Latest reviews by Jessica Murphy

(2020)
"It's Hot But Beautiful"
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Exuma is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Having been fortunate to travel to some wonderful parts of this world, this island seriously took my breath away.

It's worth noting, that this is a tropical island. So similar to running in Honolulu for the Marathon, you must prepare to moderate your effort and your expectations! Thankfully the start is EARLY. We got to avoid the sun for about half of the race, but man did you feel it running back.

The volunteers at the aid station were super helpful. The course is basically an out and back on the only road on the island. My AfterShokz were clutch for maintaining awareness. There were not a ton of vehicles given the early start, but it was good to be aware.

NOTE: if you are nervous about running in the dark consider wearing a headlamp for the Half or if you do the Marathon or Ultra.

Also, be aware, this is a fairly undeveloped island other than the key resorts. It's part of the beauty and charm (so many beautiful laid back beaches, amazing food spots, etc), but it also means you need to watch the road if it's uneven. Also beware of feral dogs. Some returning participants were smart enough to bring rocks to throw!

But honestly, you come here to relax before and after. We had a partnership with the Grand Isle Resort that sponsors the race. The villas were amazing, the beachfront and water was gorgeous. Their restaurants were delicious. You could easily do the 5K and 10K but I did like relaxing after a Half Marathon effort to truly soak it all in!

One of my fav parts of the race - the adorable stuffed pig you got in your swag bag! Too cute (sine the island is known for swimming pigs!)

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(2020)
"Chocolate Delight!"
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Love this as a Spring race option in the area! I haven't run a HC race since I moved out of Chicago in early 2015 (and I used to run HC Chi every year!). Was so happy to get back on the chocolate bandwagon. 15K is a great distance to push yourself but not train too crazy.

The hills were obviously brutal (it's Seattle), but they were more manageable than I anticipated. Loved running over the bridge and seeing the city and it was a BEAUTIFUL day. The start/end in the Seattle Center is super convenient to access. And the volunteers were SO excited it got ME excited! And, love that HC always gives out free and fast race photos.

Expo was easy to get in and out. Loved the chocolate bar, and I think the hot chocolate has gotten even better over the years!

I'll def be eyeing this up again next year!

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(2019)
"Gobbler's Revenge indeed!"
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What a delightful local turkey trot. You don't see many turkey trot Half Marathons, so it was nice to get in a few extra miles before turkey time!

The course was gorgeous, taking you through some more rural parts and then cute neighborhoods. The local volunteers did a great job marshaling us since we looped back a few times. Loved that we could show-up and get our bib quickly (dynamic bib assignment FTW!).

Afterwards there was pizza and cookies and a quick awards ceremony. Plus TONS of raffle prizes. Would definitely consider running this again if we are in town!

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(2019)
"Always an honor"
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This was my 4th Boston, but I haven't run it in 3 years. It's amazing how quickly you can forget how challenging this course is.

I was thankfully on the Fleet Feet Boston 365 bus so I was able to wait-out the pre-race rain. By race time the weather cleared up and the crowds were as boisterous as ever!!

One thing I did notice was that the aid station signage was sparse, but i am guessing that is due to the crazy high winds pre-race.

As I struggled from the better part of the back half of the race the crowds really did keep me going. Boston knows how to treat their Marathoners right and make race day and the entire weekend a wonderful celebration. Despite my own struggles on race day I know I'll be back to experience this again next year!

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(2019)
"Such a delight!"
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This is such a Portland institution and I FINALLY ran it this year! The weather could not be beat - perfect racing weather and tons of sunshine for the post-race party. The variety of race distances and the amazing post-race Irish band kept the party going all morning.

The 15K takes you through some beautiful hills of Portland, but really it's all about this after-party. Tons of food post-race, from bars, various drinks, and fruit, to lentil soup and lots of beer! Oh, and seriously one of the best Irish bands around (disclaimer, our friend is the lead singer and penny whistle player, but we've seen then play many times at Kell's. Highly recommend this race to all locals and anyone looking for an excuse to visit the PNW!

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