Latest reviews by Emily

(2017)
"Waddle Wattle 2016"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This half Marathon (Wittle Waddle) or Full Marathon (Wattle Waddle) is on thanksgiving day and kicks off the first run of the Quadzuki (4 halfs, 4 days) or Guadzilla (4 fulls 4 days).

It's a very small run. When you check in day of race, you got a fun hat.

The race started at Gas Works Park on the North side of Lake Union. The official start was the RD looking at a watch counting down.

You ran on a trail next to a street up to the University of Washington until you could get on the Burke Gilman trail, then it was a nice paved trail most of the way.

The aid stations were very well stocked, and the volunteers there were great. There was a guy doing his 500th marathon, and they had m&ms with his name and picture on them. The turn around was at mile 10.3, and of course I wasn't paying attention so ran past the station thinking it was a full out and back, they tried to call after me, but since I was listening to music I didn't hear them. Eventually I got to mile 13.1 (had passed 2 other runners so I wasn't the only one) and turned around on my own, figuring I made a wrong turn somewhere. When I made it back to the station at 10.3 I talked to the guys there. The true course was to go back to gas works, over the hill then down the road another 3 miles, then turn around. When I eventually got back to gas works, I stopped to talk to the RD to see if I still needed to run the additional 6 miles, he said no, since I had already done the mileage, but I needed to run the hill. I eventually finished and checked in with the RD again, who wrote my time down.

It was raining, and I was the coldest I had ever been while on a run. As soon as it was over, I got to my car and changed into dry warm clothes. As soon as my hands thawed out I could text my family that I was done. At the finish, there was hot tomato soup, hot chocolate, and lots of other goodys I didn't pay attention to.

This really was a great race, despite my lack of paying attention and the weather. I fully plan on doing it again this year, if I'm in town for the holidays.

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(2017)
"2016 Wishbone Run"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was the second race of my quest for quadzuki, although my first was a marathon.

Parking was great. Right across the street was a big lot. You reserved your spot for the race when you registered, but didn't pay until you checked it, a $20 donation to a food bank.

The race itself was very flat, and it was out and back on the green river trail, through the more industrial part of Kent. It is a fast course, and the volunteers at the aid station were very nice.The turn around was at three friends fishing, and was just a sign, but there were real bathroom there and a water fountain so that was nice.

The fact this race was only $20 made it worth while, but if t wasn't for trying to do the quadzuki/quadzilla, I probably wouldn't do this race again.

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(2016)
"2016 Runners World Festival Grand Slam"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Grand Slam is 4 races over the course of 3 days adding up to 26.2 miles. Starts out Friday afternoon with a 3.8 miles trail run. Saturday morning are back to back 5k and 10k, and Sunday morning is a half marathon.

First are general notes about the weekend
EXPO:
Very well organized. You walked in, got your bib then made your way down the line to get your swag. Then you walked through all the vendors on the way out. There were lots of vendors, some I have never heard of and was very happy to learn more. My favorite stop was a clothing gear (https://illuminite.myshopify.com/) where the clothes were very reflective and comfortable.

SWAG:
Everyone got a shirt. I did the grand slam so got some extra stuff as well.I had 1 bib for all 4 races.
Trail - altra buff
Hat trick (5k, 10k, half) - Head SweatsHat
Grand Slam - Balega socks

PARKING:
The parking was easy. Nice lot where the expo was. For the trail they shuttled you to and from the expo, and the rest of the races started there (smoke stacks).

Best part: Bart Yasso was there at every race. So fun meeting him and talking to him over the weekend.

Trail Race:
Beautiful race. There were lots of people, and some areas where you could be forced to walk to do the small path, but it also opened up. the volunteers were friendly and supportive. https://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/trail-course.html

5K:
Not much about this race, you had to walk a good distance to get to the start, but it ran down to the bridge, over and back, the through a little of the town back to the smoke stacks.
https://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/5k-course.html

10K:
Same route as the 5 K, but explored some areas of Bethlehem when you crossed the bridge before coming back around. There were some hill around the middle section, but not too bad. I ended up with a group doing intervals and hung out with them for the race. It was so much fun, before I knew it the race was over.
https://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/10k-course.html

Half marathon:
First off, this course was beautiful but HILLY! you ran through main street then off on side streets through Bethlehem then back through town. There were people out there cheering the entire way. I wish there were more portapotties though (more often, or more than 1 or 2 when they were there). Again I joined with a random pair and got to know them well. 1 of them turns out to live in WA near me, and we have been able to get together since RWF.
https://rw.runnersworld.com/rwhalf/course.html

Overall, the race was amazing, the weekend was amazing, the people were amazing and the volunteers were amazing. Can't make it back in 2017, but planning on coming back in 2018.

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(2016)
"Ragnar Trail, fun but dusty"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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I love Ragnar and have done many, but this was my first trail. This was located in the North Cascades, at the Loup Loup ski bowl.

First off, I loved the overall weekend, it was more relaxing than the typical road relay, since you weren't jumping in a car to meet and frog hop your running.

There really was no parking issues. You pulled up to the drop area to unload your car than went to park down the road. There was a shuttle to bring you back, then there was no more car until you left.

Everyone ran the same 3 loops, just in a different order, the trail was beautiful and on the top of the "red" trail you were on top of the peak and the view was spectacular.

For the weekend, you show up on Thursday and find a place to set up camp. There are size requirements, but really no one was following them. Once you had you set up, that was your home for the next 2 nights. At the end of the bowl was the "Villiage" Here, there was the Ragnar Store, Salomon was there and you could borrow trail shoes during your legs, and other sponsors, similar to what's available at exchange 6 of a road ragnar. There was the mess hall, where there were meals available, some where included and some you had to pay for. There was also bon fire and a coffee stand.

The organization was great too. Since there is only 1 exchange point, you ran with a colors bracelet to identify your loop. This helped the volunteers direct you out on the trails and helped line up the upcoming runners. There was a monitor that tracked when your runner was close to the exchange. If there were any problems on the run, the RD and staff were extremely helpful.

The medals were amazing! be careful though, they are sharp. They sold a leather case for the metals which I was happy I got. My only complaint about the weekend was the massive amount of dust. Most people had to run with a buff or scarf around their mouth, but I found that harder to breath. This year the location is different so looking forward to see how that changes the weekend. One of the best races of the year.

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(2016)
"Great check off the Bucket List."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I have been wanting to do this race for 5 years, once I really started running and heard about it. Since it sells out really quick, and most of it is a lottery, my only option was to upfront the cost of a full team, or join a team needing an additional runner.
Since it sold out so quickly, I ended up joining a team with 11 other people I had never met, and the group isn't active on FB so we really didn't do much getting to know you before the race. I took the train down to Portland from Seattle where one of my team mates picked me up and we went to the captains house, packed up the van and took off to exchange 6 to start our legs.

First set of legs were great. The scenery was beautiful and the communities we ran through we very supportive. It was quite hot out and so many of the houses had sprinklers out, or were outside with hoses to cool you down. At exchange 12 you could order dinner (ahead of time) so you had a nice hot meal to eat. We were lucky in that our captain lived close and we went to his place to catch a few hours of shut eye. The volunteers were some of the best I've seen out of all the relays I've done. The medal was simple and very pretty. The shirts are gender specific, and although I didn't like them as much as the previous years, they are still pretty cool.

Cons: Unfortunately, nothing about the cons really can be controlled by the race organizers.
First TRAFFIC. After the first set of legs, traffic was a nightmare. For each runner, when we got about a mile to the exchange we hit a line of traffic. The next runner and a companion had to get out of the car and walk to the exchange. In some cases the runner passed us and beat us to the exchange point. Once the runner started, the companion and the last runner walk back to the van, which has moved maybe half a mile. At least at this point we can completely by-pass the exchange and do it again at the next one. There are so many vans and the road is narrow, that having the vans wait for runners to pass, then take turns leaving and entering just backed everyone up.
Second, cell coverage. There is no coverage for the last 2 legs, until you are practically at the finish line. The issue this cause is when switching off the vans at the major exchange points. No clue where the other van was, if they were ahead or behind or if something happened. Again, there's really nothing the organizers can do about this. Might be good to bring walkie-talkies next time, now that I know.

Overall the race was fantastic. I ended up with a great team and had a ton of fun.

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