Latest reviews by Jeremy
Run the Runway 5k takes place on the Scottsdale Airport Runway. So it's SUPER flat and a super FAST course! I came in 3rd in my division! The shirts are pretty cool and you get aviator sunglasses as well when you sign up. The race "festival" had plenty of booths, things to eat and drink, and tons of planes sitting around that you could pics in front of. Overall it was fun race and worth doing.
Here are some places the race could use some improvement.
1.) I registered for the race WAY back in December/January. But they couldn't find me! Luckily I still had my confirmation e-mail. They were nice about it, but it was frustrating when I had signed up, but they were confused why I wasn't listed.
2.) WEATHER. It's Arizona. It starts getting warm really fast, even in the spring. There was a lot of just waiting around as the weather got hot. The Start time for the 10k was 7:45am, and the 5K 8am. I would rather have started earlier to beat the heat. We runners may grumble about early start times, but when it comes to running on HOT ASPHALT, we'll deal with being tired to beat the valley sun.
3.) MEDALS. *I* received a medal b/c I placed in my division. But not everyone received one. There was mass confusion about the medals b/c everyone was lining up to get one at the tables, but only when you got to the front did you realize it was only for age-division winners. There were no announcements regarding this and I waited in line for quite some time before it was sorted out.
It was a great race and I'm glad I participated, I only mention these CONS so others can learn from both my mistakes, and the race's. I highly recommend running this one next year and strongly believe all issues will resolved by then!
The Kiss Me I'm Irish Run was a total blast! And it was my first race running with the pups. They thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me start off with some unique things about this race here in Arizona:
--largest St. Patty's themed run in Arizona
--Irish band at the start/finish
--TIMED run - (prizes for top male and female included Newton Shoes and Timex Ironman Watches!)
--Multiple distances: 17k, 8k, 4k, and Irish 1k.
--Super Flat/Fast course
--Costume Prizes for people and their pets
--Pet AND stroller friendly
--Bundtini's from Nothing Bundt Cakes, fruit, Clif bars, pretzels, Muscle Milk and Barrel O' Fun potato chips at the finish line. A basic FEAST!
--Post party at McFaddens with one free beer
--lots of parking
--Dog treats galore at the finish line.
--Prostate On Site Project offering mobile prostate cancer screening. Last year they actually found someone who had prostate cancer when they did a screening at the event.
All great aspects of this race! The weather got a little warm once we started, but that's pretty typical for Arizona races. There also were a few issues worth noting surrounding the Kiss Me I'm Irish Run.
--Start times were mixed up. The times on the website were different then those sent in an e-mail. Conflicting times caused some mix-up with runners and for the awards.
--Heard 17k runners complaining about not enough aide stations. (We had plenty on the 4k course, including water for the dogs).
Those were the only real CONs. However, the race directors have already addressed the issues and I can bet they will all be resolved come next year! I highly recommend running this one, especially if you have a pup or two who would love to join you. :)
why should YOU run the Phoenix Marathon? Here's my 13.1 reasons to give it a go!
1.) The SWAG
I know most races have pretty sweet shirts, but how about an awesome shirt AND some sweet arm warmers!
2.) The Social Media Interaction
The Phoenix Marathon has always had great social media interaction around it. Not just from all the big time bloggers and social media runners involved, but ALSO they are constantly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram interacting with everyone from past participants to future prospects. You can always send them a question/tweet out asking for advice, and they'll be sure to respond.
3.) The Start
How many races do you get a FIREWORKS show before you start? (that is, besides the Disney Races?) Also, heaters for AZ runners who get cold easily. I never got that "nervous" feeling with runners darting around warming up and stretching. Instead, it was more of a laid back party with a looming "long run" around the corner.
4.) The Weather
The weather was chilly, but only because of the breeze. And that's "chilly" coming from someone who lives in AZ. Nevertheless, the rain held off and it was the perfect for running. I never got too warm and didn't feel cold until after I'd finished. But I always take advantage of the drop bags, and have a warm sweater waiting for me to change into.
5.) The Course
One word: FLAT! The Full Marathon course is downhill, but the Half-Marathon course is just plain flat. But that allows for some great PR goals and easy to run even if you're training fell short or you're recovering from injury.
6.) The Volunteers
The Volunteers were amazing! How many do you know that would dress up in full iron man costumes and school mascots? Besides Disney that is. Nevertheless they really new how to keep you pumped between each aide station!
7.) The Cheer Squad
Many of the aide stations were manned by different high schools and non-profits. And this race allowed participants to VOTE on their favorite aide station. and the winning high school or organization received money to help towards various programs. What an awesome give-back to volunteers!
8.) The Motivation
Besides the tons of cheering crowds with awesome signs...There were also quotes/motivation from various people on twitter that Phoenix Marathon printed onto signs and posted along the way! Pretty different and fun to see those on the course AND goes back to how socially interactive this race really is.
9.) The Finish
The Finish was complete with all the normal food and beverages for finishers... but what set the Phoenix Marathon apart was the food trucks and LOCAL vendors! I had to at least help myself to some chocolate cake from a local bakery. :)
Besides the food, music, there of course was the excitement! No one was booking it to get out of the finish chute or being rushed out... instead we were all rejoicing over our finishes with hugs, pics, and high fives.
10.) The Bling
The Bling is always awesome at the Phoenix Marathon. Unique, and local. Plus, the year was in roman numerals. I don't know why, but I really loved that.
But NEXT year is when the bling hunt REALLY takes off! For the next five years, the finish medals will connect into one large medal... it'll make a huge #copperstar!
11.) The Cause
Now, ALL races have a great cause... but I do love the ones that I know will go right back into my own local community. The Phoenix Marathon Foundation provides scholarship funds for Arizona high school students "in running related athletics". Great cause!
12.) The Family Fun
After many had already finished, there was a FREE Kids Fun Run and a lot of friends had their children run it. This was a great way to involve runners AND their children. I know some races have these but they're not always free!
13.) The Price
Compared to a lot of other races out there.. this one definitely has bang for the buck! Check out the current pricing on their website! http://thephoenixmarathon.com/
13.1) The Runners
Okay, so ALL races have runners... and runners are just awesome. So that's not really anything unique. But that's also why it's only "point one". ;) I do have to say, I met some amazing runners, and made some new friends. So The Phoenix Marathon definitely delivered a crew of awesome runners of all shapes, sizes, and levels. And I was proud to be running among them!
You can read the rest of my Phoenix Half-Marathon (and Full Marathon!) Review over on my blog:
It's a course I know all too well. I've ran it a number of times, but this was my first "mid-pack" experience with the Rock and Roll Arizona. I saw aspects of the race I'd never seen on my previous times running it. It was a chance to sit back and ENJOY what was around me, and not stressing and focusing on reaching a PR.
I got to see some amazing runners with awesome stories out there. From an Army guy running in full gear, including a 50lb pack! To circus entertainers, pregnant runners, even newlyweds! It really helped put the race into a whole new perspective for me.
The course is flat except for a climb right before Mile 9. But it's a quick one, and the prettiest part of the course, so you've got scenery to take your mind off of it. It's actually a climb I've ran many times on my own and love it for those mid-run selfies! :-D
The Swag is always awesome with rock and roll and this time, full marathon finishers even got a finisher's jacket! Was super jealous I didn't do the full just for this! The medal is also very unique for AZ. For the next three years the pieces will all fit together into one big SUPER MEDAL. Pretty cool.
On the note of the medals, I know there was a "scare" that they wouldn't make it to the finish line... all due to circumstances beyond the race's control. But doesn't it speak volumes that the race organizers warned participants ahead of time "just in case" instead of waiting until they didn't arrive to back pedal? Nevertheless, the medals were there waiting for all finishers and they couldn't have been more awesome! Plus, I got my desert double-down medal for running RnR Vegas just 2 months before.
Post-race was full of the usual chocolate milk, powerbars, fruit, bagels, etc. Enough that I passed on a lot of the food b/c I couldn't carry it all.
Weather was chilly waiting at the start (low 50s) but amazing by the time our corrals took off. Plus, for mid-January can you ask for a better finishing weather (mid 70s)!
I always recommend running Rock N Roll Arizona to my friends and family. My sister and nephew even ran it this year and loved it! My friends love this course too to PR on. I managed to PR on this very race last year, and had dozens of runners tell me they PR'd this year. So all in all, it's one race you don't want to miss!
Great Swag, Great Bling, Great Race!
You get a very comfortable hoodie instead of your normal race shirt. AND they even encouraged you to try on various sizes to help you pick out the best fit at the expo!
Also, after you finish you receive a huge mug full of hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and tons of treats for dipping!
Super FLAT course. All road and pancake flat. I don't suggest a race like this to PR on, but at least you could for sure if you wanted to! Chocolate goodies at various aide stations, volunteers handed out everything from marshmallows to tootsie rolls.
Those dedicating their time to help out always deserve some praise but the HC15K volunteers definitely earn an extra shout out! They were loud, cheerful, and really got the runners fired up.
This was the first year they did medals for the 15K finishers and they're awesome! Look just like a delicious chocolate bar with a bite taken out. Big, shiny AND each city is unique too.
Pretty cool. I really hope they continue doing medals in the future.
The "finish line party" was hoping! Tons of opportunities for post-race pics, everyone milling around enjoying their chocolate treats, and just having fun! Great atmosphere and great weather! Plus a mug full of chocolate? What a way to celebrate!
Gear check doesn't get transferred to the finish line. The weather warms up fast so best suggestion is to leave what you can in your car. Also, parking is very hectic but there's at least plenty of spots and lots of overflow parking. Best advice--Get there early!
I highly recommend this race to you and your friends! It's an awesome time with a group and the absolute best way to celebrate a finish. After all, who doesn't love CHOCOLATE?!
For more pics from the race and a more detailed review, visit my Race Review on my blog! http://bit.ly/HotChocolateRaceReview