Latest reviews by Katherine Pease

(2017)
"Keeping it sweet"
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This is a great fall race that's a fun experience for experienced runners and newbies alike!

Expo: It's a good size expo. Some local and national brands come and don't forget to grab your chocolate square! I went on the first day and it was well managed and easy to get around!
Pre-race: Plenty of port-o-potties and even though the 5k was finishing as the 15k was kicking off, it was really well managed and low-key. It was fun watching the 5k finishers while I was getting ready for my run. The corrals were a little small but once I was in I was able to find some space.
Race: I had run this race in 2015 and really enjoyed it. I remembered chocolate and marshmallows on the course, but this year there was just gummy bears at each water and Nuun stops. These were frequent and well staffed! The course is pretty fun, it's run through some downtown areas and some residential areas in Denver. The neighborhoods were fun to run through since some families came out to cheer us on. The medals for this are pretty amazing and the additional keychain is super fun!
Post-race: This is really what this race is about - the hot chocolate! Even though it was a warm morning the hot chocolate and goodies were still delicious and well appreciated.

Overall: While this is giant race series that holds races across the country, it still feels like a local race. I love the chocolate and it was a well staffed and friendly race for all fitness levels!

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(2017)
"Rocking Around Denver"
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The Rock 'n' Roll race experience is always great. No matter where you go the expo and race organizing are top notch!

The expo is at the Western National complex and they divide the hall into a maze of sorts to direct you to pick up your bib, then your tshirt and swag, then through the Brooks Merchandise area, and then out to the general expo. The merchandise you could buy were all SUPER cute too. I ended up buying a tank top which is rare for me these days.

Race day was a breeze. The start and finish are at the Civic Center in Denver with plenty of parking and open space for all the runners. The race course was a great tour of the city, with bands every mile or 2 and the water/Gatorade stations were frequent and well staffed.

What really makes the Rock 'n' Roll race series stand out is the finish area. Grab a beer and saddle up the band and enjoy some post-race camaraderie. There were vendors and food trucks in the CIvic Center area too. Love it!

Overall, this is a solid stop on the Rock 'n' Roll tour that you should add to your list!

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(2016)
"One of my favorites!"
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This was RunDisney's first race at the Disneyland Paris park and they did a fantastic job. The course was almost entirely in the parks with lots of characters and the cast members had great spirit. Fantastic!

Expo

The expo was open Thursday-Sunday of race weekend and bib pickup was easy and three was both runDisney merchandise and vendors there with lots of items to offer. I went early evening Friday and the expo was pretty quiet and easy to get around.

Race

The race was on Saturday 9/24 and started at 7am right behind the Disney Event Arena (where the expo was held). They had 2 race announcers and a team to help us warmup which helped pass the time as we waited for the race to start. There were 3 official corrals plus a wheelchair start but they then broke each corral into small groups to space people out. It worked really well!

Once we started we went into the Disneyland Park first and enjoyed MANY character stops and getting to run all over the park including through the castle! We then ran over to the Studios Park where again lots of charters and cheering cast members awaited us. We then ran around a parking garage which took us to the finish area where the announcers were greeting us with LOTS of enthusiasm. Overall it was an amazing event and exactly what you want from runDisney!

Post Race

There were characters at the finish which was super fun. The medal was great and we got a nice snack bag with a cereal bar, banana, and other small goodies. The finish area was a little crowded around the characters but other than that plenty of space to get around.

Overall if you want an excuse to go to Europe this is a great race weekend to check out!

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(2016)
"Beautiful scenery on a downhill course!"
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This race was seriously gorgeous! It was a flat downhill course through beautiful Poudre Canyon on a point to point course.

Expo - Bib Pick up was at the Sierra Trading Post in Fort Collins, CO. Simple and quick with some nuun out to quench your thirst. Nothing flashy but it did the job. There was the option to pay more to either have a it mailed to you or do race day pick up if you don't want to go up to Fort Collins the day before the race.

Race - This was a point to point course and so there is transportation involved. We parked at Poudre High School and then made th 45 min drive up to the start line. It all went smoothly but it did mean we had to be there by 6:30 for an 8am start. The waiting area at the top was really cool at the Mishawaka Amphitheater. There were plenty of bathrooms and free coffee and water out for all runners. We then lined up (in no real order) and walked down the hill a bit to the start and we were off.

We wound our way downhill through Poudre Canyon enjoying the beautiful canyon views and the beautiful day. The course was all road but we shared it with the local traffic so for much of the race we had 1/3 or less of the road to run on with 2 way traffic. Not ideal but it worked. We then finished at the bottom of the canyon.

Post-Race - The post race area was really fun. Because it's a green event we got our medal and then we got our pint glass which we could fill up with water or beer (2 free beer tickets). This was great because it was functional and reduced waste. There was music and vendors in the finish area and LOTS of food. It was awesome. Only half marathon finishers got a medal though.

Overall - I'd recommend this race if you like the vibe and views of a trail race but are looking for a fast course. It's the best of all worlds!

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(2016)
"Pancakes, Beer and Running!"
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This race was small, well organized and with as many ameneties as the large races. It was put on by a company called Green Events Colorado which puts on a race every month in Fort Collins (all on different courses) so they've got their system down. This race weekend had 4 different events, a half marathon, 10k, 5k, and a kids 1 miler all run near downtown Fort Collins.

The 5k had a special feature since you got to race the historic trolley car 21 and if you can beat it you get an special tshirt! How cool is that?!

There was an option to pick up your bib and race shirt the day before the race at Raintree Athletic Club in Fort Collins but I opted to pick up my bib the morning of the race. It was a breeze picking everything up, no one was in line to get their bib so I just walked up and was able to get my bib and tshirt really fast.

All the runners and organizers were really relaxed and it made for a really nice pre-race morning.

The course was a nice loop on the west side of Fort Collins. We went down the Grandview Ave, then up Taft, then along the Poudre Bike Trail and then back downtown. We did this loop twice which I thought was going to be annoying but it turned out to be great! I made mental notes along the route on the first loop so I could anticipate the distance on the second loop. It helped a lot to prepare me for the remaining distance.

Running down the tree lined and shaded Grandview Ave out west was beautiful. Running on Taft road was okay but it was a two lane road with wide shoulders and we only had the shoulder, not the best but it didn't make me that nervous. Running along the trail was really nice and relaxing, it ran along a creek and past farms with horses, it was just really beautiful. There was a small segment that was on dirt and sand path, It wasn't very long but it was right around the 6/12 mile mark. Then turned downtown back to the park.

The 10k followed the same route as the half marathon but started 30 minutes later and the 5k started at 8:30 and just went out and back along Grandview Ave.

With a final turn and then another into the park we came to the finish. At the finsh area there were not any bottles of water or larger cups for water which was a bit frustrating. I just hung out at the water coolers filling up the 4oz water cups a few dozen times.

Water stops with both Nuun and water were frequent. It was just a great day and I was able to find my running happy place on many sections of the course.

After chilling, drinking some water and getting the whole gang across the finsih line it was time for PANCAKES! To be specific Snooze made blueberry pancakes with a lavendar creme sauce and strudel. Yum! After some pancakes it was time for some O'Dell's beer and relaxing and catching up post race.

Overall, this was a solid race and one I'll definitely keep on my local roster. The organizers were on time and put together. There were lots of vendors at the end. The pancakes and beer were delicious and it was a beautiful day! The only thing that was a bit on the lackluster side was that at the finish there weren't any full water bottles or large cups for water only 4oz cups to full up with water one cup at a time. Not the best way to rehydrate after a race.

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