Latest reviews by Jennifer Kanter
The Little Rock Marathon has been on my bucket list for almost 9 years- ever since I decided to run a full marathon in every state and saw their incredible race medals advertised in Runner's World Magazine!
If I could make a recommedation, I would suggest staying in downtown Little Rock and take an extra day to visit. The city is so pretty and there are a lot of things to do there! We took our dogs along for the weekend and walked along the River Market area full of bridges and scenic paths. We even ate on the patio at a dog friendly restaurant in the city!
THE EXPO: it was a nice size with lots of popular vendors. Easy to navigate and grab your bib. The only thing I got in my bag was the t-shirts and bibs so I was a little disappointed that there weren't anymore goodies.
THE RACE: be prepared for lots and lots of hills! I wasn't as prepared having just run another marathon a couple weeks before. The fluid stations were more than 2 miles apart at the beginning but plentiful towards the end. The scenery was perfect. The crowd was generous with snacks and full of energy. Houses were big and beautiful and overall the city was clean.
THE BLING: wow!!!!!! Bigges medal ever! It weighed in over 2 lbs! I also ran the 5k the day before earning another heavy medal and a surprise medal at the finish of the marathon for completing the combo of races that weekend.
Overall I enjoyed the race and would love to run it again!
I ran the 15th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon this year. Packet-pickup was very organized with lots of friendly volunteers around to direct you where you needed to go and answer questions. The expo wasn't large, but provided a variety of vendors and lots of current race merchandise.
The start/finish were located just a block or so from the main race hotel (the Sheraton) and for those driving in there was a huge parking garage and other small lots in the area. Pre-race entertainment was great with music and the announcer seemed so excited for the race and that caused great energy for the crowd.
The race course is 2 loops through downtown Birmingham and surrounding neighborhoods. Many water stations (although the gu stations were a little too close together and could have bee spread out a few more miles).
The first loop had more spectators than the second loop so after the half marathoners split off it became very quiet. The course has many flat areas but also many hills. There is a nice down hill in the later part of the loops. Police officers were everywhere to ensure runner safety.
The finish line photographers wrre excellent at capturing my finish and medal. The bling is perfect!! And the post race party was complete with good old southern bbq and dancing!
The Mercedes Marathon made my first trip to Alabama a very memorable and enjoyable one!