Latest reviews by Laurie Hess

(2019)
"Trail Blazer Run Race Report"
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My hubby Bill and I traveled to Downingtown, PA last evening to participate in the Trail Blazer Run five-mile trail race.

After picking up our goody bags and T-shirts, we looked around the pavilion and grounds where registration was held. The place was hopping! There was a cover band playing some fine tunes, corn hole games set up to play, and the Vicory Brewing beer-mobile was getting set up for the post-race festivities.

At exactly 6:30 p.m. we lined up at the starting line and were off.

The race began on the grass, but we quickly transitioned to a paved park road. We were on the park road for only a quarter mile, all of it downhill, before we turned onto a dirt path through the nearby woods.

The trail, which had a few rocks and a few more roots, climbed up, up, up the hillside and Bill and I began taking walk breaks to catch our breath. Eventually, we reached the top, where it leveled off, followed by a very nice, gradual descent.

To read my full race report, please go here: https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/trail-blazer-run-race-report/

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(2019)
"Joggin 4 the Noggin Race Report"
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On Saturday my hubby Bill and I traveled to New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania where the very pretty Little Buffalo State Park is located to run the second annual Joggin 4 the Noggin 5K. It was our third race in three weekends, and my favorite of the three.

I selected this race for two reasons: it supported a great cause, brain tumor research, and it is run on a variety of surfaces – dirt, grass, stone, and pavement, which I enjoy.

The race director and several children counted down from five and we were off. The course began by crossing the parking lot, traveling up a small gravel road that circled a swimming pool, then onto a dirt trail which ran parallel to the lake, the centerpiece of the state park.

The dirt trail through the woods next to the lake was my favorite part of the race. It lasted for about 3/4 of a mile, was slightly downhill, and was totally shaded. It was also wet in some places.

To read the full race report, please go here: https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/joggin-4-the-noggin-race-report/

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(2019)
"Friendship Community 5K Run for Capabilities Race Report"
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Saturday morning dawned breezy and cool, perfect racing weather. The race was the Friendship Community 5K, a small race held in conjunction with a festival, complete with children’s rides, face painting, a pancake breakfast, auction, plant sale, art sale, and even a magician blowing balloon animals and doing magic tricks.

The race began on grass. I was slightly nervous about running on grass, due to the uneven footing, but my worry was unnecessary; running on this short, well-groomed grass was fine, and lasted for less than half a mile.

After the grass portion of the race, we ran on a gravel path that led to the parking lot of a nearby dairy. I was feeling good, enjoying the variety of surfaces, and running according to my pre-race plan, which was to run at a comfortably hard pace.

To read the entire race report, please go here https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/friendship-and-a-5k-race-report/

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(2019)
"Marine Corps 17.75K Race Report"
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Hubby and I had to get up early the morning of the Marine Corps 17.75K race, before sunrise, before the hot breakfast was available at our hotel. The U.S. Marines are master event planners; when they tell you to be at a shuttle location before 6:00 a.m., you get to a shuttle location before 6:00 a.m.

3,300 runners registered to run this race. Registration opens on February 20 at noon for the March 23 race and sells out in a matter of hours. It may seem surprising that thousands of runners wait by their computers to sign up to race this unusual distance, run entirely in Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, but (1.) the race is sponsored by the Marine Corps and (2.) finishing the race in under three hours gives you guaranteed access to register for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. (You can read about my registration saga here.) Typically, you must take your chances in a lottery in order to run this very popular marathon.

At exactly 7:00:00, as the sun was just peeking over the horizon, the starting horn sounded and we were off.

After running for a very short time on a highway, we quickly transitioned to a narrow dirt and gravel park road. The road, rutted and full of potholes that had filled up with rain from the previous day, gave the race almost a trail race-like feel for the first four miles, which I liked. The gravel road had some pretty good rolling hills, some of them steep, but none very long.

To read the full race report, please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/marine-corps-17-75k-race-report/

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(2018)
"Running for Pride and Joy"
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After months of agonizing over the best course of action to take regarding whether to run the Marine Corps Marathon on an injured hip, race weekend was finally here. The moment of truth. There was actually very little doubt about whether I would go. As my friends and family know, I can be a just a tad stubborn. Giving up on running the race without giving it my best shot is just not in my nature.

Sunday morning dawned overcast and cool. Perfect running weather. We made our way to our corral, took a quick selfie at the start line in our throw-away shirts and watched the skydivers do their heart-stopping plunge with the American flag that kicked off the official pre-race ceremonies. After the flyover by an MV-22 Osprey (a helicopter/airplane hybrid) and a very stirring rendition of the national anthem, the howitzer, signaling the start of the race, went off and we inched toward the start line.

I was people-watching more than scenery-watching at the beginning of the race, and there was plenty to see. I saw many husband-and-wife teams running together, which made me wish Bill was running with me. There was a fireman running in his boots and full gear, including an oxygen tank, and a group of men running together who made me do a double-take.

Three men were making their way through the course, one of them in a wheelchair. One man was pushing the wheelchair and one was running interference as they wove through the crowd of other runners. I realized at second glance that the man pushing the wheelchair had one leg and one prosthetic running blade.

To read my full report, please click here

https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/marine-corps-marathon-race-report/

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