Latest reviews by Katie Fox

(2021)
"Fun and well managed virtual race!"
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I ran the virtual half marathon and while the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia would have been beautiful, it was still a really well organized event from afar. The virtual race was open from April 1-30th, so there was plenty of time to complete the race on any route. I opted for a much flatter route than the in-person race, but still had a great time! I appreciated the informative emails leading up to the race, and it was fun to follow along during race weekend on social media. I can't speak to the quality of the swag yet, but the shirt and medal look lovely on the website. I hope to do this race in person in the future!

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(2021)
"A new way to make racing fun!"
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SWAG
Virtual Support

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into this race experience to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.

Going into this experience, I was a little unsure if I would like it. I've actually never done an escape room, and my brain doesn't always process puzzles well. I was excited to try though, and was incredibly impressed by the platform, the communication, and the entire set up for the Run To Escape Race Series.

Without giving any spoilers, I LOVED this running experience. I liked that I could do the runs at the same time as my regularly scheduled runs or workouts, could listen to the clues, and then could go back to my computer later and review the clues and work through each puzzle. Full transparency, I had to use the hints more than once! Bonus, when I finished, there was an awesome 'after party' with partner promo codes, and opportunities to enter giveaways!

Although there was no swag for this event, I still gave 5/5 stars - I don't feel like all 'virtual' events need shirts and medals and such. I enjoyed this experience with less 'stuff'!

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(2020)
"Cute local trail 5k!"
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The McKaig Nature Trail 5k is a small, but well organized local trail race. Bib and tee shirt pickup happened the morning of the race, and was smooth and quick. The RD shared a few announcements, and then had runners line up in pairs. He then let runners start with 10-15 seconds between each pair, to allow for adequate spacing/social distancing. The route starts behind an elemantary school, and then climbs into the McKaig Nature Center. This was a fun route, with lots of climbing! The trails were well maintained and marked. The route ended at the start. There were no finisher awards (medal, etc), only those who placed in their age group were awarded medals. There were snacks and water available. Parking was easy! I would recommend this as a low-pressure, local trail race.

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(2020)
"Fun and challenging rail trail race!"
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Pine Creek Challenge was my first race in the COVID-era of racing. I originally signed up for the 50 miler, but dropped to the marathon distance after a weak summer of training. The expo took place the night before at a local sporting good store. It was small, and included swag pickup and an opportunity to shop the store. Bib pickup happened race morning at the start line. This was easy and simple, there was lots of parking, and the volunteers were friendly and helpful.
About 10 minutes before the start, the RD pulled together the group and shared a few announcements about the course and aid stations. Without much fan fair, we were off!
The course follows the Pine Creek Trail, an old rail road that runs through Pine Creek Gorge. The area was beautiful! The terrain was gravel and dirt, so not a true trail race, but more challenging than a road race. There were 2 aid stations in the marathon distance; one at mile ~4 and one at mile ~8. The marathon turned around at the halfway point and returned to the start, providing 2 more opportunities to stop for water and snacks.
The finish line was small, but enthusiastic! Finishers of the marathon distance were awarded a pretty wooden metal, and an opportunity to grab snacks.
Overall, this was a nice race. The views were terrific and the RD and volunteers were friendly, helpful, and encouraging.

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(2019)
"Nice local half!"
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T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I have run the Philadelphia Half Marathon twice and really enjoyed it both times. The expo is nice; lots of vendors and branded race gear, and bib pickup is a breeze. The start line can be crowded, and lines for porta-potties can be long, but there has been a heated tent in the past for keeping warm and waiting for the race to start.
The race loops through the city, showing runners the best parts of Philadelphia, before heading out to West Fairmount Park. Crowds can be thin outside the city, but local running clubs have big cheer zones and there's never a stretch without support. Aid stations are frequent and well stocked with water and electrolyte drinks, and some with gels.
The race ends by running past Boathouse Row on Kelly Drive and up past the Art Museum. The finish line is a party! Lots of spectators cheering and an enthusiastic announcer.

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