Latest reviews by Laurie Hess

(2018)
"VA Wine Country Half Marathon"
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The race started and ended at Doukenie Winery in Purcellville, VA. Parking was supposed to be in two fields adjacent to the winery, but the race director had to scramble at the last minute to find an alternate parking spot to avoid having cars getting stuck in the muddy fields. We parked at a nearby high school and were shuttled to the winery, approximately three miles away. The race started about 20 minutes late. We ran out a long gravel drive from the winery and onto a paved road. The first miles of the race seemed to be slightly uphill on a road lined with fields and woods. This is Virginia Wine Country, a beautiful area with farms, vineyards and natural areas. The weather was warm, not hot, but the humidity was 100%, which made running slightly uncomfortable. The course was rolling, and before the halfway point, the paved road turned into one with a stone surface. The best place to run was where the stones had been worn away to bare dirt. To read my entire race report, please go here: https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/virginia-wine-country-half-marathon-race-report/

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(2018)
"XTERRA Big Elk Half Marathon Race Report"
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My hubby Bill and I got up super early on Saturday and drove to Elkton, MD (about an hour from our house) to run the XTERRA Big Elk Half Marathon. This was part of a running festival that included full and half marathons, as well as a 5k, 10k, and kids’ race. The race is part of the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run series.

We pinned on our bibs, visited the indoor restrooms (nice!), and chatted with a friend while we waited for the race to start. The full and half marathons began at 7:00 a.m. The other races started after this to alleviate congestion. Good planning!

At 6:50, we lined up at the starting line marked on the ground with chalk and listened to the race director’s message, (basically, follow the signs). The race began promptly at 7:00, and we were off, down a gravel road to the trails.

We turned onto wooded single track within a quarter mile. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and bright with low humidity. The sunlight dappled trail was mostly flat at the beginning of the race.

My favorite kind of trail race is one run on a variety of surfaces, and this course definitely checked that box. While the vast majority of the course was wooded single track with plenty of rocks and roots, there were stretches of double track, gravel road, fields of high grass (tick check after the race!), and dirt single track through low cut fields for variety. There were mile markers at each mile, and the trails were extremely well marked.

To read the entire race report, please click here: https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/xterra-big-elk-trail-half-marathon-race-report/

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(2018)
"Montour 24 Race Report"
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Montour 24 is a timed race. That means you run for a set amount of time (rather than a definite distance). I have done the 6-hour version of Montour 24 several times, but that was eliminated from the list of possibilities this year. Every option was a 24 hour option in 2018 – either run the entire race solo, or team up with 3 friends and run it as a relay. The friends who I ran it with last year (Nancy, Cammy and my hubby Bill) and I chose the relay option. I have never done a 24 hour relay before, so I was excited to try a special favorite race in new format.

The course is a 1.44 mile loop that is mostly trail, with a short section of grass and a short section of park road thrown in. Some of the trail is wooded single track along a stream with some rocks and roots; some of it is a more manicured double track. The course is fairly (but not completely) flat. I have always loved Montour 24 for its variety of surfaces and beautiful setting, but what I love most about the race are the friendly people I have met there over the years.

To read the full race report go here
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/montour-24-race-report/

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(2018)
"Turkey Hill Country Classic 5k Race Report"
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The Turkey Hill Country Classic is a race that I have heard my friends rave about for years. It is a local race that started out small, but it has grown to include a 5k, 10k, half marathon and bike races.

The Turkey Hill race started out as flat, but soon became gently rolling. There were no monster hills on the course, but there were one or two that got your attention around the halfway point.

The first mile was marked, and there was a volunteer standing at the mark calling out times. What a great perk! I do wear a watch when I run, but almost never look at it – I want to run by feel. I felt great, and my time was good at the one mile marker. Then came the hills. They were not too bad, but I could feel myself slowing down slightly.
To read the entire race report, please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/turkey-hill-country-classic-5k-race-report/

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(2018)
"York Half Marathon Race Report"
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The York Half (and the accompanying full marathon) are sponsored by the local branch of the YMCA. Packet pick up is located at the Y, which means indoor bathrooms (always a plus), showers available for after the race, and tons of smiling, helpful volunteers.

The half marathon started at 6:15. We started on the street in front of the YMCA, ran a few blocks on city streets, and quickly turned onto the York Heritage Rail Trail. The race is mostly out-and-back on the rail trail.

The York Heritage Rail Trail is a packed cinder trail, about 10 feet wide, that stretches from York, PA to the Maryland border, where it links up with the Northern MD Rail Trail. The trail is mostly shaded and runs beside railroad tracks.

To read the full race report, please go here https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/york-half-marathon-race-report/

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