Latest reviews by Samantha Roderigues

(2018)
"A Race Through the Desert"
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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)
"Really Tough but Really Fun!!"
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This race was SUPER HARD but also SUPER FUN!!

I always love the Spartan swag! As always we received a technical t-shirt, the normal medal, the piece medal, the headband (for people who like that), and awesome free race photos!

Aid stations were really good! They had water, some sports drink, and different ones had different types of fuel! I got to try Cliff Blocks and found out I really like them!

Scenery was decent even though that's not what you go to these races for. It was on a farm through lots of fields of corn, which was kind of neat. But also had some really nice wooded parts!

I'll count the after event as the expo. There was plenty more swag to purchase (which I like to see!) but also other free things/events to do. The cleaning stations were AMAZING. They had a gravel area with a ton of hoses to wash off with and then also changing tents.

Elevation wasn't really all that much, but the amount of mud was INSANE so it made any slight incline into a decent one (not that there were that many anyway).

Parking was your standard field turned to parking lot that you would then catch a shuttle to and from to the race.

This race was run really well. I find it kind of amazing how Spartan manages to stick their obstacle courses in the middle of these places full of woods and other natural obstacles so well.

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(2018)
"An Absolutely Insane Race!"
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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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(2018)
"Better Party than Run"
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The party part was really fun, but the race was pretty lacking. I went to this with a bunch of non-runner friends who had done a similar type of "foam run" which they had been raving about for days. The other run had foam pits, blow up obstacles, and all sorts of extras. While that race definitely sounded like it went above and beyond expectations, this one was definitely below.

For swag you got the normal color run white, cotton t-shirt to wear to the race and get colored. As a 5k for fun I didn't expect a medal so that was pretty normal.

Aid stations were non-existant. At the finish line you could buy food and water. This was one of the biggest issues I saw since I was with people who don't normally run 3 miles straight without water. I feel like they are generally the people these fun runs attract so I was surprised they had nothing to help them.

The course was just around the Brockton fair grounds field and buildings. Some parts kinda looked slightly sketchy even. Some parts were through grass and others on pavement. Some were so dark I wished I had my headlamp to be sure I wasn't going to trip. There were only 2 or 3 foam/glow stations on the course. They consisted of an arch producing a foam waterfall of sorts, which was cool, but it was just the one color and you quickly made it through them. This had the least amount of color/glow stations by far of any color/glow run I've done. You honestly wouldn't get very colorful/glowy just doing the run without the before and after party.

I counted the before and after rave as the expo. They were the best part of this event. They had a stage with a dj playing electronic music. They threw tons of free glow stuff at the crowd and had wicked cool foam canons to shoot the crowd with glow foam.

It was a completely flat course.

Parking was close by and easy enough, but the volunteers weren't great. They were pretty rude about shoving cars in as tightly as possible even though they had ample room and at the end of the event there were still tons of space.

They would have been great management for a foam glow rave, but for a race it was really lacking. It honestly felt like the run wasn't the main event.

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(2018)
"An awesome race I'd highly recommend!"
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The Tough Mudder is an awesome race with an amazing atmosphere! This was my entire group's first Tough Mudder and I think it is safe to say we all caught the bug and plan to do a full in the future!

You get a really nice technical t-shirt, a cool sweatband, and free photos. The only thing about the photos is for numbers they only give you a front bib (which doesn't really work well for mud races). They had markers at the beginning (that looked scarily like sharpies, but weren't) without instructions. I would honestly recommend writing the number across your forehead for being able to have the most of pictures tagged. Even so some of the photos get taken from behind so you might want to know about what time you hit each obstacle. That's if you really like photos like me. I also brought my GoPro to take my own photos of the group, which I'd highly recommend!

The aid stations were the best I've seen at a mud race. They had water, some electrolyte drink, and bathrooms. There were also some with energy bars and bananas!

The course was also pretty scenic for a mudder and included a decent amount of pretty woods!

There wasn't much challenging elevation. The obstacles were the challenging part.

Parking was your standard field converted into a parking lot, but it was well run so parking was a quick and easy task. You need to pay for a pass, but the pass is in the same QR code as your registration so you won't be forgetting it! There was an extremely short shuttle ride (like we could have walked) to the actual event from the general parking lot.

Race management did an excellent job of setting up the whole event! They set a great tone of teamwork such that any obstacle you needed help on you were instantly offered help by multiple other participants. It was a really great atmosphere. We honestly took forever to get over the warped wall type obstacle because we sat cheering people on with all the other participants for awhile. It was REALLY fun. We had a last minute switch of registration and the website didn't allow it the day of the race, but the management at the race were able to quickly help us fix it. They also had a changing tent at the end which was really nice to be able to get out of our wet clothes.

Everyone in the group agreed we were slightly sad we hadn't signed up for the full.

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