Latest reviews by Jenna Kinzie

(2018)
"Great experience!"
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The Capitol 10K in Austin, Texas is simply amazing. It was recommended to me by a friend from Austin (I live in Dallas) so I decided to make a weekend trip of it. She made it sound worth the 3 hour drive there and back - and it was!

I drove down on Saturday and wend straight to the Expo at the Palmer Events Center. It was a nice, big, convention center. The Expo was perfect - exactly what I like from an expo - lots of space, easy to pick up your bib and shirt, then lots of vendors (and free stuff!). The vendors were great and had lot of samples, there were little spots where you could take a bib photo, and lots of friendly people. Parking/access was easy enough for the Expo and the hotel was just down the street.

Swag was great - a tech race shirt and the medals were neat. They also had BOGO race shirts after the race that had a map on the back. I loved those!

I stayed at one of the race-recommended hotels at the special rate - the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Austin/Convention Center. It was super fancy for me so it was a good time! I wish it included breakfast but there is a $15 all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet so I opted for that after the race.

Race morning went smoothly - really, I could/should have just walked from the hotel to the Start line but I didn't even realize how close it was until my Lyft driver dropped me off after driving for about 2 minutes! I knew I'd just walk back afterwards! (Hotel to/from Start/Finish was about 1.8 miles)

I got there around 7:30-40 and race Start was at 8:00am for corral A (10 minutes between corral Start times). This gave me plenty of time to warm up, take pictures, and soak in the gorgeous view. The Start is right on the Ann Richard's Bridge. Gorgeous.

The entire course was very scenic. Time flew and I wish I could've just taken pictures of everything. It was really beautiful and unique. I was so glad to be there! The weather was nice (40 - a bit chilly but perfect for running!) and everyone was just happy. The course WAS hilly. Just enough for a challenge but not enough for me to say I'd never do it again. Just be prepared. They do have a "King and Queen of the Hill" challenge and award that I might attempt next time! Pretty cool.

There were over 20,000 runners registered for this race and I can totally see why. The organization is exceptional, great volunteers and vendors, unique city, and overall just a really fun weekend. I highly recommend this race!

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(2018)
"St. Patty's Day Tradition!"
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The Dash Down Greenville is an iconic race in Dallas. It's a must. Stay afterwards for the Greenville Parade for the full experience!

Race communication is great - you know exactly when and where packet pickups will be - local running stores and Orange Theory Fitness centers, so multiple convenient locations and even an "early" packet pickup is available a week prior. Pickup is quick - in and out with your bib and T-shirt (no vendors/expo). This is nice sometimes though, as big expos can be a major ordeal.

The swag is awesome - this year was the first year they did medals and they were nice!!! Huge and also double as a bottle opener. The T-Shirts were OK - they are usually that soft T-Shirt material but this year were just regular ol' T-shirts but, really for around 30 bucks I'm not complaining about shirts. The experience is where it's at...

Race day runs nice and smoothly - I recommend taking public transportation because of the area and # of people. I LIVE in Dallas and have never, ever driven myself to this event. I just would not do it. Riding the DART or an Uber is super easy though! Once you're there, the Start and Finish line is right next to a Central Market, so coffee, post-race breakfast, anything you want is right there.

The run is nice, through the Greenville neighborhood with one hill (around mile 2?), nice volunteer support, porta-potties, Two-Men-And-a-Truck take care of Gear Check which is easy and painless, and there are lots of "Irish" people out and about cheering you on. As the morning goes on, more and more shenanigans come afoot and the party starts.

I highly recommend making this a Dallas tradition or making a trip to Dallas to experience this day. Don't plan anything for the rest of the day, wear green, and put your party pants on!

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(2018)
"Great race to cheer or run!"
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I registered for this race but was "injured" so I opted to cheer.

I still partook in the expo and race day (as a cheerleader) so I still wanted to share how it went from a little different perspective! I have run this race (2017) also.

The race communication is great - you get emails with updates and important information ahead of time. The expo was the Friday and Saturday before the race on Sunday at the Dallas Convention Center. I drove and had no problems getting downtown or parking. It was a gorgeous day so I enjoyed the walk to the convention center from the parking lot, which wasn't too far, but wear your comfy shoes.

The expo is just what you'd expect from a Rock n Roll race - very well organized, large, and lots of helpful volunteers. I picked up my bib and shirt with no problem and very little wait. Then you enter a large area of vendors. The Brooks/RnR are is first with anything you could ever possibly want with the Rock n Roll logo on it. I usually put my blinders on at this point! Then there are various vendors with samples and things for sale. Everyone is having fun and taking pictures and it's a good time. You could be in and out if you want, or you could spend hours there.

Race day went smoothly. I took an Uber downtown (I recommend Uber-ing or taking DART if possible due to the large amount of people - if you drive allow for extra time and bring cash for parking just in case). I went to the Majestic (around mile 3 of the half marathon course) and cheered with a group of friends. It was great.

I definitely recommend this race. It's a BIG race. Well done, well organized, a lot of people. It's fun to be there and it's fun to cheer! If you don't mind a few hills and the (high) possibility of a hot, humid day, I say go for it!

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(2018)
"Fun time! Best swag!"
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The Hot Chocolate 15K is a tradition for me because it's just a fun time. It's always pretty cold, but is the best feeling ever to warm up with a fun run followed but delicious hot chocolate. I knew a lot of other people running this so it was like a big fun runner meet-up. It is a very well-known race around Dallas, especially known for the great post-run treats and SWAG. THE BEST hoodies. This years quarter-zip is SO SOFT. I will live in it. 100% better than a tech shirt (sorry, all other races out there!)

The race management is great. They are awesome about email updates, easy-to-read instructions for packet pickup and race day, and even training plans. This race is very well organized before, during, and after.

The expo is in Fair Park (downtown Dallas) so, it is a bit of a drive (vs. having a packet pickup at a local running store) but there are quite a few vendors. Maybe about 10 booths with goodies to look at, taste, and purchase. There are also a few big signs/blow up things to take pictures by with your bib. I took one start off for the expo just because it is kind of a pain to drive there and park ($5). Be sure to set aside a few solid hours for the expo.

The race morning runs very smoothly. Allow yourself, again, plenty of time to get to Fair Park (traffic is crazy with EVERYONE getting there at the same time). But once you park, the area is easy to navigate. It's a bit of a walk from the parking area, then gear check is indoors (THANK YOU for an area out of the cold wind!) and is also a big area where people will stretch and hang out pre and post-race. There are TONS of porta-potties, which is always a bonus, and the start line is close to gear check.

This is a BIG race, so the Start is thankfully in waves. There's a bit of a crowd as to be expected during the start until it thins out. The course is, in my opinion, hilly. It was a tough run. The views are pretty good. You're running through the Fair Park area. Nice aid stations and spectators. Not a ton of spectators, but enough. Overall no complaints about the course itself. Everyone is just happy and it's a great vibe.

After the race, you get the famous hot chocolate mug! It's got, of course, hot chocolate, also dipping chocolate and lots of treats. There's a big open area to eat your treats, say hi to friends, take pictures, etc. Speaking of pictures, the other bonus swag offered for this race is FREE RACE PHOTOS. YES.

After the race, results and (free!) race photos are uploaded extremely quickly. I couldn't believe that just maybe an hour post-race, I got an email with my race photos. That is really awesome.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this race to a friend and plan to do it again next year!

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(2018)
"Fun Remix Challenge"
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This race was overall really well executed, FUN, and great experience.

I had never been to New Orleans (came from Dallas, TX) and found that taking Uber everywhere worked beautifully. I gave all stars for parking/access because Uber was plentiful and great, but I also noticed a parking lot near the convention center (where the expo was) and spoke with someone and they mentioned a parking lot at the FINISH line for the Half/Full marathon that shuttled you (for free) to the START line. That way people were already at their cars afterwards. Brilliant! Plus I noticed people getting in busses after the race (perhaps VIP?). So access was good considering an extra 10,000 people were in the small city.

The expo was in a HUUUUGE convention center. We walked about a mile from the front door to the actual expo! Which was OK and actually just impressive. Anyway, it was your typical Rock n Roll expo - LOTS TO BUY. A huge booth with Brooks gear, RnR branded nick knacks, shirts, shoes, then all the vendors. There's plenty to look at, photo ops, and getting your bib and T-shirt is painless due to all the nice volunteers.

I did the "Remix Challenge" so I had two race day experiences, Saturday morning (5K) and Sunday morning (Half marathon):

Race day (5K): easy access, got to the Start line with plenty of time to spare, not too crowded, PERFECT weather. Nice, easily accessible gear check. Start and Finish lines were closeby, 10 small corrals/waves so that you weren't too crowded while running. We ran through the French Quarter and the scenery was perfect - just what you'd expect to see in NOLA. Great views, flat course, nice medals, great volunteers.

Race day (Half Marathon): Race morning was very well organized - it was a little crazier this day because there were 3 races going on - 10K, Half, and Full marathons. So more people as to be expected. Even still, it was very organized. Plenty of porta-potties, tons of trucks for number-organized gear check, an announcer, and all the corrals lined up. It was a gorgeous morning and the area the Start was located was gorgeous and perfect for pre-run photos. It was an overall happy morning. The course was literally flatter than flat. I don't remember any incline or decline at all and my Strava said that I'd gained 20 feet over the course of 13.1 miles. That is insanely flat! There are some uneven road surfaces but nothing that would make me avoid this race. I thought the course was great. It is a great way to really see New Orleans. the finish-line party was very noteable. It was around a huge, gorgeous track and was like a HUGE party! Beer, food, a huge stage with live music, and really happy runners. Not to mention the weather was PERFECT! Also a lot more photo ops!

SWAG! The RnR swag is always on point. For doing the remix challenge, I got an extra medal ("Remix" medal) that is definitely my new fave. It's a guitar with a spinny thing, really colorful, and just awesome. The shirts are tech tees, and if you want any extras you have more than enough options to choose from at the Brooks booth during the expo (they also make an appearance on race day in case you forget anything you wanted!)

The aid stations both days were plentiful and stocked with necessities. For half/marathon day, they also had energy gels. There were lots of nice and great volunteers, really nice live bands on the course, and it's just overall a really fun day.

I would definitely recommend this race and spending some time in New Orleans.

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