Latest reviews by Rory Leigh Correa

(2018)
"Thirteen Point Bourbon Miles Of Fun! :)"
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T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Summary:

Set in the heart of Louisville, KY, the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon is a MUST. The entire weekend is filled with events & there is plenty to do steps from the Start/Finish Line.

Packet PickUp:

For $50, UBHM offers VIP Packet PickUp. Held above the Jim Bean Urban Stillhouse (which is at 4th Street Live - the Finish Line area of the race & entertainment district of Louisville), I was met by live music, food & of course - bourbon. The staff was great, as I came straight from the airport (flight was delayed by 2 hours :/), they asked me what I wanted to drink & I had an Old Fashioned while I picked up my bib, wrist band for the Urban Bourbon Bash (held after the race on Saturday). I also received 2 Poker Chips so that I could go to the bourbon tasting downstairs. Once downstairs in the Stillhouse, you can order your custom UBHM bottle & grab a few souvenirs for the family while you wait for it.

Race/Route:

The race takes you through Louisville, past Louisville Slugger field as well as other Louisville attractions & ends at the 4th Street Live (Party Time!). While there were some hills, there were equal downhills - which I love. Although I was born in Ohio, the crisp 50 degree temps were cold for me but it warmed up a little as the race went on. There were plenty of aid stations as well as just local people just hanging out along the route to cheer us on. Its truly a community event!

Swag/Extras:
After the race, you are met at the Finish Line by the Urban Bourbon Bash. There's live music, food & of course - bourbon. But there is more! The Bourbon Walk! After the race, take a shower & head out for lunch. There is a list of restaurants to visit & at each one (if you make a purchase) you will receive a commemorative pin! By the end of the walk, you will have 5 pins that you can add to the ribbon of the beautiful medal you just received.

Conclusion:

I cannot say enough great things about this race! I was truly surprised with all that the race weekend offered as well as the proximity - everything was within walking distance from our hotel (The Seelbach). If there ever was a perfect fall race, this is the one!

Quick Tip -

*Custom Bottle: Spring for the cushy bottle bag! It saved me a great deal of trouble when checking my bags at the airport (they were impressed!). The bottle bag is crush proof, so my bottle made it safely from KY back to Cali. Also, if you can get the VIP Check In - do it, because you can get your bottle right then & there. If you wait until Saturday to try & get your custom bottle - the wait will be extremely long. Plus, it includes a guest in the price. So you & a guest get fancy food, drinks, bourbon tasting & your custom bottles. Then you can head over to any of the restaurants in 4th Street Live to soak up all the bourbon you just had. :)

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(2018)
"The Best (& Worst) of LA! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Summary:

Its not the most exciting of routes, but if you have never been to LA - this race will give you a little taste of everything LA has to offer.

Packet Pick Up:

What I love about Packet PickUp at RnR races is that everything has signage & directions - so you know where you are going & what you are doing. First you get your Bib, then your shirt, then you enter the Merch area & you finish with the vendors.

There weren't as many vendors at this Expo as I am used to at Rock n Roll events, but I will say the quality of the vendors there was awesome. Last few years, Brooks sets up a stage & its always chaotic. This year, they focused more on their products & I was able to score a pair of shoes! From there we visited Honey Stinger, a few local running stores & grabbed a massage unit from HiDow - then we were done!

Route/Elevation:

If you live in LA, this is not the most exciting route. If you aren't from here, the route does take you past a lot of LA landmarks. Additionally, the Start/Finish Line is at L.A. Live, the up & coming entertainment district of DTLA. California is a hilly place - period. While there are uphills, there are just as many downhills - including an awesome one right before you finish.

Medal:

Not of fan of the medal. I get that its a Halloween-esque race since it is a few days before, but the medal didn't follow all the other medals I received this year - which was a Guitar Pick shaped medal for the Half & a Record shaped medal for the 5K. This medal was record shaped with a big ole Frankenstein head on it.

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(2018)
"Less Swag, Same Course - Still Fun! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my 2nd year at #HBDLA5K & I managed yet another PR! Did I mention there are free race photos? :)

Everything this year was the same with the exception of a few things - 1 - not as much swag in the Goodie Bag. It was still a good Goodie Bag, but its hard to top the 2017's hat & compression socks. The Packet Pickup was held at the same Arts District Co-Op building - which was cool because I knew exactly where I was going. 2 - race photos were much better! Last year I was only able to find my self at the finish line & I was in the background.

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(2018)
"Running Through The TOWN"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Summary:
This race features the best of Oakland on a relatively fast & flat course. If you are looking to PR your 5K or Half - this is the race to do it! I PR'd my 5K & 2 of my teammates PR'd their Half!

Packet PickUp:
There were 2 options for Packet Pick-Up: Expo In A Box or In Person. The Expo In A Box included all kinds of goodies like BibBoards & Oakland A's tickets - but I wanted to go In Person. This was my first time in Oakland & I always want to pick up some fuel, etc at the local running store. The Sports Basement (Berkley) is HUGE! I mean they have everything that you could possibly want for running. As soon as I entered I was immediately greeted & instructed to follow the signage to Packet Pick Up. There was no line so grabbing Bibs & shirts was easy. I grabbed a few items for Race Day since they were offering a 20% discount to anyone who showed their Oaktown Bib!

Swag/Extra:
Once you finished your race, a volunteer was there to meet you with not only Honey Singer & Bananas but Mason Jars with the Oaktown Half logo! If you were like me & ran both races - you now have a set of matching Mason Jars! :D The t-shirts, which were received at Packet Pickup, were by a local shop - Oaklandish. Although they ran a little small, they are super comfy & cute - including the Oaklandish logo on the back.

Course:
For the Half, the course was set right in the heart of Oakland, taking us around Lake Merritt & passing by such landmarks as Jack London Square & The Fox. The 5K was fast with a slight elevation, taking us quickly through downtown & back to City Hall with a quick downhill towards the finish.

Medal(s):
I was beyond thrilled when the team at Oaktown Half announced that they were not only going to include a 5K, but that it would be apart of a Challenge Series! The medals are of good weight & thickness with an incredibly colorful design. On the back, there is an area for you to have your name & time engraved. With completing the Challenge Series - I received 3 medals. One for the 5, one for the Half & one HUGE medal for completing both the races for a total of 16.2 Miles!

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(2018)
"Holy Hills Batman! "
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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Summary:
​The course of the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K: San Diego is a hilly, challenging yet fun course that winds in & out of San Diego hitting landmarks along the way such as the San Diego Zoo.

Packet PickUp:
​Upon arrival at the San Diego Civic Center, I was greeted by signage directing me to exactly where I needed to go! In the area outside of the Expo Hall, there was a booth to sign up for 2019 race (at a discounted rate) & a huge inflatable candy bar! You could hear the music coming from the hall. As soon as I entered I was directed to Bib Pickup where it was the fastest experience ever! When registering for the race, you are provided a QR code (don't worry - they send it again right before the race with your confirmation details) - so you just scan the code, show your ID & you are good to go! 

Swag/Extra:
​After I got my bib, I was directed to the area where I would grab my goodie bag. On the way was the booth/table where you could grab your Legacy stuff. I'm pretty true to size so I grabbed my Medium 1/4 Zip & bag & headed out to do my usual expo laps. For those who where unsure, you can head over to the gear swap area & try on sizes until you get the perfect fit. Other cool areas were the Nuun Hydration & Sweet Treat Stations. All kinds of chocolate treats! Just a preview of what was to come on the course. :) I'm not big on Expos, so I did 2 laps, took a few pics & headed to my hotel for a shakeout run. After the race we received our results & FREE race photos - which turned out absolutely amazing!

Course:
Holy Hills Batman! This course is challenging! Make sure you train for hills! However, this course gives you a little bit of everything that is great about San Diego. Part of the course goes right through the San Diego Zoo

Medal:
Each Allstate Hot Chocolate race participant receives the beautiful chocolate bar, but each city has their own specific keychain that you receive with your medal. Pretty cool huh? For San Diego, its a tiny surfboard with palm trees. So Cali! After getting your medal, you get to head over to the Finisher's Mug tent to grab your signature Hot Chocolate Mug! Now, it comes prearranged so you don't get the option to say 'No' to the Chocolate (I wasn't feeling well after & didn't want to dip anything in chocolate - *gasp* I know!) but it does have some yummy treats: 1 small cup of Hot Chocolate, 1 Banana, 1 Rice Crispy Treat, 1 Bag of Pretzels & 2 Piroucrisp cookies. I currently use mine as a pencil/pen holder on my desk. :)

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