Latest reviews by Catherine
This race has a little something for everyone: a half, 10k, 5k and a kids fun run, all with stretches along beautiful Huron River Drive. (Except for the fun run, which is smartly staged the same day & same place as the Expo.)
The race also doubles as the RRCA Half-Marathon Regional Championship Race, which probably explains the HUGE digital time clocks that seemed to be at every mile. Now thoroughly spoiled, I'd love to see these at every race!
The race has some small hills, though the profile of the race looks largely downhill, with a run up to the finish. Kudos to the race management for nice elevation maps, as well as nice spectator maps--it made it easy for my husband to drop me off at the start and follow along to the designated stops on the way to the finish. There are shuttles as well, so you can leave your car in Ann Arbor at the finish, and shuttle to the start in Dexter if you don't have your own support crew. (Thanks, Dave!)
The Expo was more than I expected for a "local" race--there were many booths (including massage). I was happy to discover OOFOS at the Expo, and picked up a pair mostly thinking they'd be for recovery after my first half Ironman later in the summer. Turns out I love the OOFOS so much, they're getting a lot more wear than that!
I can't review the post-race food (which had sounded good!) as a passing storm soaked us all during the run, and I just wanted to get home and get dry clothes. I think I've now learned my lesson and will always pack a change of clothes for every race.
The only ding I could possibly give this race is for choosing a gray finishers shirt. Granted, it's not just this race--I've gotten several gray shirts lately, so perhaps these are just "on trend". However, visibility-wise, it makes no sense to me to give a bunch of runners shirts the color of asphalt. </soapbox>. Hoping for a new color next year, as this is a race I'd be happy to do again!
This race is relatively new--this year was the 4th annual, and I've done it for the last 3 years. I love having this early season race on my calendar--it helps keep me accountable for training during the winter!
The route starts in downtown, basically in front of the Century Link Center / Omaha Hilton. That turned out to be REALLY handy this year, as many runners hung out in the Hilton lobby during the pre-race drizzle. The race route loops through downtown and finishes on a beautiful river walk on the Missouri River.
The most notable change this year was that they stepped up the swag and the post-race treats a notch! I don't know whether they had fortuitously planned to have Brooks coffee mugs and Starbucks coffee at the end all the way along (for those who filled out a quick iPad survey), or if it was a last-minute scramble because of the chilly, rainy day. Either way, it was very much appreciated!
The one thing I wish they would do at the start (aside from having a louder sound system so everyone can hear the announcements) is to do SOME kind of seeding. It's a small enough race that there are no pacers, and I suspect this race draws newbies that don't have experience with seeding. I consider myself a mid-packer, but every year I seed myself closer to the front to avoid zig zagging around walkers, etc.
Overall a great race, with a great name. After all, it's why I run!
P.S. There needs to be a "n/a" category for the expo, because there isn't one for this race.