Latest reviews by Stephanie Boyd

(2020)
"Scooby-Doo Run Family & Pet Virtual 5K"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This was a great virtual race experience from registration to the finisher's certificate download. I ran this with my son and 2 dogs and we had a great time training for it and running it. The communication was clear, the items shipped on time and the swag is great. The race kit came with a race bib, finisher's medal, aluminum bottle, and a long-sleeved hoodie shirt in a tech material. We also were able to get a cute matching collar for our youngest dog.

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(2020)
"Medford2Medford: Running solo across Massachusetts (virtually, of course)"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I must admit I did not know about Dave McGillivray's feat of running from Medford to Medford until this race. It is really inspiring and one of the reasons I signed up to run 142 miles solo as part of the Massachusetts2Medford Challenge.
Pros of this race: The interactive website and map, the race management communications, and the swag. I loved my gaiter and medal-great quality. I also loved that this race kept me motivated to run in August, which is the hottest month of running in Kentucky I think.
Cons of this race: That I couldn't run it in person! :) Maybe one day. I really cannot think of any negatives I had with this virtual race experience. Top notch!

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(2020)
"Running The Virtual AllState Hot Chocolate 15K in Louisville"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I was excited to be able to take part in the 2020 HC15K held in Louisville - it was the inaugural year for this race in our city! Granted, running it virtual due to COVID wasn't how I envisioned it, but I was ready to take on the challenge just the same. I actually ended up running this race in the middle of a virtual race series I was doing, so I had ran many miles this week, but it was a great fit with a 15K distance-not too short, not too long. I actually forgot how much I love this distance.

I picked a route that incorporated my neighborhood and local area in case I needed to make a pit stop during my race! (It was a warm morning, so I am glad I started early, but the benefit of a virtual race is you aren't ever late to the start line!).

The things I really liked about this race were:
1) The communication: the race management company was very proactive in their communications to runners via email and on social media. I always felt like I knew I was up to date with any changes.
2) The SWAG - I loved the packet I received which included race nutrition, a hoodie, bib and of course, CHOCOLATE. I had some mini dark chocolate and 2 packs of hot chocolate milk as my post-race reward.
3) The medal - This medal is super on brand and unique-I don't have another one like it!

I recommend this race -the quality is great for price that you pay and there is a local charity that benefits from proceeds. See you in 2021 Hot Chocolate 15K!

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(2020)
"Will Run for Chocolate! at the 2020 Virtual Allstate Hot Chocolate Indianapolis"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This was my second experience with this race and running company. I opted in for the virtual Indianapolis option hoping to run the race in Indy as my son had a scheduled hockey game that weekend. I love running in Indy-there are so many great places (I even wrote a blog about it)! The hockey game ended up getting canceled, so I opted to stay close to home and run this one in the end.

I have nothing but great things to say about the race management-their site is easy to use and they keep runners up to date via email communications. All the info I needed was always a click away. I received my race swag (which is always amazing) about a week prior to the race day (10/10/20).

On race day I picked a beautiful park that wasn't crowded. The great thing about virtual racing is that I can sleep in and start when I want, which to me is an advantage because I am not an early morning person! I started off a little slower than I wanted and didn't catch my groove until around mile 5, but after that it was smooth sailing! I loved having my hot chocolate for after the race (and on Monday morning to celebrate AGAIN).

I recommend this race for those who are looking for a good virtual option that has nice swag and a great charity-St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Another unique aspect is that they still hold a post-race party-it just happens to be virtual, so that you can learn more about the race, listen to great music, and fun trivia for some really nice prizes! That is just an added bonus that they don't have to do but I find it is something other virtual races are not always doing, so an added incentive to register for another year!

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(2019)
"Honoring those who served! The 2019 Honor Run Half Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I was lucky enough to experience this race in 2019 as a BibRave Pro! First, I have to say the proceeds from this race go to the local Honor Flight chapter. That was enough to hook me! I decided to run this race in honor of my father-in-law, who is a USMC veteran (served in Vietnam).

Packet-pick up was not crowded and super easy to access! There is not an expo, per se, but the tech shirt you get at packet pick-up is very nice. You can stay warm pre-race because they open up the Florence Mall to house runners. The bathrooms are clean and well-stocked and the parking is plentiful-you cannot beat that!

I loved the pre-race announcements and stories about Veterans. It was especially humbling to find out that the flag hanging over the start line was touched by hundreds of veterans on Honor Flights; we were allowed to touch the flag as we ran through the start line!

The course is hilly. I had read this, but until I experienced it, I couldn't quite appreciate it! The last two miles will definitely test you. I loved the local crowd support on the course and there is water and Gatorade at aid stations generously spaced out every two miles.

After getting my amazing medal, I walked behind the finish area and into the post-race area. There was chocolate milk, granola bars, bananas, Gatorade, pretzels and also subs and the coveted Skyline chili dog. I enjoyed some food while I watched runners finish. I talked to a volunteer and told her thank you for a great race experience.  I easily walked to my car, grabbed a dry change of clothes and walked into the very warm mall to change.  The bathrooms were large and very clean--always a sight for sore eyes after a race.

Overall, I highly recommend this race if you want a hilly challenge, but also if you were ready to be motivated and inspired. Next year's race info can be found at their website at https://www.honorrunhalf.com/

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