Latest reviews by Ken Bray

(2019)
"Off the beaten path..."
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This was my first year running the Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon. Before signing up for the race I reviewed the course map and noticed this does not run through the main battlefields where most of the tourists flock, but rather takes you on a 13-mile journey through, what I feel, is a neglected part of this historical area. This doesn't mean the course is boring by any means, rather this course is free of tourist traffic and allows you to really spread out and enjoy the beautiful countryside. The course has some rolling hills, but nothing difficult for your average runner.

The finishers medals are top quality, the shirts are your standard tech shirt, no frills there. I was a little bummed out that they had nice jackets for sale at the expo... these weren't well advertised as I didn't see them anywhere. The expo is held in a forgotten part of the back of the Gateway Movie theater, so things were a little jumbled, hence the 3-star review.

There was plenty of parking on race day which is a plus. Race management could use some social media improvements in handling questions and responses to runners.

Bonus: Aid Stations were always around every corner, no complaints! Thanks to the volunteers who pulled that off!

Catch my complete review on my blog http://kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com

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(2019)
"Fun Course!"
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2019 marks the 4th year returning to the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate Run 15K! This course is super fun and always means a good time!

This year the weather was cool and comfortable which meant everything was in favor of catching a PR! The weather remained cool for me up until mile 7-8, when my sweater proved to be a little too much for comfort. Even though I stopped to “change” my outfit, I still somehow managed to catch a PR for the fourth year in a row!

Even though the pictures don’t show it, I swear I looked up and smiled for most of the race.

Be sure to check out my blog for the complete details: https://kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/race-recap-hot-chocolate-run-15k-philadelphia/

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(2019)
"Awesome Country Race"
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The New Holland Farmer’s 5k is held in April every year in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The race helps fund the Garden Spot Running and Cross-Country program for the Elanco School District.

The course runs along the country roads of New Holland and offers a great opportunity to catch a speed record. I found the entire event was fun and super enjoyable.

After the 5K there is a free 1/2 mile kids race which was a big hit for the kid spectators!

If you’ve run the Garden Spot Half Marathon, then this is definitely a great fun race to enjoy fast times and great scenery.

See more here: https://kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/race-recap-new-holland-farmers-5k/

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(2019)
"Flat and Fast"
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The Newtown Shamrock Shuffle 5k is an awesome race, fun course, and easily run. The Green Parrot hosts this fun event and afterparty. The course is smooth, scenic, and great for all running types. I wasn't planning on hitting any PR's, but the course is an easy run perfect to really go all out. The beginning of the race is a tad congested, but once you get moving things open up.

If you want to see my full review, be sure to check out my blog: kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/race-recap-newtown-shamrock-shuffle-5k/

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(2019)
"Just a little NUTS!"
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Held at the Gifford Pinchot State Park, Squirrelly Tail is an amazing awesome half marathon through the wonders of rich Pennsylvania landscape. As unpredictable as Pennsylvania is, the course is usually muddy, frozen, wet, boggy, dry, rocky, dirty, woodsy, rocky you name it. Welcome to Penn's Woods!

I'm going to be honest, I went into this race with zero expectations, other than to just have fun and enjoy my time on the trails. And that's exactly what I did. In the beginning, I blew past a lot of people, and as humbling as trail running is, a handful of them passed me along the way later down the trail only to finish way ahead of me - and that's okay. I enjoyed the ups and downs of the trails and the beautiful scenery on the way. I even snapped a picture during a full-blown runner's high. Squirrely Tail, it was a great time.

See my complete review: https://kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/squirrely-tail-twail-wun/

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