Latest reviews by Nicole

(2018)
"Gloomy with Rain didn't stop this from being an incredible race"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race gave out quarter zip jackets instead of the typical race tshirt which was awesome! The design was unique and the color was red which I loved! They were lightweight for perfect for layering but you'd need a bit more for colder weather.

The marathon course was mainly rolling hills with some flat stretches mixed in. The hills can easily wear you out early if you're not careful! The aid stations were stocked with sports drink and water with snacks. Off the top of my head I remember gels, fruit, gummy bears, and pretzels. Most aid stations had multiple options. I thought this was more than what you'd find at the typical marathon which was definitely a perk of this race. The course really didn't have many spectators which I think was ok for this course. It was very scenic and spectators might have detracted from that.

The expo was overall on the smaller side but I thought it was very well put together. There were TONS of local races there which was great, as I recently moved to the area and am still trying to learn race options. There were only a few there that weren't associated with a race which didn't bother me but may be a drawback for others.

The race did utilize shuttles, but I cannot comment as much on that because I was picked up and dropped off. The marathon race start had tons of parking and it was easy to get in and wasn't backed up. Parking was more limited in Port Angeles so it definitely seemed easier to park at the start (plus that way you can sleep in a little later!). It was nice that they offered shuttle options regardless of if you parked at the start or finish that way you could plan a bit more based on what was easiest for you.

Overall I would say that I would run this race again for the scenery and the quarter zip! My only complaint was that they ran out of heat sheets. It was a cold day to begin with and I ran the last couple miles in the rain. I didn't stick around at the finish for long because I was cold and wet but might have longer had the race had more sheets left. I finished around 4:30 so there was still a good amount of runners behind me.

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(2018)
"Hills and Heat Make a Runner"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The star of the weekend, it was clear that no detail was spared for the 20th anniversary of the Flying Pig!

This was a marathon I had always heard about growing up in Ohio, but to be honest I was avoiding it hearing about all the hills. Okay, so people exaggerate about the hills quite a bit. There's 2-3 bigger ones and quite a bit of rolling but I found them all to be very doable. Just don't take the early hills too hard and you'll be alright.

The swag was crazy! I did the 4-Way Challenge (10k and 5k on Saturday with the marathon on Sunday). I got 3 medals + an extra for completing the challenge. There's also a medal rack coming in the mail to all finishers following the race. I got 3 race shirts + an extra for completing the challenge. On top of all of this I got a poster and a blanket as well as a marathon finisher's jacket to celebrate the 20th anniversary. I actually got so much swag that on my way home TSA searched my bag wondering why I had so much metal in my carry-on. Be sure to have plenty of extra room in your luggage!

The aid stations were frequent (at least every mile) which was amazing and much needed for how hot it was. Beyond the typical sports drink and water options, the course had tons of snacks ranging from cookies, fruit, pretzels, gels, and candy.

The crowd support was awesome and I would do this race year after year just due to the crowd support if I lived nearby. Race directors don't have much impact on crowd support but it was one of the highlights for me.

Parking was.... bad. Let's just say I was running behind (left my bib behind!) and apparently so was everyone else. Get there early because the delays will be much worse than you think. This is coming from someone who usually likes to get to marathons way early than is actually needed to avoid added stress on race morning. I parked in a lot not outlined on the Flying Pig website which did help a good amount with avoiding traffic but there was still tons of traffic on the highway to get off at the necessary exits.

After the race, there were tons of options to hang out and enjoy the finisher's area but I was in a hurry so only stuck around to stand in line for my marathon jacket and 4-way challenge prizes.

I definitely could see myself coming back to do this marathon again even though I live on the opposite side of the US!

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(2018)
"A bit bigger than the 10k"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I opted for race day morning packet pickup (as I flew in Friday night from out of town). The process was quick and easy with no line. Although the 4-way runners had to check-in in a unique line so at first I was briefly confused why they couldn't match my name. Tons of bathrooms out for the marathon the next day which is reality is more than they needed for Saturday's events (which was awesome!). Gear check was through the windows of buses and I had no problems with drop-off or pick-up.

Parking is limited as the race is held downtown but I found parking right across from the stadium for $4.

The course was a little hilly but less so than the 10k. I found the 5k course a little less exciting than the 10k as well but there isn't as much to see and get back to the start/finish in 3.1 miles.

The race shirt was soft cotton but unisex. I did both the 5k and 10k and the difference in shirts was the color. The shirts were different enough that I didn't mind the same logo being on both shirts.

Aid stations were more frequent than I'm used to for a 5k which was an added bonus!

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(2018)
"Little Muggy and Don't Eat the Pretzels"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

A well organized 10k! Packet pickup, bathrooms, and gear check all were smooth and easy processes which is no easy task with a large race! The race was downtown so not "scenic" but a good course nonetheless. The race shirts were nice soft cotton but unisex. Aid stations had water, sports drinks, small snacks, AND even a pet pig at one point. Although I learned the hard way that pretzels should only be eaten if you have water nearby otherwise you're going to end up with a very dry mouth!

You had the option to go to the expo on Friday or pickup Saturday morning before the race which was nice for those coming from out of town. Parking wasn't backed up but was somewhat limited as the race took place downtown.

The only compliant I heard about the race was that a runner who was completing her second 10k didn't see any photographers out on the course and she had wanted to buy race photos. No idea if there were any or not but I didn't recall seeing them. Not that this was a huge issue for me but I know it's important to some.

Overall it was a good experience and well executed. Oh, and there were a few small hills.

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(2017)
"Great Smaller Sized Race with Hills!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

"Expo": Pretty small, more of a packet pick up than an expo per se. It was in the Florence Mall and lasted until 9 pm! The packet pick up itself took a while to find though, even after reading the pre-race email. Some extra signs would have helped as it was my first time in the Florence Mall. There were some items for sale if you needed to pick up last minute gear. You could also sign up for the race at the packet pick up.

Parking: So much parking and it was all free. Both the expo and race parking was located at the Florence Mall. Parking, even on race day morning was a breeze.

Course: Mostly through downtown Florence and on wide open roads. Tons of space and I never felt crowded. It is very built up and more of an urban area but there was still plenty to look at.

Elevation: Hills hills hills. The hills were very doable but were a bit worse than I was expecting. This would be a perfect fall training race for the Flying Pig over in Cincinnati.

Aid Stations: I felt like there could have used some extra volunteers at some of the aid stations. Some I went to I wanted gatorade and there just weren't enough people holding gatorade and the runners in front of me took the last one and I had to settle for water. It wasn't make or break for my race since it wasn't hot but that was my biggest complaint from the race. There was one stop though that was giving out tissues! Such a lifesaver in cold weather races!

Management: I thought there was more than adequate communication leading up to the race. Important information was sent more than once so you wouldn't accidentally miss it. The race director kept runners informed even last minute at the race start when Skyline backed out of the post-race party. Also I'm giving management 5 stars for the number of food and drink options available at the finish, even with Skyline backing out. It was more options that I could even try.

Swag: Race swag was your basic shirt and medal. The shirt was very soft even though it is a technical material. The medal had a great design too. Swag was executed well and I have no complaints!

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