Latest reviews by Bradley on the Run

(2018)
"Eugene Marathon - fast, flat and amazing!"
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For my complete race report, visit my blog:
https://bradleyontherun.com/2018/05/06/eugene-marathon-2018/

Quick Recap – Eugene Marathon

Social Media: The Eugene Marathon folks know how to do things right. Incredibly informative website, just enough pre-race email updates and active social media. And they pay attention, too – responding and ‘liking’ when mentioned. A+ job

Social channels: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Packet Pickup: The Expo was a decent size – big enough to be interesting, but not so big that you end up wasting a lot of time. We got bibs right away, no waiting required. T-shirts were waiting at the end. I tried mine on, but it was too small – they quickly upsized me.

T-Shirt/Swag: The Eugene Marathon Nike t-shirt is probably one of my favourites. Great fit, fun and classy design. I’m going to cherish this one! The medal is brilliant – chunky and beautiful, with the route map engraved on the reverse. Brilliant.

Course: One of the flattest courses I’ve run. The two ‘hills’ are in the first half. Although there is a subtle uphill grade for much of the final 6km, it’s not significant. You just need to fight through it. Although running that half track at the very end is challenging, hearing the roar of the crowd is inspiring and pushes you to the finish.

Post-Race: We were exhausted, so we didn’t stick around for long. I know there was a beer tent, but I had no appetite for alcohol. I did grab a freshly made grilled cheese sandwich. That was amazing. All in all…what you need at a finish festival.

Would I Run It Again? Yes, yes and yes! The travel distance is the only barrier, but all things being equal I would return to run for the flat course, the scenery, the encouragement all along the race route – and the enthusiasm of a track town! Well-organized, some of the most enthusiastic volunteers I’ve ever encountered, one of my favourite races ever!

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(2018)
"Around the Bay 30K - the ups and downs!"
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For a complete review, please visit my blog:
https://bradleyontherun.com/2018/04/01/around-the-bay-road-race-2018/

Quick Recap – Around the Bay Road Race 30K

Social Media: Around the Bay Road Race has heaps of information on their website, and provides plenty of information via email leading up to the race. Oddly, while they are active on all social media channels, they only mention Facebook on their website.

Other social channels: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Packet Pickup: As mentioned, the Expo encircled the concourse of FirstOntario Centre. We had to climb some steep stairs to the concourse level, and walk almost the entire circumference of the building to reach bib pickup, and then retrace our steps to get out again. I had my dad in tow, and felt bad for making him walk so far. I kind of wish there had been an exit at the far end. Nevertheless, there were lots of great vendors and a positive vibe.

T-Shirt/Swag: We received a long-sleeved slightly-darker-than baby blue technical shirt, but even the small was a bit big for me. Fortunately, my honey recommended picking up a grey souvenir shirt for $5, which I absolutely love! The finisher medal is iconically Canadian, and a solid piece of bling.

Course: The first 20 kilometres are essentially flat, taking runners through industrial Hamilton and then alongside the waters of Lake Ontario. Things are more scenic, and hilly, during the final 10k. I enjoy the loop course, ending where you start, because it provides a great sense of fulfilment. Finishing on the floor of the Coliseum to the cheer of crowds is also invigourating!

Post-Race: We got a decent selection of food at the finish line, and a bag to carry everything in. As far as I can tell, there isn’t really a post-race ‘party’, but I didn’t stick around to find out because I had a baby shower to attend!

Would I Run It Again? The 30k distance is great – pushing limits beyond the half marathon, but not busting up your body like a full. It was great to be back in a familiar part of Ontario, with the chance to connect with friends and family. I’m tempted to run next year’s 125th Anniversary race, so you may just see me on course again!

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(2018)
"Sweet Race - Eating the Hills!"
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For the full race review, visit my blog:
https://bradleyontherun.com/2018/03/04/allstate-hot-chocolate-15k-seattle/

Quick Recap – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k Seattle

Social Media: The Hot Chocolate Series is America-wide, so their social is quite broad. However, the Website for the Seattle race was very informative, and I referred back to it frequently.

Other social channels: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Packet Pickup: Although the Expo itself wasn’t huge, it had a great vibe and was super-efficient early on Saturday. I liked the QR code option to expedite the process, and there were tonnes of eager volunteers to get things done. And because it was held at Seattle Center – near the start line – I had a preview of where to go the next morning.

T-Shirt/Swag: Probably some of the best swag I’ve ever received at a race – and my favourite part of the Hot Chocolate 15k Seattle! First of all, the quarter zip (blue for guys, purple for girls) is great – nice fit, nice feel. Something I’ll use! And the medal itself is epic – big, bulky bling, just as it should be! And this year, each city had its own keychain attached (Seattle Space Needle for me!)

Course: Be prepared for hills. And a long, long uphill climb. Naturally, you get rewarded with the downhill again…until that uphill in the final kilometre. Some of the views – over Lake Union, and of the city – are quite striking. At the same time, you spend ages on the same, straight (hilly) road, which gets a bit monotonous.

Post-Race: I was done early enough that I got my Finisher’s Mug full of sweet treats pretty quickly. I imagine the lines got more intense a bit later on. It was a great, positive vibe, although we didn’t stick around long. Good fun.

Would I Run It Again? Given the bling and the goods, I’d definitely consider it. But because the course wasn’t my favourite, I might be tempted to try a Hot Chocolate race in another city, and try something new. But never say never – you may see me there again!!

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(2018)
"Fastest First Half Ever!"
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My fifth running of the First Half - since it got cancelled due to snow last year. Amazing day, amazing weather, amazing people. For the full review, visit my blog:
https://bradleyontherun.com/2018/02/18/first-half-half-marathon-2018/

Quick Recap – First Half Half Marathon 2018

Social Media: Pretty active on Twitter and Facebook, with informative pre-race emails to keep us posted!

Packet Pickup: Well-run and convenient – held at the Main Street Forerunners store on both Friday and Saturday.

T-Shirt/Swag: My one and only green race shirt! Great colour for a St. Patrick’s Day run! And the medal this year doubles as a keychain, so that’s exactly how I’m using it!

Course: Primarily along the Seawall, and almost entirely flat…except for those two small but endless hills in the last two kilometres!

Post-Race: Pacific Road Runners always put out a great spread – bagels, bananas, fruit drinks soup, Ethical Bean coffee and yogurt. If you stick around long enough, they also have some awesome door prizes!

Would I Run It Again? With the exception of the 2017 cancellation, I’ve run the First Half every year since 2012. Why stop now?!

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(2018)
"Chilly Chase - flat and fast!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Read about the full race experience on my blog:
https://bradleyontherun.com/2018/02/04/chilly-chase-chasing-the-chicken/

Packet Pickup: Pickup was held on both Friday (in Kitsilano) and Saturday (in Burnaby). Thanks again to Debra for pickup up my bib!

T-Shirt/Swag: The Chilly Chase doesn’t include a t-shirt, but there were Chilly Chase socks to be had! Unfortunately, the sock shipment was delayed due to snow storms in the US causing delays. We were giving the option to pick up our socks at a future date or (my choice) to donate them to the Lookout Society, this event’s charitable partner.

Course: All four distances including out-and-back routes along the False Creek Seawall, with extensions to English Bay (10k) and around Lost Lagoon (15k, half marathon).

Post-Race: It’s always nice when a winter run has some inside space – and the Creekside Community Centre is a great place to be. Post-race included bananas, treats from Nature’s Path, and lots of good people!

Would I Run It Again? January is always a challenging time for a race, but I like the motivation of a run early in the year. Having run the half and the 10k, maybe I’ll try one of the other distances in 2019!

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