Latest reviews by Mark Davidhizar

(2015)
"Small town race, great environment "
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This is a small town race but with decent competition. If you like the large crowds cheering you on, this race is not for you. If you like a small town race with random swag, plus a shirt, thus is the race for you. One of the sponsors is a grocery store and every runner received a bag of groceries. The kids one mile run received a bag I'd coloring books, crayons, candy, snacks, and other things. The price is right to. $18 for the 5k and $8 for kids fun run. Kids run also receives a shirt. Shirts are cotton (maybe the only down side but for the price, it's understandable). The race is run very smoothly as well. The course starts at the local county courthouse, runs out into the country and back into town. There are a few rolling hills but nothing major.
Awards run 4 deep in age groups. All kids mile runner receive a medal as well and are recognized at awards.
Highly recommend this race if you live in northeast Indiana and like the small local races.

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(2015)
"Hotter than Hot!!!"
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Sunburst races have been going on for 30 years now. The only reason I can think of that they are called Sunburst is because the sun is just beating down on you. They offer race distances of 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon.
The usual drawl to this race is that the race typically finishes on the 50 yard line of Notre Dame stadium. For me, I can do without this part but others love it. The 2014 race as well as the upcoming 2015 race did/will not finish in the stadium due to renovations.
The course starts in down town South Bend. It's hard to give my thoughts on what to expect from the course because it changes every year. In the years I have ran it, I have never run in the same course.
The one thing I wish they would do is use the campus more for the course. It is truly the best place to run in South Bend and yet, they don't use it much for the course (disclaimer: Notre Dame does not operate the race). There are a couple of nice spots along the course but nothing special.
Also, since the start and finish are not at the same point, be ready to walk 2 miles back to your car or stand in a long line for a shuttle bus.
If your a big ND fan, I would say come check it out. If your not, you might want to skip it.
Also, I don't recommend the marathon. It can get in the 80's and 90's on race day.
If you are interested in how my race went, check out my blog.
Sunburst half marathon | Mark to Boston 2015 Blog
https://marktoboston2015.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/sunburst-half-marathon/

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(2015)
"The most miserable/rewarding experience of my life"
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What can you say? ITS THE BOSTON FRICKIN MARATHON!!!
Lifetime goal was met this April when I finally got to run in this prestigious event. Everything was better than I could have ever thought of, even though the weather far from cooperated on race day.
The days leading up to the marathon were great as well. My advice, if you can get into Boston early enough, go to the expo on Friday and rest your legs the rest of the weekend. Our schedule did not work out for us to do so and we went to the expo on Saturday. Plan to spend a few hours on your feet when you go. Every shoe company that you can think of as well as every running product (or non running product) as well as other races. It can be mass chaos. The line on Saturday morning to get race bibs was not too bad.
Before going, check out twitter and other social media sites to see when and where your favorite professional or former runner will be. Was hoping to see Bill Rogers but after meeting Meb at an event at a local hotel, that was enough for me. Also on Saturday morning, check out the 5k and the mile races as well.
If you are looking for a way to stay off your feet, Duck Tours are a great way to stay off your feet and see the city (make reservations ahead of time as marathon weekend fills up fast).
Race day has its draw backs with an early wake up call to get on the bus to head to the starting line but if you qualified and got in, it's a sacrifice worth making. There is no bag check at the starting line so be prepared to donate anything you don't plan on wearing when running to charity (there is a place to leave your bags where you load in the buses to have waiting for you at the finish.
As you would expect, the course is very well staffed with volunteers and getting the hydration you need should not be a problem.
Many will tell you to relax really, don't pound your legs too much on the down hills and save them for the late miles. They are right. The scream tunnel is as advertised. Very very loud. People say there are three Bewton Hills. I think there are 4 with the last being Heartbreak Hill. I would say the 3rd hill is the toughest though. After Heartbreak, it's all down hill and there is no better feeling than seeing the Citgo sign and finally the right on Herford, Left on Boylston. The crowds are unreal at the finish.
If you get the opportunity to run Boston, take it. There truly is nothing like it.

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(2015)
"Friday Night Racing"
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The Green Day Frolic 5k is held on the first Friday night of every February on the crushed limestone path along the river in downtown Goshen, IN. Typically this is a very cool/windy race. Discouragingly, the course has changed repeatedly over the last few years, so trying to precipict or know what the course will be like before the race is difficult. It used to start in the middle of town, now it starts on the 8 foot wide path which makes the start crowded. The whole race is run on the limestone path which is nice on a drier day, but if it is wet, it an be messy.
The course is mostly flat except for one section where you go through an underpass tunnel. The course is also an out and back course so depending on the wind direction, be ready to find someone to tuck in behind.
I am not sure if it was to keep the race a "green race" or if it was something that was overlooked, but there were no aid stations on the course. I am guessing that since the race ran along a canal, they didn't want cups ending up in the river. Also it is typically cool, so water mid race is not too important.
Awards were nothing too impressive, just generic medals. They did have the race name engraved on the back but don't say your place or age division or even year. Also, tshirt a were cotton and really don't change at all, not even the color, over the years.
Pre registration fee was $18, day of is $25. If you pre register, the price is good for the race. $25 is a bit much for me though. If your a local runner, it's a good local race. But I don't believe it is worth a long trip for unless there are other reasons you are coming to town.

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(2015)
"Winter weather, clear course"
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This is the earliest half marathon of the year in southern Michigan. The half marathon is run on the first Sunday in March. It is cold, some times snowy, but the city does a great job of ensuring that the streets are clear and safe.
Also the race is very well staffed with volunteers and there are frequent aid stations with high energy volunteers. The course is very well marked, is somewhat hilly and runs on some roads and some bike paths (about 50/50).
The shirts are nice, and there is a lot of post race food to choose from. The finishing medal is simple but the cost of the race entry was low. Age group awards are hard to earn as the competition is tough (finished 7th overall and 5th in age division) and only 1st place received overall awards.
If your looking for a good early year half marathon, give this one a try.

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