Latest reviews by Charlene Ragsdale

(2016)
"Not awful, but lacked pizazz"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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In 2015, this event was scheduled for May (in Vegas?!?!) and had to be cancelled due to construction. The community seemed happy to have the race return and unfortunately, February was unseasonable warm for this year (2016).

We arrived at the promised "expo" to find a few tables for packet pickup. Not an expo. Everyone received a beautiful embroidered jacket unless you wanted to change sizes and then it was the generic jacket. No matter what size, the sleeves were too long for that size. You had to take an ill fitted jacket with the Vegas logo or switch for a smaller size (with longer arms) and no logo. It didn't matter to me, but several participants voiced their disgust.

The race was much smaller than anyone thought it would be. I know several who have run in AZ or CO and they were quite shocked to see so few racers. (based on results - there were about 1,900 participants). While this race series might be good in other cities, their introduction to the Las Vegas market was poor.

Again, no real fan fare at the start. The start line arcg way was TINY compared to what you see on their website and it disappeared before the 5k and 15k. Maybe it didn't stay inflated? I know that is a hazard of inflatables.

5k started 15 minutes late and the 15k started 16 minutes late.

The course started at the Linq, went to the Strip, turned down Flamingo onto Howard Hughes. Onward to Paradise then onto Desert Inn. That was the worst and most boring part of the course. With the road closures, it was impossible to have spectators and that is when we needed the support the most. Then, when we reached Valley View, it was a turn around and back to the Linq.

The aid stations were WELL stocked with water, Nuun and chocolate. Thank you volunteers!!!

I was bored out of my mind on this course and I was not the only one who thought that. The benefit is that the course was beautifully managed. Police officers and volunteers with flags. I couldn't ask for a better course set up! Thank you.

After the finish (and the Arch way was SO small) we received our beautiful medal and onward to our Finisher Cup with the goodies. The volunteer energy was off the chart. Loved them.

**I will also add the Race Announcer was perfect. A real pro and I enjoyed him!!!

If you are a competitive racer and have to run this course, I would not recommend this event. If you are a recreational runner, want to stop for chocolate and more, this is the event for you. :)

I left the race very underwhelmed and wonder why they went so bare bones on a race that has been so popular in other cities. I recommend the company spend time and resources to advertise and get more participants.

Most importantly, add some pizazz onto the course at Desert Inn. Pipped in music - but something would really enhance the runner experience while on the course (good aid stations is only part of the equation, please think about what it would be like to run on a stretch of road and what you can do to give the runner a great experience on that road). I may or may not run it next year, but it is unlikely. I don't regret running the event, but I did expect a larger event with greater course support (spectators).

This is Vegas. Everything is over the top, they have the potential to make this a great race, but the Inaugural year was flat. Sorry.

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(2015)
"Avengers Half Marathon - my second year"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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This was my 2nd year to run the Avengers Half. The first year (2014) was the year of the now, famous wind storm. I came prepared for the Santa Ana winds, this year. No hat nor visor.

EXPO: If I have any complaint is that the RunDisney expos are always the same. Same booths, same look, same vibe. Nothing different. With that, they are well spaced out and organized. I could easily find the vendor booths I was looking for and get out the door without feeling like I was stuck in a sardine can. Their official merchandise Disney area is also a concern. Way too small and they create holding areas to wait to get into the area. That could easily be solved by moving the merch area upstairs to the ballroom. RunDisney could also add more vendor space up there too, as long as the official merchandise is in the same area.

The Swag. Disney swag is always top notch. It doesn't matter the color, their sizing, the designs are always my favorites. I love how they provide long sleeved for Avengers.

Race Start: while some would disagree that a 5:30am start is too early, I think it is great. We can start, get the race done and still early enough to enjoy our day. Disney provides a great holding area, if you will before we go into the corrals. Complete with music, character sightings and more. Disney does not miss a detail.

Getting into the corrals is wonderful. They have tight, tight security to ensure the runner is in their assigned corrals. I appreciate that, so much.

The announcers (Rudy & Clarissa) are a fixture on the RunDisney scene and this weekend, they were on the top of their game. Nothing is better than hearing them send us on our way into race-land.

The course was different than last year. We spent quite a bit of time along side the riverbank, but I enjoyed this course vs last year. Of course, keep in mind I was just trying to stay upright and not get hit in the face with flying palm tree leaves and bibs. This year was truly the most perfect weather I have ever raced in.

Going into Anaheim Stadium is always a treat and it never disappoints. Of course, running through the park is the best. Nothing like breathing Disney air, while running a race.

The medals were incredible (or course) - same as last year but with a slightly different design.. I like how Disney uses the same design for 5 years and then changes it up. I opted not to run the Infinity Challenge, but I saw the medal and was very impressed.

I cannot wait until next year. I hope to bring more people with me, it's really a unique experience and the vibe is unlike the other Disney races (all good). I look forward to receiving my Age Division award, they always do such a nice job with the awards.

Thank you, RunDisney!

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(2015)
"Mountains 2 Beach Half Marathon isn't what I thought it would be"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
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I originally registered for M2B marathon to give me a BQ. With a recent injury, I dropped down to the Half. My brother came along and did the 5k (won 2nd Overall, BTW).

I had heard the course was "wonderful' and scenic. Not really. I found myself staring at a chain link fence for a great deal of the time. While the course was not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it wasn't all that great. It was not what it was cracked up to be.

With that, the management does a great job in managing this race, I give them big thumbs up for their professionalism. Not sure why they give out "one size fits" all cotton tshirts to the overall winners? That was a disappointment, to say the least.

I wouldn't recommend the race as I feel there are other races in the area I enjoyed the course more and had a better chance at a PR. I know some enjoyed the race, but I did meet a number of people who felt the same as I did. Lots of hype for this race.

For the price, it's a fair race, but if you are traveling, I would put your money into another race. Sorry, that's just me. I like the race so little, I didn't even keep the pictures.

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(2015)
"BBSC Mardi Gras"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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This race was managed by the previous RD for many years. This was BBSC's first race, as the new owner. I was excited to see what they would do with the race.

They did not disappoint.

First, the management was welcoming to everyone. Never once did any runner feel they were not valued. Their presence and attitude was professional and certainly personable.

The race took place at the Equestrian Park in Henderson, NV. It has become a very popular location for races since it is closed to vehicular traffic and easy to find.

The entire race is paved, with no obstructions. The start of both distances is on a slight incline and then levels out. On the out and back, it is a good decline to bring home a solid finish. Their finish line area is professional with a great arch and a wonderful announcer (complete with music, of course).

Their medals were from the previous RD, so I am not going to judge BBSC on the quality. It will be nice to see their medals and beautiful satin ribbons.

What impressed me the most is their ethics. At the 5k turn around, I saw a 10ker turn around and act like she was 2nd place Overall. Now, keep in mind - the 10k'ers started 10-15 minutes ahead of the 5k'ers. When I crossed the finish line and saw her celebrating her 2nd place OV, I reported what I saw to the RD, he promptly went to the timing laptop to confirm her official start time and instructed the timing staff to DQ her.

In all my years of running locally, I have never seen a RD DQ any racer (even though they should have!). BBSC won me over, at that time.

Speaking of timing. I adore their timing system! Within a minute of you crossing the finish line, you can look up your time and it prints out a receipt. On that receipt it shows your time and place. If you don't want the receipt, you can watch the monitors.

They have a fun awards ceremony for the OV and AG winners, including podiums. The runners really liked that.

Good job, BBSC on making your mark on the Las Vegas running community!

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