Latest reviews by Laurie Hess

(2019)
"The Challenge"
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On Saturday, My hubby Bill and I traveled to Williamsport, a town about two hours north of us, to take part in the Williamsport Community Challenge trail race.

One intriguing feature of the race is that the race director changes each course every year, so even if you do the same distance two years in a row, you will not be running the same race. Another interesting feature is that you get to run on the Williamsport Water Authority property, a place usually off-limits to hikers, bikers, and runners.

15 minutes before the start we ambled over to the starting line (two orange cones set up on a dirt road), looked for our friend who was also doing the race, listened to the race director’s brief instructions (Follow the orange ribbons!), and were off.

The first part of the race was run on a dirt logging road. It was crowded with 400 runners and difficult to settle into a comfortable pace. We turned onto another, even rougher logging road at the half-mile mark and began climbing. And climbing.

To read the rest of the review, please click the following link: https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/the-challenge/

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(2019)
"Running With the Marines (In the Deluge)"
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For the second year in a row, I traveled to Washington, D.C. on the last weekend in October to run the Marine Corps Marathon.

This year was different from last because this year I ran the race with my hubby Bill, my friend Nancy (it was her 99th marathon), and another friend Dennis. Dennis had run the Marine Corps Marathon 30 times before but not since 2007. He wanted to attempt to run it one last time at age 78.

I really like the race shirt this year. It is a black quarter-zip with the phrase “Courage is Endurance for One Moment More” emblazoned on the back.

Race day dawned gray and rainy, but we were prepared. We brought hats, throw-away shirts, and rain ponchos, which we donned before setting out for our 1-mile walk to the race start before sunrise.

In the Marine Corps Marathon, there are three checkpoints – at miles 17, 20, and 22. In order to beat the gauntlet at mile 17, you must maintain approximately a 15 minutes per mile pace.

The first few miles were good. We ran-walked and maintained an acceptible pace. Then we turned into Rock Creek Park. The rain, which had been light up until then, became much heavier and Dennis’ knees started acting up. He began to have trouble sustaining the necessary speed.

Please continue reading here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/10/28/marine-corps-marathon-2019-version/

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(2019)
"Going the Distance"
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Last Sunday my hubby Bill and I traveled to Forest City, Pennsylvania to run the D&H Distance Run, a half marathon.

We arrived at the trailhead on an overcast, cool race morning to pick up our race packets and were instructed by a volunteer to park in a nearby field. We parked and headed downhill to the pavillion, where we stood in a short line to receive our race bibs and T-shirts. The short-sleeved T-shirt was a soft poly-cotton mix, my favorite kind.

The starting line was actually on the road leading to the field where we parked, up the hill from the rail-trail, giving us a nice downhill start.

As we waited for the start of the race, I chatted with a woman standing near us. “Have you ever run this race before?” she asked. I told her that I had not. “The first part, when you are going out, is very, very slightly uphill and the last part, when you’re coming back is very, very slightly downhill.”

I liked the sound of that.

There were aid stations approximately every two miles. Bill and I decided to get a drink and walk through the aid stations. I was feeling fine until about mile four, when I began struggling again, just as I had done in a similar rail-trail half marathon (The Hellbender Half Marathon), which we had run three weeks before.

To read the rest of the report, please visit:

https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/going-the-distance/

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(2019)
"Flying With the Fish"
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On Saturday, the hubs and I traveled east to Somerdale, New Jersey, home of the Flying Fish brewery, to run the Flying Fish 5K. The race premium for the 5K was a coaster. The race shirt cost an extra $20. Bill ordered one; I did not.

The shirts were really nice. They were the type of poly-cotton blend that holds their shape but has a nice, soft feel. The women’s shirts had a V-neck, which I like, and I contemplated purchasing one after the race, but, luckily for my pocketbook, they had run out of my size.

The morning was perfect for running – low humidity and sunny, with temperatures hovering right around 70 degrees. Bill and I picked up our bibs and wandered around the area near the race start.

The 1,000 or so runners lined up at the starting line, listened to the national anthem, and were off at the sound of a horn signaling the race start.

The race took us past a school and through the neighborhoods surrounding the Flying Fish Brewery. There were a few rolling hills, but I would classify the racecourse as mostly flat. Roads were closed and, with one notable exception, traffic was not an issue.

Read my full review at:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/flying-with-the-fish/

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(2019)
"A Hellbender of a Half"
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The Hellbender Half Marathon (and an associated 5K) is held in Weiser State Forest in Central Pennsylvania to raise funds for the Roaring Creek Valley Conservation Association, which promotes clean water in the state forest and the surrounding Roaring Creek Valley, thus the name of the race.

At exactly 8:30 we lined up at the starting line and were off, running through the woods on a wide dirt path. Bill and I decided to run together in this race. Our speedy friend was out of sight in no time.

The path we were on was fairly flat at some places and gently rolling in others. Bill and I both thought there were more downhills than uphills for the first miles of the race, and I made a mental note to save something for the end of the out-and-back course, reasoning the end of the race would be mostly uphill.

One very nice feature of the course was that it was 90% shaded, a much-needed perk on this very hot and humid morning.

To read the rest of the race report please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/08/25/the-hellbender-half-marathon/

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