Latest reviews by Sara D

(2016)
"Largest Thanksgiving 5k in IL"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Wow, when they call it the "Largest Thanksgiving Day 5k in IL" they aren't kidding! Race organizers said they were expecting over 10,000 runners this year and I honestly wouldn't doubt it. My sister and I needed a Thanksgiving Day 5k to run this year and we figured we might as well go big or go home.

Pros:
+Excellent crowd support: You can't beat a run through neighborhoods where everyone is out on their lawns and cheering for you. It has a wonderful hometown feel to it.
+Great pump up tent prior to the event: There was a warming tent prior to the event with an awesome DJ and a great energy. It definitely helped me wake up and get going!
+Ample parking

Cons:
-Disorganized start: This is probably my BIGGEST con. We were encouraged to organize by time per mile with the slower times and walkers near the back. However, everyone surged to the front and it was a free for all at the start. For the first mile and a half I was bobbing and weaving through walkers, strollers, and slower runners. And granted, it was a Thanksgiving 5k and I wasn't looking for a stellar time, but it was still annoying.
-Swag: A nice long sleeved t-shirt, but nothing super special about it

Overall, I'm glad we ran it to say we were part of such a huge race. However, I'm frustrated by the start procedures and wish it could be changed around a little bit so people don't get hurt by trying to get through the traffic.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"A Great Local Race! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

What a great local race the weekend after Thanksgiving! I knew I had to sign up for the race when I came in to visit my family for the holidays. Busse Woods is one of my favorite places to run and it definitely did not disappoint during the Schaumburg Turkey Trot.

Pros:
+Easy Packet Pickups at local running shops: Plus, if you picked up your packet early, you got 10% off at Dick Pond Athletics!
+Gorgeous Scenery
+2 parking locations, one at the start and one at the finish. This was a point to point race, so you either had to take a shuttle to the start or back to the start (if that's where you parked) once you finished. There was plenty of parking and the shuttles were plentiful
+Great race week emails with FAQs and helpful information
+AWESOME finisher medal, bowl of chicken noodle soup, Muscle Milk, and water at the finish!

Cons:
-Hills a plenty on the course. For a 5k I felt that there were quite a few hills to conquer.
-Though there were plenty of shuttles, they didn't exactly drop us off at the start. There was about a .25 mile walk from the drop off location to the start

Overall, it was an EXCELLENT race and I can't wait to run it again next year!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"Holy Humidity, Batman!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration: Registration for a big Rock n' Roll race was excellent. It's a tiered price structure so the earlier you register, the better! There's no day of registration because it's such a large race, but you can register up to a couple of days before the race.

Expo: This was my first time at such a large event and such a large expo. Packet pickup was well organized and a breeze to get through. All of the volunteers were super friendly. Since the race was primarily sponsored by Brooks there was a HUGE Brooks section, but I was slightly disappointed with the availability of other vendors there. Some of my favorites didn't make it there.

Swag: GREAT highlighter green technical shirt and a gorgeous medal for all finishers. The medal is super heavy too! Like it could probably be used as a weapon.

Start Line: This was my biggest let down of the race. I know when there's 12,000 people at a race you can't just let everyone loose at once. And sure, I'm not the fastest so I was near the back of the starting corrals... But it took me almost an HOUR to even cross the start line. And 3 minutes later the elite men finished.

Course: The course was fun! Basically flat with maybe two very minor elevations. It was fun to wind through the city and have some spectators. Running down by the river was gorgeous and also led to a nice breeze, but I thought the out part of the river was never going to end!

Aid Station: Ample and well stocked! Loved them!!

Other: You never know what kind of weather you're going to get in the middle of September in PA. Race day just happened to be one of the most HUMID days ever. It was tough going, but the ample aid stations and breeze off the river definitely helped!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"Great Small Town Race"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration: Registration was a breeze for the Willimantic Classic. They had an online option plus day-of registration available for all distances.

Expo: Unfortunately, there wasn't really an expo for this race. The race itself is pretty small compared to others, so there weren't really any vendors. But there WERE local ice cream and chocolate milk vendors, which was appreciated and delicious.

Swag: All runners received a tech shirt with the Willimantic Classic logo on it, which was nice. It's short sleeved and will be great for running in the summer. All half marathon finishers got a great medal too. Otherwise, the "swag bag" was basically coupons and flyers for local businesses.

Start Line: The start was...confusing. The 5k runners started "30 seconds before the half runners" but they actually started behind the gate. The half marathoners started on the corner of Main Street. Which was odd to me. How did they know my start time if I wasn't running through a gate? But either way, it was kind of confusing for me.

Course: The course was quite interesting, especially given this was my first half marathon. The first 3 miles or so was over trails through a forest, which made for a picturesque run, but it was also nerve-wracking. I was quite afraid of twisting an ankle. There were also A LOT of hills during the first 5-6 miles. The course leveled out at the halfway point, but there were still some hills toward the end. The last 3 miles was through neighborhoods, so not so scenic but it brought out some spectators! My only other problem was that some of the turns/route didn't have anyone stationed at them, so I was a little nervous about if I took the correct turn or not.

Aid Stations: There was approximately 6 aid stations that were well staffed which friendly people that had both water and Gatorade. 2 of the stations also had Gu.

Other: Though the Willimantic Classic was a smaller race without a ton of spectators, there were still quite a lot of people along the course. And they all had cowbells! I really appreciated the friendly atmosphere and the positivity throughout the day. Thanks Willimantic!

Read my race recap at Sara Runs the Cape: http://sararunsthecape.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-willimantic-classic-131-miles-of.html

Login or sign up to leave a comment.