downpour. It was terrible. But, the race was supposed to go on, rain or shine, so I kept driving. It had been really hot earlier in the day (90s), so I was hoping it would stop raining and cool down.

Pacers was really helpful with letting people know that the day-of bib pick-up was moved inside the Crystal City Mall due to the rain.

Luckily, it stopped raining about 30 minutes before the race and stayed dry for the duration. It had cooled down, but I was still soaked with sweat at the finish line.

About 15 minutes after I finished running, it started to rain again, but I was already in my car driving (slowly) home.

*Parking*

Parking for the Crystal City Twilighter was super easy. There were many garages available right at the start line. These garages had free parking during the evening. I parked in the garage adjacent to the packet pick-up location, and it was right across the street from the start/finish line.

*Packet Pick-up*

Packet Pick-up was available the week of the race at the Pacers stores. I was not able to get up to Arlington to get my bib, so I opted for day-of pick-up. Packet pick-up was relocated inside the Crystal City Mall due to the rain, but it was super easy to get to and took no time at all.

*Swag*

With your race registration, you received a technical tank and a glow stick. Unfortunately (as with most Pacers 5ks), there was no medal for this race.

*Pre-Race*

There was a big, pretty area by the start line with music, water filling stations, tables, and a photo booth. I got my picture taken, and met up with fellow BibRavePro, Vanessa from She Runs by the Seashore. We chatted a bit before the race before getting in the corral.

There was no official corral placement.

*The Run*

The course takes your around Crystal City. You go behind a bunch of buildings, around near a park, and then back. It wasn't anything special to write home about, but the city at night did look pretty neat, coupled with all of the glow sticks. The terrain was all road and it was very flat.

*Post-Race*

Since I was completely soaked with sweat, exhausted, and chaffed, I went directly home. However, the party was just starting at the finish line! There was food and drinks, as well as music and festivities. Everything looked awesome all light up!

*Would I Run this Race Again?*

Probably. I do love a night race, and Crystal City/Arlington is easy to get to. While the scenery wasn't anything to get excited about, I did enjoy all of the lights, and it was a nice change of view from where I usually run!

Read my full review and experience here: http://adventuresbykatie.com/2017crystalcitytwilighter/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.