Latest reviews by Emily White

(2018)
"Swag-tastic world-class event"
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I chose this race to check off Oklahoma from my 50 state quest, and to see what this popular race was all about.

There is a 5k on Saturday and half and full on Sunday. Expo was held for 2 days. I was surprised that the expo was relatively quiet both days, even though it had all the vendors you need (and Bart Yasso!) I was excited to do my first Half Fanatic event, even though I had been a member for years. The Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs and 50 states club have a HUGE presence at this race.

The 5k participants got a really nice lightweight hoodie and a smaller version of the goddess medal. The half participants get a jacket and a bigger medal and the full people get a vest and even bigger medal.

Even the 5k has a really big party afterwards. There was a band and 2 free local craft beers included. I did both the 5k and half. I earned a "doubler" coin for doing both. If you are a member of any of the special clubs I mentioned earlier, you can earn a custom club medal for this.

The half and full start together and run about 12.5 miles together. There is a fun confetti cannon for each corral. The first half of the half marathon is very hilly through downtown Tulsa. Then it went along the Arkansas river and was flat and exposed to the elements. This year's race was bitter cold, with windchils in the 20s. It was unfortunately too cold to stay and enjoy the post race fun.

The race is incredibly well organized, and there were so many people there celebrating milestone races - their 50th state or 50th half, etc. This race has a ton of support, whether it is your 1st race or 50th. You really feel like you are part of something big.

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(2018)
"This Race Has it All! "
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This was my first time running this race, and I knew I was in for a good time!

Pre-race communication is fantastic, I was fully in the know. Packet pickup is held on Friday at Cardinals Stadium. Note, if you don't have a car and are staying downtown, it's a bit tricky to get to. In addition to picking up your bib and shirt,you also get the Bourbon Bash wristband, your ticket to post race fun! There were free flowing bourbon samples on hand, plus an area where you could pick up last minute items like gels, water bottles, etc. They also offer VIP packet pickup, conveniently located at 4th street live, near all the hotels. It's an intimate experience and well worth the extra price.

The start line is located right by 4th street live, where it finishes. They have a bugler on hand to kick things off. It's a smaller race, just 3,500 people, so there are no corrals, it is a mass start.

The course is overall flat and fast. It goes through the downtown Louisville area, along the waterfront, and then through Cherokee Park which is where the only hilly section is. It's a nice change of scenery with all the foliage to look at. There were plenty of water stations along the way.

As soon as you cross the finish line and collect the cool spinner medal, you enter the Bourbon Bash. More bourbon samples, the incredible Louisville Crashers were putting on an energetic and captivating performance. You could also pick up a cup of warm Kentucky Burgoo (stew), pizza and local beer.

Overall, the race is a ton of fun, and the race management is fantastic. I highly recommend this race as a fun weekend getaway!

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(2018)
"Great fall 10k with great views and freebies"
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I ran this race last year and loved it, so I was looking forward to running it again.

The race is pretty small, around 1000 runners total between the 5k and 10k. Lots of my local running friends were there, so that was fun. I went to packet pickup the day before and it was super fast. It is not a problem to pick it up day of, either, it's just a longer walk back to your car.

This race is run in 35 cities in 23 countries all on the same day! It was fun to see posts from friends around the country who did the race in other cities. It's for a good cause, all about fighting hunger.

Parking was a piece of cake at phoenix municipal stadium. There were a handful of vendors Timing was provided by Startline racing, which always does a fantastic job.

The course runs along the Phoenix Zoo/Papago Park area with some rolling hills and pretty views. The last mile was out on the canal, then it was an out and back course, so we turned around and headed back to the start the same way. Tons of water stations. It was a hot day, although it felt nice right at the start, that changed quickly.

At the finish, we were treated to a hot grilled cheese sandwich from a food truck, for free! Plus the race was sponsored by Bimbo bakery, so we had tons of bread samples - I came away with a full 6 pack of bagels, Takis, and other snacks. Holy cow!

We also got a tech shirt, arm sleeve (only one though), a hat, and a medal!

I would love it if the organizers moved the start back to 6:30 just due to the heat.

I am delighted by this last minute race find, and will DEFINITELY be back next year!

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(2018)
"Best kept secret"
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The Crim is the best kept secret that no one outside of Michigan seems to know about! I'm very biased since it takes place in my hometown, but regardless, I've done enough races to know a top-notch event when I run one!

This race takes place in Flint, MIchigan. Yes, THAT Flint. This is the best day this town has all year, people come from all over the state to participate with their family and friends. There many different distances to cover, from 1 mile to 10.

This year brought some thunderstorms through the area, and just as we finished the national anthem and were ready to kick off, they announced a rain delay due to lightning in the area. That ended up taking 90 minutes.

The course starts off pretty flat through downtown Flint, and for me it is a chance to see all the iconic places of my childhood. The last 5 miles have rolling hills through some nice neighborhoods and end up on the brick lined streets of downtown.

There are many, many opportunities to eat and drink your way through this course! The Crim has been a premier event for over 40 years, and the locals really come out in droves to support us. Besides water and gatorade, there was a mimosa station (which I stopped at), numerous beer stations, bacon, doughnuts, jello shots and cookies!

The after party is always great with live music and free beer and pizza at the finish. Great medals and shirts too. Expo is tight, but lots of vendors.

I HIGHLY recommend this race! There are elite runners at this event, and the race management is fantastic. Until next year!

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(2018)
"Scenic downhill small town marathon"
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I was using this race as a training run for a 50k. The full marathon sold out in February, but I got in off the waitlist just a few weeks later.

The race starts in the lovely small town of Ojai, in the mountains above Ventura. There are several choices of shuttle times from the downtown area. The race starts at 6am and the first shuttle is at 4am. They tell you to be there 30 min before your shuttle, and my 4am shuttle actually pulled out at 3:43, they are not kidding!

The expo was held at the county fairgrounds. There were about a dozen booths. No "goody bag" at all. Not even a gear check bag was handed out there. You had to get one at the start line.

There was a wave start for the marathon - just 3 waves. Many people choose this race to BQ. The first 6-7 miles are a loop around Ojai before heading down the mountain. From roughly miles 10-15, the course is along a shaded bike path where it meets up with the half marathoners. It was very scenic through the valley. There are TONS of water stations along the way, with a few of them handing out gels. From about mile 16-19 the course is back on roads, plenty of downhill, but I was actually hoping for more downhill. Miles 20-23 were back on the path again, but in a much more industrial and exposed setting. Not much in the way of spectators. The last few miles were through downtown Ventura, straight into the sun. The finish is at the beach, which is always rewarding.

The half and full participants get the same medal, which I do not like. The ribbons are different, but I wish we would have medals indicating our distinct distance. They were nice wooden medals though.

The race also offers free finishers pics! I would definitely recommend this race, especially if you are looking for a BQ.

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