Latest reviews by Melissa Freeman

(2018)
"DAV 5k Cincinnati"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my first-time hearing about the DAV 5k but it will not be my last! The DAV stands for Disabled American Veterans and supports injured veterans and their families.

I ran the DAV 5k in Cincinnati and it was my first time running there. The course began at Sawyer Point and you could either run the 5k or a one mile loop. The course was nice and flat and was a great tour of the city. This year the race was not timed but instead focuses on everyone finishing and having a good time. The streets were blocked off for us and there were friendly police officers at every intersection cheering us on.

My favorite part of the race was when veterans lined up along the course and gave high fives to the runners. We were able to run along and say thank you to each of them.

Parking for the race was right across the street from Sawyer Point and was just $5 cash or card. Very convenient and easy to get in and out of the parking lot.

Overall the race atmosphere and organization were amazing! I will definitely be running this race next year!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"Toyota Park Stadium Sprint"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Spartan Toyota Park Stadium Sprint was my first Spartan Race. I expected mud and rough terrain but instead received three miles of stairs and obstacles. The course ran through the stadium’s stands, locker-room, and around the outside of the stadium.

The waves were staggered to allow around 15 people to start every few minutes. We had a 10:45am start and was very organized. Be prepared because will have your first obstacle before the race even starts, you have to jump over a wall to get into your start corral. The sprint distance varies from 3-5 miles and isn’t overly difficult.

The obstacles were all focused on upper body strength which was a challenge for me. Mostly walls, ropes, stairs, and burpees. My upper body was sore the next day but nothing too bad.

I loved the race swag, the shirt and medal were awesome! The post-race food was standard and included a banana, granola bar, and water.

The race gave free photos, which was a nice bonus!

I’m not sure if I will do a Stadium Series Spartan again, I instead want to experience the traditional Spartan race and experience the mud.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"2018 BTN Big10K"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Packet pickup/Expo: There was not an expo at this race, only packet pickup at Road Runner Sports. Packet pickup was easy and efficient. No race day pickup at this race but you can get your packet mailed to you for an additional fee.
T-shirts/Swag: LOVED the shirts for this event, it was awesome to see everyone representing their university! In previous years the shirts did not fit right, but that seems to have been sorted out! I like the medal from previous years more because after the race you went to your alumni tent and received a school specific magnet for your medal.
Course: The race course went along Lakeshore drive and was a bit crowded. A lot of us had to run in the dirt next to the trail, but after mile three everyone spread out and we had more room.
Post-Race: The afterparty was awesome! The post-race is a tailgate with beer and sausages. Each school had a tent where you could go and take pictures. Every tent was handing out things to their alumni. Unfortunately, IU didn’t have anything for us, which is a school issue- not a race issue. Hopefully in the future each school will be able to provide the same post-race items for all. Bill Murray was also hanging out at the after party, which was awesome!
Overall: Overall, I had a great time and will be back next year! It is a fun race with an awesome atmosphere! The after party is my favorite part and people hang out for a while after- eat, play games, and hang out with friends and alumni.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"Asheville Half Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is the first race I have run in Asheville and it will not be my last! The hills were intimidating but shouldn’t stop anyone from running this race.

The race offered two distances, 10k or half marathon. It was a very small race, but well organized. There were a few minor issues but I still had a great time.

First, the expo was just okay, it was very small but well organized. There weren’t any vendors there which was disappointing. However, packet pickup was quick and easy. Also, I expected there to be somewhere to buy gels at the expo or them to be handed out at the race.

I like the t-shirt design a lot, and they were gender specific and sized correctly. Since it was a half marathon I wish the medals were a little bigger, but I like the design.

When I arrived at the start line area I had no trouble finding parking downtown. However, there was a long line for the bathrooms and I had to wait almost 20 minutes. Unfortunately some of the Elite athletes were cutting in line even though everyone started the race at the same time.

I really enjoyed the first 7 miles of the race which started in downtown Asheville. The interesting scenery made the miles fly by. The next 5 miles were by the French Broad River and were extremely boring. Mile 10 was all uphill and was extremely difficult, I have never ran a hill that steep. Mile 12-11 were pretty boring, took us on a main road back towards downtown Asheville, not very scenic. Mile 12 was more interesting, it was downtown, but there weren’t any directional signs to the finish line, I felt like I was in a scavenger hunt. We were told to run on the sidewalks downtown and there wasn't anyone cheering us on. At the finish, I received my finisher medal but couldn’t find any water. The post race party was nice, received a free beer and snacks.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"Shamrock Shuffle"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my first time running the Shamrock Shuffle and I will definitely be back next year! I had an amazing time running through the heart of Chicago with thousands of fellow runners.

The expo was held at the McCormick Place Convention Center and finding parking was a little difficult. I assumed this would be a large expo with numerous vendors because of the size of the race, but I was a little disappointed. It was too big of a space for a small expo.

The race swag was awesome, I loved the quality and design of the shirts and medals. The race course is fantastic, it starts at Grant Park and takes you right through the heart of downtown Chicago. The course is definitely my favorite part of the race. The crowd encouragement is amazing, I love how much the city supports this race.

Overall, this was one of my favorite races and I will definitely be running it again next year.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.