Latest reviews by William Brent

(2019)
"First Timer Friendly but also good for competitors"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Good: There's a lot of good; but I would say the water was clean. BIG DEAL for me.
The Bad: I did the double down (both a Saturday and Sunday Race) but the race medals were the same and I didn't get a cool medal for doing both.

Overview:
This is a great triathlon regardless of whether you are a first time triathlete or a tried and true athlete. Everyone is super helpful and informative. There is a lot of communication leading up tot he race.

The Pre-Work
Registration is through Active.com so if you have signed up for any races in the last 5 years, you are bound to have used active. BUT if not, Active.com is easy to navigate and saves your information.
NJSTRI's website is easy to navigate also. All the information you will need be it race day or leading up to race day is on the website and easy to find.
Results are easily identifiable for the current year as well (you do need to dig a little to find previous year's results)

Communication from the RD:
there was a lot of it, mostly advertising.
but the important stuff got through and I feel the did a good job.

The Expo:
Meh.
What you would expect from a small town race (only this is a big deal.) There were a few vendors; nothing to write home about.
If you followed my 2019 race journey (or just the reviews) I haven't had the time or ability to attend race expos, so I was really looking forward to it this time; but I felt somewhat let down. A few discount vendors and a bunch of NJST gear...
The best part of the expo was being able to see the course and the transition area and the speech form the race director.

The Course.
Swim:
The water is clean!
I don't know what mob boss was paid off to pull the bodies out of the water, but they did it.
I was really happy that the water wasn't slimy or grodie.
I've been in water which was really gross (Louisville) but you actually feel pretty refreshed after going in (despite the water temps being 88.)
Bike:
New Jersey isn't known for its rolling hills. Which should tell you that this course is going to be pretty flat. That being said; riding your bike competitively with no undulation is hard.
The course was closed from traffic which was really nice! No cars to honk or get in your way!
Run
The run was the run...this is bibrave its what we do! The course was the walking path through the park. Thankfully there was shade through most of it. The race staff set up a 'misting station' which was clutch in this heat. I would have liked to have seen water at the turn around, but that may me being nit picky...
side note:
From a run course perspective; it was okay
From a participant perspective; if you're going to walk, walk on the grass not the path where we are racing.

The Swag:
meh.
They are know for their swag, but it was okay. nothing to write home about. Sorry

The Medal:
It was a nice medal, but I don't need 2 of the same medal. In my opinion the Olympic should have been different than the sprint...just saying

Post Race:
with amazing efficiency they get the athletes through the food area quickly.
There are pretzels and bagels and beer. I feel that was really a good set up
There was also an amazing misting booth after the finish line. I'm actually going to call it a shower (even though it's not a shower proper)
It was a great addition to the race especially after the scorching heat you experienced on course!

In short.
Do it.
I'd do it again

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(2019)
"Cute Home Town Race"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The good: This was a cute home town race.
The bad: There were definitely some hills to push over!

Expo: in true 2019 fashion; I didnt go. There was an option to pick up my packet at the race so that's what I did.
Easy peasy!

Race communication: i dont recall a whole lot of communication; but I do remember the email about parking... so it was good?

Race:
Parking was fantastic. They reserve a field and bus you to the begining.
It's a great course. Not 100% closed; but I guess that's okay. The only thing is the community support which was nice also served lemonade at mile 9 which was a bit hard to swallow.
The course is hilly. Especially in the beginning.
But there are amish families walking to church and mountains and lakes. So beautiful

Swag and finish medal. It was a neat medal. It doubles as a bottle opener;)

I would totally do this again and encourage you to do it to

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(2019)
"Cute Home Town Race"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The good: This was a cute home town race.
The bad: There were definitely some hills to push over!

Expo: in true 2019 fashion; I didnt go. There was an option to pick up my packet at the race so that's what I did.
Easy peasy!

Race communication: i dont recall a whole lot of communication; but I do remember the email about parking... so it was good?

Race:
Parking was fantastic. They reserve a field and bus you to the begining.
It's a great course. Not 100% closed; but I guess that's okay. The only thing is the community support which was nice also served lemonade at mile 9 which was a bit hard to swallow.
The course is hilly. Especially in the beginning.
But there are amish families walking to church and mountains and lakes. So beautiful

Swag and finish medal. It was a neat medal. It doubles as a bottle opener;)

I would totally do this again and encourage you to do it to

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(2019)
"Take my money"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Let's talk about the Indy Mini and 500 festival.
The good: there's too much good to only have one thing
The bad:... it rained the whole time?

I registered for this race maybe 6 months ago (possibly longer) and I wish I would have signed up for the Vip...but I didn't...and that's life.

Communication leading up to the race was perfectly timed and it was always enough information. Thanks to the reminders; I was reminded that I was doing 2 races today!!! (because it being 6 months ago I completely forgot that I was doing the challenge)

The challenge:
The challenge was a 5K followed by a half marathon and they almost expertly execute this feat.
In the email and the participant guide they tell you to route yourself through runner services and follow the signs. I would only suggest that they have a couple more signs routing folks around the metal people. The volunteers are so jazzed to hand out medals at the end of the 5K and you feel really bad turning them down...so there should be a designated channel instead of just a rough guideline if you get challenge folks around back to the start

The Expo:
This is the 1st expo I believe I have been to all year...and there were a lot of people there!
I think I forgot how crowded these things get.
I want to say that there are close to 30000 participants in the race on Saturday between the 5K and half marathon and while I know it would be hyperbole to say they were all there at 5 o'clock on Friday night...it felt like they were all there at 5 o'clock on Friday night
Despite their big crowds I was able to get my bib, get my wristband for beer and get out really quickly.I kind of know how I want my expo experience to be and because I drove 12 hours to get to the expo I really didn't feel like hanging around a whole lot...
Despite my wanting to leave quickly; there were some really good vendors. I think Orange mud was there; which is kind of cool for a road race, and I wound up stopping to get some nutrition for the race in case I needed it.

The course:
The course is actually really good. I was a fan of going around the zoo... I would have loved to have gone through the zoo but it's probably not practical...
The 5K is the 1st mile of the half marathon and the last pile of the half marathon and then obviously a mile in between
There are a lot of things that I really liked about this course
it was fast and relatively flat which was nice
going around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was kind of epic.
I will tell you that something that will stick with me and something that I think is really impactful is the mile when you get into the Speedway. I can only think of a handful of times where I've been emotional during a race and this was one of them from mile 6 to mile 7 There are pictures of fallen service members which just touched me.
There was music every half mile.
I can't explain it; but there was a this really neat feeling of running past fire trucks holding up water and Gatorade signs… like something out of a movie about a small midwestern town…

The finish festival was legit. There were massage tables and beer and music and food trucks! If it weren't so wet; I would have spent a lot of time there.

This is a great race and a great experience.
I suggest the JW Marriott. They treat runners super well and you can roll out of bed and be at the start line.

I had to steal this quote from my fellow BRP This race is well worth the trip simply based on the history, the tradition, and a very unique 2.5 mile section. Beyond that, this event is incredibly well organized, there is pretty decent crowd support, and it is very evident that the City of Indianapolis (and even the State of Indiana) truly get behind this race.

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(2019)
"Why hadn't I done this race sooner?"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

1. Do this race.
2. Do it again.

The good: everything but if I had to pick; mile 16

The bad: nothing really. If I had to pick SOMETHING in would say the stretch of road between 4 and 8. But even that had an awesome drum band.

Start at the beginning.
When bibrave announced the opportunity to run this race on their behalf; I jumped at the opportunity. I did a bike race in the area and was amazed with the scenery.

Race info
I think it's pretty neat that the race has a bilingual page for our French Canadian Brethren!
As far as information; the race website has it all.
They also send out alerts frequently through email. That being said...slow down the week before the race RD. I think I received 10 email in the 7 days leading up to the race.

Travel and transportation
The race has a bus service from local hotels to the race start (and back)!!! amazing!
Race management does a great job making the race as accessible as possible to many different price points. If you can swing the extra cost, I highly recommend flying into Burlington airport. The race expo, downtown, and race start/finish are all within 10 minutes of the airport so you can manage without a rental car this way.

The expo was pretty legit.
There were several local vendors, which I appreciated! I liked that I wasn't going to the "same expo" like when you go to a Rock n Roll race. There were some staples like that weird discount place with the black wire racking; but the craft brewer and the maple syrup people were cool.

The course is super easy to spectate if you get there early.
I feel like the entire population of Burlington was on the course cheering.
If they weren't cheering they were volunteering!
There were so many people here!

The course is really amazing.
Between Burlington proper which has really nice brick (colonial looking) houses; and the trees and flowers are blooming; to the bike path which follows the coastline; there is a little bit of everything.
There was even a muddy spot 3/4 of the way through which would have benefited from some planks of wood but even still, it was great.
There was this one neighborhood where the spectators were handing out beer. Thanks guys lol I'll wait to the end.
The course was mostly closed and covered a lot of ground. I'm impressed with the logistics of the course and how everything was administered.
I mentioned 16 and 4-8 earlier.
4-8 are a stretch of road with really cool bridges crossing over it (you're running north then turning around and running south. The overpasses are running east and west.)

16 is when you loop back through down town and the road is lined with people cheering; it felt like I was running the New York City Marathon again.

The finish line is PACKED with people.
Its surprising how many people are there cheering. There's also great amenities
Good food. And the grocery store which sponsors the race hands out a ton of food.

1. Do this race.
2. Do it again.

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