Latest reviews by Dane D

(2017)
"Second year for me didn't fail! "
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This was my first race last year. I wanted to do it again this year to start my running season off.

Registration was super easy online. Check in at the race took all of about 2 minutes and instead of a shirt they had either a coffee mug or wine glass to choose from!

The course was around a local park (2 laps) then down a mostly paved path, then over a bridge and back. A few hills but nothing crazy. It was a cold and wet morning so there was some mud to deal with but that just added to the excitement!

Crossing the finish line I was pretty happy with my performance. Not quite as quick as I had hoped, but not bad! I shaved 13 minutes off of my time last year! And placed 3rd in my age group!

Post race goodies were typical bananas, bagels, donuts, and other assorted goodies. It was a nice gathering of fellow runners from around the area.

I'd recommend this race to anyone who wants a stress free racing experience and ready to break out past the 5k mark!

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(2016)
"Scenic and FAST! "
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Let me just say first that I'll focus on the actual race and the expo as two separate entities. The race I absolutely loved, and the expo - not so much.

The little town of Corning, NY is home to Corning Glass and the museum of glass. I went there as a kid on a field trip and honestly hadn't been back since. I was excited to bring my family there!

Expo:
The expo was held at the Museum of Glass. To get to the *small* auditorium it was downstairs and through the gift shop area filled with lots of expensive glass sculptures to wind our way around with a stroller and child in tow. Not exactly family friendly. The expo itself was so packed my wife opted to stay outside of the auditorium until after I made my way through the long line for registration. It was a single line with no separations for last name etc, kind of a free-for-all. That being said it took about 20-30 minutes to pick up my Bib and packet. The good part was the swag! The 1/4 zip pullover was *really* nice! Nicest race gear I have gotten at this point. Also, they had a small wineglass with the year and details printed on it. And the cherry on top? A small bottle of champagne from the NY fingerlakes! Like I said, really sweet swag! The rest of the expo was small. Not very many big name vendors. Did a quick circle and left.
One other part of the expo that was frustrating was the parking. We parked in a parking garage and the elevators were secured and you needed a proxy badge to access them. We found that out on the way out and were unable to get out stroller down without assistance from a worker that I had to go track down. Again, not very family friendly.

Race day:
I got there early for the busses. I ended up staying about 25mi from Corning due to no available hotels because it's a small town and they likely booked way in advance and I had gotten in off the waitlist. Parking at 5:30am was plentiful and I walked right to the bus to take the short trip out to a local school all 13.1 miles away. They had ample portable bathrooms outside and you could sit and rest inside to stay warm. The starting line was about 0.25mi down the road. We lined up and off we went!

The course:
Out in the middle of upstate New York it was gorgeous! Running through residential areas where people cheered us on was fantastic! For the most part the course was flat or downhill. There were a couple areas of uphill. The one around mile 7 took a bit of energy to power up but it was all good. Seeing the finish line I knew I was sub 2hrs and wow was that exciting! A PR!

The medal was blown glass from Corning and that made it really special. The post finish food was catered by Wegmans and as any NYer knows, Wegmans is awesome!

Overall:
There were some frustrations with parking for the expo and the expo itself but the race and post-race festivities made up for it. I'd definitely recommend this race to others if you get a chance to do so! There's nothing like Autumn in NY!

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(2016)
"Designed by runners FOR runners! "
Overall
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Oh little town of Bethlehem... A Runner's dream! This little college town in PA is close to the home of Runner's World and the host of the festival and half marathon each year. This was my first year running.

Location:
Bethlehem steel was the second largest steel plant in the country and helped to produce the steel for the Empire State Building and Golden Gate Bridge. The skeleton of this is now known as Steel Stacks. This is the setting of the festival. Ample *free* parking and close proximity to many local restaurants and other treasures.

Registration:
Super easy Bib pick up that led you straight to the expo.

Expo:
Cramped. That's my only complaint. They had great vendors such as KT Tape and Balega socks but when it filled in it was pretty hard to navigate. One huge plus was that Ultima replenisher was there for free samples of their hydration mix that would be on course... DELICIOUS. I may be a convert. The *golden moment* of the expo was meeting Golden Harper, creator/founder of Altra Running. These are *the* only shoes I can wear or I wouldn't be running. To be able to thank him for this in person was really special.

Course:
Oh Bart Yasso. How we love you. But when the hills really kicked into overdrive and my body screamed, "Walk!" well... It's ok, we still love you Bart! I definitely didn't train well enough for the hills but in the end my results weren't bad at all and it was a actually a really well balanced uphill/downhill ratio. The local crowd support was awesome! People cheering along the way really helped encourage to push through. The neighborhoods were gorgeous and it was perfect weather so that helped too!

Post Race:
You were immediately greeted with the medal after the live announcer welcomed you home. There was more water and Ultima replenisher waiting. Photo personele snapped some shots, you could walk around a bit, then onto the chow! Granola bars, bagels, chocolate bars, and cookies... Runner's delight! There was a great live band and then the beer tent! They had a local brewery, Saucony Creek, that had two different kinds available and Whiteclaw hard seltzer was there. Both were delicious.

Added bonus:
BibRave Pros! Man, the place was crawling! I was able to meet folks I've been chatting with via twitter and elsewhere and that was really great. These folks have been so helpful in the online community and it was really great to meet with them and geek out on running! Plus, the national anthem was sung by none other than Jessica Ni Murphy (cofounder of BibRave). Really cool!

Overall:
This was a true runner's weekend! Such great experiences and really got me even more addicted to running! This will hopefully turn into a yearly tradition for my family especially since it's practically in our back yard!

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(2016)
"Great 1st Half! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Intro:
This was my first half. I picked this specifically as a training race as I'm doing the Philly marathon in November. The course would give me a good preview of the the finish of the marathon. Philly, like any major city cab be a nightmare for parking etc, but this weekend was fairly calm in center city and it wasn't that bad to navigate around. If you're coming in for the race only, public transportation is the best.

Expo:
Bible pickup was a breeze. Walk right in, no line, bib in hand. Done! The only slight annoyance was to have a written confirmation paper, but I could deal.
The merch was typical but I did have to get my "run philly" shirt. I had wanted to try the Brooks gait analysis demo but didn't wait in line. Lots of great vendors. The Altra booth was amazing!

Race day:
Walked to the race area. Walked around. Checked out the scene. Water was available. Plenty of port-a-potties. Lined up with my corral and we waited. Things went smoothly with the start and the line moved well. One complaint is that the PA feed on the speakers down the way cut out and would get about 2 seconds of music/announcements every 40 seconds or so.
The course was great! Flat and fast for sure. There were a few areas where there was a steady incline but nothing terrible. To get up to the finish line there's one last "hill" but it was great motivation to push up it and cross the finishline!

Post-race:
Done! Step right up and get your medal! Then, get some ice! Buckets of ice were amazingly refreshing. Next up water, Gatorade, frozen yogurt pops from Whole Foods, protein bars, chips... Great cures for the runger!

Overall:
I was really happy with my result and how the race was ran. It was a great first half experience. I can't wait for my next!

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(2016)
"Running around Scranton, one 5K at a time!"
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This was my second 5k experience in the Run Around Scranton Series. These folks do a great race! The best part... it's free! They will have t-shirts available, though often run out due to the large turnout each month. Get there early for your swag! Also, get there early for a parking spot! Being downtown the parking is somewhat limited and with 200+ runners it gets to be a fight for the last spot at times.

This month's course started off downtown at Ale Mary's and led along through the city and along part of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, then back into the city. For the most part this was a fairly quick and flat race. Toward the end of the race there was a substantial hill that took my breath away, but then this turned around to a gradual decline for a fast finish. The Scranton Police are great to keep the roadways clear and safe for the runners and directing/stopping traffic as needed.

At the finish, there's plenty of cold water to slug down after pushing through for your hopeful PR! The run is always hosted at a local pup/restaurant and that certainly helps to chase down the finish line to claim your chilled pint! (if that's your thing...)

Overall, this was a great race in the series of the monthly Run Around Scranton 5Ks! I am definitely looking forward to the next!

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