Latest reviews by Melissa Freeman

(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.

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(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.

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(2017)
"Run 317- Mass Ave"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The 2017 Run 317 series is the first time I signed up to run an entire series. Five races, once a month, each on a Thursday evening. Each race is in a different neighborhood and benefits a individual charity.

Packet pickup was simple, I received my packet about an hour before the race. There were many enthusiastic volunteers and I didn’t have to wait at all. At each race you receive a 317 bumper sticker, a free Penn Station sub and two free beers attached to your race bib.

Race day parking was not an issue for me since I have work downtown and have a parking pass The race was yellow flagged because of the heat, which is not surprising since it was in July. The course was nice and flat, and went through historic residential neighborhoods.

After the race you can redeem your two free beers and hang out. I enjoy this series because many of my running friends participate. There is a DJ and people stand around and talk for a while after the race, it was a fun time.

The race communications before and after the race were awesome. Overall I had a great time and will definitely sign up for the entire series next year! If you live in Indianapolis this is a great race series!

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