Latest reviews by Dane D

(2018)
"The Hills Are Alive!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

"Disclaimer: I received free entry to Runner's World Festival Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

We rolled into Bethlehem, PA Saturday afternoon and immediately hit the expo. Bib pickup was super easy. They had a stack of bibs and would simply program in the bib number they assigned you to your name. Boom! Super streamlined. Once I had my bib I headed upstairs to the shirt pickup and onto the expo. There was a nice assortment of typical clothing lines and some various sports nutrition. Aftershokz had a rather large booth which was nice to see!

Parking: Well, the venue was downtown and parking was limited. However! They were running shuttles to several local hotels. This was really amazing. I stayed about a mile away and chose to walk/jog down to the course and shakeout after.

The Course: This is the HIGHLIGHT of the race! Yes, the vibe of the weekend is awesome, yes this is an amazing "runner's race" but man o' man does this course keep on giving! Up and down, in and out of the city. It takes you from downtown to the suburbs and even through the beautiful Moravian College campus. All of the uphills and downhills keep it interesting for your legs! By working the different muscle groups when attacking the hills and blasting the downhills it kept you from really getting bored, both mentally and physically. Don't get me wrong, there's times when you mutter about a couple of those hills and their placement, but I really did appreciate them more than I used to. Some other details about the brass tacks of things - there were carefully placed hydration stations, port-o-potties just after the hydration stations, and aid stations in-between hydration stations. Overall, I felt the design and layout was pretty on point.

Food: There was a nice collection of bagels and granola bars. It would've been nice to have a more protein rich food source, maybe some nut butters or something to put on the bagels.

The Weather: COLD and WINDY! There were some significant winds out there. It started out around 36°F and man did those winds cut through. Luckily, it warmed up a little bit and there were areas of the course that were shielded from the winds. It wasn't quite as bad as the Philadelphia Marathon on 2016!

Overall: Would I run this again? I think the answer is obvious! Heck yeah! Aside from being star struck from Bart Yasso and Golden Harper, not to mention my fellow Bibrave Pros!, this is everything you could want in a race weekend.

If you're even a little bit curious about running, you should check this out. I guarantee you'll be inspired to take your first steps!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"Twice as Nice!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Expo/Packet pickup:
We got into Philly on Friday afternoon and settled into the hotel. The Philadephia convention center was only a short walk away. The pickup was by Bib# and if you didn’t remember or know your number there were computers set up to look it up. Once at the pickup counter you presented your ID off you went! Next was a trip around the corner where you picked up your finisher’s shirt. The design was much better this year than it was in 2016 when I last ran this.
I had fond memories of this expo. I remembered there being quite the large setup of a good variety of vendors and new gels and nutrition drinks to try. There were a few of these but nothing that really stood out this time. There was quite a bit of “dead space” around the convention center. I’m not sure if there were or not, but it just felt less populated this year. The best part was the shirts Rock ‘n’ Roll had made with all the runner’s names on them! Such a great idea! We had to get one…
Parking- I was in a local hotel so I didn’t have to worry about that. Many of the people I knew either booked a parking spot down town prior to the race or they took the train in if they stayed outside the city. With the street closures, navigating the city the day of the race was a bear as some reported.

Port-o-Potties: This was a large race. There were a lot of port-o-potties but there was definitely a of people waiting for them as well. I waited approximately 20 minutes in line before the race. But, it was still worth the wait. As a plus, along the course there seemed to always be enough and I never waited more than a couple minutes.

Aid Stations: Lots! And well staffed. The volunteers were very enthusiastic! They even had ice to chill down the water. It was a hot day – around 86°F at the end of the race.

The Course: Flat and fast! The best thing about Philly races is they are meant for speed! The crowd was super enthusiastic and cheered us all on. There were a few spots where you were alone, and this is where mental toughness comes into play.
There was a final climb toward the end of course and that was a great opportunity to dig deep and push right over the finish line!
Donned with our medal and approached by volunteers with cold wet towels - it was a warm one! There was water, Gatorade, and chocolate milk which was all very welcoming as well! And of course Philly Pretzels!

Overall, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Philadelphia was a great experience the second time around, despite sustaining my first race injury. A special shout out for the medical tents and their well-trained staff! My knee appreciates you! The course change kept it interesting and you still got the chance to enjoy the run down and back by the Schuykill River. The crowd’s enthusiasm definitely helped as well! I would definitely run this race again and would continue to recommend it to friends!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Incredible International Race Experience! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Detroit Free Press Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Expo/Packet pickup:

We rolled into Detroit and were lucky enough to get early check in! We headed over to the expo at the COBO Center and packet pickup was your first stop. Your pickup was by Bib# and if you didn’t remember or know your number there were computers set up to look it up. Once at the pickup counter you presented your passport, and boom, bib and packet in hand. It was a really nice package complete with your finisher shirt, a 26.2 sticker, a temporary tattoo, and a tech head wrap that was a new addition this year!

The expo was your typical snake configuration of vendors. There were some regional races represented, local charities, hydration drinks, clothing, etc… The only perk I usually look forward to is to try some free samples of new products and there seemed to be much fewer of this type of thing than other race expos I had been to. The best part was seeing the official race gear with the retro emblem and with the star and maple leaf. I really liked that!

Race Day:
Parking- I was in a local hotel so I didn't have to worry about that. Being in a downtown area the race directors recommended being downtown by 5:30am to find a parking spot. I know a lot of people bought parking reservations online prior, which totally made sense.

Port-o-Potties: Seemed like there weren't enough as the line creeper along and I was in line over 30 minutes. Definitely the longest I had ever waited at a race. But, it was still worth the wait. As a plus, along the course there seemed to always be enough and I never waited more than a couple minutes.

Aid Stations: Lots of them! We were advised not to bring fluids along as we were crossing the border and could be subject to being searched by border patrol. I brought along single serving sleeves of my favorite electrolyte drink and mixed it with water I picked up at the stations! That was my brilliance for the day.

The Course: the only hills that were a challenge for me were ambassador bridge and the tunnel coming back from Canada. That was until mile 22. There was a slight incline getting back to the bridge from Belle Isle. The distance made this a challenge for my legs at that point.

The crowd was super enthusiastic and cheered us all on. There were a few spots where you were alone, and this is where mental toughness comes into play.

The course was shared by the international and US only half marathon runners. I forgot about the US only half starting later and was scratching my head when people were sprinting by me at mile. 23. Then I remembered, haha!

Approaching the finish line race coordinators made sure to direct each of us to the appropriate lane (marathon vs half) and we all crossed! Donned with our medal and approached by volunteers with a bag of food. There was water, Gatorade, and chocolate milk which was all very welcoming as well!

Overall, the Detroit Free Press Marathon was a great experience with just a few areas for improvement. I loved the course layout, not too many long straightaways to get too boring. The crowds enthusiasm definitely helped as well! I would definitely run this again and would recommend it to friends!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Small Town Race with a Huge Heart! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

"Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Freedom's Run race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

Freedom's Run is just amazing! This is a runner's race. No frills, just a huge heart and amazing course development. The starting line was marked in duct tape! The race director, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, developed this race weekend to help promote health in West Virginia. He works tirelessly as a physician to help promote healthy living and healthy eating and that spills over into his running life as well. This race wears its heart on it's sleeve.

The expo was minimal, but I actually appreciated that. Instead of having a bunch of paper hand outs and stuff to throw out if you don't want it, they sent an email with deals and offers at nearby businesses. That's pretty cool! I dig not being wasteful. Picking up your bib was super easy and organized. I think it literally took under a minute to have my bib and finisher's shirt in hand.

The course was gorgeous. We lined up in this little town right outside the library right by Shepherd University. We made our way through campus and then across the bridge into Maryland and the C&O path. This portion was pretty flat. It was fairly narrow too so it was important to find your pace and settle in as passing wasn't always easy. We then headed off the path and welcomed some rolling hills. If you didn't hill train, this course would hurt! There were a couple of significant climbs for sure! Running through the Antietam was a humbling trail through history. Many lives were most there. With how beautiful it was it was hard to think of the violence those fields once saw.

At the end the course brought you back into campus and into Rams Stadium were you finished on the 50 yard line! That was pretty dang cool. The medal was incredible as it was a handcrafted piece of pottery made by a local potter, Joy Bridy! You were next greeted by a cool water bottle filled with chilled water! Needed!

Post race there was a physical therapy group offering free stretching/massage for runners and it was amazing!

Next, pizza! They had more pizzas delivered than I'd ever seen! Total score and man did that hit the spot! There was then a post race party across the street at the Bavarian Inn where they had some nice cold beer and a free pint glass! There was live music and Dr. Mark announced some awards for those super speedy folk!

Overall, this was a great day. I'm lucky I live within driving distance of this race. I definitely plan on repeating this race. Who knows, maybe I'll even shoot for the full 26.2!

Loading Comments...

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"A race for everyone! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The DMSE Classic is a race series that includes a 5k, 10k, and half marathon. You can do any one of them, or do the 5 and 10k for the five and dime or why not do all three for the hat trick?! I did the hat trick.

Bib Pickup:
Smooth sailing. It took all of 5 minutes. Along with the bib we got our shirt which was cotton. The female shirt was a tech shirt but cotton is kind of nice for a change! Along with that we got our hat trick 22.4 magnets! I thought that was a really nice touch.

Courses:
5k - this was a nice easy run, not very hilly except one steady hill toward the end. It was a great warm up race!
10k - this was my nemesis. I was not really trying to race this one but at the same time I felt great so sped right along. There were some sneaky hills on this course and I ended up walking parts of two of them. Somehow I managed about a 40 second PR though!
Half Marathon: Sooo, I was a bit tired for this race. My legs were feeling it from my racing the previous day. Three miles in and I knew this was going to be a little bit slow going. Again with the sneaky hills! There was one that was about half a mile long or so and a decent pitch that got me to walk it. Mile 11 proved to have another hill worthy of walking. All that said, I finished strong and even had enough energy for a jumping finish line photo!

One complaint - lack of porta potties on the course. There were plenty back at the start and the lines were never bad. Still, when it's mile 5 and you've got a bladder full it really sucks to hold it til the end.

Food/Refreshments:
Immediately after the finish line there was plenty of ice cold water, bananas, and granola bars. Muscle milk and Yasso Greek yogurt pops were there too. Those Yasso bars were quite welcome after all those miles!
You were given 2 beer and 2 food vouchers on the bib. The food was a bit lacking being that your option was that of a pretzel or popcorn. It would have been nice to have hotdogs, fruit or some other kind of substantial food.
The beer was ok, a bit bitter, but I really liked that all the proceeds went to charity. That's the kind of beer I can rally behind.

Entertainment:
They had live music from a couple of singer/songwriter type guys. Overall, they had good song selection and kept the crowd interested.

Medals! There are 5! One for each race and then one for the five and dime and one for the hat trick. If medals are what you chase, this was the perfect weekend for you!

There was a children's fun run on Saturday as well as a celebrity mile run where local and national celebrities ran a mile. This was incredibly touching with Jeff Bauman and Adrianne Haslet both there. As a side note, my wife ran the Boston Marathon in 2016 and had a moment with Adrianne around mile 19. She got to speak with her about it and she remembered her! Too cool. She's really an amazing person and strong force.

Overall, this race weekend was put together well and had a lot of spirit. I would definitely run this again and would recommend it to any and all!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.