Latest reviews by Jodi Thore

(2016)
"Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon (Inaugural Running)"
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It was a chilly 39 degrees at race start and our mylar blankets came in handy, however we had to ditch them as we moved to the start line.

The run was ALL along the beach!!! It was pretty much a straight run down until around mile 11. And yes, we took a picture with the Mississippi sign...ICONIC!!

Not long after mile 10 they took us off of Hwy 90 and put us on a less travelled road to get us to the stadium. Apparently, we were ready to be done because I can't find any pictures from these few miles. I remember passing by a cemetery, the guy in the crazy suit at the hydration station, the shuttle buses lined up to shuttle runners back to the convention center, AND...that turn taking us away from the stadium and out about a half mile to turn us around and bring us to the finish!! It was great hearing the announcer and the cheers, then it all faded as made a left turn, but...after that turn around we were headed back to those cheers and a finish line!!

We totally enjoyed this run, however...next year we will Uber to the start shuttles instead of trying to fight the traffic with the lane closures for the runners to fetch the car and get back before check out!!

The Finish Line/After Party was at the MGM Stadium and it was a pretty good set up!! There was plenty of food and space for everyone to hangout!!

Oh, this race offered FREE race photos too!!

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(2016)
"Home Town Race"
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This was a last minute add to the calendar for me, signed up at the expo but with the BF out of town what's a girl to do on a Saturday morning??!!

I was at the Expo at opening and businesses were still setting up their tables, didn't look like there would be anything for sale but I was in and out with my packet.

Race morning there was plenty of parking in the Pier Park area not far from the start/finish line. Race start was on time at 7:30a. Coming out of Pier Park, we hung a left and ran down Front Beach Road. Eventually, we went right and head toward Pineapple Willy's to a stretch that would bring us out near Spinnaker's to continue about another mile before turning around and heading back the way we came. There were frequent glimpses of the beach and gulf pretty much the entire route.

The after party was at Margaritaville in which we enjoyed gumbo/chili and free beer!!

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(2016)
"Pensacola Half Marathon"
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This was my third year running this race (first year being run by Pensacola Sports) and I'll probably be back again next year!! The start and finish are right along the bay near Veteran's Park. This year's weather was a little humid, but overcast skies made for great temps. The course takes you out for a short jaunt on Bayshore with a glimpse of the 3 Mile Bridge, you take a right and your headed under Graffiti Bridge the takes you up 1 of the 2 hills on the Half course. We traversed the bridge over the Texhar Bayou then headed into a residential area. After passing a local high school drum line we round a corner that has us headed back downtown and into the finish. Don't forget to look around while downtown, there are multiple cannons positioned to defend the city from past battles and as you cross the main intersection that takes you to the finish, a look to the right will give you a glimpse of the Military sponsored pelicans...photo op for this AF Veteran (there are about 70 of these pelicans throughout Pensacola).

There was plenty/variety of food and drink at the finish and don't forget to pick up your race results.

With all the running events in Pensacola, it would be nice if there were more vendors to support the expo.

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(2016)
"Hills, Hills and More Hills"
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My dad laughed at me when I told him we were going to run Amish Country while we were OH for Thanksgiving!! He laughed even harder when I gave him the course route!! He laughed at me one more time as he looked around the High School hallway and saw that Rick and I were the only ones wearing the Hat and Beard given as race swag!!

The Berlin Amish Country Half Marathon is one of my favorite runs of 2016!! Two years ago we had seen runners posting about this race and decided that the next time we were in OH for Thanksgiving, we were running it!! Also, the fact that it was in my home state and I have never ran a race in OH made it a pretty special run.

My parents live about 1.5 hrs from Berlin, OH so is was and early alarm to make sure we arrived in enough time to pick up our bibs. The start/finish was at the local high school which was opened for us to stay warm prior to race start. To say that is was chilly...ummmm, these FL folk were cold!! The last time we ran a race with a beard it was added warmth to the face and neck. Oh, we were told to add 20-30 minutes to our expected finish time due to the hills...this should have been a clue!!

Race start was at 8a and we were off on time!! The parents and my son were off to eat breakfast while we were challenged by the hills of OH!! Let me just say that we ran 9 hills before hitting the 3 mile mark!! Everything you think the Amish Country is, you see along the route. There were buggies, Amish families manning water stations and just out cheering us on, farms, cows, horses and lots of horse droppings on the road!! Around mile 4 we ran into Amanda and hung out for about 4 miles. She had actually been rear ended on the way to the race this morning and needed a little cheering up!! As we ran and talked, she had already talked to my parents at the High School (because my mom told her about the other race with beards!) and we found that she is a race manager and if we are ever in Cleveland we need to look her up. Around mile 9, little frozen things started hitting me in the face and I realized it was sleeting...how nice!! It didn't last long, but that was a first during a race for me!! At mile 10 I texted my mom to let here know we were about 30 minutes out if they wanted to be at the finish!! Now, let's talk about the HILL at mile 11!! I started around 11.25 (I looked at my watch) and didn't end until pretty much mile 12...let's just say I walked some, if not most of that hill!! At mile 12 you could see the finish, but you also saw that it was a downhill to an uphill before another downhill that took you back on the track for the finish!! AND...I ran that last hill because I knew my parents were watching and I thought it may give my dad another laugh!! All in all, I counted 18 hills and Rick says he counted 19, so there are HILLS on this course!!

After crossing the finish we were handed a bag tied with our medal that contained a block of Amish cheese, chocolate milk and 3 Magi Salve that would come in handy later...it's like the RD had ran these hills before!! We made our way up the hill to the high school cafeteria for the post race fuel of Amish Hot Buttered Noodles!! These were the best thing ever...especially after a cold run.

We loved this race...hills and all!! So much so that we may just give it another go the next time we are in OH for Thanksgiving!!

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(2016)
"30A Half Marathon"
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We were up at 3a and out the door at 4a headed to Santa Rosa Beach. What normally would take about 1.5 hrs only took 1 hr on a Sunday morning!! But we were able to for go the shuttle from the local elementary school and park about 50 yards from the start/finish line!!

Perks for arriving really early to a race...choice of close parking spots, no lines at the porta potties, and it was quiet enough to catch 30 minutes of additional sleep!!

We headed to the start about 640a for a 7a start. The start was on time and we were in for an out and back. If you have ever ran the Seaside Half Marathon in the Spring, this one starts at the turnaround for Seaside. I hadn't ran Seaside since 2014 and forgot about the hills!! Yes, there are hills at the beach!! Actually, the first 3 miles and the last 3 miles were hills!!

The route took us into a neighborhood in Watercolor to loop us back out on 30A at mile 7. Now it was basically a straight shot back to the finish.

We enjoyed the beverages provided at the finish, but there were only bananas and granola bars for food choices.

We enjoyed this race, but mainly due to being familiar with the course. The only support/cheering on the route were the water stations. This was a closed road race, there were a few views of the inlets leading to the Gulf of Mexico, but the view was mainly residential areas along 30A.

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