Latest reviews by Shravan A

(2018)
"Run Bull City!"
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I was looking forward for this race since I signed up for a few months ago. Not just because it had been a while I ran a half, But also because quite a few of my run buddies from our Morrisville Run Club were running this too. We have all been doing great with our weekly mileage including the long runs over the weekend and I'm so glad that the prep was just the way I needed it to be for me to do well in this race. I've heard about the hills in this course, But hey, Who doesn't love the hills (With a smirk on my face)! With the decent enough prep under my belt I was aspiring to break my PR and try to get this one for 1.45, but with a sense of caution.

Reaching the race venue wasn't hard, But finding my way to park the car seemed a bit tricky. It was perhaps my fault (Rather blame my GPS)! Once the parking logistics were taken care of, reaching the start line was rather smooth and I was all pumped up to see the crowds of athletes. I braced myself for the call to start and wished to get through the crowd a bit sooner and find my running groove for my pace. As it is, It took the first couple of miles to get ahead and I found myself at the pace I have been running during this time which is between 8.00 and 8.50. I even ran with the 8.30 pacers for quite sometime during the course but perhaps couldn't keep up with them once I hit the hills. The course was nice as we ran through the downtown and some part of Duke university. The weather was perfect for the run, But I wouldn't say the same for the time I spent after the run. Though I didn't see my run buddies at the start line, I managed to see some of them a few miles into the course. I found the aid stations were plenty and well placed and managed to hydrate a few times. The latter part of the course was what I found the most challenging with steeper hills rolling in. But the people especially little kids cheering along the course, made the experience rather better. As I got closer to the finish line, I noticed I was a bit under my aspired pace, But still ended up with PR at 1.49. All in all, I would say that I really enjoyed this race and would do it again and perhaps better my PR.

The after party was great, I met with my run buddies and was glad to know that they all got their PRs with this race. The weather started feeling cold, now since the race was over but the beer that was served after the run made it feel way better.

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(2018)
"TarHeels for Tar"Hills""
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This year's Tarheel 10 miler, 4 Miler and the combined Double down races packed the same energy and enthusiasm as they have before. I have run the 10 miler and 4 miler a few years earlier, but this time was a bit different as it had been after a few years of hiatus. Its particularly a challenge due to the timing of this race, While our neighborhoods and forests around are full on blooming season with days filled with high pollen alerts. It is sure not fun to run a race for someone like me with high seasonal allergies.

The course of this race is quite scenic running through downtown Chapel Hill, UNC campus and some of Chapel Hill's historic neighborhoods . The 10 miler started at 7.45 am amidst and electrifying atmosphere. Peppy music at the start line and race announcers on the mic ensured that all racers were ready when it was about time to start. I was well hydrated, well rested and also well "sprayed" for my allergies and was in high spirits. At the outset with the race countdown, I started off on a great note and flew through the first couple of miles easily. As the course took some hilly turns I did my best and kept the pace to around 8.50 when my lungs started taking the additional load to keep going with the high pollen counts that day. I was still doing relatively well, but at the back of my mind was "Laurel Hill", The Mother all the hills put together in the course of the race. I didn't quite remember where this would befall on me but kept looking for it at almost every turn I took while on the course as though I was missing and awaiting for it.

The water stations were placed perfectly enough and this year the organizers served "Nuun" energy drinks. I love Nuun as it just doesn't taste good but also replenishes the slats that the body loses while running long arduous races. I was also eager to see my running buddy(https://www.bibrave.com/users/129085) who was volunteering that day for this race and was posted at one of the water stations. Swinging by his water post and grabbing a few gulps of Nuun quickly, had the needed affect for me to keep going further. I felt at ease with my stride and the breathing and felt a bit more confident that I was a mile earlier, when I struggled to breathe. I was on a roll and cruising along the beautiful streets of Chapel Hill. The people who flocked on with sides of the road were fantastic with banners and placards with uplifting messages on them. I was touched by little kids who were giving "Free" high fives and loved it. A few more turns along the course and there was the "beast" of the hill awaiting for the racers to succumb, but only in vain. Crossing Laurel Hill gave a serious sense of achievement that day. It stretched between miles 8 and 9 and came at the penultimate part of the course. As I took the last few strides to pass it, I heard the sound of music picking up indicating that the end of the course was very near. The audience was again great and cheering people as they all came close to the finish line. I was so glad at the sight of it that as I crossed it, I leapt as high as I could without landing on twisted feet and smiled So I wouldn't miss the photo op for the finisher pictures.

I grabbed my medal soon after crossing the finish line and quickly took a few finisher pics in memory of my personal glory. There were bananas, water, bagels and even pizza awaiting for runners to replenish and reward. There also was a booth with some physical therapists guiding racers to stretch who needed it after a grueling race, which I took the advantage of as well.

Overall, It was a great race. 10 Miler for the course was just right and was very well organized. I'm already looking forward for doing this again the next year.

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(2016)
"First of so many more to come!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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This was my very first half marathon and I was pretty excited about it. I've done number of 10k, 5k and also 10 Milers but not a half marathon.

Expo
The expo was good and was held close the State fair grounds in Raleigh. Packet pickup was a breeze but they messed up my size of the race T-shirt. I didn't have an alternative to get it corrected, But I still wore it to the race.

Logistics
The race day logistics were great. Parking wasn't difficult and the race seems very well organized. The aid stations were rightly placed and were well equipped with supplies and equally enthusiastic volunteers who were eager to serve and encourage the runners.

Course experience
I love the distance since this is my first half marathon, But I also loved the course. My training was mostly on relatively flat Tobacco trails compared to this one, But never the less had some rolling hills. Parts of it covered the beautiful campus of NC State University.

Overall

I really enjoyed this race and would do it again!

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