Latest reviews by Fallon C

(2016)
"Surf City 13.1"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I keep wanting to have an amazing experience at Surf City but no luck yet.
The expo is fairly large but packed into a small space. Bib and shirt pickup is pretty easy though. The shirts are always very nice and something I actually wear again.
The race course is primarily on PCH which affords great ocean views. If your looking for a flat course- this is it! However, things were not smooth running.
Ok, the corrals. What is the point of asking a participant their projected finish time if it's not used for corral placement? More than a few people in my corral were in a similar position. I put down a projected 2:10 finish time for the half. The 3:30 pacers were about 2000 people ahead of me.
Water Stations- the race has a lot of water stations, which is great since it has hit the 80's the last 2 years. However, they weren't staffed very well. During the last half of the race the stations were running out of water and cups to put it in. I saw runners have to pour their own water more than once.
The crowd support is great and the views are pretty amazing. A beach finish is hard to beat. The medals are amazing- seriously this year's is a beast! The post race food is pretty good too.

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(2015)
"Big Sur 2015"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

So much awesome here. The race course runs through Monterrey and Pacific Grove and the ocean views are just amazing. The aid stations were amazing- tons of water, electrolyte, Vaseline and Gu's. All the stations were than adequately manned as well. Music artists were spaced out along the course as well- so much better than just music being pumped through a radio. Mile 2 took runners through a tunnel that was turned in mini rave. It was awesome.
Due to out and back sections of the course, it was possible to see the elites run by on their way back. Talk about inspirational! The course had minimal inclines and was runner/ walker friendly. Crowd support was pretty impressive as well. The medal was a ceramic otter which looks really cool.

The expo was medium sized and had a good array of vendors. The shirt was a nice tech shirt but did seem to run small.

The scenery alone makes this course worth running. It is very well organized and the perfect size- around 9000 people.

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(2015)
"City to the Sea 13.1"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my 3rd time running City to the Sea and first time on the new course. Packet pickup is super easy and in the parking lot of a local running store. It's very low frills but for a smaller race it does its job. The race proceeds benefit the local junior college athletic program.

The race starts in the heart of downtown SLO and parking close is very easy. The finish line in Pismo Beach- a few towns south of SLO. It's a point to point race and they offer shuttles from the finish line back to the start. I have a ride at the finish so I have never tested out the shuttles.
The starts out with a gentle decline in elevation for the first few miles. These miles run along one of the main roads in town. A little before 5 miles you run under the freeway to a frontage road. This is where the rolling hills start. The remainder of the course is a series of gentle rollers as you run towards Avila Beach. You take a break from road running for a mile on a tree covered path. The course then winds through neighborhoods before finishing along the coastline at Dinosaur Caves Park.
The water stops are adequately spaced out along the course and always well stocked with plenty of volunteers. They also offer GU at a few of the stations. The crowd support is great for a smaller race and offers encouragement when needed. My only real gripes with the race is the finish line. The finish line chute is very narrow and it is easy to bottleneck with other runners. Also, the water table always seems to be hard to find.

The races provides awesome medals and good shirts. It's a challenging course and I look forward to running it again.

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(2015)
"Central Coast Cancer Challenge 2015"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Central Coast Cancer Challenge offers a 5k and 10K course that loops through downtown SLO. 1 loop for the 5K and 2 for the 10K. The course starts with a 1/2 mile downhill then a steady 1.5 climb, just past mile 2 you turn around for a downhill finish. Negative splits are almost guaranteed on this course. :)
Water stops are spaced evenly throughout the course which is good as September in CA is usually very warm.
For a small race- couple hundred people- the expo area is pretty impressive. Plenty of food and water along with physical therapists and stretching stations. Music is pumped pretty loudly as well and livens up the atmosphere.
The race benefits local cancer funds and survivors can run for free and get a different shirt showing them as a survivor. It's can be a pretty emotional race but it's great to see everyone out there running.

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