Latest reviews by Emily White

(2019)
"Spectacular run through wine country"
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This race is fantastic. This year, they moved the start to the same basic area as the finish. It made it SO easy for participants instead of the point to point course.

Packet pickup was Friday afternoon and was also available early saturday morning. At pickup we received our bib and shirt. Also there were craft beer and cider samples, shopping and yoga.

I ran the relay, I was the 2nd runner, and I ended up running about 7.45 miles. I was bussed to the transition point. The course has plenty of rolling hills and a few big ones, but the scenery you pass through - vineyards, pastures, mountains and cows - was beautiful and well worth it. Plenty of water stops along the route. There were a lot of relay runners, and management payed just as much attention to the relay folks as to the regular half marathon runners.

Finishers party is incredible. We received a custom wine glass, and there were unlimited samples from a half dozen local wineries. It was crowded, but their was a live band who really played great music. It would be nice if there was more food available inside the finisher area, even for purchase.

The setting in the Dutch village of Solvang made for the perfect girls or couples getaway. Excellent food and a wide variety of craft beers and wineries makes for plenty to explore. I can't recommend it more!

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(2019)
"Laid-back race in a uniquely Scottsdale setting"
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This was my first time doing this race, and I'm so glad I did! I decided last minute to run it, but this race will be on my list for next year!

Packet pickup is super easy. They only advertise pickup on Friday afternoon, and parking is a bit challenging. However, it is open Saturday before the race, and it's just as easy if not easier to do it then. There was one small gear booth full of really nice shirts, hats, etc. But the whole atmosphere in downtown Scottsdale at the stadium just makes you want to stay and play.

The shirt is high quality technical material and I will totally wear it again.

Race morning, things were well organized. There were fun uniquely Arizona experiences - a singing cowboy serenading us, and native American hoop dancers.

The course runs mostly on the Scottsdale Greenbelt, a paved path that runs alongside the golf course, ponds and apartments. Not bad! We had perfect weather!

The race finishes on the field inside the stadium. There were plenty of post race goodies, including an ice cold local beer. it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right? Whether you are a baseball fan or not, it is a very fun, inviting atmosphere to be in.

And when the race is over, you are in the middle of all the Old Town Scottsdale fun! Head out for brunch or the local shops and art galleries. It's amazing! I will definitely do this race again!

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(2019)
""Wonder"-Fully Fun Inaugural Event"
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This inaugural Wonder Woman Race was full of fun experiences.

However, packet pickup had a few bumps in the execution, as to be expected with a first-time event. Location for packet pickup was pretty congested in downtown Tempe at Tempe Beach Park. Packet pickup was only between 2-6pm the day prior, it was 80 degrees, lines were long and a little disorganized. The race has great swag, though, with tech tanks with the wonder woman logo. There was also a merchandise tent with a ton of branded goodies for sale.

Race day really made up for it. It was a sea of red,tutus and sparkle skirts. So much girl power! The 5k and 10k started together, with Lynda Carter counting us down virtually on the screen. The course itself was very well marked with fun WW flags at every mile marker and arches to run through. It was a 9am start and a very warm day. In the future, I hope they move the start time a bit earlier. Finish area was quite congested with the convergence of the two distances. The medal is a nice spinner, but has no date or location on it. I'd love to see them do a bit more customization in the future. There were plenty of snacks at the finish, plus live music. They offer free race photos which is always a plus!

This is definitely a fun race to try!

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(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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