Latest reviews by Kelly Tyler

(2021)
"A new course makes for more fun!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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Race awesome took over this event, and I’m loving it! The new course had NO WANTAGH PARKWAY for the half!

The race starts is Eisenhower park, then runs past the coliseum before heading towards museum row. We headed into a athletic complex, and even got to run a lap on the track. I really liked that there were no long stretches on a single road, so there was always something new to see.

The aid stations had water, Gatorade (a different flavor at each station!) and bananas at the later stations! The stations were every 2-3 miles, I which felt a little drawn out at times.

The post race festival included beers from great South Bay for each runner, and a huge variety of food trucks, yum!

The race swag was nice, but the same medals and shirts as 2020’s virtual event, so I would have liked those to he updated.

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(2020)
"Even the pup can earn some swag!"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

Had a lot of fun with this race!

It was virtual, and there was an option to run with your dog, so I brought the pup along for a total of 6.2 miles, broken into a few smaller runs, and completed my own race without him.

The swag for this race is really nice! I got a pullover, a medal, and a water bottle, and the pup got a collar and bandana. So sweet!

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(2020)
"Fun Superhero swag + an afternoon race"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

The best part about virtual races? You get to run it on your own time! I loved the sense of community that I felt taking on this virtual event, and getting to see everyone posing their fun, wonder woman inspired outfits. The half zip that came as the swag for this event is super cozy, and the metal is as iconic as wonder woman herself.

Sign up was easy, and my swag bag came in quickly, including a race bib, half zip, sweat bands with pockets, and a medal.

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(2020)
"Scenic, hilly course through wine country"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I had a great time participating in the Napa Valley Half Marathon!

Their expo may be my new favorite. As soon as you walked into the napa valley mariott, you knew there was a race happening, with signs and photo ops all over the hotel. There were plenty of tables for runners to pick up their bibs, and we had been emailed our bib numbers prior to eace day, which made the process quick. The main room of the expo had a wall of volunteers handing out race shirts and bags. The bags were a pleasant surprise - they were sturdy backpacks that were to be used for gear check, but would make for a nice post-race souvenir. There were vendors, an official race merchandise area, and wine tastings all around the expo. They had the courtyard of the hotel set up with naked wines, who had a wide variety of wines for runners to sample.

On race morning there was a bus option to get runners to the start. We had someone drop us off at the start, since we weren't staying at one of the race hotels, and there was no parking at the start line.

There were no corrals at the start line, but runners seemed to do a good job at placing themselves with the beast pacing team, based off the pace they planned to run.

From the start of the race, this net downhill course was all hills. The rolling hills were never too steep, but they were persistent. I would say maybe there was a total flat region of a half mile over the course of the half.

The aid stations were well manned, with Nuun and water at every stop. The later stations also had gels and fresh fruit. I liked that there were trash bins placed at most mile markers, so that runners had a place to throw their trash rather than dropping it on the road.

The course was scenic, mostly lined with vineyards for the duration of the race. I was even able to spot some hot air balloons taking off as I ran.

At the end of the race the post-race area had plenty of goodies, from hot soup to ice cream samples.

The runner goodie bag included vouchers for buy one get one free tastings from some local vineyards, so we celebrated after the race by taking advantage of that offer at Miner.

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(2020)
"The reward for hills? Chocolate! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Before race day even started, ram racing had already impressed me twice- first, the process of submitting a proof of time for corral placement was easy and quick. Second, when I needed two accounts merged so that my legacy status would be recognized, they quickly updated my accounts so they were combined.

When I arrived at the hotel that was hosting the expo, the signs were to spot, directing runners to the expo area. There were plenty of chocolatey snacks out, and the pickup process was super quick, I only had to show my ID.

The expo was lively, with vendors everywhere. There were inflatable hot chocolate props, and photo ops throughout the space. After picking up my race jacket (the give away for this event) I went by the legacy table and picked up my mug, legacy medal, and chocolate bar.

There were plenty of porter potties out on race morning, just a short walk from the start line.

The corrals were seeded based off of runner pace, which made for a smooth start with no major course crowding. The race started before the sun came up, and there were some beautiful views of the city as the sun rose.

The course had a lot of rolling hills, which kept the terrain dynamic. The aid stations all had water, nuun, and an extra treat (marshmallows, gummy bears, and of course, chocolate!).

As the finish line approached there were clear signs indicating the 15k and 5k finish lines. After the finish line runners were given their medal and a bottle of water, and then had a bit of a hike to get to the park where the after party was hosted.

The mugs full of treats are now recyclable, but are still filled with some great chocolate treats, including hit chocolate, fondue, and some dippers.

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