Latest reviews by Stephanie Dunlap

(2022)
"Run This Town Spectacular"
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I can not say enough good things about my experience at the Oakland Running Festival! This year I participated in the "We Run the Town" challenge which consisted of a 5k at 7:30 am followed by a half marathon at 9 am.

I drove down to Oakland on Friday, two days prior to the race, to pick up my bib at the expo. The expo was well organized and included complimentary beer from Drake's Brewery!

Come race day, things continued to be well organized despite having four different distances all running on the same day. I give two thumbs up to everything from aid stations, parking, finish line festivities, medals, swag, etc.! I am looking forward to next year's We Run the Town challenge and hope to see you there too!

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(2021)
"Running Is More Fun with Friends"
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Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This race was so fun and made Thanksgiving that much more enjoyable! 🙌🏻

The sweatshirt that I received as part of the swag is so soft and comfy! There was a little shipping delay on the race medal, but the race director kept communication open the whole time to update us at the medal shipment.

I would highly recommend you make this race your yearly Thanksgiving tradition!

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(2021)
"All Runners Count"
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I learned an important lesson at the Marin Endurance Festival... the lesson of what it means to have grit. By definition, grit is having courage and resolve. It takes courage to sign up for a half marathon. It takes resolve to make it to the finish line.

As a pacer with Beast Pacing, I have the distinct privilege of encouraging and pacing runners to the finish line. I've paced numerous races from when I first became a pacer five years ago, but this experience at the Marin Endurance Festival was one of my favorites.

The course was beautiful (a mix of road and trail overlooking the water), there was great swag (long sleeve tech shirt and medal), and there was a cold beer waiting for me at the finish line.

The cold beer waiting for me at the finish line was HUGE because I was the last person to cross the finish line. I was pacing the 3:45 half marathon finish time, which is also the course cut-off time. As a back-of-the-pack runner, you're always worried about what you're going to find at the finish line; Will there be any food and water left? Will I earn my medal?

I'm very happy to report that not only was there food and water left, there was also cold beer! I highly recommend the Marin County Half Marathon for all runners, even those who may be in the back of the pack.

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(2021)
"A Race for All Women"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I highly recommend the Virtual Women's Half Marathon as a must-run race for all women! There are truly not enough good things I can say about the race!

First, the race offered runner three race distances (5k, 10k, or half marathon) along with a double or triple challenge. This variety allowed all runners the option to participate.

Second, the race was active on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and did fun promotional giveaways which got participants excited about the event and kept everyone well informed. I participated in their free Facebook group which was comprised of runners who motivated, inspired, and encouraged one another. This helped to give the race a feeling of community.

Third, the race had amazing swag to offer their runners... varying medals based upon distances, removable charm on the medal, high-quality tech tees, reusable bag, headband, and more!

I look forward to participating in more Women's Half Marathon events in the future!

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(2021)
"Virtual Running Festival"
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T-Shirts/SWAG
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Truly a virtual running experience! Probably the number one feature of the Virtual Oakland Running Festival that I enjoyed the most was the DIY finish line banner sent to me in my packet. I tried to have my toddler hold it up for me as I returned home after completing 13.1 miles, but she wasn't too impressed.

The long sleeve shirt I received as a part of my swag was top-notch dryfit materials with thumbholes (my fav)! As for the medal, this too was top-notch, high quality with a unique design made specific for Oakland's unique area.

The 2020 Oakland Marathon was my first postponed race of 2020. Even in 2020, the Oakland Marathon and Running Festial did a great job mailing out packets to runners and still making it a memorable event.

I highly recommend the Oakland Marathon and I look forward to hopefully running the race in person in 2022!

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