Latest reviews by Samantha Roderigues

(2018)
"A Race Through the Desert"
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Course Scenery
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This was a really cool race that I would like to do again someday!

They give you a really nice technical tee, a little backpack, chap-stick, a finishers medal, and free race photos.

The aid stations start out every two miles on the mark, but increase to every single mile at some point after the half (thank goodness).

The course starts around a housing development in the middle of the desert and at about mile 5 spits you out onto the longest, straightest stretch of highway through the middle of the desert. I honestly felt like I was in a Road Runner and Coyote cartoon. It was really cool running down the seemingly infinite stretch of straight, flat highway, past tons of cacti and tumble weeds toward the mountains & plateaus in the distance.

Not only was the course incredibly straight, but it was also really, really flat. The course elevation map shows it's almost all slightly downhill, but I honestly don't remember any significant hills up or down.

Parking both at the start and finish were easy (this marathon does not finish where it starts). Also as soon as you got onto the longs stretch of highway your friends/cheer squad could safely pull over to the side to cheer for you pretty much at any point. (I had a bad day and my friends stopped for me at EVERY mile. It seemed like most of the other runners' cheer squads did about the same so there was people cheering you on a solid amount of the time.)

The race was run really well. They had the big flag markers at every mile, a clock at the half, and ample signage anywhere there was actually a turn to be made (not often, but still important so no one would be getting lost in the desert).

My only "problem" with this race was it was in Arizona so while it is December and doesn't actually get too hot temperature wise, the dry heat and sun beating down on you at all times made it seem so much hotter. I was so glad for the aid stations upping to every mile because I felt like the water was evaporating from my throat as I drank it. I don't usually drink much during races, but I stopped at every single of the last aid station, sometimes taking two waters. I would definitely still recommend this race and just say be prepared for the heat!

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(2018)
"An Awesome Race and Event Overall!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I really enjoyed this race and event!

For swag you get a really nice long sleeve tech shirt and an adorable Reebok scrunchie! You also get A TON of race photos, but you have to pay for them.

The aid stations were just hydration, but I think that is kind of to be expected for a shorter race. They were definitely frequent enough and filled with awesome volunteers!

The scenery was through the cool Boston architecture and along/over the water! It was really cool to see all these women literally take over the streets of Boston!

The expo was AWESOME! They had meditation, two yoga, and two cardio sessions to warm you up and then post-race yoga to cool you down. They also had plenty of brands selling goodies.

It felt like a really flat course to me.

I would recommend getting driven there. They were up front with us and said the parking garage for the commons would be closed and street parking in Boston can be rough. I still gave it a good rating though because I was able to easily have a Lyft drop me off and pick me up directly from the commons without issue so access was still really good.

I feel like the race management put on an excellent race! They were able to have the streets we ran on completely closed off so it was nice and safe to run through the city. They also had clocks at every mile. The start had marked off time groups so there was no guessing and it wasn't a free for all. The packet pick up the day before was extremely easy and well done.

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(2018)
"Beast of the East"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
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I ran the Spartan Beast at Killington (the 12+ mile distance). It was INSANELY fun and challenging!!

As with all Spartans you get the tech tee, finisher's medal (this one says mountain series!), and awesome free race photos!

There was plenty of aid stations so I didn't bring my full out hydration pack. I had just a carry-able bottle since some stations were cup-less. I don't remember what stations had for food, but I would bring your own just to be safe.

The scenery on top of the mountain is so pretty!! Also a decent amount of the course is through pretty woods!

It is up a mountain so the elevation is pretty intense. Though I think the hardest parts were the start (gotta send you up the steepest hill to intimidate you!) and then of course the Death March, which was straight from the bottom to Killington peak right under the gondolas.

Parking was really easy, they used the ski resort lots. We got there later and had to be shuttled but it was a really quick ride.

Race management put on an EXCELLENT race as always!

Notes:
There is a swim section, but they make you were life jackets so you can literally just float.

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(2018)
"Another Awesome Ragnar!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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This was my third Ragnar Relay and I had an amazing time!

As usual you get a nice t-shirt, the cool team puzzle finishers medals, tattoos, and stickers!

The aid stations were like a normal Ragnar race, where there are some on what are considered the hardest and longest legs. None of my team had any issue with their placement. I think some people brought handhelds though.

The scenery was very pretty during most of the race! We went though multiple wooded areas and by multiple water sources!

I count the after party as the expo. I was really happy with this after party. They had much more substantial food options this time, two choices of wraps, AND they even had both types in a gluten free version!

It was decently rolling hills. I want to say during the middle was the most uphill, which I missed out on due to lightening. It was a bummer my middle leg got cancelled, but also I can understand their need for safety and they did say we could run other runners legs with them to make up for it.

I counted parking as the ability for vans to maneuver/pull over to cheer on runners. The roads were fine and were plenty of opportunities to pull over along the course.

Race management did an excellent job of providing a really fun course and race!

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(2018)
"An Absolutely Insane Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
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Race Management

This race was SUPER fun but also INSANELY hard. It is one of three races in the series, which I heard all have their own challenges. After racing this one I would really like to do them all next year!

The swag included really nice free race photos (my favorite form of swag!), a medal, a drawstring bag, and a nice hooded long sleeve shirt.

They had plenty of aid stations and they included EVERYTHING! Full packages of Honey Stinger chews & waffles, Coke & other sodas, sports drinks, candy, pretzels & more, and at least one even had bacon!

The course scenery was wicked pretty! All of Mount Killington's wilderness was amazing, especially at the peak!! It was also really exciting to see the trail system it was being held in was large enough to allow for 25k of unique trail so the course wasn’t just multiple loops of the same trail. The terrain varied between deep thick mud, tall thick grassy (vertical) fields, paths made of fist/baseball sized rocks, and technical wooded paths.

I didn't make it to the day-before packet-pickup even though they generously left it open until 8PM. In the after party Under Armor showed it definitely knows how to pamper you. They had a whole recovery station with all sorts of rollers, yoga pads, hammocks, and Normatec leg compression sleeves.

The elevation was INSANE and almost constant straight up and down with barely any flat. You also didn't just go up and down the mountain, but up and down multiple times/peaks.

Race parking was super easy. It was in an actual gravel parking lot, right where the GPS address said it would be, and SUPER close to the start line! The race venue also had great service which is always nice since I am directionally challenged so there’s no way I’m finding my way back home without a GPS or directions.

The race management was excellent! It was nice to see there was no line at day-off packet-pickup/resgistration. I had a problem with my registration but they were able to quickly and painlessly fix it for me. I also overheard another woman had forgotten her previously picked-up bib at her hotel and they quickly replaced it for her. In the end my bib actually got messed up, but that's honestly just my luck lol.

Other random notes:
This race seemed extremely supporter friendly. Not only did they have a supporter tent that had bells and sign making stuff, but they also had multiple supporter viewing points along the course. I didn’t have anyone with me since I always feel bad having people sit around for hours to only see me at the start and finish so I don’t know exactly what it entailed. I did see supporters at multiple points up the mountain and people in the gondolas though so I’m assuming they were providing transport to these spots for the supporters.

There were multiple timing pads for your bib chip placed throughout the woods/mountain. I thought that was pretty neat!

The course was well marked where you could basically always see a ribbon so even when I was alone and started doubting myself I was quickly reassured I was on the right path.

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