Latest reviews by Emily White

(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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(2018)
"Well-run small town race"
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This was my 5th time doing the Lost Dutchman 10k. I continue to be drawn in by the cool backdrop of the superstition mountains, the small town feel and the great organization of the race.

This year they held packet pickup in Tempe on Thursday only, then out in Apache Junction near the race start on Friday and Saturday. I ended up driving all the way out there, but it is a small, simple packet pickup process. On race morning I chose to park at the rodeo fairgrounds and take the short (less than 5 minute) shuttle to the start. It's easier than looking for parking near the park. And the signage leading to the parking is fantastic.

There is a full, half, 10k, 8k trail run and 2 mile race. Unique medals for all races. kudos to that!

The course has gentle rolling hills, which are honestly pretty perfect. Plenty of aid stations throughout. I did not notice many mile markers though. And no clocks.

The one area where this race has gone downhill is their post race food. It used to be amazing. There used to be homemade breakfast burritos afterwards, and chips and salsa. Now it's very generic. Half a bagel, fruit, yogurt and a bag of chips.

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(2018)
"Crazy beautiful hilly half marathon"
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This was my 1st time running the half here in Sedona, although I have done the 10k the last 2 years.

The race itself makes for the perfect racecation. Sedona is approximately 2 hours North of Phoenix, but feels like a world away with its incredible red rock formations. If you plan a weekend, there are plenty of other things to do (hiking, pink jeep tours, wine tasting, shopping, etc.)

The expo was held on Friday only, from 12-8 pm. It's small, but has a ton of merchandise you can buy. It was held in a tent on some fairgrounds this year, and actually felt more spacious than in years past.

There are several hotels within walking distance, or you can take the free race shuttle. I would NOT recommend parking at the start/finish, it is very congested.

The race has a late start time, which is great. Marathon starts at 9am, Half at 9:10, 10k at 9:20 and 5k at 9:30. Even though it is a small race, the start area is VERY congested. You start on a narrow road, but it does thin out pretty quickly.

There was gear check available near the start. It was a warm (for Sedona) day, the warmest I have experienced for this race. Temps were in the mid 40s at the start and low 60s at the finish. I'm sure the full marathoners would have appreciated an earlier start time.

All courses are out and back. There were a TON of aid stations. Literally every step of the race had an amazing view. Ok, let's talk hills. YES it is a hilly course. It's nonstop rolling, which honestly keeps it interesting! I would not expect to PR here. Water and electrolytes were available at every aid station.

Every finisher gets a tech t-shirt and a medal. My ONLY negative feedback is that everyone receives the same medal, regardless of distance. Really hoping that changes in the future.

Finishers also receive a few snacks (cookie, clif bar) and water at the finish. There were food trucks and some local AZ breweries serving up cold brews.

I will do this again. I love the challenge of this race, and the excuse to get away for a family vacation in the middle of winter.

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