Latest reviews by Eddie Coleman

(2022)
"The Run for the Nun 5K"
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I haven’t run a 5K race in YEARS, but since my running group (Bluegrass Runners) always puts a team together, I figured I would check out the Run for the Nun in Lexington, KY on June 4.
I had an idea of what my pace could look like, but I went in wanting to run by “feel” and run the course. I’d heard different things about the course, and one thing kept coming up — hills.
It’s difficult to find a flat race in Kentucky, but this wasn’t too bad. The start was mostly downhill, and a few new runners found out the hard way how NOT to run a course which starts down. Many of us passed them, holding their sides due to stitches and cramps.
The race was held at and around a local school, and most of the course was rural and paved. The finish was uphill — the same downhill that we’d sped down at the the start.
The temps were warm (since spring only lasts about fifteen minutes in Kentucky), and they made me second-guess running a fast pace.
I won third place in my age group (50-54), but I was disappointed in the fact that I know I could’ve fun much faster — I had too much left in the tank at the finish.
I liked this race, and the shirt and pint glass I won were really nice. I also won a door prize for a free breakfast at a local eatery. Although I do prefer longer races, I’m sure I’d run this again if it fits in my schedule.
Until next time, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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(2022)
"The Flying Pig Half Marathon -- Take Three"
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It's no secret to anyone who listens to me talk about running that my favorite half marathon is The Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati.
The half is just one of several events put on by Pig Works for what has become a weekend-long event, drawing runners from all over. In addition, the half marathon was just voted as America's favorite and for good reason!
It says a lot when a course which is this difficult still remains one of the most popular running events year after year. The hills are brutal. Sometimes the weather is miserable. But the crowd support and overall race production is nothing short of spectacular.
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Pig Works Ambassador for this year, and the experience was awesome! I got to connect with a great group of people and work with a fantastic group responsible for all aspects of the race.
As mentioned before, I have run this race a few times. It was actually the very first half marathon I ever completed! I keep coming back because of the memories, experiences, and the first-rate production.
The course is challenging, but the crowd support and encouragement help to drive the runners on and over the many hills. The one thing that most newcomers mention regarding the course is the difficulty of the hills on the course. Running in Central Kentucky, I was aware of the hills, but they were not anything more challenging than those I've run on many long runs around my community.
The expo is great, with vendors and experiences for the whole family.
The amount and quality of swag given to participants does not even compare to that which I've received in other races. Of course, I had to buy some additional singlets at the expo. I mean, I have to support a small, local company like Asics -- right? LOL
I was in the second fastest corral at the start, due to a previous half marathon finishing time. The temps at the start (6:30am) were cool and breezy, but they were expected to climb throughout the day -- and they did. The predicted thunderstorms never materialized, and we only experienced a few drops of rain throughout, and that rain both refreshed us and increased the overall humidity.
I was glad for the weather. In my first Flying Pig Half, the race started as lightning flashed across the sky and my feet were soaked before I even started running. On my second go-around, the heat was a factor. I wanted as many variables to be positive since this was my first half in around six years.
I went into the race with no time goal and no pace predictions. I just wanted to finish strong and use this as my return to road racing. I took no walk breaks as I did in my second appearance when I was under-trained and out of shape. I ran those hills like a beast! The only time I had to stop was to re-pin my bib that had gotten torn with the wet conditions.
I ran a comfortable pace and really didn't experience any post-race soreness as I had in many other halves and fulls, and I'm already looking forward to running this race again next year -- its 25th Anniversary.

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(2022)
"Forecastle Foundation 5 Miler Trail Run"
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I’ve been looking forward to this race for a while. As I’ve written about before, I’m really starting to like trail running and I’m constantly on the lookout for local ones which fit into my road racing schedule.​

I discovered this race and decided that, although it was only two weeks after a difficult half marathon, I would run it — given the nature of trail running.​

Generally, finishing times for trail runs are slower than road race times. In addition, walking isn’t really frowned upon in trail racing. There are spots on some trails where running is too difficult or dangerous. I wasn’t too concerned with pace or finishing times, so went in with no expectations.

I arrived really early to the venue since I was unfamiliar with the area and a last-minute email advised participants to arrive early or carpool due to limited parking. ​

The packet pickup was simple and effective. After I picked up my shirt, bib, and swag I ran an easy 1-mile warm-up run and took in a gel.​

I didn’t take my phone on the course, so I don’t have any pics. This was a true trail run — sheer drop-offs, extreme ups and downs, creek crossings, switchbacks, and VERY technical terrain.​ The humidity was so high under the canopy of trees that everyone was soaked and gasping for deeper breaths.

I stayed with a pack of three with what would be the second overall female finisher and won third in my 10 year age group.​

I really liked the challenges this race presented, and I will definitely try to fit it in my race schedule for next year. The organizers are focused on reducing their environmental footprint, and the swag reflected that.

In addition to our race shirt and finisher’s medal, we were given a reusable collapsible cup and a Buff with the race’s logo on it.

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(2022)
"The Burning Clover 10K Trail Run, or When a 10K Isn't a 10K"
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This was my first race since 2016, so I went into it with zero expectations. In addition, in over 20+ years this was only my second trail race. In my mileage build-up plan, I was scheduled to run 12 miles this morning, so I figured with the distance and the difficulty of the race given the terrain and elevation, this would be a similar workout.
The race was held on March 5, 2022 at J.M. Feltner Memorial 4-H Camp in London, Kentucky. The race director was extremely nice and accommodating. I gathered that she was new at this, but the packet pick-up, walk-up registration (I pre-registered), and pre-race activities were run with efficiency. The shirt was a really nice material, and there were a few vendors and local businesses giving out freebies.
The race started with a prayer and instructions before a large, metal shamrock is lit on fire and a countdown to start begins.
After an easy, flat loop around the campground, we turned into the woods. The first of the trails were tight and muddy -- like pull-off-your-running shoe-muddy. Thorns and brambles pulled at your clothes, and I was glad that I wore a long-sleeved shirt and compression socks -- that is, until it warmed up really fast.
After we turned onto a powerline cut-through (think Barkley Marathons), we were on a roller coaster gravel road. As we came to a fork, a volunteer told us to take a left turn, but the man I was running next to said that we should go straight. The volunteer said it was just another route, so we split and agreed to meet on the other side. I should've known something was wrong, but there was a large pack behind me and a smaller pack up ahead. I decided to follow them. A few times I had to strain my eyes through the trees to see where they were, so I decided to speed up and catch them.
A few points in the race were so steep that I climbed the mountains with my hands pushing on my quads and forcing myself up the hill. At another point, we had to hold on to a rope and pull ourselves up a particularly steep dirt rut.
This race has an interesting detail -- if you go past the 3.1 mile turnaround and climb (literally climb) to the top of a huge rock (the tallest point in the county), AND tear a page from a book (a nod to the Barkley Marathons), you get the chance to win a prize at the finish.
I looked at my watch and realized that I was at 4.6 miles, and I hadn't hit the turnaround. The volunteer had steered us on a route that added a half mile on our race. It's a good thing I wasn't trying for an age group award (there weren't any given).
Anyway, the way back was mostly downhill, and I took advantage of the grade and let gravity dictate my pace. A few times, we actually had to stop and walk for fear of running downhill so fast out of control.
I finished with a total of 6.62 miles, but many runners' distances varied as at some point we all got "lost" on the trail. At one point, I actually had to wait for another runner to catch up with me so we could find the trail.
PT's were at the finish of the race to offer stretching to anyone who wanted it. The finishers' medals were really nice and bananas, Gatorade, and water were available.
I turned in my page from the book and won a free bourbon tour at a local distillery. The women at the prize table were super nice and allowed me to trade in my tour for a shirt since I neither drink nor live locally.
All-in-all, it was a great experience. I will definitely be back!

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(2016)
"Still My Favorite"
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This is my second time doing the half. I originally ran the race back in 2010, and I have a previous review for that race on BibRave.

I had originally signed up for the full marathon, but due to an injury, I dropped down to the half. I'm glad I did -- I wasn't prepared for the full anyway.

The race was just as I remembered. The expo was AMAZING, and the race swag was top-notch. I finally got a replacement for my old Flying Pig running bag. The whole expo takes up almost all of the Duke Energy Center, and the pick-up process was easy.

I was a little worried about the start of the race because the local weathermen had been changing the forecast from storms to no storms to dry to drizzle. I packed for every eventuality, and race morning started with a slight rain. The forecast was for 60 degrees and overcast -- great running weather.

Due to all of the rain the days before and the rain that morning, the humidity was insane! My shirt was soaked after the first mile and we hadn't even hit the hills yet. To be honest, I really don't remember the hills being as bad as they were, but they are -- especially when you're 20 pounds heavier and 6 years older. Coupled with the humidity and the sun being "here and there," it made for a difficult race. Still, this doesn't take away from the fact that the race is run very efficiently and the directors obviously care about the runners' experiences.

The crowd support was awesome! It seemed like the bigger crowds were stationed at the toughest parts of the course, providing runners with much needed encouragement when tackling the hills.

All of the hills are in the half marathon portion of the race, and from about mile 10.5, it's all downhill -- and I do mean downhill! Take care and your quads will thank you.

If you plan on staying overnight or making a weekend of it, I really recommend the Hyatt Regency downtown. It is a little pricey, but the have a special marathon rate, valet parking, and a 2pm checkout.

I will definitely do this one again ... and again.

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