Latest reviews by Jenn LE
Always a great race for a great cause. I love running in honor of Wolfson Children's Hospital, and the amazing kids there. The relay is a fun way for teams to get together in support of the hospital
SWAG/T-SHIRTS: Nice, cotton t-shirt and distance-specific medal. The 2016 medal is the same as 2015's.
AID STATIONS: One water stop with really enthusiastic volunteers. Ultra runners are able to set up their own support stations close to the start/finish line.
COURSE SCENERY: I love urban running, but this course, unfortunately, did not capture any of the great highlights of the city. The first half of the 5K loop wound its way through access roads and the Everbank Field parking lot. The second part of the loop goes out to the riverfront, but is constrained to a very narrow walkway, with bricks and tight corners. Not my favorite :(
EXPO QUALITY: Team leaders pick up packets, but pick up is at a local running store and there is no expo.
ELEVATION DIFFICULTY: There was no notable elevation.
PARKING/ACCESS: Free parking was available in the Everbank Field lot across from the Baseball Grounds venue. Plenty of spots and easy enough to walk to the starting area, even carrying coolers and chairs.
RACE MANAGEMENT: Everything seemed to flow pretty smoothly, with plenty of volunteers and staff on hand to point out the way at some of the bigger turns and twists of the cours. There weren't any logjams at the start/finish lines, and it seemed like all the relay participants were able to trade off chip anklets without issue and without interfering with the ultra runners.
Love this race and can't wait til next year!
Full details here: http://runswithpugs.com/2016/03/02/race-report-wolfson-childrens-challenge-ultra-relay-1-31-2016/
My husband and I registered for the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon at the urging of my brother-in-law, who has run it for the past 10 years. Timing was a little inconvenient - it is held over Labor Day weekend, in a relatively popular vacation spot, and our son was already back in school, so we hated to pull him out. While we were excited for a beach/race vacation, coordination was rough.
That being said, as always Rock 'n' Roll put on a fabulous event. In fact, I had huge FOMO because I didn't think to sign up for the Mile on the Sand or the 5K that weekend. Even though the weather ended up being awful on the day of the challenge runs, it would have been cool to collect some extra bling.
Rock 'n' Roll always has great medals and gender-specific Brooks tech shirts. I loved the look of the giant Neptune statue on them for the 15th anniversary year. The medal was rather fun, too, with a beachy theme.
There were tons. Plenty of water and electrolyte drink, as well as Gu offered later in the race. In addition, there were tons of music stages set up along the way, offering entertainment to the runners.
For the most part, this is a pretty scenic course. I loved running through the downtown Virginia Beach area, and along the shaded streets. There is a rough patch through a military barracks. No shade, not much to look at, and while the cheerleaders and support groups were on point, it was a low point in the race. However, that ended up with a beautiful bridge over a waterway and almost a full mile on the boardwalk to the finish line. It was quickly forgotten.
Fantastic. Packet pickup was simple, and there was plenty to do, see and buy at the expo. my brother-in-law was even able to sign up in advance for next year's race at a deep discount. It's a nice perk to offer.
My brother-in-law swears this is a flat course, but for us, it was a bit hilly. Some bridges and inclines and dips on the road. Not earth-shattering but good to note if you're used to training in flat conditions.
The race is point to point, so we had to hop on a very early morning shuttle to the start line and then we could grab another on the way back. We actually ended up walking about another two miles back to our hotel after the race because we didn't want to deal with waiting on the shuttle. It wasn't my favorite, but it seemed to go smoothly.
For such a huge race, everything was in place as it should have been. Plenty of support, entertainment, and amenities. No shortage of bathrooms or on-course hydration and fuel. The bands were great and it's always fun to get to run in a holiday beach town.
The Best Damn Race series is absolutely top-notch. Capacity limits reduce crowding on the course, courses are mostly scenic, great amenities for runners including a fabulous post-race spread, and the best damn volunteers around. Quality medals, as well as free course and finish line photography. Plenty of parking in the surrounding areas, but the majority of lots charge, so have cash available.
The 10K Orlando course is mostly scenic, through downtown Orlando and the surrounding neighborhoods, with one stretch along a service road. There are some brick-paved areas, which were slick in the rain, but manageable. There were plenty of aid stations offering water and Nuun, which was a nice touch. Post-race, runners could get water, Pollo Tropical, Dunkin Donuts, fruit, chips, Coke/Diet Coke, Red Bull, sweets and beer.
Loved it and can't wait to be back!
See the full details here: http://runswithpugs.com/2015/03/10/race-report-best-damn-race-orlando-10k-2-27-2015/