Latest reviews by Nicki Fischer

(2022)
"Running Through Titletown"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon race weekend gets a top review! I ran the half marathon and the course was mildly challenging with gently rolling hills through Ashwaubenon. The race support was quiet in the morning but lots of people were out by the end of the race. There were plenty of aid stations, one about every other mile. I was impressed by the amount of volunteers. Accessing the course was simple. Directions in the packet pick-up were vague but there was plenty of parking and it was obvious where to go on race day. The best part was taking a lap through Lambeau Field for the last mile. This race gave out technical fabric gender specific race shirts along with a Camelbak flask which was pretty cool for race swag. Overall, a great race experience with great volunteers. This is not a major race with an expo but it still had a big exciting feel to it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2022)
"Christie Clinic Illinois Half Marathon Race Review"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Christie Clinic Illinois Half Marathon was a well organized event that provided an overall quality experience for runners. Communication, organization, ease of access, and volunteers were the highlights of this race. Prior to the event the race director sent out emails in a timely manner. They had to cancel the marathon this year which was disappointing for many but gave a pretty good notice that they would be doing so. Picking up the race packet was easy and quick. The area is used to holding large amounts of people so parking was easily accessible and it was intuitive where to go without being on top of each other. The expo had vendors and race sponsors and had many things to look at. There weren't a whole lot of vendors though it was mostly sponsors. The race t-shirt and back-pack said "2020" on them which I didn't even notice until someone else mentioned it. They updated the back with a "Better Together 2022" to still be able to use them. Shirts were technical fabric and available in unisex and women's cut. The course had aid stations with water and nuun and a couple stations with Guu and oranges. They were placed about every 3-4 miles along with designated shelter areas and aid stations. The course was well-marked, pretty with all of the spring bloom and was FLAT and FAST. There were plenty of volunteers and crowd support along the way. They provided a wide range of pacers from 1 hour 35 minutes and up. Overall I would give this race a TOP rating. The race director provided much attention to detail and while weather and cancellations could have been a huge downer for the race, they were prepared and made the best of the situation providing a good experience for all.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2021)
"A Strong Welcome Back to In-Person Racing!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was my first big in-person event post pandemic and it did not disappoint. The race was so well managed, as always. Starting with the t-shirts and swag, the t-shirts were handed out during packet pick-up this year (a one time deal) as opposed to when you cross the finish line. I loved the fit and design of this year's t-shirt. It's a minor thing but who doesn't love a good race t-shirt? Getting your packet is a little tricky, the venue is easy to find and easy to get to but the parking and congestion around the DECC in Duluth is just busy. So many people show up to the event and the area is tight on space so you might be waiting a bit in traffic. Once you get into the DECC, the expo has plenty of vendors and packet pick-up is simple and efficient. This year there weren't as many vendors which I expect was due to Covid but there were still plenty of interesting things to see. At the expo there is a variety of extra race gear you can purchase if the finisher t-shirt isn't your thing and race swag is important to you. On race day getting to the start line is so simple. There are so many buses available to shuttle you to the start and a variety of locations including Superior. The bus shuttles you directly to the start line. Once on course you can expect to find rolling hills along the scenic highway next to Superior. Be cautious about the weather this time of year in Duluth because it can be 40 degrees and rainy or 90 degrees and humid. They use the flags to indicate the weather condition on course. This year was about 70 degrees, clouds and high humidity - not ideal but not horrible either. The rolling hills make the course deceptively challenging. It's easy to crash and burn if you go out to fast, but if you run smart this is a fantastic course to set a new PR. The aid stations are fully stocked and are scattered all over the course. They had water, powerade and ice along with some stations with fruit and gels in the later part of the course. There were medical tents along the course as well if you happened to run into issues along the way. Along with lots of aid stations, the crowd support is awesome. All the people in the area come out and cheer you on. If you have family they might have a tough time getting to different parts of the course so be prepared to only see them once or twice. At the finish line my husband found me easily so the organization of the finish line was good. My only complaint was that the finish area seemed really long to walk through but that's only because you just finish running a marathon that is seems so long! I had my husband pick me up at the end of the race where again the parking was a bit tricky as it was during packet pick-up. They also have shuttle buses available to bring you back to your original shuttle location. Overall, this was a fantastic race and really well organized. It was a big welcome back to in-person racing after the year of cancelled races.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2021)
"Running Meets Escape Room"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

Not your typical virtual experience! Help Atalanta make it to Mount Olympus by completing challenges presented by the Greek Gods. Not your typical Greek Gods but modern ones with a funky twist! The clues are unlocked by running certain distances (around 3-6 miles) and then you complete your professionally developed puzzle after. The puzzles are challenging, fun and engaging. The experience leaves you wanting more runs to unlock more clues and solve more puzzles! The final challenge unlocks recipes, playlists and some great discount codes from the race sponsors. They don't send you a bunch of stuff which you throw in a shoebox and never use which is a relief from all the virtual stuff going on. The swag you have access to from the sponsors is top notch but there is no swag directly sent to you from the event. Loved this experience and can't wait for more challenges!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2020)
"2020 Virtual 5k Review"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

The Hot Chocolate Race series did an excellent job all around. First of all that stood out was their communication. The series frequently posted about their events on Twitter and Instagram as well as sent out emails. Participants were well in the know about race sign-up, swag bag timing and race day hype. Along with the communication they had great organization. Some virtual races send out their swag bags either sporadically or with no specific timing, but Hot Chocolate sends you your race bag a week out from race day so you can all participate with your bib, medal and gear. They paid very close attention to detail in the swag bag provided. Along with samples from sponsors, you received a medal, bib, hot chocolate, chocolate pieces and a zip up hoodie. The medal opened up to a little piece of chocolate on the inside and the zip up had both men's and women's sizing which is always appreciated. They even included pins for you bib! All around the Hot Chocolate Virtual series was well thought out, well organized and had great communication. A great experience all around.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.