Latest reviews by Kim Prytherch

(2017)
"Four Thanksgiving Miles"
Overall
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Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I did this race with a bunch of the people from my running club.
There was no expo, just an easy pickup in the parking lot the day before the race. Parking was easy and the tee was basic but comfy cotton.
Race day parking was a little less convenient but still not bad. There were a few lots a short distance away, and you could park and walk over.
The race was a 4 mile loop, and there were lots of walkers and runners so it was a nice group. It was a fun way to start Thanksgiving off, and the bling was nice. There was a one mile fun run afterwards, the kids running it were so cute! Definitely going back!
The course is hilly, it's Charlotte after all!

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(2017)
"A Warm Romp through Chicago "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Expo: the expo was large and everything was spread out nicely so I didn't feel claustrophobic. Bib pickup was a dream, their system was perfection and I didn't wait at all. You had to walk to the back of the expo for your shirt but even that was quick and easy. They were giving out posters, and walked right up to you to give you one. The speakers were on point and had lots of great info and tips.
Train service was frequent and I didn't have to wait on race morning. Because of the Vegas shooting, there was heightened security, but even that was quick and easy.
Corrals were easy to find and potties were plentiful. Our corral started 15 minutes late, which i wasn't thrilled about, but it gave us time for one last potty trip so not a total loss.
Course was well marked and clear, but at times spectators were in the street with no one to stop them. At one point around mile 3, they filled a third of the course and were not stepping out of the way for runners!
There were many times on the course that people were crossing in front of the runners. And they were taking their time, and making runners stop dead on the course!
Other than that, spectators were amazing and the water stops were on point with cups and large bottles for refills.
Mile 13 had a jumbotron that displayed messages left by your friends and family. I received 2 of the messages left by the same person, which was fun to see.
I was not one of the runners that made the cutoff. At mile 18 they told us to get on the sidewalk but the spectators filled them up so we ran in the shoulder. Some volunteers with water and ice stayed on the course but all mile markers were removed and they were pulling up the barriers.
When we reached the finish, we were diverted to the sidewalk. I was so happy to be able to finish that I didn't care
BUT
And this is huge
We are given a medal and water.
That's it.
No Mylar blankets. No one offering to help obviously injured athletes. No food.
No. Food.
Instead, we watched as volunteers filled plastic bags to take home themselves. Bunches and bunches of bananas, what looked like apples, and all the other foods.
We were diverted away from the finish and our families and friends and made to walk several blocks to the street. It took my husband 15 minutes to reach me once I finally plopped down in the grass. I am unthrilled about this. There was no reason to deny us food, and divert us so far away.
Overall I really loved running the marathon,
And i would recommend it to anyone who can finish under the time limit. I am also super happy that they allowed us to finish, even though we couldn't finish on time!

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(2017)
"Fun Romp Through a Beach Town!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I attended this race with 2 of my running besties from my running club. The Expo was easy to get to, although parking was a little crowded. They had lots of vendors and photo ops. They had a great deal on race merch and I got a really cute pullover with a 1/4 zipper.
Race morning, there were plenty of porta potties, parking was plentiful since it started at the mall. The race was point to point and there was a shuttle back to the start.
The course was well marked, safe, and had a variety of views. We can past malls, neighborhoods, through a Greenway, and along the beach. Plenty of water stops with enthusiastic volunteers. The course was mostly flat which I loved.
It ended along the beach, so beautiful, the only annoying part was how much the sidewalk wound back and forth but it couldn't be helped. The medals were huge and doubled as a bottle opener.

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(2017)
"Speedway VIP at the Night Nation Run"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Expo: they had a packet pickup the night before, but as a VIP I was allowed to pick up at the event. There was no line and we got to pick out the color of our glow necklace.
Our drawstring bag had shaded sunglasses that had LED lights, a glow wand, a bracelet, our shirt and bib. My bib was already wrinkled and used looking but it's a fun run so I let it go. Our wands didn't work so we brought them to the merch tent and they exchanged them.
Parking was close and easy but cost $10 which I wasn't a fan of, but at the same time, what can you do?
There were food trucks and beer stands and lots of crazy loud music to get us pumped up! They also had corn hole and giant Jenga.
As VIPs, we were supposed to get into the first wave but they let anyone in without checking bibs. I was unthrilled about this, since we paid quite a bit extra for the privilege, but we lined up right up front and got in the first wave anyway.
The race wound around the Speedway Parking lot and in and out of the tunnel under the stands which was cool. It was fun to watch all the glowing people running around behind us. They had selfie spots with black lights scattered around.
They also had music and DJs around the course as well so you always had music to dance around to.
About halfway through they handed out full sized water bottles and had more at the finish.
The finish was in the Speedway where we started. I'm not sure what they would have had going there, but there were 2 ambulances there loading people in right at the finish line. Obviously this isn't the race director's fault! I hope everyone was ok! We still had our water from the halfway point so we just left. They still had music going and food or beer for purchase, but we had both done long runs early that morning and we were so tired!
This is great race for kids and walkers as well as runners. We walked the whole thing and had a blast on the course. I would definitely do it again!

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(2017)
"Carowinds and Dinosaurs Oh My"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The half marathon was part 2 of the weekend.There was also a quarter marathon at the same time.
Bib pickup started on Friday, but I picked mine up on Saturday before the 5k. Half marathoners got a tech shirt, cap, buff, and magnet with a Charlie Brown theme.
The race began on time after the anthem and a moment of silence for 9-11.
The race course is a double loop. You start by circling the entire parking lot, and then you enter the park through tbe main entrance. You run through the park, the water park and past the dinosaurs. You exit the park, run through the camping area, and then back to the parking lot. After a short out and back, you start all over again.
The course is hilly and well marked. The water stations are well manned.
Here is what I didn't like:
The pacers. The 3 hour pacer ran too fast at the beginning, because she said she puts time in the bank for later. This is not pacing. She lost several runners and freaked out many more with her erratic pace. The 2:45 pacer went out so fast that he walked the last several miles so he would finish on pace. The 2:15 pacer finished several minutes early.
There were no photographers anywhere on the course. There was one at the finish, but photos haven't been posted yet so I don't know if I have a photo. She missed me yesterday so I'm not optimistic.
No characters on the course for most of the race.I managed to snag them on their way to the finish but many were not so lucky.
No one was keeping park goers off of the course. A large group of girls were walking on the course even though there was plenty of room outside of the cones. It slowed me down, and many others, on an uphill at the end of 13 miles.
oh wait. 12.9 miles.
The course was short. After mile 4 it was off at every mile, anywhere between a quarter to a tenth of a mile, it varied from mile to mile.
Ok
Rant over.
Plenty of food and drink at the finish, which was nice. Bagels, cream cheese, apples, bananas, water and Powerade.
Water stations had gels at some stops.
Overall I'm not a fan of the series, but the course is so amazing that I'll probably be back.

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