Latest reviews by Brian Burk

(2018)
"A great running and racing opportunity"
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My opportunity to run the Clearwater Distance Classic Marathon came about when my boss knocked on my office door and announced “Do I have an opportunity for you, and it includes some travel.” After accepting the “opportunity” my runners mind set kicked into high gear.

Did I familiarize myself on the topic of the opportunity? Nooooooooo

Did I make travel arrangements? That could wait!

Did I tell my wife, DUH, I’m a runner I’m not crazy, I told my wife then I did the next best thing. I scoured the internet looking for an “opportunity” to race while away on business.

2018 Clearwater Distance Classic

The Clearwater Distance Classic provided a few race options, the Ultra 50k, the Marathon, a Half-marathon, a 5-miler and a 5k. I choose to run the marathon for a number of reasons. Namely, I didn’t want to beat myself up prior 2 weeks prior “the Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse 50-mile race” in the Outer Banks. The marathon seemed liked the perfect compromise for me.

Arriving in Tampa I hot footed it from the airport over to the Expo to pick up my race package. The expo was located at Coachman Park in Clearwater on Saturday and Sunday morning before the race. Most races do not offer race day packet pick up and I was thankful this race did just in case I was faced with some travel issues.

After surviving the winter blues the last few weeks in Virginia and North Carolina it was very nice to have race morning temps hovering in the mid 50s. I arrived on site early to get settled into my racing mood, listen to some old school rock & roll (“summer breeze makes me feel fine….”) and watch the race day crowd gather. When it was time to line up for the start of the race I positioned myself among a pack of runners behind the 4-hour pacer. I had no real goal in mind for this race. I didn’t taper, I didn’t eat all that well prior to the race and I really had no agenda in mind. I viewed this race as an opportunity to check “the run a marathon in Florida box” and have some fun along the way.

To read the rest of this review check out http://briansrunningadventures.com/clearwater-distance-classic-marathon/

Overall I enjoyed the course and the atmosphere.

T-shirts/Swag were nice...for the price thought there could have been a finisher item, hat, glass or something most races in the price point provide that extra.

Aid stations were plentiful but NO gel/fuel supplement in the later miles???

Expo was small but nice... I would recommend the race.

Brian
briansrunningadventures.com

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(2017)
"Outer Banks Marathon – Running and Racing 26.2 Miles"
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Outer Banks Marathon 2017

When I signed up for the Outer Banks Marathon, the first thing that came to mind was the ocean front, wind and sand. When I left the Outer Banks (OBX) after running the 2017 edition of the marathon what came to mind was that this race had it all.

NOTE: In all transparency, I was provided a free entry into the Outer Banks Marathon as a ambassador. But my feelings and thoughts about the race have not and will not be influenced.

This race had it all…

The expo/packet pick up were both well organized. I arrived on site early Saturday morning to cold and blustery winds with the Saturday races already in full effect. I was hoping the weather would take a turn for the better as I unloaded and headed for the expo. I was at the expo all day talking to runners and pushing my books, Running to Leadville and 26.2 Tips to run your best MARATHON. To be 100% honest, I never heard one complaint. Other than the harsh running conditions on Saturday everyone was happy and the excitement for marathon morning was in the air. The expo had a great mixture of running and area related goods. The traffic was steady all day I enjoyed meeting new and old friends while talking with a bunch of eager runners.

This race had it all.

Roads: The majority of the race was run on the roads around and within the Outer Banks. Prior to the race I dreaded the idea of endless miles trying to survive from one-mile marker to the next.

Trails: I had heard about the trails of the OBX marathon and although I consider myself an experienced trail runner, they did offer a nice little challenge.

Hills: The OBX course is flat. BUT......

To read more of this review visit: http://briansrunningadventures.com/outer-banks-marathon-running-and-racing-26-2-miles/

Overall: Great small town race, a great late fall get away and race.

T-shirts/Swag: Nice items to remember the race.

Aid Stations were SUPER...staff friendly and helpful.

Course: Varied terrain made the miles pass by.

EXPO: Small size but they had a little bit of everything.

Elevation: Flat with a daunting hill at the end.

Parking: No issues.

Race Management: No issues at all...they were on their game all weekend.

The local community and running clubs really came out to support us runners.

The provided Pace Team was spot on....

Highly recommend to anyone wanting an awesome race experience.

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(2016)
"Medoc Trail Marathon – Running – Racing – Training – Friends"
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Medoc Trail Marathon – A special kind of race

12122819_1104338499577305_9175450641807583063_n(Medoc and I)

Big city races do a great job of handling the masses. For the most part these races go off without a hitch. Thousands of people run their fastest or their first marathon along with 20,000+ of their closest friends. The crowd support and the work of the 1000+ volunteers propel the runners and make the events operate smoothly. With all the clock work type happenings of mega races it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Then there are the smaller marathons that go out of their way to make their races special. These races are often much smaller in size, locally run by dedicated runners and volunteers who go out of their way to offer support you just can’t get on a large scale. At smaller such events, it’s easy to feel like the race was put on just for you. Medoc trail marathon is one of those races.

When you sign up to run Medoc it’s more than just another race you’re joining a community. A race at Medoc mountain state park is a gathering of like-minded people who enjoy running, enjoy a challenge and work hard to make your marathon something to remember. To make the race special each Medoc runners gets their own specialty chosen trail name which is emblazoned upon a unique race bib. During the race the runners are challenged by a tough looped course but well placed volunteers are close enough to help with any race related need that may arise. The workers are always upbeat and ready to help out to ensure each racer has a great finish. After successfully covering three laps of the park and avoiding an encounter with the “Medoc” monster himself the finished chute is a welcome sight. Each finisher is presented with a large and heavy Medoc medal sure to capture the spirit (and namesake) of the race. To recover and refuel a victory meal (bowl of awesome potatoes soup) and snacks are waiting. For a small race Medoc has all the runner support and swag to rival even the largest of marathons.

Medoc also has Rocks, Roots, Hills and the Legend itself.

To read more on this race click here: http://briansrunningadventures.com/medoc-trail-marathon-running-racing-training-friends/

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(2016)
"2016 Tobacco Road Marathon"
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The Tobacco Road Marathon would be my 16th marathon quickly becoming one of my favorites, and one I will run again.

Packet Pick Up. Simple and to the point…at some of the big city marathons the race expo up-stages the race. I’ve logged nearly as many miles trying to get thu one big city marathon as I did running the race and left feeling beat up. NOT with Tobacco Road I left this expo with my needed items and ready for the following race day. The expo features plenty of vendors to meet your needs but not so many as to overwhelm you.

Race Day Parking: I dropped the ball here for a nominal fee I could have purchased an on site parking pass, but someone I forgot too. Even with that snafu, the organizer had easy to access and safe “runner drop off zones” where us runners could be dropped off near race start. There was also shuttle service from off site parking.

Starting Line and Runners Village: The most important thing on race morning is the potta-pottie line. This was the first race where I thought, “hey, they have enough johns for the crowd.” Yes there were lines but they moved fast, I set a new PR in my line with less than a 10 minute wait. Even made a few new friends…. Try that at NYC, MCM, or Chicago!

To read more about this great race click here http://briansrunningadventures.com/tobacco-road-marathon-running-my-16th-marathon/

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(2016)
"Heart & Sole Half Marathon"
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The 2016 race season started off kind of slow for me. I signed up for the Miami Marathon, along with the K-LOVE Cruise 2016 but #blizzard2016 also known as Jonas took care of that. Flights were cancelled up and down the east coast forcing us to hop a rental car and drive from Virginia to Florida. We arrived safely in Miami just as they were tearing down the marathon finish line. Turning the page I set my sights on warmer weather, no snow and the Tobacco Road Marathon in March. For a tune up race and to gauge my fitness I signed up for the Heart & Sole half marathon in Greensboro, NC.

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The Heart & Sole Half Marathon and 5k is a small town race and one with a lot of charm. Arriving with my wife Michele at the race site on a crisp and cool Saturday morning I was not sure what to expect. The half marathon field was small, around 150 runners, the 5k saw another 50 or so. What we did find was great parking near the start/finish line and a simple race day package pick up process. We were also greeted by friendly smiles and a cheerful crowd as we all tried to keep warm.

RACE KIT:
J&A racing beanie
Julbo Sunglasses
Pearl Izumi champions high tech t-shirt
Race Dots “Don’t be a pin head”
Hinde leggings
Injnji toe socks
Garmin GPS forerunner 201
Pearl Izumi road N2 shoes
Nike fleece gloves
Nathan hand held filled with a mix of Gatoraide and GU gel

The race started off with a simple but effective race brief and a wonderful singing of the national anthem. I do not know who the girl was but she rivaled the singers I’ve heard at national sporting events. Great Job… With the brief out of the way it was just a few minutes before we were off.

For more on this race click here: http://briansrunningadventures.com/running-the-heart-and-sole-half-marathon-26-lousy-seconds/

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