Latest reviews by Tim Michael

(2017)
"Half thought out race "
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The half marathon was a great idea for a local alternative to running the more popular 5k event. It was $30 so the price couldn't have been beaten.

Because the start of the race had not been sectioned off by the police and race management, there was a lot of confusion on where to start. My warmup was looking around for the start line. Runners were just grouping up in places because someone else had, without instruction, and there were confused 5k runners who were standing where the half marathon runners thought the start was.

The race began near the square of town and headed out of city limits eventually with runners on the sides of the streets in places. After making a lap around the Board of Education and the Marty Snook Park, runners headed back toward the square, diverting to run around Hagerstown City Park. The race only held back traffic on the course as long as it took the last runner and as a back of pack runner, it was stressful to be ahead of the race cutoff but the race coordinators telling police they could open up the roads.

The race volunteers were super nice and there were people cheering around mile 10 at the hardest elevation climb. The aid stations were placed consistently through the course which was well thought out.

The medal was what you would expect for the entry fee. I recieved a cotton tshirt and a cheaply made medal that must have cost 2 cents to make.

I wouldn't run this race again because of the confusion and stress. The race organizers are much more experienced in the 5k distance and this distance felt like an afterthought. The 2018 run has a course limit of 2 hours and I don't believe this will encourage more people to sign up for the distance than the small number in 2017. There are countless other spring half-marathons and I will focus on a better run race in the future.

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(2016)
"Christmas 5k!"
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The South Berkely Christmas 5k is an exhilarating local race with tons of community energy. You will see people dressed up in Santa outfits and an array of racing ability that is inviting for all participants. The event occurs during the local Christmas Parade so the streets are lined with people. There was music to get the participants moving half way through and people cheering toward the end to encourage a strong finish. After finishing there was pizza and a great local expo event. This is a small town and it seemed that everyone came out for the 5k and parade. I would recommend this as a way to get in a festive mood and enjoy a great 5k experience.

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(2014)
"Challenging was only the half of it! "
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My first encounter with the half marathon distance was the Freedom's Run starting in Shepherdstown, WV. The parking was not on the college campus where the event started, so there was time to warm up in transition to the start line.

The energy was high and the anticipation made for a great race start. What is really neat about this race from the start is the local scenery that you run through. There were no down and back sections that scream boredom. Running the half took me across the bridge leaving town, overlooking the Potomac River separating Maryland from West Virginia. The race took to the C&O Canal which was probably the only portion of the run that was flat. Leaving the C&O canal toward Antietam Battlefield involved a large ascent that was exceptionally challenging. The rolling hills of Antietam Battlefield passed statues related to the Civil War which was a great experience. The run redirected through the town of Sharpsburg and back towards the finish in Shepherdstown. Those that had adequate hill training stood out by mile 8-10. The cumulative effort of racing through hills was challenging for a novice half marathon runner. The best part of the finish was running through the Football stadium and hearing your name announced as you crossed the line. What a feeling!

The race management did an excellent job and you could tell there was a lot of thought that went into what was done. It was professional with a small town vibe that was great to be a part of. I would recommend this race to friends and would consider it again for myself. Two parting words: hill training.

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