Latest reviews by Rory Leigh Correa

(2018)
"26.2 Miles of Paradise!"
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Summary:
The Honolulu Marathon is an AMAZING event & a perfect Marathon for first-timers. Not only do people come from all over the country to run this race, they come from all over the world! Skip the cold December & fly down to Hawaii for sun, seafood & surf!

Packet Pick Up:
Packet PickUp was held a the Convention Center, but what was great is that the marathon organized shuttles running throughout the day around the island to drop off & pick up at the Convention Center.

The shuttle, was actually a Trolley! So it was fun to be able to see the island, while the Trolley made it various stops before dropping us off at the Expo. Once at the Expo, there was plenty of signage & photo opportunities with banners, etc. The Packet PickUp was also well signed & dispite the crowds - I had my Bib in hand in less than 10 minutes after my arrival.

The Expo had your usual expo attendants, but what I liked most about this Expo is that they featured alot of local artists. Instead of buying gels & compression socks, I opted to buy handmade items to bring back to friends & family as souveniors.

Swag/Extras:
Finally, at the Finish Line - before receiving your deserved medal, you get a shell necklace. :) After you get your necklace & medal, you enter an area where you can meet with friends who may have been watching you run. You can then enter the celebration area where you can get your Finishers shirt, food, etc. I grabbed my shirt & headed back to the hotel because I had been on my feet for 7 hours & I was ready to lay on the floor!

Medal:
The medal we received is absolutely beautiful! Its heavy, gold & double sided - making you feel like an Olympian once you receive it & wear it the rest of the day.

Course:
The course was amazing! There were so many well stocked aid stations in addition to local volunteers sharing noodles, sake & sprinklers from their homes. Words cannot describe how beautiful this island is. Everything is lush & green, the water is a blue that you just don't find on the mainland. From the beginning, I treated this marathon as a 'hike across Hawaii' & it truly was!

Conclusion:
The Honolulu Marathon is a MUST for any runner. If its your first marathon or in my case, my last marathon - you will not be disappointed! I will definitely return to this race, but just the 10K for next time. :)

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(2018)
"#FeastMode at Lake Merritt"
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Summary:

Looking for a fun way to spend your Thanksgiving morning before you chow down with the family? The Oakland Turkey Trot has it all - costumes, food, music, games & of course running! Take a quick loop around Oakland's Lake Merritt & finish at a party!

Packet Pick Up:

The Oakland Turkey Trot, like its partner race - Oaktown Half, provide multiple packet pickup options - including an 'Expo in a Box' in which will make you a box of goodies along with your big & shirt! I always choose to pick up at the Sports Basement because you get an additional 20% off when you show them your bib. Plus, its a really big place, so there is plenty of room & never any lines when picking up your stuff. Everyone there is always super nice & helpful.

Course Route:

Course Route is very simple, 5K = one loop around Lake Merritt.

Swag:

You receive an awesome, soft t-shirt designed by local tee shop Oaklandish & a few other running goodies.

Medal:

This year's medal simply says FeastMode in all gold - like a b-boy chain. :)

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(2018)
"The Best (& Worst) of LA! "
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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)
"Thirteen Point Bourbon Miles Of Fun! :)"
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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)
"Less Swag, Same Course - Still Fun! "
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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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