Latest reviews by Sarah M

(2015)
"So much fun! "
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My first Bloomsday, and while I was intimidated by all the talk about the hills, I didn't think they were that bad. I came into this race being somewhat trained but not fully trained. I was nervous but also very excited.

The expo was AWESOME! One of the best running expos I have been to. Lots of vendors, a huge variety of running accessories and gadgets to look at, and very organized. I could have stayed at the expo for a few hours, but we were on a tight schedule that day. Picking up our race numbers was very easy and organized.

This race also used the timing system from Chronotrack. It is nice because the chip is on your bib, nothing to put on your shoe. Additionally people can get time updates via text, twitter or Facebook. Some friends came to watch the race and were able to see when we finished via this feature!

I started in the yellow group. That is the 2nd group to start after the elite runners. There is money that you can win in this race, so elite runners come from all over the world to compete. I thought that because I had to submit proof of my time that I would be in a group with people who ran a similar pace to me and not be crowded or slowed down the first few miles. I was in a group that ran similar pace to me, but we were SO crowded. That was the one part that was disappointing. It took 3 miles for it to kinda clear out a bit and not feel like you were running shoulder to shoulder with people next to you.

Besides that, the hills were challenging but not impossible. I believe that Doomsday hill was not the worst hill. There are a few hills before Doomsday hill (petit drive) that felt harder. It was a hot day, and thankfully there was lots of water along the course. The nice part is once you get up Doomsday hill, the course is pretty much flat for the last 3 miles!

I was pleasantly surprised at how organized the race was. Spokane is a smaller town, but they know how to handle this race. It was also super cool to see all the community out supporting the race. You run by a lot of houses towards the end of the race and people were out in their yards cheering us on. There were also people using their hoses and sprinklers to spray water mist out into the street so the runners could cool off if they wanted to. They were not bothered by the race but happy to have us there!

The course entertainment was great too. They had local bands and groups playing music and providing entertainment. My music on my phone didn't work for this race so I was very happy to have lots to look at and listen to the whole race.

My only disappointment at the finish they only had glasses of water, not bottles. So you had to hang around to get your fill of water. Other than that, everything was great. The entry fee is low ($18) and worth every penny! I would definitely run this race again, and will be recruiting more family to run or walk next year!

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(2015)
"9 miles of hills! "
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This race was challenging, but very fun. If you like chocolate, this race is for you!!! There is chocolate along the course, and the finishers chocolate cup is SO chocolatey and awesome. You also get a drawstring backpack and a hoodie. If you run the 15K, you get a finisher metal as well.
The 5K is not as hilly and challenging because the course is shorter. In the 15K, miles 4-8 were almost all hills. There was small portions of flat and some downhill, but it was mostly uphill. My quads were burning! It wasn't bad, I just wasn't prepared for that. Despite the hills, I really had fun at this race. It was very organized, the swag was awesome, and it was a lot of fun. I would definitely run it again.

Read more on my blog review: http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/if-it-doesnt-challenge-you-it-doesnt-change-you/

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(2015)
"Fun Virtual Race - Participate from Anywhere!"
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This was a virtual race which means that you can participate from anywhere and run any course that you would like. This was my first virtual race and I loved it! You can get together a group of friends or run it alone.

The way a virtual race works is you register just like any other race. They mail you your race packet which in this case included a bib, a finishers tank and a medal along with a few other goodies. There is a date RANGE in which you can run the race, so you can do it on your own terms. You can choose to run 5K or 10K. You track it on you watch or app, take a pic or race selfie and post it -- that is how you showed you completed the race. I enjoyed this because I was able to run a race with a virtual community of people on my own time and still have a ton of fun! I also got to pick the course for myself so that was cool too. I enjoyed another way to participate in races.

I gave 1 star to the aid stations because since this is a virtual race, you are in charge of your own aid, snacks, water and restrooms along the course you choose :)

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(2014)
"This race has become tradition"
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I have participated this race every December for the past 4 years. Last year, 2014, was my first year actually running instead of walking. This race has become a tradition of sorts.

The race is a LOT of fun. The course isn't the most scenic, you run thru downtown Seattle, but it is still a ton of fun especially with friends. Many business are decorated and the downtown corridor is really festive this time of year. Many people are dressed up in costumes, every one has jingle bells on and its a festive run that is appropriate for all levels.

The course is pretty flat, there is one hill but it is over quick. There are no aid stations which was not an issue due to the short length of the course, however at the finish line there is tons of bananas, bagels and water so you can fuel up. You get a finishers shirt, bib and jingle bells in your race packet.

There is no expo with this race, but after the race there is a large area where there are booths and vendors either giving away samples or selling things. After the race it is fun to stay in downtown and do some Christmas shopping or just touring around because you are in the middle of it all.

Great race and Im looking forward to doing it again this year!

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(2014)
"My first half marathon!"
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This was my first half marathon. I was super nervous, but the race was so organized, that gave me one less thing to worry about. They had an awesome timing system that used chronotrack so people could follow your time and see what part of the course you were on via text, twitter or Facebook. This was awesome because even people who didn't come down to portland could still see what was happening!
The race course was a nice, mostly flat, run along the Portland waterfront. The weather was the BEST! There was live music and entertainment, plenty of water and lots of fun. The swag was amazing too. Got a long sleeve tech shirt, a tree seedling (that is now growing in my yard), a medal, two commemorative coins and a reusable hoodie to keep warm after the race instead of those foil blankets. The post race snacks and goodies were plentiful, you could take as much or as little as you wanted. I remember wishing I had more hands to hold everything!
I was the least impressed by the expo, for being such a big race with so many participants I was hoping the expo would have more vendors and things to look at. It didn't have anything of interest for me which made packet pickup very quick.
Everything was very organized from the race day details to the pre-race communications. I was very happy that I chose this race for my first half marathon. I definitely recommend! It was worth traveling for!

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