Latest reviews by Stefan Gehrka

(2019)
"Disney Dopey Challenge 2019 (5k, 10K, 13.1, 26.2)"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

First I have to say, that I traveled from Germany. So, the whole rating relies on traveling from overseas for this race.

EXPO:
I was at the EXPO area at 7:40am. It was scheduled to open at 10:00am. At the beginning we waited outside, in front of "The Arena". At 8:30, they opened the doors and let us in to wait in line in a hall with carpet on the floor. That made the waiting more comfy. a few minutes before 10:00 they let us into the EXPO area to all the merchandise. The area had a good size and there was enough space trough all the stands. And it was well organized. After I found all the nice stuff that I was looking for, I got to the checkout. I could melt my credit card without any wait time. After buying merchandise I went to the bib booth. The booth for the dopey bibs was separated from all other bib booths. That made it really easy to get the two bibs that you need for the four runs.
Everything worked out really smooth and everybody was quite nice.
After all that stress, I decided to stop for lunch at the ESPN Grill. I enjoyed a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. I can recommend this restaurant as well.

5K:
This was my first time that I used the complimentary bus service. That's a so nice service, so you don't need to think about how you get to the start line. After I entered the staging area, i had to walk arround to find out where everything is located. But I can say that there are signs everywhere, so you will find everything you're looking for. After enjoying the entertainment on the stage I brought my stuff to the gEARcheck and went to the corral. I was there early, and stand in the first wave of corral one. I liked it, because the wait lines at the character photos were short. I liked that we ran around the World Showcase at night with nice light and music. I also liked that there was a water stop on a 5K run. You will not find that on a German 5K. So, after I ran thru some countries in EPCOT they will bring you to the finish line after passing Spaceship earth. Here we got the nice first medal and a box with snacks. So the first short 5K was a good opening for that weekend.
After a few minutes of waiting we could enter the buses and they brought us back to the resorts.

10K:
After taking the bus service again and going around on the staging area I got to the corrals. By the way, you can buy something to drink like coffee there. In the corrals we waited for the start with the small fireworks. The first miles will bring you on the highway, where you run to an other entry of EPCOT. After the Highway, you will enter the park thru the same side entry then on the 5K. You will run thru the countries around the Showcase Lagoon before you left EPCOT to pass the Boardwalk Resort. This is a nice part of the run on the wooden jetty with all the cheering from the viewers. After Boardwalk you will enter EPCOT again and you will run the same way that you ran on the 5K. On this 10K a few other Characters were out there again for pictures. Some are hidden and I passed them. So, if you like pictures with rare Characters, keep your eyes open. In the finish line area, we got our second medal and the snack box, too. After you picked up your gearbag, you can go to the bus and enjoy the ride back to the resort. Half of the races are done. Only two times going up that early.

13.3:
Third night in row to get up early. I think that was the hardest challenge for me. Everybody has fun in WDW and I have to get up at ass o'clock. Same procedure as the last to days. Using the bus service, giving the stuff to the gEAR check and than going to the corrals. This time the corrals are on the highway in front of EPCOT. From there you are running almost 5miles on the highway with passing the Monorail station. Thats a little bit boring. But than you will enter Magic Kingdom thru the main entrance hand you will run on Main Street in the dark with al lot of cheering. Thats awesome. You will run thru Tomorrowland and then thru the Castle. There is no other way to run thru the castle than on this weekend. After this amazing part you will follow running at the backlot followed by running back to EPCOT on the highway again. You will pass a golf course and Shades of Green Resort. On the last miles you will get entertained by the Toy Soldier (favorite character of a friend) ;-). You will enter EPCOT behind Canadas pavilion ant then you will run the same way to the finish line by passing Spaceship Earth. There you will get the next medal and the snack box. The busses are still waiting for you there. After that races I enjoyed the shower and a 2hrs nap.

Conclusion:
I will definitely do that races again. And I will recommend it to others as well. Everybody was so friendly and everything worked out so smooth. Overall nice.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2019)
"Disney Dopey Challenge 2019 (5k, 10K, 13.1, 26.2)"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

First I have to say, that I traveled from Germany. So, the whole rating relies on traveling from overseas for this race.

EXPO:
I was at the EXPO area at 7:40am. It was scheduled to open at 10:00am. At the beginning we waited outside, in front of "The Arena". At 8:30, they opened the doors and let us in to wait in line in a hall with carpet on the floor. That made the waiting more comfy. a few minutes before 10:00 they let us into the EXPO area to all the merchandise. The area had a good size and there was enough space trough all the stands. And it was well organized. After I found all the nice stuff that I was looking for, I got to the checkout. I could melt my credit card without any wait time. After buying merchandise I went to the bib booth. The booth for the dopey bibs was separated from all other bib booths. That made it really easy to get the two bibs that you need for the four runs.
Everything worked out really smooth and everybody was quite nice.
After all that stress, I decided to stop for lunch at the ESPN Grill. I enjoyed a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. I can recommend this restaurant as well.

5K:
This was my first time that I used the complimentary bus service. That's a so nice service, so you don't need to think about how you get to the start line. After I entered the staging area, i had to walk arround to find out where everything is located. But I can say that there are signs everywhere, so you will find everything you're looking for. After enjoying the entertainment on the stage I brought my stuff to the gEARcheck and went to the corral. I was there early, and stand in the first wave of corral one. I liked it, because the wait lines at the character photos were short. I liked that we ran around the World Showcase at night with nice light and music. I also liked that there was a water stop on a 5K run. You will not find that on a German 5K. So, after I ran thru some countries in EPCOT they will bring you to the finish line after passing Spaceship earth. Here we got the nice first medal and a box with snacks. So the first short 5K was a good opening for that weekend.
After a few minutes of waiting we could enter the buses and they brought us back to the resorts.

10K:
After taking the bus service again and going around on the staging area I got to the corrals. By the way, you can buy something to drink like coffee there. In the corrals we waited for the start with the small fireworks. The first miles will bring you on the highway, where you run to an other entry of EPCOT. After the Highway, you will enter the park thru the same side entry then on the 5K. You will run thru the countries around the Showcase Lagoon before you left EPCOT to pass the Boardwalk Resort. This is a nice part of the run on the wooden jetty with all the cheering from the viewers. After Boardwalk you will enter EPCOT again and you will run the same way that you ran on the 5K. On this 10K a few other Characters were out there again for pictures. Some are hidden and I passed them. So, if you like pictures with rare Characters, keep your eyes open. In the finish line area, we got our second medal and the snack box, too. After you picked up your gearbag, you can go to the bus and enjoy the ride back to the resort. Half of the races are done. Only two times going up that early.

13.3:
Third night in row to get up early. I think that was the hardest challenge for me. Everybody has fun in WDW and I have to get up at ass o'clock. Same procedure as the last to days. Using the bus service, giving the stuff to the gEAR check and than going to the corrals. This time the corrals are on the highway in front of EPCOT. From there you are running almost 5miles on the highway with passing the Monorail station. Thats a little bit boring. But than you will enter Magic Kingdom thru the main entrance hand you will run on Main Street in the dark with al lot of cheering. Thats awesome. You will run thru Tomorrowland and then thru the Castle. There is no other way to run thru the castle than on this weekend. After this amazing part you will follow running at the backlot followed by running back to EPCOT on the highway again. You will pass a golf course and Shades of Green Resort. On the last miles you will get entertained by the Toy Soldier (favorite character of a friend) ;-). You will enter EPCOT behind Canadas pavilion ant then you will run the same way to the finish line by passing Spaceship Earth. There you will get the next medal and the snack box. The busses are still waiting for you there. After that races I enjoyed the shower and a 2hrs nap.

26.2:
Today is marathon day. After getting up early again, taking the bus an bringing the bag to gEARcheck the last time we went to the corrals. The startling is on the highway again. like at the half marathon. You will run to the Magic Kingdom on the highway. Only some Character stops, but nothing nice to see. But entering MK on Main Street is nice. Especially in the dark with all the lights. You will run thru Tomorrowland and Phantasieland an after that thru the Cinderella Castle. Now we ran thru Frontierland and passing the Backlot like yesterday. From here you running on the highway for a long time at least 30min. The next park you will enter is Animal Kingdom. You will run thru the park before the opening followed by a loop around the parking lot. And here starts the most boring part of this race. You will run on the highway for miles followed bei ESPN Wide Wolrd of Sports complex and back on the highway. the next interesting part is the short run thru Hollywood Studios. Here, the park was open and the visitors were also cheering. You could ride Tower of Terror here. But if you get stuck there, I could be difficult to stay in front of the Ballon ladies. If you keep running, you will come to the Boardwalk, with entering EPCOT in the south. Only a short distance from here to the finish line. After passing a few Country pavilions you will see Spaceship earth and from here, the cheering will suck you to the finish line. Be happy, you finished the marathon, or as a lot others. You are Dopey now. Be proud an get your two extra medals one the challenge medals tent. From there, its only a short busied to your resort and a short walk to the Hottub. Enjoy that day, you did great.

Conclusion:
I will definitely do that races again. And I will recommend it to others as well. Everybody was so friendly and everything worked out so smooth. Overall nice.

Loading Comments...

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2018)
"San Francisco Marathon 2018"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

First I have to say, that I traveled from Germany. So, the whole rating relies on traveling from overseas for this race.

Before the race:
After registration and paying the bill, the management had changed the race date. For me with traveling from overseas I had the luck that I waited with booking of flight and hotel. Nobody of the management would taken the transfer costs.

EXPO:
If you are looking for nice merchandise, skip this race. They had only a small amount of merchandise. And a lot was from last year. The old stuff was not shown that its from last year, and it was not reduced in price. Overall a disappointment. You get your bib fast, but that's it.

Marathon:
The start is early in the morning, infront of the Ferry Building. Than you will follow the Embarcadero Street in direction to Fishermans Wharf. It was cold this morning and the run jacket was necessary. If you like to take pictures of some spots, you could do that during the run. Every spot is less crowded. ( My girlfriend went to the seals at Fishermans Wharf while I was running. She was there alone and enjoyed it) Then you will run along the coastline thru Fort Mason Park and Chrissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. First you need to get up from sea level to Bridge level. Here you are collecting incline. While you are running over the bridge, you can enjoy the foggy view over the bay. At the end of the bridge you will underpass the bridge to change the side to run back to SF. As a little side-note, only the marathon course passes the Golden Gate Bridge. After you left the Bridge, you will run thru Fort Winfield Scott and a few residential roads, collecting more incline. The next part is the Golden Gate Park, also with incline again. You will run their almost five miles thru the complete Park. You will left the Park in direction Haight-Ashbury. But I was not be able to see the Painted-ladies. Here, again, incline. You will cross Market street on the way back to the waterside. You will also pass Mission Bay and the Oracle Park on your way back to Start/finishline.

Conclusion:
Overall, it was a exciting run with a lot of really nice views. A good way to enjoy San Francisco.
But with the problem of changing the raceday after registration start and the disappointment merchandise, I will not recommend this marathon to friends in Germany.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2017)
"Las Vegas 5K & Marathon 2017"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

First I have to say, that I traveled from Germany. So, the whole rating relies on traveling from overseas for this race.

In the beginning of 2017, I decided to run the Strip at night at the Las Vegas marathon. I booked my flight, stay and the races at the first registration day.
After that, I had to wait a few more month for that trip.
The flying and the stay was very good.

EXPO:
The first appointment was the expo. I went there an hour before opening. Getting the bib was easy, and I did the legal share in about 15min. After that I went to all the official RnR merchandise. I have to say, that this was the best merchandise i have seen by then. it melted my credit card.

5K:
The first race was the 5K on Saturday evening. A short race from the LV festival Grounds parallel to the Las Vegas Strip. not really much viewers. But I wanted the Remix Challenge medal, so I had to do the 5K.

Marathon:
At the next evening, the marathon started in front of the NewYork Ney York Casino. The course went down and passed the LV sign and at the next crossroad we changed the direction and ran up The Strip all the way up to Fremont Street. On this part of the race you pass all the Casinos. They look really good with their lightshows. A lot of viewers cheer you thru the run. Arrived at Fremont Street, you turn again and you will run in direction back to the startline. But close to the Stratosphere Casino starts the really boring part of these marathon. From here, you ran zigzag thru byroads, one street was without streetlights, for almost the half marathon distance.
After you finished this boring part , you will come back to the strip. But only for a few miles. On the LV festival grounds you will run zigzag again to collect miles. This makes the marathon so boring.
But after the Festival Grounds an another zigzag on a byroad you will run into the finish line.

Conclusion:
It was not my favorite marathon with really dark, boring parts. But the 3 medals was worth it.
Anyways, I would not recommend this marathon with traveling from Europe. Its to expensive for the 13.1m run on the strip.
If you live close to LV, its an other story.

Loading Comments...

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2014)
"New York Marathon 2014"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

First I have to say, that I traveled from Germany. So, the whole rating relies on traveling from overseas for this race.

Side-note:
I won my bib thru the lottery. So I had a bit luck to run these race. I stayed at a La Guardia Airport Hotel, and everything was accessable from there. Even the early busses at the marathon day.

EXPO:
I liked the location of these EXPO. It was , so it was big enough for all the people of the biggest run in the world. I went there at the first day to get the full selection of merchandise. It was pretty easy to get the bib and the race shirt. Than I walked thru the merchandise booth and found some nice shirts, too. Plan with enough time to enjoy the expo and get some nice pictures there.

26.2
This race will start early in the morning with a bus ride or with the ferry. You have to go to Staten Island. I was there around 6am. the races starts at 10am. So, its a lot of time to wait there. Bring warm clothes with you. You will get coffee and bagels there for free(2014). You can walk thru Fort Wadsworth to meet other people. But you should speak about a meeting point before. When you head to the corrals, you will walk to theVerrazano-Narrows Bridge . The marathon starts with the biggest incline of the whole run, and you will follow the highway for a few miles. The next borrow is Brooklyn. The crowds of cheering people will push you thru until you entered Queens. You should collect some energy for the next bridge, because you have to run over the Queensboro bridge to enter Manhattan. This part was really hard for me, because the miles on the 1st avenue were straight and you can see all the houses in the urban canyon for miles. At the end you will run the 1st ave up to the Bronx over the last bridges of the day. But don't think, Manhattan is flat. You will feel what I mean, when you ran the last miles at/in the Central Park. But the cheering will make you light and they are caring you to the finish line. Here you will get the big bling and an emergency blanket. After walking another mile behind the finish line will will also get the blue poncho, if you did not given up a gear bag. Enjoy your finished run and join the crowd of surfs walking thru NYC. Wear you rmedal proud.

Conclusion:
I will definitely do that races again, ich I get abib thru the lottery. And I will recommend it to others as well. I liked to run the biggest marathon in the world.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.