Latest reviews by Meg

(2016)
"Great Course, Great Theme"
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The first Kings & Queens Half Marathon was a great event! I loved the course which was point-to-point, almost a full loop, with nice views of some rolling countryside and beautiful Pewaukee lake. The course was well marked, rest stops were friendly and well stocked, and the rolling hills made for just enough challenge, while not being overwhelming. Nothing like a few hills to mix things up! I normally dislike themed races, but this one was just enough - roses and champagne at the end for the ladies, and beer glasses for the guys. Although I wouldn't have minded a tiara at the finish line ;) The things I would have changed were the weather, obviously not the race's fault, but holy wind! And more bathrooms throughout the course. Overall, a great race, fun theme, lower key. Definitely recommend for a nice earlier season race.

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(2016)
"Beautiful, Relaxed, Supportive - All Around Great Race!"
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I LOVED this race. LOVED it. It was a beautiful race in a beautiful location, perfectly organized, and great vibe. None of the high intensity of big races, perfect beach atmosphere.

The course was great, there was one bridge that we had to do twice, which was the only elevation, but the rest of it was perfect, through coastal state parks and along quiet roads. The support was incredible, each aid station had a theme and the best cheering I've ever experienced. Kudos to all the volunteers. The venue (Lulu's) was a great finish line place, fun and colorful at the finish line, then plenty of space and drinks and sunshine post race :) Everyone was so friendly and great. Everything was nearly perfectly executed. I would definitely do this race again.

My only advice to future runners is beware of the temperature swing from beginning to end. We started in the high 30's, shivering at the starting line, but finished near 60 in the sun. I wore shorts, short sleeves and arm warmers. I should have worn gloves to throw away, and maybe a warm headband to throw away, but I'd advise dressing to be prepared for this change.

The only change I'd make to the race is no beans and rice for the post-race food. The fruit and beer were great, but no one wants hard to digest beans after a long run! Aside from that, one of the best races I've ever done!!!

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(2015)
"One and Done. "
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The Las Vegas Rock n Roll race is a great race if you like an excessive spectacle of an event. While the race itself seemed organized and well run, there was so much other *stuff* piled on top of that experience that it takes away from the actual running experience. In an effort to stay positive about this race, let's start with the pros:

PROS:
-The strip at night is undoubtedly cool to run. There isn't anything else like this on earth, and the big buildings and bright lights skew your perception (also true when walking home from the bars), and the miles pass by quickly.
-Crowds and support were pretty great. I'll forgive 2015 for being super windy, so probably even more crowds would have been out. Aid stations were frequent (although not spaced evenly) and had plenty of volunteers and water and Gatorade.
-Music throughout the course was mostly good and a nice motivator, especially on the back loop where it was less crowded, windy, and rainy.
-The chute after the finish line, which seemed to be another mile long, had tons of post-race stuff from water to space blankets to bananas. The girl giving out chocolate milk wasn't wearing yellow, so that was strange, and I also could have used a bag because my hands were full but I wanted to grab more stuff!
-Nighttime race - this could be a pro or a con, depending on your preferences. It's a weird schedule and messes up your nutrition, but you don't have to wake up early and you can go straight to the bars after!

CONS:
-It's the Vegas Rock n Roll, so you're in Vegas, and that's dirty.
-There is so much waiting before the race, including getting there so early to stand around and do nothing, then wait for your corral to go. SO MUCH WAITING. I'd rather have spent that time getting in some calories closer to the start time or just not being on my feet. To make it worse, there was a Kid Rock concert during this waiting time. A special kind of torture probably taken from the second world war.
-There was no structure for the corral starts. Everyone was assigned, but several people didn't listen. I started in corral 7, and I saw bibs starting with us that were as high as 30. People were clogging the course as they started walking after about a mile - which is not to knock their race- everyone needs to run their own race- but that's the whole purpose of corrals, so that this does not happen and create dangerous situations.
-The expo was useless. First of all, the people working there had no clue what was going on. I didn't take the race tshirt, but I still needed the gear bag. This took a good 5 minutes of explaining, for some reason, to the girl working. The Brooks running experience was weird and I felt like I was given bad advice from people who just wanted to sell me shoes. The rest of the expo was mixed. I feel like the race organizers should have some standards as to who gets to be present at the expo. I was not interested in lasik surgery, nor was I interested in some black market diet-weight-loss-supplement that would have definitely gotten caught in my email spam filter. Not cool to sell that kind of shit to a group of already active people striving for actual health.
-The race shirt was boring and unoriginal. I didn't take it.
-The finish line spectating was hard to do. You pretty much had to choose between watching the race near the finish line, or meeting your person at the end of the chute, which was about a half mile of winding walkways and crowds down the way. There was also a fake smoke machine thing about 50 feet before the finish. Because inhaling fake smoke at the end of a half marathon while my picture is being taken is exactly what I want to do.
-Just the overall concept that this race is a huge production. It makes it hard to just get out and run and enjoy it for what it is. It's ridiculous.

This is a race I might recommend once to other people just because of the novelty of running down the strip while it's lit up, but other than that, there's really no reason to participate in this race. I'd see no reason to ever do it again.

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(2015)
"Great Inaugural Event - Lots to look forward to!"
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This was a great first year for MRF, and a memorable first marathon ever for me!

Overall, I thought the months leading up to the event, as well as the event itself were well organized, allowing me to concentrate on my race. It was a great event, fun, rewarding, and I plan on doing it again.

I was so proud to run my first full in the city I call home. The goal of this marathon was to show off Milwaukee, and it definitely achieved that! We went by so many unique spots, and I discovered new hidden gems that were new to me! Highlights included - the lakefront and the Calatrava and Lake Park, Lakefront Brewery, Harley Davidson's plant, Marquette University, Washington Park and Sherman Blvd, Miller Park and the VA and the surrounding parks, HD Museum and the Third Ward, and of course Summerfest grounds. The hills in the second half were challenging, but not unreasonable. The course was pretty consistent with spectators, although there were some lonely sections through the Hank Aaron trail, but overall I was impressed with the awesome, friendly people lining the course.

The setup of the course also allowed spectators to hit several points of the course easily! I saw my friends out there about 5 different places, which made a huge difference in motivation!

Aid stations were well timed, with Nuun and Water, and it was nice that they identified which groups manned each aid station. It really brought a nice sense of community to the event. Porta potties were also frequent, and although some spots only had 2, you could be sure there was another set just up the road. I wish there was more calories at the aid stations, but that would be the only thing I would change.

I think this was an incredible first year. It definitely did not feel like a first year event, and I look forward to many more.

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(2014)
"Good swag for an average race"
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The first ever Rollie Fingers 5K was a spirited race, with nearly everyone wearing Brewers blue and gold. The biggest draw was of course the fantastic tshirts, headband, and stick on mustache (hint, stick your mustache on your headband, it gets sweaty quickly!) The upgrade to the tech shirts was well worth it.

The race was pretty well organized, with the Miller Park parking lot being home base = tons of space, parking, bathrooms, etc. There were fun booths like photo booths, finisher backdrops, and of course, beer.

The race itself was not impressive. It was entirely around the Miller Park parking lots, all pavement, mostly out in the sun, and nothing really interesting. The big hill that comes in from Bluemound was deceptively long and tough. The course itself did not impress me as something I'll be itching to do again. Which is why I'm giving it 3 stars. I would be OK paying my $30 for the tshirt/swag bag and finish line party, I could do without the run.

They might consider looping the course through the stadium, or reserving a section on game day (and having the race on game day) and then filling the section with everyone in their awesome Rollie Fingers gear. The party is the best part, let's extend that.

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