Latest reviews by Jason Nelson

(2017)
"Beautiful scenery but zero crowd support"
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This is a beautiful race through Myakka River State Park. Pancake flat with amazing old Florida scenery. The only crowds on the course are the aid station workers, so plan on a quiet day of running. As for parking, there's no parking in the park. You have to park at a church about 10 minutes away and then ride a shuttle bus to and from. That can be a little frustrating, so get there early. The post race food is incredible! Bacon, eggs, pancakes and more sponsored by Publix. Overall, I recommend this race solely for the scenery.

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(2017)
"By far my favorite race ever!"
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Man, I love Chicago! I've done this race twice, but it is by far my favorite race. The crowds, the expo, the post-race, the city. Everything about this race makes me want to do it every year! Even when the weather gets funky hot and roasts you the last 10k, this is the best race on the planet! My advice is to soak in the experience. Take your headphones off, high five the kids along the sides, thank the police officers and volunteers. There is so much going on that you don't want to get lost in your music. Yes, the course is flat, yes, it's where I hold my marathon PR (and only sub-4 hour finish time), and yes the pizza before and after really are that good. But the Chicago Marathon offers so much more to create memories that will last a lifetime. If you can only do one more race in your life, make it the Chicago Marathon!

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(2016)
"Good course, but not as easy as it looks"
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The BMW Dallas Marathon is quietly becoming a destination race for people from around the world. It's a challenging course with nearly 900 feet of elevation gain that's run in a time of year that will more than likely be cold. Miles 13-20 are mostly flat, but the rest of the course has rolling hills. There's not a lot of crowd support, but it's probably because it's so cold for the beautiful people of Dallas. The expo is pretty impressive, though I wish they'd pick up a major apparel sponsor for better swag. The post race party is big with many reasons to hang out afterwards and relax on the lawn (if the sun is out). As for race distances, there are plenty to choose from for all types of runners: 2 mile walk, 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon and ultra marathon (50k). I highly recommend you do this race.

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(2016)
"Half Marathon PR Race"
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If you're looking for a half marathon PR, this is your race. Run along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Fort Desoto Park, this race only has 26 feet of elevation gain along 13.1 miles. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, but the Florida weather in March could be warm. There's no crowd support along the course, at all. The post-race festivities have plenty of food and being right there on the beach is a great excuse to linger long after you cross the finish line. Registration prices are reasonable, the medal is gaudy-big, and overall this is a fun race for all types of runners. I highly recommend it.

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(2016)
"Good local half marathon"
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The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon has been around for several years and attracts a couple thousand runners each year. It's a super flat course that runs through neighborhoods of Sarasota just north of downtown. Being in March every year, the Florida weather can be warm. Not a lot of crowd support along the course. In fact, if you don't run with headphones, plan on a quiet run. The post-race is good with lots of food options, and it's right on the shore of the Sarasota Bay, giving you nice selfie pics afterwards. I wouldn't call this a destination race, but if you're in the central Florida area, I'd recommend it.

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