Latest reviews by Ben Wachter

(2017)
"Another fun year at Richmond!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my 3rd year running and pacing at the Anthem Richmond Marathon. The morning started off chilly the first few miles as you're running through downtown so it's rather shady but it opens up soon enough. The course overall is very nice with rolling hills, nice views of the James River and well tended neighborhood parties offering extra course support and cheers. There's a reason this is called 'The Friendliest Marathon'. Not to mention the awesome downhill finish to the post race party.
The expo was better this year than in years past and seems to be growing so lets hope that continues.
The after party is on Browns Island and is roomy giving everyone plenty of room to meet up and stretch out, this year they offered after run yoga too.
The water stops are plenty, they offer 2 gel stops and plenty of extra support in candy stops, soda stops and even a beer stop.

My one gripe this year is the problem with parking. It seemed like the parking garages were gouging people as I paid $16 to park in a garage that is normally $7, but the race directors do not have any control over that.

The swag this year was a LS tech shirt, a fleece blanket and a steel pint glass. OF course there's a medal as well. In years past they offered a hat, but I'm glad they changed it as the hats were not that good.

All in all I recommend Richmond to anyone looking fora good fall marathon.

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(2017)
"Hot, humid, but fun."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my first time running the Crawlin' Crab half. The course is very nice, especially along the James River at about the halfway point. Around mile four you run past several seafood restaurants and the smell can be a bit much. The roads are mostly paved turning to cobblestone/paved gravel then back to plain paved.
There are plenty of water stops along the course and they all offer Gatorade or water. They had a Gu stop at mile 7 as well.
The Start/Finish is well organized, and everything is clearly marked with plenty of volunteers to direct you if needed.
The expo was very small, with a few vendors and some race promoters and they did not offer packet pick up on race day for the half marathon.
After you finish and you get your medal and hat you can go to the 'Party Zone' where they had about 10 to 12 craft breweries available with something for everyone. Also you could get free soup from Bakers Crust, a local restaurant chain. Since it was in the 70 to 80's temperature wise soup may not have been the best thing to eat after running a half.

Over all I enjoyed the race, I just wish the weather was not so hot but that cant be helped, and I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a fall half marathon.

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(2017)
"More like evening 4 miler"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was the 13th running of the Moonlight 4-miler and the last time at this location. The race is is very low key with 142 runners this year which is pretty good considering it's on a Thursday night at 7:00pm. Bib pick up is an hour before the race starts and this years swag was a pint glass.
The course is a "L" shaped loop with 220' of elevation gain mostly during mile 2 and at the end.
After the race everyone has popsicles and there's a small award ceremony with ribbons going to the top 3 in age groups.
The director said he is looking for a new location and I hope he finds one for next year as this is a fun run to do with a group of friends on a nice summer afternoon.

Bonus points for the brewery down the road staying open later for the runners. Thanks Kindred Spirit Brewery!

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(2017)
"What's up with the nice weather?"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I last ran Patrick Henry 4 years ago on a hot August morning. It was my 1st half marathon and I swore I would never do another. Out of the blue I decided to run halves again and I'm loving them. Recovery and training is so much easier then preparing fora full, so I decided to go back to Ashland, VA and tackle mile 11.
There's no expo, just packet pick up the night before/morning of and parking can be difficult as Ashland is a small town but over 800 runners showed up to tackle the course. In years past the weather has been, hot, humid, raining then humid. To get to the point it's miserable. This year the starting temp was 60 and the sun was out. They had plenty of port o potties out but there's still a line (there's always a line) and bag drop was nice and looked to run smooth. The start /finish was right along the train tracks and they had a train whistle sound the start of the race.
The course is nice, winding through town before heading out into the countryside. Mile 5 and 6 are rolling hills and highly cambered country roads so staying toward the center is best. Mile 11 is almost all uphill.
After race the food tent is well stocked and the local brewery opened early and offered discounts to all the runners.
Over all Patrick Henry is a fun tough half marathon that is a good benchmark for your fall marathon training. I will do it again next year.

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(2017)
"More like evening 4 miler"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was the 13th running of the Moonlight 4-miler and the last time at this location. The race is is very low key with 142 runners this year which is pretty good considering it's on a Thursday night at 7:00pm. Bib pick up is an hour before the race starts and this years swag was a pint glass.
The course is a "L" shaped loop with 220' of elevation gain mostly during mile 2 and at the end.
After the race everyone has popsicles and there's a small award ceremony with ribbons going to the top 3 in age groups.
The director said he is looking for a new location and I hope he finds one for next year as this is a fun run to do with a group of friends on a nice summer afternoon.

Bonus points for the brewery down the road staying open later for the runners. Thanks Kindred Spirit Brewery!

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