Latest reviews by Carly O'Donnell

(2016)
"Great First Trail Race"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb wildflowerhalf5

This was my first trail race and my first experience with Trail Racing Over Texas. It was a really great experience. Here is a breakdown of the race:

Pre and Post race communication: There were two very detailed emails sent before the race that were extremely helpful. Additionally, there were great post race emails sent as well.

Transportation: If I had one negative thing to say about this race it would be the transportation. If you weren't camping in the park you had to park across the street and take a shuttle to the start line. This would have been fine, but the line to get on the shuttle was EXTREMELY long and there were only two very small vans transporting people to the start line. I opted to walk to the start line, the guy at the front of the park said it was about a mile to the start but I'm pretty sure it was closer to two miles.

Race Trail: Since this was my first trail race, it's hard for me to compare the trail to others. It had plenty of hills and creeks to cross over. There were many points where the race was single file trail but there were also many parts that were wide and flat enough to pass people. The half marathon was three laps which was nice, by the time I reached the third lap I was well acquainted with the trail. One guy was complaining that it wasn't a full 13.1 miles, but it was never really addressed further and he was the only one I heard complaining about it.

Aid Stations: They had a GREAT aid station at the start/finish line with all sorts of snacks and hydration.They also had a water station with ice set up at the 1.55 mile mark. Since it was a trail race through the woods you had to bring your own water bottle.

Swag: I loved the medal it was in the shape of Texas and was super colorful. You also had the choice of what swag you wanted: a t-shirt, sunglasses or a heat blanket (I think?). I opted for the t-shirt but you could pay extra if you wanted more stuff. Also, when you got your number you were given a trail running magazine (which I was super excited about) and some other cool promotional stuff.

Overall it was a really great first experience and it makes me want to get more involved in the Trail Racing Over Texas races. (Disclaimer - picture attached is from the Wildflower Half Facebook page.)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"NCAA Final Four 4 Miler"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb img 1252

This race takes place in a different city every year, but since the Final Four is in Houston this year I was able to sign up and run in this race. It was not very well advertised, I found out about it two days before the race started.

Overall it was a really fun race. It started at City Hall in Downtown Houston and went through the downtown Houston area. It's hard for me to review the race trail since it's different for each city but here are some pros and cons that apply to any city it takes place:

Pros:
-It was only $25 and you get a very nice shirt and a nice medal at the end
-It goes toward a great cause, the Lone Star Veterans Association, and they did a really great job of honoring veterans and soldiers on active duty. This was probably my favorite aspect of the race.
-There was a lot of great energy before and after. There were many great booths set up
-This is specific to Houston, but parking was really easy. I had no problems finding parking and getting to the starting line.

Cons:
-There was only a mile marker at mile 2, it would have been nice for them to have a mile marker at every mile. My watch lost the GPS signal about half a mile into the race and it never came back, so it was hard for me to know my pace exactly.
-This could be only specific to Houston, but it ended on a curve. You turned the corner and the finish line was about 50 yards away. This made it harder for me to really push at the end because I really had no idea when the finish line was coming.

Overall, it was a really fun race and if the Final Four ever comes to your city I highly recommend signing up for this race!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2016)
"Green 6.2 10K"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is the second year I've done this race, and it did not disappoint. I really enjoy this race, it's been one of my favorites in Houston. Here are some of the highlights and negatives of the race:

Pros:
-Nice flat course
-There was plenty of parking. Since it took place in an outdoor shopping center area, there was plenty of parking in the parking garage.
-The scenery is about as good as it can get for Houston. It went through some very nice neighborhoods of Houston. It's in a really nice part of town.
-The food was good, they had many options

Cons:
-There was no ceremony for giving out awards, but they did have nice plaques for winners in age groups.
-There could have been more port-a-potties. I waited in an extremely long line to go to the bathroom and barely made it to the starting line before the gun went off.
-The swag wasn't that great, they didn't hand out a bag and we had to get the t-shirt on the same day of the race.
-There was no same day registration
-Even though there were a lot of options for food, they only had one table and a long line started to form.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.