Latest reviews by Meredith Rice

(2020)
"SWEETEST Race I Know!"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I have wanted to do one of these races for a while, they had me at chocolate, but this was my first true opportunity. While it wasn't in person, I felt that the organization did a wonderful job of communicating with the runners and giving us as much love, swag (which certainly lives up to the hype), and, yes, chocolate, as possible, Not only that, I thought their virtual post-race party with giveaways for free entries next year was very well done, as well. I, personally, did a few things to "shake up" my run to make this a sweet experience...including my own hot chocolate element "stations" at each mile. I definitely recommend this race to anyone with a sweet tooth or just looking for a sweet time. You won't be disappointed!

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(2019)
"Some Kind of WONDERful"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

What a WONDERful race. Pun intended. I was driving into Little Rock the night before the race and management was very accommodating by communicating with me what I needed to do to pick-up my packet. The items included were a choice of a tank or a regular tech t-shirt, some wrist sweat bands, a bag, and some optional upgrades. There were a lot of nearby accommodations that provided free shuttles to and from the start/finish. I thought the Expo was great as well with entertainment, food, photo opportunities, and plenty of items for purchase. Even special race-specific goodrs! This is all even with the fact that they had to change their plans due to some weather rolling in. The rain could not ruin this parade, though. The atmosphere was, sorry to use this again, WONDERful. I liked the touch of someone at the finish calling out each individual runner as they passed. There didn't seem to be many aid stations, but that could be due to the weather or the distance. There were certainly enough for me. I, also, felt the course was relatively flat. The free race photos and videos of your unique start and finish were also great extras. I would absolutely recommend this to any female looking for an extra jolt of girl power. Get a whole group together and absolutely do costumes!

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(2019)
"Watch Out For That Hill!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race was truly a hidden gem. I was looking for a local race to try for a proof of time and happened upon this one in the birthplace of Wal-Mart. The theme this year was 90's and the race organizers stuck to it beautifully in their t-shirt design and even by having a 90's band at the finish. The organizers were also extremely good at posting on social media with updates or even simply funny memes. There was bad weather on race day and they made sure everyone was made aware and safe. They had two churches available to runners near the start line with breakfast, bathrooms, and a comfortable place to stay out of any lingering storms (at least for as long as possible). The course was packed with interesting aid stations (sponsored, I believe, by different local groups) and absolutely beautiful views of the Natural State. Before I move on to my two favorite things about this race, I will mention the one downside. A HUGE hill right before the finish. The race acknowledges and almost celebrates that hill as a race landmark/tradition, though. That makes it a little more fun (I am saying that as I am far removed from it now). The race pictures were free. Although, you may not want the ones coming up the aforementioned hill. My two favorite things about this race were the extras or THE SWAG. At the finish, after you collect your well-earned bling, you can get in line for some food. There were cookies, drinks, pizza and, best of all in my opinion, free Chick-fil-A in that area. There were some photo opportunities there as well. Now, about that swag I mentioned. It was INCREDIBLE. A whole bag worth of products (thanks in large part to the sponsoring Wal-Mart or Wal-mart Museum) ranging from tissues to caramels to laundry detergent. I could go on and on and it was amazing. Then, you had the race shirt, the race headband, the race water bottle (which changes design each year), AND a finishers tech hoodie given out at the finish line. You DEFINITELY get your money's worth plus more with this race. It may, emphasis on MAY, even make me forget about that hill....

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(2018)
"Holy Shiplap!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Fixer Upper fans rejoice, because there is now a race for you! I ran the inaugural Silo District Half Marathon and had a blast. Popular "characters" from the HGTV hit show were everywhere running, cheering, and acting as captains for each race distance. It was a flat course with a couple of entertainment stops and points of interest. The best parts of the race for me were seeing Gabe and knowing that my race was supporting her foundation, cheering Chip starting his first marathon, and that huge free cookie at the end. There may have also been a celebration cupcake or two involved as well. The course, again, was relatively flat and manageable. The only negatives I had for the day was that it was very hot (uncontrollable and to be expected in Texas), there was only one "non-water" stop, and I never did find the finish-line chocolate milk they mentioned. Also, for the weekend, Waco ran out of hotels quickly. This is something that could be looked at in the future, but not necessarily controllable in the short amount of time they had to set this up. Again, for the first running of this race, I thought it was very organized and had a lot of special features. They had a runner's celebration of sorts at the finish and the Silos were the start and beginning of it all. Which, as fans know, is a destination by itself. The race t-shirt was white the year I ran which wasn't my favorite, but they did have another shirt available for purchase in a beautiful blue color that was non-tech material. All in all it was a fantastic experience and well worth running. It was my Texas race as part of a personal 50 states challenge and I have no regrets about that!

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