Latest reviews by Nicki Fischer

(2019)
"Hills On Hills"
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Packet pick-up the day before the race was a smooth and easy process. No issues with parking and the packet pick-up went quick and efficiently. There were a few booths set-up but nothing major. As for race morning, getting to the race was a hassle. The traffic was backed up on the highway and cars were all trying to get to the same area of the city at once. I was able to get to the starting line on time but I had a brief moment of panic! Once the race got going it was all smooth running until about mile 3 and that's when the hills started. You would climb up a very large hill into the neighborhoods by the Lakefront and then do various out and back loops. The first half wasn't too bad. Then, you circled back into the city (my GPS watch went a little crazy and lost signal) and continued to do these long out and back loops with hills about a half a mile to a mile long. It was a very challenging course, especially in the second half of the race. The finish was exciting and the crowd was great. I especially liked the race t-shirt as they had both men's and women's cut. The aid stations were perfectly spaced a part and there were lots of volunteers on the course. I would recommend this race to someone who wants a good marathon experience. I would not recommend this race to someone looking for a big PR.

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(2018)
"Great Hometown Race, Slightly Short on the Course"
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I have always run the 5 mile race option for this race but I decided to run the 10 mile for 2018. This is a hometown favorite race with great participation. It is in early December so the weather can be unpredictable. This year it was snowing and the roads were a little slick which made for difficult running conditions. The course is pancake flat so you don't have to worry about any hills. I was surprised that the 10 mile course ended up being about a quarter mile to half mile too short...especially because it was an out and back course. The awards are held inside the YMCA and the post race refreshments are very good. I would recommend this race to anyone!

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(2017)
"Beautiful Run On Lake Superior"
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This was an absolutely wonderful marathon experience. Finding a place to stay required a bit of planning ahead as hotels fill up very fast. Once I got to Duluth the city was very welcoming. I rant into traffic when I was going to the Expo and packet pickup but once I was parked and in the Expo Center everything went really smoothly. The Expo was great with plenty of vendors and interesting things to look at. The day of the race I was nervous about getting to the starting line however the shuttle buses were very well organized and easy. The race was deceivingly challenging. There were plenty of rolling hills but not so challenging that a PR isn't a possibility. After the race I was in a bit of a post marathon stupor and had some difficulty finding the buses that would shuttle you back to the hotel so I would recommend double checking that before the race! The race was well managed, well aided and the town was very proud and welcoming. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for an excellent experience!

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(2017)
"Out and Back Marathon Course"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race ends up being at a time of year where you will either end up with perfect weather or the worst weather. You never know if it's going to be sunny and 45 degrees or a blizzard in April in Wisconsin. This year the weather was absolutely perfect. The snow had melted in time and the roads and trail were clear. You start the course on the road and then head out on a well-maintained bike trail and head out for about 10 miles. You reach a turnaround and then head right back. This is not a huge race but they did have a lot of people and plenty of pace groups. I believe the fastest pace group available was 3:15 or 3:30. The trail had a few spots of mud but other than that everything was in great shape and easy to run on (nothing technical). The race was well aided and well organized. Oshkosh was big enough to have plenty of parking spaces but not so big that there was traffic getting to the starting line. Packet pick-up was available the same day as the race and easy to get to. There were regular bathrooms available (not just port-a-potties) before the race which was also a bonus! The crowd support was fairly small so if you're looking for a lot of people this might not be the race for you. Everything was well organized and well maintained. I would highly recommend this race to someone looking for a big PR.

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