Latest reviews by Randy Birnschein

(2019)
"75 Point to Point Miles...and BEER!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I could probably write all day about what an amazing time this race was. It was my first relay experience, but it won't be my last. In fact, we are already signed up for next year for this one! Act quickly if you're interested, cause it really sells out fast. I'll dive into some details now.

We arrived at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville for packet pickup. It was basically a party there. There was good beer (some of it was free) and food trucks available with some AMAZING choices. There were over 300 teams!

Asheville was a really fun place. There are breweries everywhere and the people watching can't be beat.

Team start times are staggered, based on expected paces. We drew a 6:00 start. You are allowed up to 6 runners on a team, but we only had 4. Next time, I'll want 6 haha.

At the start, the only issue was a lack of porta-potties. There were bathroom trailers, which are nice, but there weren't enough of them. The race is divided up into 12 legs, with the shortest being around 4 miles and the longest being near 10. I drew the short straw for my team and had to run 25 total miles.

The course was well marked and separate driving directions were provided to get from checkpoint to checkpoint. It was so fun to see the team vehicles all decked out. You're given a snap bracelet to use as a "baton" for your team.

The course has some challenging legs to say the least, but nothing TOO crazy. All in all, the course keeps things interesting.

The race finishes in Greenville, SC and the after party is excellent. There's free beer and a great food selection too. A lot of people are there to have a good time and it shows.

I was amazed at how well organized the race was, especially for how complicated a relay can be. The organizers deserve a ton of credit.

SWAG was great too. The t-shirt is cool and comfy, the pint glass is really unique compared to what I normally get and the bottle opener medal is my go-to bottle opener now.

So, if you want a team aspect to your next race and you're a beer fan, this might be the one for you. I hope it is and I'll see you next year. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2019)
"Shamrock - Much more than just a race."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I FINALLY got to run Shamrock this year, after thinking about it so many times before. My wife's birthday is March 20 and my daughter's is March 18, so generally speaking, Shamrock time shouldn't be my time. This year, the stars lined up though and I was given the opportunity to run as a BibRave Pro.

Many runners that I know have run Shamrock and have all had great things to say. Most of what they talk about is related to the post-race festivities and the SWAG. The course itself is very runnable, but maybe a little boring at times. Honestly, I end up somewhat bored of pretty much every course. The March beach weather is the good kind of cold for a distance race. The wind can be a friend or an enemy. I wasn't in the best shape and ran a 1:36 with not one, but TWO potty stops. That being said, there's a potential for PRs at Shamrock, without a doubt.

Now let's get to the best parts. Part 1: The SWAG! I wasn't able to attend the expo (a friend picked up my packet). She gave me my long sleeved shirt, which I was more than happy with. Little did I know that so many items awaited finishers. Upon finishing, I was handed my bottle opener of a medal, my hat, my blanket and my little bag to carry it all. Yuengling being a sponsor sure helps!

Part 2: The post-race festivities. There is a HUGE tent right on the beach with food and beer ready to go. They handed us various snacks at the finish (bananas, granola bars, a shamrock shaped cookie, etc.) and in the tent was beef stew. The beef stew was delicious but definitely didn't cut it for a hungry guy like me. It'll hold you over but you'll want more, especially if you ran the marathon. You're given 4 beer tickets with your race bib and they had a variety of Yuengling products to choose from (the Porter is my favorite, but sadly they didn't have it). The live music is great and the atmosphere is good too. There's plenty of room in the tent, so you never feel too crowded. It's a great time!

I will certainly be back to this race. My only regret was not arriving until late Saturday and needing to leave Sunday afternoon. This is an all weekend event.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"Fun and Festive with a great 5k loop."
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is a great small town race with plenty of happy people and CINNAMON ROLLS. The mood is very festive with the approaching holidays with a friendly atmosphere. The shirts are long sleeved cotton with fun designs related to Christmas.

One awesome part is the "first to the top of the hill" award. There's a cash prize for the first male and first females to get to the top and you don't even have to win the race! Top 4 OV get some prizes, AG winners get nice coffee mugs and homemade medals (2018 was made of wood).

I highly recommend this race for anyone looking for something competitive OR a fun run.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"The Only Thing Better Than the Race is the After Party"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I signed up for this race as a backup plan for Richmond in my quest for a BQ. Unfortunately, I didn't get the results that I was working for but this race was an AMAZING time.

I arrived in Rehoboth Beach on Friday evening and had no problem finding a place to park on the street close to where the packet pickup took place (which was also where the post-race festivities occurred). Packet pickup took all of a few minutes and was very simple to navigate.

Race day weather was perfectly cold. It was easy to find the starting line, which was shared by both full and half runners. The course is flat and fast with a nice mixture of pavements and hard packed trail. The course is interesting enough. There are parts where you might feel alone (some prefer that) mixed with parts containing enthusiastic and friendly spectators (one of which was Bart Yasso this year).

The race has a fun finish back in town and the post race hangout is easy to get to once you finish. You are given 3 beers in the party tent (Dogfish Head...YUM). The food is pretty legit. I had a hamburger and not much else, but there were plenty of REAL food choices (not just fruit and bars).

There is a great party atmosphere in the tent. People are there to CELEBRATE! It's definitely a fun time. It was a bit crowded, so if that's not your cup of tea there are places elsewhere in the general vicinity.

All in all, the disappointment of a failed BQ attempt wasn't enough for me to have a GREAT time in Rehoboth. I highly recommend it, whether you're looking to PR or just have fun.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Cool, flat and fast. A PR waiting to happen. Fun for the family too!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I've run the CASA Superhero Run 5k for 2 years now and it's a race that I don't plan to miss. I'll be honest that I don't generally travel far for any 5k, but if I happened to be in the area I would certainly run it.

The course is an out and back that starts at Percival's Island in downtown Lynchburg. It's a paved trail surrounded by fall colors. The course is super flat, so it's definitely set up for some speedy 5k times.

The kid's fun run is great as well. My kids really enjoyed it. People dress up in all kinds of interesting and fun costumes (kids and grown ups alike) and there are a few activities and giveaways set up as well.

The overall and AG award medals are pretty cool and I really like the t-shirts as well. I ended up liking them so much that I don't run in them. I wear them casually.

I hope that some of you are able to make it out to Lynchburg to run a race sometime. If not this one, then one of the many others. Lynchburg has a great running community.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.