Latest reviews by Maria Abramowicz

(2018)
"Beautiful Run Through Colorado's Open Spaces"
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Race Information
What Arctic Prairie Dog Half Marathon
When: January 14, 2017
Distance: 13.1 Miles, Half Marathon
Where: Louisville, Colorado
Website: http://prairiedoghalf.com/winter---louisville.html

Pre-race
The Arctic Prairie Dog Half Marathon begins at Coal Creek Golf Course. Although parking in the gold course lot becomes full almost immediately, there is plenty of safe parking in the neighborhood. Race instructions were clear and there were plenty of bathrooms available.

Race
The race was mostly flat with some small hills, and varied between road and packed gravel surfaces. Most of the race is run throughout the open space areas in Louisville which provide beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas. Volunteers were excellent with aid stations and controlling traffic during a few crosswalks you had to run through.

Post-race
After the race, there was a small expo and awards ceremony. I ran slowly thanks to a pulled IT Band around mile 8, so by the time I finished, many of the festivities had already taken place. The race medal and pint glass were very well designed and I personally love that their Mascot is Peedy the Prairie Dog. Anyone who runs through these areas of Colorado is very familiar with the adorable prairie dogs that line the trails.

Suggestions/Critiques
Overall, this was a well-organized, and beautiful race through Louisville. My only suggestion would be to have a larger expo at the end; however, this is not necessary for an enjoyable race.

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(2017)
"Beautiful Downhill Race"
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Race Information
What: Equinox Half Marathon
When: September 17, 2017
Distance: 13.1 Miles, Half Marathon
Where: Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins Colorado
Website: www.equinoxhalfmarathon.com

Pre-race
The Equinox Half Marathon is a fast, downhill race that runs you through the Poudre Canyon near Fort Collins, Colorado. Overall, I was extremely happy with this race. First, there is a shuttle bus service that is required in order to reach the starting area at the top of the canyon. Shuttles ran from 5am-5:30am (eesh, early) from a central area in Fort Collins. Despite being in a somewhat secluded area, the start area included water stations, coffee, tea, and plenty of bathroom facilities.

Race
During the race, the aid stations were well-stocked with water and Nuun hydration drinks as well as Honey Stinger gels upon request. Having the gel at the last aid station was a near miracle for me as it really got me through the last few miles. I also am impressed at a race offering gels, so that’s also a bonus.

Post-race
After the race, there was a live band and a fully-stocked food and beverage section to start the recovery process. Each runner also got a free beer from a local craft brewing company.

The medals and commemorative pint glasses are great as well as the long sleeve technical shirt. You can really tell that a lot of good design work and quality products were utilized.

Suggestions/Critiques
My only suggestion would be to increase some of the vendors, if possible, in the finishing area as I would have liked to browse more running-related tents after the race. Although there was a foam rolling station which was such a relief after running 13 miles.

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(2017)
"Fast Bolder Boulder 10K Qualifier"
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Race Information
What: Dash and Dine
When: May 16, 2017
Distance: 3.1 miles, 5K
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Website: www.dashanddine5k.com

Pre-race
The Dash n Dine 5K is a race series that happens every Tuesday for 6 weeks around April/May that takes you around the Boulder Reservoir. I initially signed up for this race because it was a qualifier for an early wave for the Bolder Boulder 10K. (I just missed the qualifying time limit as I was fresh out of recovery for a tibial injury, but I digress).

Before the race was relatively uneventful although there was a paced, group warm-up run if you chose to partake.

Race
This was a fast race on a hard-packed dirt trail that was generally flat although had a few small hills. On the day of my race, it had rained, so the ground was more mud than gravel, making it more a challenge (especially to that injury I had mentioned previously, but again, I digress).

Post-race
This race doesn’t offer anything in regards to swag, but the real gem is the delicious meal that is catered by a local eatery after the race, hence the “Dine” part of Dash n Dine.

Overall this was a fun, quick race that I would suggest to attend only to qualify for an earlier wave in the Bolder Boulder. It was a small, intimate event, but I was able to eat a great meal after a quick run!

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(2017)
"A Fun, Energetic Race Through Bolder!"
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Race Information
What: Bolder Boulder
When: Memorial Day 2017, May 29, 2017
Distance: 6.2 miles, 10K
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Website: www.bolderboulder.com

Pre-race
I recently moved to Colorado before running this yer’s (2017) Bolder Boulder, and I was excited to begin to get into the Colorado running circuit. This race was heralded as one of the largest 10Ks in the country, and it did NOT disappoint.

Before the race, there were plenty of bathrooms with surprisingly short lines for the amount of people. Each wave was organized into sections which were easy to find.

Race
The run itself seemed fairly flat minus a few small rolling hills, but it was the crowd that really made this race special. The route takes you through many residential areas of Boulder where spectators and residents lined the sides of the streets to offer encouragement, a few wonderful water hose downs, and sometimes even beer. I have never ran a race where the community spirit was so abundant and supportive.

The aid stations were fantastic and stocked with water and Nuun. There were professional photographers along the course which offered free high quality race photos so you can show off your sweaty face in high definition for no cost.

Post-race
The race finished in the stadium where there was a large expo with a ton of vendors including a pizza food truck! Each runner also received a free beverage (beer or soda) and a packed lunch in a commemorative bag.

Suggestions/Critiques
My only negative critique of this race was that unless you take a bus, getting to the start line is almost impossible. This makes sense since the race is so large and so much of Boulder has to be closed off for the event.

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