Latest reviews by Drew Hartman

(2018)
"Be Moved While Moving"
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An overlooked fall marathon, the charm of the Arlington/D.C. area shines during race weekend.

The Expo: in the host hotel, with various shops and chain-style restaurants in the surrounding area. The area feels like an Outlet Mall and seems family friendly. If you are traveling by Uber/Ride-Share, pickup and dropoff can be a bit of a nightmare here.

The Gear: The race shirt was hideous. A cheaply-made sublimated turtleneck. The medal was impressive! The most underrated garment was the post-race jacket. It is definitely meant to be a single-use jacket to keep you warm, but it is a keep for the design on the back.

The Race: The spectators and the course fought for my attention for virtually all of the race. The fans are engaged and positive as you circumnavigate the monuments of D.C. The only two points to keep in mind are: (i) the most aggressive elevation at the beginning of the race; and (ii) the stretch of unmanned highway late in the race. In the beginning of the race, a steep climb quickly turns in to a steep decline, which can zap the untrained legs. Additionally, miles 18 - 20 are a lonely stretch of highway with little to see or hear besides your own thoughts. By far the best part of the race is the abundance of military personnel and the constant reminders of humility. The military community unites not only to compete in this race, but welcome everyone who decides to endure on this day. If that doesn't get you across the finish line, I'm not sure what will!

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(2018)
"Neighborhood Race that Will Bring the Best out of You"
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This race can be described as a neighborhood race because of the number of participants. However, the crowd does not prohibit the level of talent! The half marathon featured 40+ participants finishing faster than 90 minutes.

The course is a mental exercise. As a 4-lap course, you will undoubtedly trace your steps around the tight turns at each corner of the course, but it is far from monotonous. The 5k and 10k runners are released on to the course several minutes after the half marathon starts in order to avoid traffic. Although you will pass individuals in those races in your race, the congestion is never an encumbrance.

Also: Pancake breakfast at the finish. Less than $30 for a sign up on the day of the race. Give this a go.

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(2018)
"A Race Truly for the Culture"
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For those who are unaware: parkrun is the most grassroots, culturally-inspired race that you can possibly be a part of. This race series is global and consistent and FREE. Through the efforts of the community, park run presents a free, timed 5K for those of all abilities. This is a race about community, not about shirts and finisher medals.

This particular parkrun circumnavigates the scenic Jamaica Pond. While the path may be open to pedestrians during the race, this should not be too much of an issue as well. If you have the pleasure of racing, consider volunteering another weekend!

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(2018)
"Faster than Driving from Echo Park to Santa Monica"
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I was a little worried about the logistics of this race because I never ran it before and I assumed the worst. I thought that LA was such a sprawling city that something would suffer as a result: the expo, the transportation, the route, the aid stations, etc.

I was wrong.

The LA marathon is polished in many ways. The volunteers were plentiful. The course was interesting and took you through varied neighborhoods. The transportation situation was painless. The finish line festival was organized.

If you haven't seen LA yet or wanted to find a new neighborhood you haven't explored yet, run this race. This sure beats the 405. This net-downhill course will keep you looking from left to right for monuments and interesting sights. The only steep hills to worry about are around miles 4 to 6. The "rolling hills" later on in the race are manageable so don't fret.

This is a must. Treat yourself to the LA Marathon.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1459891225

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(2018)
"Something in the water at Hyannis"
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Had numerous friends hit PRs and BQ here so I figured why not give it a shot.

For anyone traveling to the race, they allow bib pickup on race day and that is KEY. The race is small enough so that they can manage these things, but still maintain a high production value. The expo is quaint, but perfect for what the race needs.

Since the conditions this year were terrible (freezing and raining), the bathrooms were slightly crowded because everyone was trying to stay warm. The indoor bathrooms were a great surprise on race day!

The race was quaint because it mainly stuck to suburban roads. However, there was a less-than-desirable section of the race on the shoulder of a main road. This sometimes led to single-file running unless you wanted to be brave and make a move in to the lane of the road. Watch out for the blind final turn to the finish. They very aptly let you know that you are at the end, but the finish line can sneak up on ya!

This is a must try. Something in water brings PRs at Hyannis.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1425788037

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