Latest reviews by Karen Brady

(2020)
"Virtual AllState Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis"
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If there is anything I can say about doing the AllState Hot Chocolate Indy Virtual 15K this past weekend…it’s that it didn’t go as I had planned. Seems to be a theme for 2020, eh?

To be fair…this had nothing to do with the race itself. Mostly…with the date the race was on. And when I signed up for it…it wasn’t an issue at all.

But you know…this year has kept us guessing. While on a run just under 2 weeks before the race date, I fell on a dark morning run when my foot hit a rock I didn’t see…and I sprained my ankle. Grade 2 sprain. I was put in a brace and everything…but I was told I could start easing back some activity if the ankle felt okay.

It was a guessing game, but I did manage a few short, easy runs leading up to that Saturday morning when I would do the virtual race. 20 minutes. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. That was all I had time for. I didn’t fuss over or worry over pace…I just needed to see how the ankle was doing in the short time I had to build it up.

On the morning of the race, I also decided to attack the race in a different way, because I knew the ankle was healing. So…I broke it up into three 5Ks. The first 5K I did early that morning. It went well…and I really just focused on my stride and made sure that I wasn’t compensating or pushing too much. I met up with my roommate for the 2nd 5K that morning. She was doing a virtual 5K for another event so we knocked out those miles together. And, finally, I rounded out the race with my final 5K…which I decided to do on a bit more challenging course…which would end at the top of a hill…and be about a mile walk back to my apartment for the cool down.

Honestly, it went better than it should have. I made sure I put my health and safety first. And I really think breaking it up into the three separate 5Ks that day was the smartest and healthiest way for me to approach the 15K distance. And, I never pass up a chance to run with someone, no matter their pace. And I think my roomie appreciated me for most of the run (although I get chatty and don’t stop talking…but she should know that about me already!). I played her a finish line song as we ran to the finish of that portion of the race.

The AllState Hot Chocolate 15K/5K races are SO much fun. I have run it in person (in Columbus, OH) before. And I have now run it virtually twice. I love that the race provides celebratory chocolate pieces and…of course…the coveted finish line hot chocolate.

It was almost 70 degrees the morning I ran…so that hot chocolate is being saved for another morning, but I sure did pose with that amazing jacket and donned my medal…and eat a piece of chocolate to celebrate.

The AllState Hot Chocolate 15K Indianapolis race may have been virtual…but it was virtually a lot of fun. All of these races are virtual this year…so why not sign up and have your own little hot chocolate party?

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(2019)
"Glass City Marathon - A must run marathon!!"
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If you are looking for flat and fast marathons...if you need the state of Ohio to be crossed off your list...if you are looking for a good BQ race...look no further than the Glass City Marathon. I took a chance on this race, and it paid off. The expo is small, but has a lot of good stuff inside. The swag bag is amazing. They offer a 5K that you can use as a shakeout the day before the half and full marathon kicks off (I did this, btw). The race itself is beautiful and well supported. People who are cheering on the sides of the road will shout out your name. This is also a great first marathon destination because they give their first time marathoners a VIP experience for sure. Plenty of water stops, fuel (they handed out Honey Stinger gels), and lots of love on the entire course. And nothing beats the feeling of crossing that finish line inside the University of Toledo's football stadium.

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(2018)
"We don't turkey trot...we have a foot feast!"
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This is a Thanksgiving morning tradition for me. The race starts at 9 am, SHARP. And this is the race I most look forward to every year. There are some challenging hills on this course, especially in the first 3 miles...but you get a nice downhill heading into mile 4 and it's relatively flat as you come in for the big finish. There isn't much going on at the expo, but the people there are helpful, friendly, and informative. The weather varies every year, but plan for it mostly to be cold. And it's a great way to kick off Thanksgiving. If you're in the top 500 finishers that year, your name is put on the back of the shirt the following year. It's a nice treat for sure!

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(2018)
"This city is just FUN"
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I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon last year and had registered for it again this year...then at the last minute decided that I would bump up to the Marathon distance, since I was still in marathon shape coming off of Chicago. If you want a great marathon, RUN THIS ONE!! Honestly, it's just fun. It can get a little backed up and bottle-necked at points on the course, and most of it is urban landscaping...but, man...everyone would cheer loudly and proudly for everyone as they came through. I loved running the half. But I REALLY love running the full!

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(2018)
"Run Like The Wind"
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So nice, I've ran it twice. Love this race. Chicago loves their marathon and each neighborhood you run through really lifts you up and embraces the spirit of the marathon. LOVE that this is a fast and flat course, save for the hill at Mile 26. That hill is EVIL. The expo is huge. I had trouble getting to my corral on race morning because the Gate I was sent to was bottlenecked and backed up due to there only being a few security guards there to check bags. UGH. I almost didn't make it to my corral before it closed. It's a fun and great race. If you didn't qualify on time, enter the lottery for sure . And it's a Abbott World Major...so earn that star!

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