Latest reviews by Amy W

(2022)
"Well-Organized Race, FAST Course"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE Fargo! This was my fourth year running the Full Marathon and my third time having a break-through, PR race. Run this race and you're set up to run fast!

EXPO: The expo was pretty quiet when my husband and I came in the mid-afternoon, which was great. This was a big 10-year anniversary "get away" for us, so he had Friday off of work and the kids were with grandparents! I picked up my lanyard to access the Elite Athlete staging area along with a key to the apartments we stayed at on the NDSU campus (across from the Fargodome). There were numerous computer stations to "check in" to get your race number and a person was there to help as well. This made picking up your number very streamlined! The expo had some vendors and a few snacks, which was nice. It wasn't as big as it was pre-Covid, but it was still nice just to be back to racing in person again.

RACE SWAG: The medals are always an excellent quality and nice design - Fargo does this so well. For the full marathon, we received an awesome, cozy race jacket w/ a quilted front and zip pockets. That was especially helpful considering how chilly it was over the race weekend! Runners received a drop bag along with a number tag for it.

COURSE: With all of the flooding in this very wet spring, I do not envy the responsibility that race directors have! They had to adjust the marathon course a couple times due to flooding and I appreciate that they did their best. The course had quite a few turns but we certainly weren't running in any standing water.- so job well done, race staff! Fargo is a pretty flat course, which is nice for running a fast race. I ran with runners for the first half and then was mostly solo for the last half, which gets a little lonely. Usually I'm always by someone in Fargo, but the runners around the 3-hour pace did spread out quite a bit. The cheering fans and music do help to lift the spirits though! I did run a 5+ minute PR and was so happy with that.

AID STATIONS: Fargo has plenty of aid stations! When I checked out the map prior to running, I thought they were at every odd mile or so. While racing, it ends up being plenty and they offer water & sports drink. Energy gels were offered at select stations as well.

POST-RACE: My appetite struggles after a hard effort but I couldn't resist grabbing some post-race food to snack on later! They had a selection of donuts, potato chips, chocolate milk, bananas, water and probably a couple other things I'm missing, too. Very tasty!

LOGISTICS: Whether I'm staying close to the start line or having to drive in, Fargo is fairly easy to navigate on race morning. They do have a race shuttle option that I have used in previous years, too. For the Elite Athletes, they offered complimentary housing on campus. I would definitely stay there again. The rooms aren't fancy but it's a quick walk basically across the parking lot to get to the race in the morning. That takes a lot of stress off before racing!

I highly recommend Fargo and plan to be back in 2023. Oh and don't forget the FREE race photos - that's a huge perk!

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(2022)
"Finally checked the Dick Beardsley off my bucket list! (but I will be back!) "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Dick Beardsley has been on my bucket list for YEARS and I was so excited to run there this year! It certainly did not disappoint.

EXPO: My family and I camped at the American Legion Campground, which is right by the Kent Freeman Arena. After getting the camper parked, I headed over to the expo with a couple of our kids. The expo was very small - no vendors - and quiet (at 6:30 pm). Picking up my packet was very quick! They do have a pasta feed on Friday night and I would like to try that next time I run here.

RACE SWAG: The medal for this year had a great design and feels very high quality. The Half Marathon shirt was a nice blue long sleeve and I am super bummed that I forgot mine in the stands after the race :( The design is amazing!

COURSE: The race starts and ends in the Kent Freeman Arena, which is very nice for those cool fall mornings. They had pacers available for certain goal finish times as well. The course definitely did have those rolling hills and I ended up with about 317 ft of elevation gain. Overall, the course was beautiful - I really enjoyed the lake and looking at the homes there. It was an out-and-back this year due to construction and I didn’t even mind it. I had runner company basically the entire race!

AID STATIONS: I think we had aid stations ever couple miles or so - there were plenty! I mainly took advantage of the water or sports drinks options. There were also gels available at some point, too. The volunteers were amazing!

POST-RACE: The finisher’s table featured COOKIES and ICE CREAM! Yes! Along with bananas and water. The ice cream seriously tasted home made - so good.

LOGISTICS: As I mentioned, we camped at the American Legion Campground about .5 of a mile from the Kent Freeman Arena. This was PERFECT. The campground was quiet and a few runners also camped there. The area felt safe and they had very clean bathrooms and showers available only to campers. I would camp for this race again!

The Dick Beardsley is a great race experience! The size of the race wasn’t overwhelmingly huge but they sure had some fast runners out there. Add this one to your Fall race list! P.S. They have FREE race pictures :)))

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(2022)
"A unique challenge to boost your run motivation!"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

The PAC-MAN Virtual Challenge: Level Up 2022 was a fun way to kick-off Spring racing! The PAC-Man theme is awesome and nostalgic. I haven't received the race swag yet but it looks SO cool
- my kids are arguing over who gets which PAC-MAN pieces! Having separate levels to complete and an extra special "Bonus" level was a great motivator for me! As mostly a solo runner, a virtual challenge is an extra "kick in the tail" to lace up the shoes and get after it.

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(2021)
"Glad to be back in Fargo!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Fargo is a PARTY - every year I have been there, it just rocks! Coming off of 2020's race cancellations and reschedulings (I actually had another baby and was out for that instead), I was looking forward to returning to the in-person race scene. Fargo was scheduled as a Fall race this year and the September weather was chilly and perfect for a race day.

Expo:  I brought my four kiddos along to the race expo on Friday evening and, even though it was swarming with people (in a good way!), navigation was very easy. Parking at the Fargodome was easy to find. There were quite a few vendors there around the outer circle of the Fargodome building. Seeing the running community out and about again was SO good!

Course: Fargo is flat & FAST! The perfect place the PR. Fargo has a great showing of spectators and fans, signs and music. There are very few quiet patches in this race.

Aid Stations: They have plenty of aid stations and the aid station workers were all extremely efficient and helpful. They make all the difference in a race! Stations had sports drink and water options, along with gels at certain stations.

Awards: All Finisher's receive high quality medal - love the design this year! Check my blog for a picture of that :)

Post-Race Refreshments: Like a buffet table from heaven... they know how to do post-race treats! Donuts, bananas (of course!), water, choco milk, and more. I really should have taken a picture of it!

Logistics: One of my favorite aspects of Fargo is that the travel isn't stressful at all. My family and I actually camped at a nearby campground and I drove there in the morning. The drive was quick, early morning traffic was quiet and parking was a breeze. I did have to take a more creative route to get back to our campsite afterwards, because the race was still going on.

Race Swag: Fargo always has great Finisher's medals and the half & full marathons received a Finisher's Jacket this year.

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(2019)
"This race is a BLAST!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Wonder Woman Half Marathon in Fargo was blazing hot this year and an absolute blast! This was the first year for the Wonder Woman Run Series to come to the northern Midwest and I am SO glad to have them here - it’s just what our area needed!

Race day itself was extremely hot and humid for a typical Fargo, ND day. You just never know what you’re going to get up here - besides wind. Wind is always a guarantee.

First things first, lets start at the beginning:

Registration & Race Swag: I registered online and selected the Kit #1 option (included a tech tank, tote bag, wrist cuffs) along with a Kit Upgrade (official visor, cape socks, tattoos, car magnet). The race offered a t-shirt kit option and youth kit as well. I love my Wonder Woman tank and it’s a nice quality. The cape socks material is very thin but the cape concept is cool! I broke rule #1 of racing (don’t try anything new on race day) and wore the Wonder Woman golden visor. How could I resist?!

Expo: The expo was fairly quiet but presented numerous Wonder Woman background photo opps! The real Wonder Woman wasn’t present at that time but she was on race morning! My sister-in-law and I picked up our numbers and packets which took very little time. The process was very streamlined. The expo included music and a dance floor set up along with assorted Wonder Woman merchandise available for sale and an Orange Theory booth (one of the sponsors).

Course: Overall the course was great to run and it kept things interesting. I ran solo for much of the race and some inclines/declines, running along the river, quiet trails and then some residential and city running made for a nice change of scenery. I did have trouble with seeing the course markers at two locations. I’m not sure if it was just the size or infrequency of the direction arrows or what it was. There was one turn around the mile 3-5 area where I just had to guess and hope it was right. This wouldn’t have been an issue if other runners had been around - I was just in a gap between the #1 girl and #3 runner and there were no spectators at that point. It made me a little anxious but I ended up going the correct direction!

Aid Stations: The aid stations were fine though on this unusually hot day more is always better. Both Gatorade and water were offered. .

Awards: The Wonder Woman finisher’s medals are AWESOME! They are pretty big, nice quality and the center spins. So fun :) One huge perk of this race is that your race pictures are FREE and they are super nice quality. I love that you can choose to have your finishing time on the pictures even.

Post-Race Refreshments: The finisher’s table included M&M’s in a cup, cookies, tortilla chips, mini protein bars, bananas, water bottles and likely a few more things that I had missed.

Logistics: Making our way to the Expo and then to the race itself was so easy. The Fargo Marathon that happened in May is known for making the town super congested but the Wonder Woman Run was much more low key. We were able to park downtown and walk to the vehicle afterwards. Of course, that was after fully enjoying the Finisher’s party with LIVE MUSIC and fun pictures with Wonder Woman.

For more race day details and photos, check out my blog post:
http://www.sherunsbyfaith.com/2019/06/i-am-wonder-woman-dc-ww-run-series.html

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