Latest reviews by Scott Quirico

(2018)
"Great low-key race"
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This is a great low-key, small, West Virginia semi-trail race. The rural course feels relaxed and has some interesting parts through historic towns and bettlefields. Half the course is on the dirt/gravel C&O Towpath in Maryland, so that and the general vibe before, during and after the race made it feel like a laid-back trail race. There were plenty of aid stations with friendly volunteers supplying water, sports drink and gels. After the flat 1st half, the 2nd half has some significant but not difficult WV hills which makes the course and scenery nicely varied.

Finishing on the football field was nice, and then hanging around for pizza, fruit and protein bars before walking right across the street for a beer garden party (1st drink was included but had to purchase bar food). I walked away with a long sleeve tech shirt, water bottle, pint glass, and handmade ceramic medal that fit the tone of the race perfectly.

I would do it again if I were looking for a local, low-key semi-trail race.

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(2018)
"An excellent beach race"
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This race made me want to run more beach races, it's an excellent beach race. Course starts out and back over the bridge to OC island (the only hill of the whole course), then out and back along the boardwalk with some small sections along the neighborhood streets in between. Scenery's nice, and the boardwalk is open to the public but important sections are roped off and because it's offseason and early morning it's never crowded and provides a nice sense of location and a nice crowd of spectators.

Everything was organized well and very easy. I parked for free in a lot 10 feet from the start line. The race ends at Music Pier in the heart of the boardwalk with and amazing post-race buffet of boardwalk treats - pizza, popcorn, soft pretzels, donuts and pastries, salt water taffy, Italian ice, drinks, fruit. Plus you're on the boardwalk so all the other food and attractions, and the beach itself, are just steps away. You can hang out right there for the rest of the day like I did, eating, cheering, socializing and enjoying.

There are plentiful aid stations and enthusiastic local volunteers all along the course. I walked away with a nice long sleeve shirt, a small race ornament, and plenty of food. Overall it's just a great time at the beach and a great race.

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(2018)
"The only race I come back to every year"
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I don't repeat many races, but this is the one I come back to every year. It's just such a great overall experience and a great summer race. The course is mainly on paved roads in a nice large park, through some neighborhoods to circle a huge lake, and then back to the start. It starts near the Baltimore Zoo, and the nice medal features a different zoo animal every year. Post-race features watermelon along with standard race fare, and parking and amenities are close by in the park. The swag/gear each year is fantastic. Instead of a simple race shirt it might be a rain jacket or a thick 1/2 zip pullover, stuff that has become staples in my running and everyday attire. This race is also part of the King Crab Challenge series of races that are fun and earn amazing swag for locals who are into that kinda thing.

It's actually hard to pick out any one aspect of the race that makes it so great, it's just an overall great experience that keeps me coming back every year.

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(2018)
"A very well-produced race for my first 50"
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This was a very well-produced race, and a great choice for my first big ultra. This would apply to any distance really since mostly share the same Start/Finish and parts of the course. Everything was just done well to create an easy snd enjoyable experience for the runners. The course was marked so well and often you couldn't get lost if you tried. Aid stations were uniformly great, fun, informative and well stocked. They even provided a menu on the website so you knew what to expect, and that website was very informative about everything else as well. The Start/Finish are was great, from fire pits and food and coffee for the pre-dawn start to a recovery area with ice baths and those air massage recovery boots.
Really the only disapointments were little things that didn't affect the race. The shirt and medal were generic and plain, especially for something sponsored by NF. The also ran out of some hot food at the finish, and I was around the top third of my distance. I did get some recovery products from the nutrition sponsor, Hammer, who was well stocked at the finish and at every aid station.
The course is great. It's a lollipop with a long forest run from Algonkian Park to Great Falls Park, 3 loops around Great Falls Park which vary in terrain, and then return home. This breaks up the distance well psychologically, and also provides a great experience for crew and spectators at the big aid station at Great Falls. My family/crew had a great time hanging out at the park and it was a great first ultra from the crew perspective as well.
Overall, it's a really nice race and a great choice for a first ultra experience. I'm glad I did it and would certainly consider repeating and doing other events in the series.

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(2017)
"An excellent event"
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The Twin Cities marathon weekend is an excellent all-around event. Saturday is filled with fun family events and shorter distance races. I attended the expo on both days for the booths and informative seminars. Transportation and access are excellent with free light rail and shuttle buses (and they did not have crazy long waits). The marathon course is beautiful and fun. It had the best crowd support of any race I've run, with huge cheering block parties throughout the course, often handing out fruit, food, beer, mimosas, etc. The course really only has 1 significant hill, with enough other gentle elevation changes and turns to keep it interesting, mainly through nice neighborhoods and along lakes. I would totally run this race again and would highly recommend it. I did the Ultra Loony Challenge with the 5k and 10k on Saturday and came home with 2 tech t-shirts, a long sleeve tech, fleece pullover, 3 pairs of socks, and 4 medals, all nice stuff with a coherent theme.

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