Latest reviews by Samantha Roderigues

(2017)
"The Miles Flew By"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race was smaller than most in the series but I honestly really liked it. One of my favorite!

Again, I am really partial to the swag as I am doing the whole series to get the giant puzzle medal made up of all the individual race medals. Each also gives a nice technical t-shirt. You also get lots of high quality free race photos from these races.

There were aid stations about every 2 miles with water, Gatorade, and fuels. There were also plenty of pot-a-potties (only noticed since I needed one lol).

The scenery was pretty nice. It went by the water and by some pretty fields.

I didn't attend the expo.

It was quite hilly, but I really enjoyed the hills. I don't think they were murderous, more just fun challenging rolling ones. Unsure if it was just the hills, but the miles FLEW BY. I've never felt a half marathon go by so fast!

Parking was nice. It was in a field at Fort Getty (which is closed besides the half). Decently close to the start and free.

Race management was good. It was a smaller race and everything seemed to go smoothly.

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(2017)
"An Amazing Experience!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race was such an amazingly fun experience! You definitely have to be up for the adventure of misadventures, but it's completely worth it! Normally you have a team of 12 people split into 2 vans of 6 or an ultra team of just 6. My team had a hard time finding and keeping 12 people crazy enough so we ended up with a team of 9 as a freestyle team (whatever configuration you want). With the team of 12 you each run 3 legs of the relay. Each leg is a different length and elevation profile as you are running down New Hampshire and are at the mercy of the landscape. With 12 people all trying to guess their pace over extremely diverse legs it's really hard to have exact timing down (cue the misadventure). Also since they can't block off all the roads of NH your team (yes you are the drivers) are driving your vans (and somewhat directing yourself) through normally populated NH. Honestly the whole experience kind of reminded me of a track meet as you hangout with your friends waiting anxiously for your race (leg) that will go off AROUND a certain time. The race is non-stop once it starts so there will be night legs for some of your team as well!

You get shirts, the awesome team medals that come together to make one, tattoos, a bag of tons of fuel/food.

Most of the aid stations were amazing and had a variety of snacks, actual food, and drinks. I am Celiac and most of these stations had gluten free foods as well as foods that are naturally gluten free. A few were lacking and had even run out of water by the time we got there (my team was probably a mid paced team).

The scenery was AMAZING. It started at Mount Washington and went through the White Mountains National Forest. Really all of the route was beyond beautiful.

I didn't attend the expo if there was one.

The elevation was something fierce, but kind of expected since you are going through many of the mountainous roads of NH. Different legs had different elevations. A warning: They specify the difficulty of each leg, but honestly I have no idea what algorithm they use. You would think it would make sense to go by distance, elevation, and possibly how late the leg is in the race (to account for having run ones previously), but they don't seem to go by any of this. The first leg is only a mile but it is DIRECTLY UP A MOUNTAIN, then back directly down. It is killer (and honestly sounded like the hardest leg of the race) but they only labeled it as "Hard" when "Very Hard" was the hardest option. No one at our start time could run up it. You HAD to walk. Many other legs seemed off in their ratings too so I would look at all the stats and give them a rating yourself.

Parking at the start and any major transitions was really good. Since my team had only 9 members we had to switch who was in the vans at some minor transitions as well and that generally wasn't too bad either.

The race was really well put together for how different it is from any other race and how large scale it is. There were a few spots with unclear directions, but other runners/drivers or volunteers were quick to help when they could. For a 200 mile route where so much more could have gone wrong, it was really well organized.

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(2017)
"Fun Technical Trail Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Overall I loved this race and will absolutely be back again next year! Most trails in the area are really flat and not technical at all so I was super please to find majority of these trails were single track through the woods, full of rocks, branches, streams, and more. There are a few points where it opens up and flattens out. You somewhat have to wait for those points to easily pass people (but also I'm new to this so maybe it was just me). I was toward the middle of the pack as it was my first technical trail race and found myself "stuck" at the perfect pace, with someone in front of my to help guide me a bit. The 10 mile race is just the 5 mile trail looped twice (usually I hate repeating a course), but it was so pretty you barely noticed you had to do it again.

For swag I got the softest, nicest feeling technical t-shirt I've ever owned. You also get really nice free race pictures. People who placed got to choose from a variety of local beers and drinks as their prize.

I believe there were one or two aid stations with water along the 5 mile loop so two or four along the 10 miler. Since it was described as technical I was afraid there would be no stations and took my hydration pack so I'm not super sure about the stations and what they had.

The race is along the trails in a state park so the views were really nice scenic woods. At one point you dip down right by the water for water views too!

I don't believe there was an expo.

There were a few pretty steep sections. Wasn't a mountain or anything but compared to most of the flat trails around it was pretty difficult elevation wise.

Parking was great since it was at a park with plenty of lot space.

Race management seemed like really nice, chill people, who planned things out really well. A Better Pace puts on other races and I am definitely going to be looking into those as well for next year.

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(2017)
"Fun Flat Half!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Overall it was a fun race with nice waterside views! It was during a hot and humid time of the year, but they started it way earlier than the rest of the series to try and beat the heat some.

I'm doing the whole race series and am IN LOVE with the way all the medals puzzle together to create one huge one. They also give nice technical t-shirts. And my favorite are their free race photos! The photographers for this series always are great and get so many nice ones!

Aid stations every 2ish miles with water, Gatorade, and some fuels (unsure which as I don't fuel).

The course went along the pretty, historic roads, by the water, and through the beautiful Colt State Park!

I didn't attend the expo.

It was really flat with only one kind of long, gradual hill.

They specify a list of parking lots in the area that you could park in. I was able to find a spot at the first one listed that I checked. I think it was a school. From there it was a short walk of a block or two to the park/start line.

I think these races are always pretty well organized.

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(2017)
"Fast Course and a Great Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Expo - I was busy and couldn't attend.

T-shirts/SWAG - A nice technical t-shirt and a cool medal that can be combined with the medals from the other races in the series (like a puzzle) to create a giant medal! I'm doing the series and personally think it's really fun to get a new piece each race. They also take a good amount of high quality free photos!

Aid Stations - One about every 2-3 miles which I found to be a good distance. They weren't too crowded and had plenty of volunteers so I was always able to get handed a cup on the run (I just drink water so unsure how nutrition was).

Course - I am not a city runner and signed up for this race just because it was part of the series. I was pleasantly surprised it didn’t FEEL like city running. The course was over a much less densely populated area than when I generally think of Providence so it was peaceful and not full of the hustle and bustle of a city. It was well blocked off from cars and people, almost always giving us at least a full side of the road. I also thought Providence was a hilly city, but the course was mostly flat (with a few decent uphills to spice things up). I usually think flat courses feel monotonous and like they go on FOREVER, but the few hills combined with decently winding route kept that from happening. Also I say “winding” because it had turns, but almost none of those 90 degree angle turns around city blocks, which I also dislike. Overall, I really enjoyed a course that I definitely thought would not be my cup of tea at all.

Parking - I parked at the mall. You have to pay a small fee, but that way I didn't have to worry and was guaranteed close parking. Also the mall takes credit cards, unlike some of the smaller parking lots in the area.

Start Line - Easy to find. I stretched off to the side until the last minute and was able to jump in quickly.

Packet Pickup - My only issue with this race. Granted they did warn against picking up the day of in multiple emails (but I live too close to stay over and too far to go there the day before), but it was VERY busy. The line ended up running down the narrow hotel hallways so you couldn't see the start until you were there. This caused me to stand in the wrong line since they provide a special shorter line for the people signed up for the whole series.

Overall I really enjoyed this race and think it was very well put together besides packet pickup being a bit crazy. The course felt fast and I have heard the marathon course is excellent as well so I will most likely return to give that a go next year!

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