Latest reviews by Melissa

(2018)
"FroYo 5k - 131 Events - Tempe, AZ"
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I've been a long time fan of 131Events races after having done my first a few years ago. They put on virtual races as well as actual races in Phx, AZ as well as Indianapolis (and maybe other cities I'm unaware of) Their medals are always AMAZING. So when my friends asked me to sign up for today's race, I did so without hesitation.

The races from 131 ALL have one flaw here in the phx area - they start too late. People in Indy are ok with a 9am start time, but when you have a very hot Phoenix sun beating down on you, a 9am start time to ANY race could potentially be detrimental to the health and well-being of the runners. The sun is simply too high and too hot by 9am. This is a MAJOR issue I have with the race.

This particular course was over sidewalks and such. It was congested and there were no street closures to make it easier for the runners (maybe too much $$ to get the permits etc?)

The froyo at the end was of course a nice touch - they had toppings that you could choose from, and happy volunteers which are always appreciated.
The shirt was an add-on which I didn't think, for the price I paid to enter, should have been - it should have been included in the swag bag, which included a hat and a very cheap pair of kid-sunglasses, which I threw away.

I'm a fan of 131, like I said - but this isn't a race I will do again and honestly, I'm going to consider more heavily my options next time when signing up. I need earlier start times in Phoenix and better logistics.

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(2017)
"Buffalo Marathon Race Review - 13.1 Great Miles!"
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I came into this race completely oblivious to what it would hold for me, as i was doing it with friends "for fun." No expectations always means a good race to me.

The race directors have seriously considered every single detail, from the logistics of the pre-race expo to the post-race party. The expo is HUGE, Bart Yasso spoke and so did Fitz, the announcer, who does some Fitzness.com business. SHe is incredible and quite a resource to runners, especially new ones with questions before a big race.

Logistically speaking - this race is perfect. It's flat, it's very well marked - there are aid stations every chance you'd need one - potties as well.

The only thing they could improve upon, in my opinion, is that there was just one nutrition stop - and it was gu I believe. I've been to enough other races to know that sometimes they'll have bananas around mile 9-11, etc.. and that may have been helpful for a few of us.

The after-party was nothing short of amazing. It's in the civic center, the entire upper floor is full of nutrition, food, beer, pizza, anything you'd want - it's there. There were over 6k runners and I didn't run into one cranky person, etc.

Scenery was incredible -part of the race course takes you right by the waterfront, so you can "see Canada from your backyard!' as you run. Truly a breathtaking view as you're running by. There are tree-lined streets with beautifully kept older homes - gorgeous.... Race volunteers and people coming out to cheer were there en masse... just a perfectly run race, excuse the pun.

Bart Yasso was at the finish to give us our medals - Jeff Galloway was there.

The race directors and Fitz, the announcer? Top Notch.

I will be back next year without a doubt.

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(2017)
"She-Power Half Marathon race review"
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This is my second 131 Event race. The first race I did was a Christmas 5k which was great. If I understand correctly, the company is based in Indy .... and they are new to the Phoenix area. (PS Welcome, we're glad to have you here!)

This race was much better organized than the xmas one. There were EIGHT water stations, which for Phoenix in the summertime, is essential and smart. The one thing I wasn't sure of was the 7am start time. People from INDY may be able to start a half marathon at 7am. However- here in Phoenix, valley of the sun, I would highly recommend an earlier start time based on my own experience as well as in talking with many other (very overheated) runners.

The parking was great - the expo was small but well-run and it went quickly. No identification was required to pick up packets which was interesting - but the lines went quickly, the volunteers were super friendly.

They had great snacks after the race - and all the photos were free uploads.

I'd recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun time. The bling from 131 thus far has been AMAZING - large medals that are just FUN. I will definitely run another 131 race and would encourage others to check them out - they have virtual options as well. Fair price and a great time!

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(2017)
"Phoenix 10k"
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This is the third time I've done this race and the first time doing the 10k. The half marathon was very well organized in years past, and I expected similar experience for the 10k. The bussing was great -we showed up on time, got on our bus and were transported to the start, no problem.

There were seemingly clueless race volunteers (teenagers with megaphones) trying to guide the crowd towards the start line. The email we received earlier indicated there'd be heat lamps. None to be found anywhere. Strangers everywhere, huddled together to stay warm, that was all we had going for us.

They finally used the megaphones in enough people's ears that we all moved to the start line.

Race course is flat and nicely supported, as usual, by a few locals who come out to support their friends and family. Lots of friendly cops, lots of water stops and bathrooms.

Otherwise a great race. I'll do it again for sure, just probably will level back up to the half, if nothing else, for the heat lamps. :-)

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(2016)
"Hot Chocolate Scottsdale 5k Review"
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This is my third or fourth hot chocolate race, so it's always one I look forward to running. This year I leveled down to run it with a non-experienced new runner friend. The expo was great, as always. Many vendors, all very kind and all selling some really cool swag. Two thumbs up.

Race day was great as well - plentiful parking, everything marked well regarding start line, etc... the after-race party was fun too. Always delicious food etc.

I had two issues with this year's race that made me frown. First - no medal for the 5k finishers. I never realized that because, having always run the 15k race, I always received a medal. I tweeted to the race and they did respond, confirming that in fact, 5k finishers don't get a medal. Bummer. That's a lot of money for a snug-fitting jacket. Which leads me to this comment - this year's jackets seemed to run even smaller than normal. They typically DO run small, and I haven't gained weight since last year, so I know nothing has changed there - the size medium barely fit me, and normally it does. Quite a few people were complaining at the 'exchange' tent, where I tried to exchange mine, only to be told they had no sz L to exchange, and they couldn't give me a men's jacket, despite having a huge pile of extra size Med mens jackets (which would have fit me). Very disappointing to have paid the hefty race fee and get no medal and not have a jacket I can wear.

The other issue I had with this year's race is the photos. I've always gotten great images - this year there were two images with me in them - and I had to search by my friend's bib number, because the bib number pics they gave me are complete strangers. Very odd and I'm left wondering if maybe this year they switched photographers. Very, very disappointing.

All in all a great race but these hiccups left me with a small sour taste in my mouth.

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