Latest reviews by Ryan Day

(2022)
"Running through the streets of my hometown!"
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What a race! I've been looking forward to this race for such a long time and it did not disappoint! Overall, the race was INCREDIBLE, especially the first half! The course was beautiful. The climbs were tough but well worth the effort. Luckily the 2nd half is almost totally flat so once you make it through the first 13.1 you just to maintain through the back half and get ready to enjoy the post-race celebration. And it is worth the wait! Sponsored by Dogfish Head, there's plenty of great beer and live music to celebrate the accomplishment once you cross that finish line!

They let you know in the pre-race packet but be sure to create a solid fueling plan. The aid stations are a little farther apart on the back half, and there were only gels at the 19.5 mile mark, but I was able to make out fine with my own fuel.

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(2021)
"My first DNF, and one of my favorite races"
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The Mohican 100 was my first attempt at a 100-miler so a DNF was not much of a surprise. Even still, this is easily one of my favorite race experiences. This is a race that has a lot of history and a massive community rallied around the event (including plenty of folks to toe the line EVERY year).

A few highlights; the race is incredibly well organized and the trails are very easy to follow, the volunteers are amazing, and you get some truly beautiful scenery along the way. A nice perk for the crews is that the start/finish is next to Mohican Adventures which has plenty of activities to enjoy while runners are out on the trail. My crew opted for a nice relaxing float down the river.

Really, the biggest thing that went wrong for my partner and I was just that the course appeared "too runnable." We went out way too fast and were feeling great for the first loop. There are some decent climbs, but also a lot of long, gradual downhills. This seemed like a blessing because it was easy to make up time on the downhills. All that pounding on our joints definitely came back to haunt us though.

Even still, this was such an amazing race. I have a sneaky suspicion we'll be back to attempt to redeem ourselves. Ultimately, we DNF'ed at the halfway point (54 miles).

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(2021)
"Even from home this race is a BLAST!"
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SWAG
Virtual Support

I LOVE the Hot Chocolate race series, and the virtual races are no different. I know it's been tough for races to pivot to a virtual experience, but Hot Chocolate does a phenomenal job trying to recreate as much of the race experience as they can for their virtual runners.

First, the swag. I think the HC series easily has some of the best swag around. Regardless of where I'm running the race, I look forward to snagging the new HC hoodie every year!

Second, the community. Even though we can't run the race in person, Hot Chocolate creates a great pre-race community through the regular newsletters and facebook group.

Third, the goodies! I love that HC sends you all the snacks and goodies to put together your very own post-race celebration. I love mixing up a big batch of the hot chocolate before I go out for my run so it's hot and ready for me as soon as I finish.

It's been a challenge to stay motivated over the last year but the Hot Chocolate series puts on a great event for runners to look forward to, AND there are so many more opportunities to participate in their other race locations via the virtual option. Find the best one for you!

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(2020)
"Running Together... Apart"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

It's been tough to stay motivated to train while in-person training is on hold so I've been so thankful for the virtual races that have popped up to keep me going. I had been chasing a 5k PR since last October and after a failed attempt earlier in the summer, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to give it another shot at the America Runs 5k.

Although nothing quite beats the adrenaline rush of the start-line of any race, I really appreciated the mission of this 5k to connect runners from across the country. Especially for virtual racing, I think it's essential to have a "common goal" or mission to help motivate you. Not only was the overall messaging of the race a great motivator, but I loved that a portion of the proceeds were also being donated to Covid relief efforts.

On top of that, you've also got some sweet swag to run for. Not just the traditional race shirt and medal but I'm a HUGE fan of the hat that came with the race packet as well. Really, the only thing that could have gone better would have been if I put a little more effort into planning out my course but otherwise it was a GREAT race.

It gave me something to run for and I snagged a new 5k PR! Can't wait for the next one.

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(2019)
"The Nitty Gritty"
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What an incredible race! If you're unfamiliar with Gritty, he's got quite a personality and the race organizers did a great job capturing that personality at the event. Whether it was the pre-race ceremonies or the various obstacles and gimmicks on-course, Gritty was certainly out in full force for the 5k.

The course itself had only slight elevation at a few points but is mostly flat and you have a nice downhill push at the finish line. Great for nailing your PR (unless you get distracted by the hot dog buffet at the 3-mile mark). The course is loaded with "Gritty's distractions" as a ploy to help him win the race. Whether it be silly string gauntlets, orange fog machines, or the last-second hot dogs, runners have plenty of entertainment on course.

This being the inaugural year of the race, it was incredibly well run. The expo was just a simple packet pickup and I was in and out in under 10 minutes. The only hiccup on race day was that the race was a lot more popular I think then they were anticipating. The traffic started to back up on the road leading to the course and they had to delay the start by 30-minutes to get everyone into the parking lots.

Other than that, the race ran incredibly smoothly and it was AMAZING seeing how seriously participants took the costume challenge. The variety of homemade Gritty tributes was truly impressive.

If you're looking for a fall 5k I would highly recommend the Gritty 5k in the future. There's plenty of fun and activities for the whole family.

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