Latest reviews by William Brent

(2021)
"Fast, flat and chill"
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This was such a unique experience.
It was very laid back and chill, but at the same time bigger than your neighborhood 5k.
There were some folks scattered around the course waiting for their runner to pass.
Everyone was pleasant and smiled, waved, or cheered.

There was music at the start and finish, which I guess is expected, but it was tasteful and provides the right amount of energy.

They had a really nice post race set up of people pre packaged snacks and a draw string bag!

It certainly exceeded my expectations and was worth the price.
I signed up last minute (because I couldn't do the i35 challenge) the expo folks were very helpful when I tried to get my packet.

The course was fast. Real fast.
Super fast.
I didn't want to run that fast but it was almost unavoidable.

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(2021)
"Des Moines didn't let me down"
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In full transparency I went into this experience believing that it would be a "humdrum" / mom-and-pop type experience.
There were so few people at the expo, it almost ratified my preconception. There were more volunteers than participants (which is a good problem to have.)

The race exceeded all of my expectations.
It wasn't a flat run around cornfields; there were hills and lakes and a university track.
There were people cheering, loudly! Not just your neighbor on their lawn, but the neighborhood!

Anyway,
The good:
Big town feel, small town race.
Energy
Family fast course.

The bad:
Getting there wound up being more arduous than I expected, but really nothing "bad".

Registration and Race communication:
Fantastic updates from the RD. At regular and reliable intervals. They did course previews and strategies on Facebook and unless you, on a whim, registered the night before because you were stuck in town there were no surprises or unexpected hills. (I will say the folks on Forrest drive need to repave their street....)

Course difficulties:
With the exception of the mile....18? Aid station everything was spot on. That was a difficultone to get to because it was in the middle of the trail. In the moment I was not happy but all in all it wasn't a deal breaker.. There were porto-potties at regular intervals. The aid stations were marked. The volunteers were fantastic. There were no surprises between Gatorade and water.
The only improvement I would suggest would be the first aid folks at mile 19 could be more present. I saw the ambulance, but I only needed biofreeze (mile 22 made up for it lol 😆)

The Swag:
The medal was neat, designed for you to take advantage of the race weekend. It has a notch to hang your Saturday being from your Sunday being
I liked the shirt. It wasn't super luxe, but its nice. The marathon had 26.2 on the back and that half 13.1. I appreciate that it isn't a tshirt (its a 1/4 zip) I may actually wear this one!

Aid stations were about average (except for the bacon guy at mile 10)
The amazing thing were the racing support cyclists. I don't think I've ever seen this
If I did, it wasn't in a way that made me feel that I had my own entourage of support personnel.

Not a race call out, but certainly notable is that there was something to eat for all dietary needs.
Again, didn't expect Des Moines to have so many gluten free/vegan/vegetarian options
It just made the experience that much better.

In short
Do this race.
The RD has so many volunteers and the course is well designed and gives you an amazing opportunity to tour Des Moines by foot.

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(2021)
"A good fall option for us east coasters"
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The good: well organized race.
The bad: parking in Philadelphia... and the Schuylkill expressway

Communication leading up to the race was well balanced and helpful, not spamming

Package pick up: I didn't attend but looked socially distanced

Well marked course, Police presence at intersections.

The aid stations were on both sides of the street and there were plenty! Thanks!

I think this course is the original from the early 90's. You get a good view of the city and there is no doubling back over previously trodden miles.
The course is fast and with the exception of the small climb near the end (low grade, 30 feet of elevation change) its flat.

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(2021)
"Must add this to your July 4th Celebration list."
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I signed up for this race somewhat on a whim. I was in the area and saw that the race finished at the West Palm Beach 4th on Flagler holiday celebration at the waterfront.
I thought this would be a great way to spend the holiday with my family.

True to the description, the event finished right at the park on the waterfront. There were food vendors and there was music at the finish, which made this small-ish race feel like a big city event.

From a flow perspective, there were police at intersections and cones blocking traffic.

The course is more or less flat (with the exception of having to run over a few metal plates from road construction.)

Race start was at a neat little park and one of the local businesses allowed for runner parking until 11pm.

The course kind of wrapped through the neighborhood and you could tell the closer you got to the finish, the more affluent the area...

The finisher medal was nice, but the award for AG winners was a coffee mug, which I appreciate because I love coffee.
The Race shirt was a technical tank that came in really handy post-race because of the heat and humidity.

Everyone was fantastic and friendly.

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(2021)
"Really good Swing to Virtual"
Overall
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The 2021 Delaware Running Festival is still scheduled to be a live race BUT they also had a virtual component! Since the Live event was moved to a day I had already booked an engagement; I opted for the virtual run.
The effort the event organizers made to make this event socially engaging from far away was spectacular.

They provided a really amazing photo upload tool and contests throughout the day to engage with the virtual runners.
To help prepare for race day:

I was able to download my bib on Run Sign Up
I downloaded RaceJoy to get the complete race day experience!
If you registered to run virtually by April 11th, your gear would have been sent to you before April 25th. If you signed up after the April 11th date, you will receive your gear in June like me.
The race directors communicated often leading up to the event.

They are very engaged on social and constantly provided information on Instagram and Facebook

I really want to go to Wilmington and actually run there.
The race organizers push so much energy out into the world that I want to be a part of it.

I would recommend this event to anyone looking to explore Delaware even though I didn’t get to this year. I feel the race pivoted well and was engaging, rather than some races where you get your medal and your bib in the mail with no follow-up or follow through.

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