Latest reviews by Sara D

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

Registration: Registration was super easy as it is for all Rock n Roll events. I registered VERY early (possibly during one of their promotions) and got a highly discounted race fee. As it gets closer to the race online registration prices increase. It is possible to register onsite at the expo, but I believe it was almost $175+ to register for the half marathon.

Expo: Honestly, I was a little disappointed by the expo this time around. It might have been because I didn't make it there until midway through the second day, but I felt there were not as many vendors as previous years. It all felt kind of cramped and chaotic too.

Swag: All runners received a short sleeved technical shirt that was gray this year. It's a great quality and the design is fun, but I miss the highlighter green from last year! I love neon! The medal this year was amazing! So much fun! Rock n' Roll medals are always amazing and this one definitely didn't disappoint.

Start Line: There was a wave start that I expected to take much longer than it actually did. I was in one of the last corrals and crossed the starting line 30 mins after the official start. This may seem like a bit of a wait, but after my experience in Philly last year when it took over an hour for me to cross the starting line, 30 minutes was awesome.

Course: The course was SO fun! There was great crowd support (including a high-fiving pug!) and everyone was so happy to be there. Awesome bands, per usual, though I wish there were more along the river as that tends to be a long, somewhat boring stretch. There are 2 "hills" for an otherwise flat course. They really aren't that challenging and are at the beginning of the race, so it's nice to get them out of the way.

Aid Stations: There was an aid station every 1.5 miles (or so). There were well stocked with water at every station and Gatorade at every other station. There was 1 station at about mile 8 with Glukos blocks and gels, but by the time we got there they had run out. I'm glad we decided to bring our own fuel! The volunteers at the stations were so wonderful and encouraging.

Other: The weather is always a factor in the middle of September. It was much improved from last year, but still humid. Luckily there was some cloud over and a nice breeze, which made it much more bearable.

Check out my full weekend recap at: http://sararunsthecape.blogspot.com/2017/09/rock-n-roll-philly-recap.html

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(2017)
"A wonderful run through my favorite city"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration: Registration was super easy as it is for all Rock n Roll events. I registered VERY early (possibly during one of their promotions) and got a highly discounted race fee. As it gets closer to the race online registration prices increase. It is possible to register onsite at the expo, but I believe it was almost $150+ to register for the half marathon.

Expo: Like I said for the 5k, I LOVE RnR expos! They're so fun! I think my sister and I spent 2 hours just walking around and taking it all in. There were tons of vendors and freebies, plus a huge Brooks area with awesome RnR Chicago merch.

Swag: All runners received a short sleeved technical shirt that I think was the same for the 10k and half marathon. The design itself was sort of boring, but the shirt is good quality and I'll definitely wear it when I run. I did the Remix Challenge this year (running the 5k on Saturday and half on Sunday) which earned me an extra medal. The medals are amazing and heavy. They're my favorites!

Start Line: There was a wave start that I expected to take much longer than it actually did. I was in one of the last corrals and crossed the starting line 30 mins after the official start. This may seem like a bit of a wait, but after my experience in Philly when it took over an hour for me to cross the starting line, 30 minutes was awesome. Toward the later corrals I felt like they were not strict where people lined up and I definitely saw a lot of bib numbers mixed in. Overall, I don't find this to be a huge deal as long as people generally respect the "rules of the road" (i.e. stay to the right) but it can make for a hectic start.

Course: The course was SO fun! I grew up in Chicago and it was great to run through so many neighborhoods and past so many landmarks that I grew up with. I loved every second on it and appreciated getting to see a side of the city that I haven't really experienced before. There was a ton of on-course entertainment including bands and DJs. I also thought the crowd support was amazing at every point on the course.

Aid Stations: There was an aid station every 1.5 miles (or so). There were well stocked with water at every station and Gatorade at every other station. There was 1 station at about mile 7.5 with Glukos blocks and gels. There was another station at approximately mile 11 with soaked sponges. Those felt amazing at stage in the race! The volunteers at the stations were so wonderful and encouraging.

Other: There is no official parking, but a week or so before the event there is an email that goes out with multiple options for parking which was super simple to use. The only problem was that on Sunday morning the road closures made our chosen parking spot a bit harder to get to.

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(2017)
"Gorgeous scenery for a 5k!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration: Registration was super easy as it is for all Rock n Roll events. I registered VERY early (possibly during one of their promotions) and got a highly discounted race fee. As it gets closer to the race online registration prices increase. It is possible to register onsite at the expo, but I believe it was almost $80 to register for the 5k.

Expo: If I could think of 1 word for it- it would be AMAZING! I love the quality of RnR expos and Chicago didn't disappoint. There were tons of vendors and freebies, plus a huge Brooks area with awesome RnR Chicago merch.

Swag: All runners received a short sleeved technical shirt that was specific to the 5k. The design itself was sort of boring, but the shirt is good quality. The medal was wonderful and heavy, as it always is for these events. I loved the design of it this year, so fun!

Start Line: There was a wave start that I expected to take much longer than it actually did. I was in one of the last corrals and crossed the starting line in maybe 5 mins, if that. It was well organized, though people did not stick to their assigned corrals. There was also no real enforcement of the corrals either, which was a little annoying.

Course: The course was absolutely stunning and was almost all along the lakefront. The views were spectacular and I really could not have asked for anything better. The only thing that was a little nerve wracking was the conditions of the paths that were used. They were very rutted with very loose stone. I saw more than one person fall. Fortunately, everyone was okay.

Aid Stations: There was 1 aid station for the 5k, which I thought was okay. There was enough water for everyone, so I can't really complain.

Other: For a Saturday morning 5k, there was still a ton of crowd support! It was wonderful and really uplifting to see everyone. There is no official parking, but a week or so before the event there is an email that goes out with multiple options for parking which was super simple to use.

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(2017)
"Hills. And some nice water views."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
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I signed up for this race with the thought of running it as a training/practice run for my goal race at the end of the month. If I have the distance on my training schedule, I might as well get a medal for it, right?!

Registration: Registration for any Rhode Races event is a breeze. I was lucky to find out about the race at the earliest price tier and got into the race at a great price! It's a tiered price structure so the earlier you register, the better! There was also limited day of registration, but the race organizers do say that if the race sells out beforehand, there won't be any day of registration.

Expo/Packet Pickup: I only live an hour from the race so I chose not to get a hotel room the night before. Which means I didn't make it to the expo. I really wish I would have come down the day before though. The day of bib pickup was BUSY. It took 30+ minutes to get my bib. I got there over an hour before the race and thought I was good to go. It turned out to be a stress-fest. There were only 2 people working the bib pickup tables (1 for the marathon, 1 for the half). I felt like there could have been at least triple the people helping out, but I suppose any volunteers are appreciated.

Swag: A nice technical shirt and a gorgeous medal for all finishers. The medal is super heavy too! It's also part of a bigger Rhode Races series medal if you finish all 5 races in a year.

Start Line: Pretty standard... the pacers were clearly visible and for a lot of people running we all made it across the start line pretty quickly!

Course: As a course that's touted as "fast and flat" and a "Boston Qualifier" (for the marathon distance) I honestly thought there were a TON of hills. There was one at mile 5 that went on for A HALF MILE! I thought it was never going to end. By the time I got to the hill at mile 10 my legs were begging for it to end. But some of the course was right by the water which was nice and we ran through a gorgeous residential neighborhood as well.

Aid Station: There were quite a few aid stations with a ton of volunteers. Unfortunately the water was a bit warm by the time I got to it, but it was nice to have it anyways!

Other: Parking at the Providence Place mall was simple and cheap. The weather was great. Overall it was a great race with a lot of spectators...but just beware that there ARE hills, no matter what they might tell you!

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(2017)
"Pretty course, though scary at times"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is my first race in MA! I can't believe it. Despite living on the Cape for 4 years, I have managed to not race in the state until now. I was super excited to run this race with one of my best friends.

Registration: My registration was a little different than everyone else, I suppose. I registered for the 2016 race, but injured myself and was allowed to defer my entry. So I mailed in my registration along with the email from the race director stating I would be able to defer to 2017 as soon as registration opened. I hadn't heard anything regarding my registration in awhile so I emailed to confirm and got a rather nasty response stating I had to "wait until the mail registration opened". I didn't know online vs. mail had different times? In the end I was registered and all was good, but I was a little taken aback by the whole response.

Expo/Packet Pickup: This was easy and took place over a 4 day span. Unfortunately, it was literally only just a bib and t-shirt pickup. There was no expo to speak of. This is a small town race though, I don't expect an expo the size of a Rock n Roll or Disney race, but it would have been nice if there was at least something.

Swag: A nice technical shirt and a medal for all finishers. The medal has the race logo on it and is surprisingly heavy! It was nice to get at the end of a race.

Start Line: This was a small race so it was pretty easy to line up. There were some pace signs scattered about (up to 9:00 min/mile), but no pacers (I thought there were going to be pacers). We hung out near the back of the starting field and got across the line within 30 seconds of the start of the race.

Course: This was a GORGEOUS course overall. A lot of it was spent by the water with beautiful ocean views and sea breezes. My kind of running. However, after discussing it with my friend we decided that the beginning of the course was far better than the end and it would have kept us a bit happier if the course had just been flipped. The end of the course was through a lot of residential neighborhoods and was a little boring, so it would have been nice to end with all of the sea views. Another minor problem we both had was the lack of road closures. I know it's impossible to close roads on Cape Cod in the summer, but there were times when cars got a little too close for comfort. There was a strong police presence on the course directing both runners and cars, but I would have felt a little safer if there was a least a little part of the road that was coned off.

Aid Station: I am still perplexed by the aid stations. There were 6 (I think) in total, but they were terribly spaced. There was one at mile 1 and then another at mile 2 and then we didn't see one again until maybe mile 4.5 or 5. Very confusing. The volunteers were delightful and full of smiles though, which was much appreciated!

Other: Access to parking was super easy, there are many public lots and free street parking all around the Hyannis Main Street area. I think for a small local race it was quite nice and I would love to run it again.

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