Latest reviews by Kati Petry

(2017)
"Fun race in my home state!"
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This was my first time running the 5k and I enjoyed it. I'm originally from Indiana so I've done the 1/2 several times and thought it would be nice to run the 5k this year.

The expo was super easy to get to from the interstate (I-65) and there was plenty of parking downtown. The expo was spacious and was well stocked with volunteers. I picked up my packet and packets for friends without any issues. The 5k shirt was short sleeved and the 1/2 was long sleeved. I would've preferred a long sleeve but regardless, it was a nice quality shirt and everyone also got a running hat!

Getting to the race was a breeze. There were plenty of parking garages in the downtown area that were within a short 5 minute walk of the race area. The gear check was also a breeze. The trucks were clearly marked by bib number and were within eye sight of the start line/corrals so you didn't have to wander around looking for them. I also saw a few tables with water and Gatorade set-up for people to take.

The 5k started 30 minutes before the half and there was only one start corral for it. The race started on time. The course itself was just ok. It wasn't anything very exciting. The first 1.5 miles or so were the same as the half. There were numerous turns (8, I think?) during the first half of mile 3 which also included cutting through a parking lot. I think it would've been better if they kept the entire race on normal roads and eliminated a few awkward turns. There was at least one aid station on the route that I noticed that seemed to be well stocked with fluids and volunteers.

The immediate post race area was spacious. Directly after crossing the finish line you received your race medal and your snacks (bananas, cookies, drinks, Clif Bars, etc.) and could have your photo taken. The gear check was then right outside of this space which was perfect placement. I did not wander into the larger post-race area where there was supposedly music, beers, and more fun stuff since I wanted to cheer on my friends running the 1/2.

I would recommend the 5k to anyone living in the area or if you'll already be there to spectate. It's nice to have a 5k that's well organized because it's in conjunction with one of the nation's largest half marathons.

Pic: That's me + my friend, Mike, who was the overall 5k winner!!!!!

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(2017)
"A festive St. Patty's Day race!"
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I enjoyed this race and will consider doing it again in future years!

PROS:
It was a very small race but the energy from all of the workers, volunteers, spectators and other races definitely made it feel like a bigger production! Everyone was also in the spirit of St. Patty's day, myself included, and many wore green to race.

The race fee was reasonable. I paid $40 about 1.5 weeks before the race. Had I decided to do this race earlier, I would’ve saved $10. The packet pick-up was quick and easy. It was held at a local running store so it was convenient if you needed to pick up any last minute essentials for the race.

Parking for the race was relatively easy. I used the SpotHero discount code the race offered to reserve my parking at a nearby condo complex (1/2 mile away) for $10. The zoo parking lot was also close to the race; however it was twice as expensive to park there.

The pre / post-race area was minimal but had all the essentials, including a booth selling Girl Scout cookies! There were also plenty of porta-potties so there was practically no lines.

I enjoyed the course which was an out and back, but what kept it more interesting was it was a horseshoe out and back. The out and back is also really nice when you have friends racing too since you can give them a wave or a high five along the course. There were plenty of race volunteers directing runners at the turns / turn arounds.

CONS:
I was not very impressed with the shirt. It was a long sleeve cotton tshirt with a less than attractive design. I could tolerate the cotton if the design was better. All that being said, the shirt was still a nice heavy quality cotton and a fantastic Kelly green color.

The bigger post-race party and awards ceremony was held at a restaurant about a mile away. This seemed like too much of a hassle to me so I did not attend despite winning an award. (Also, writing this review 1 month after the race, I have not received my award in the mail. I’m uncertain if I’ll actually collect it since I didn’t attend the ceremony.)

Despite the couple of con's, I still enjoyed this race and recommend it if you're looking for a festive St. Patty's day race!

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(2016)
"Beautiful course! I loved the Venice Marathon!"
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I loved the Venice Marathon! It’s a beautiful and unique course. If you’re in the Venice area when the race is taking place, I highly recommend it!

Pros:
•It’s Italy. Do I really need to say more?
•The bib number has your name, your country and your country’s flag. It was cool too look around at the pre-race and in the corrals to see where people were from. It was definitely dominated by Italians. However, this did lead to spectators calling me "Americano" on a couple of occasions. :)
•The race shirt was long sleeved and had a picture of a gondola and a bridge with a runner crossing the bridge. It was pretty cool and represented the city well.
•The pre-race area was on the grounds of a historic mansion. They had giant tents set-up with benches for everyone to sit until the race started. They had plenty of porta potties. The gear-check and the starting corrals were very easy to navigate.
•It’s a point-to-point course that follows the Brenta River and through smaller towns outside of Venice. It’s absolutely beautiful and cool to see parts of ‘Venice’ I otherwise would not have seen. The last 1.5 miles is in Venice along the waterfront, including a short lap around St. Mark’s Square. You run up/down over a dozen bridges in the last 1.5 miles (Legs, be prepared!)
•There were plenty of spectators as you ran through the different towns. They cheered loudly!
•The aid stations were well stocked with water, a sports drink equivalent to Gatorade, fruit and cookies(!).
•The post-race area was along the waterfront. It was very easy to get your gear checked-bag and they provided gender specific tents so you could change clothes as needed. They also gave you plenty of snacks and drinks afterwards.
•There’s also a 10k on the same day if the marathon isn’t your preferred distance.

Cons:
•The registration website is very difficult to figure out, even in English. I gave up the first time I tried to register and the second time I just started filling stuff out with what I thought it was asking and clicked on buttons until I reached the end. Don’t give up on registering… it’s worth the minor headache!
•You must provide a completed and signed health form from a doctor advising you are healthy enough to participate. You can bring it to packet pick-up or fax a copy in advance.
•Getting to the race expo was a long journey from St. Mark’s Square. Being unfamiliar with Venice, it was nearly impossible to walk the 1.5km from the Square to the Tram station without getting lost a million times, even when using a map and GPS. I finally gave up and paid for the public water taxi which would take me to the Tram. (Disclaimer: I did this on the same day I arrived in Venice and my jet-lagged mind was likely exaggerating things and how long and far things were.)
•They did not have gender specific shirts. They did have extra smalls which was nice.
•This was a very very male dominated race and many of them had no shame in dropping their shorts in the pre-race tent to very slowly apply what I assume to be Vaseline/Body Glide. It was definitely awkward.
•They gave you bottled water at the aid stations. I’m not well practiced in opening bottles of water nor drinking from a bottle while running. I would’ve preferred paper cups like the sports drink was served in.

Despite the handful of ‘Cons’ I noted, I would still recommend this race. The Venice Marathon definitely attracts people from all over the world but it’s predominately Italian. It’s a unique opportunity to experience racing in another culture.

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(2016)
"Small and friendly 5k! I love this race!"
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The Seymour Oktoberfest 5k is a small, very friendly and relaxed but fast course. This race is put on in conjunction with the city's annual Oktoberfest festival. Think: beer garden, carnival rides, arts & craft booths, parades, contests (brat eating, stein hoisting, etc.) and plenty of food and music! I've done this race in the past but this was the first time in several years. Also a small disclaimer: I ran this course hundreds of times during high school XC training so it brings back great memories and all of the "cons" mentioned below didn't matter to me and didn't impact my race experience at all.

You can register online in advance (if you're able to find the registration page buried on the festival's general website) or you can sign up in person the morning of the race; however, if you wait until the day of, participant shirts are on a first-come-first-served basis. I signed up the morning of the race about 15 minutes after it 'opened' and I received one of the last (long sleeve cotton) shirts they had. The majority of day-of registrations did not receive a shirt.

The pre and post race activities are held inside the high school gym. You can stay warm and dry if the weather is unfavorable and you can use real bathrooms! The race provides very basic things for the runners: water, Gatorade, granola bars and bananas. There were also a couple of physical therapists on hand to do stretches, massages and injury screenings.

You can stay inside the school right until the start of the race. Everyone walks to the start together and once you get there, they don't waste much time. The course is clearly marked and has at least one volunteer or police officer at every turn and street crossing. There was one aid station about half-way through the race that was manned by a few people. There aren't many people cheering along the course.

The race does hire a legitimate timing company to have a clock at the finish line; however, due to the small size of the race, you are not given a timing chip. They record the finishing time whenever someone crosses the finish line and they also keep track of bib numbers as they cross. You are warned at the start of the race to stay in the finisher's chute until your bib number is recorded so that you don't mess up the results. This year they advised that 5 people exited the chute prematurely so some bib numbers were not matched with the correct finishing time.

They provide awards to the overall male and overall female (for 2016 it was a medal + plaque + gift certificate to local running store) as well as age group awards (for 2016 it was a medal + gc) in both a run category and a walk category.

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone who is visiting Seymour for the Oktoberfest or who lives close by. I love this race!

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(2016)
"Hardest 5k ever, but I loved it!"
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Altitude + Ungroomed snowy foot trails = Hardest 5k of my life.

I wanted to start the year off right so I decided I would do the New Year's Day 5k that was being held in-town where I was on vacation. You could sign-up in advance but I wasn't certain I was going to do it so I waited until the day of. Since I signed-up so late, I didn't get the scarf that they provide participants but they gave me a small discount on my registration fee. They didn't have gear check - people, myself included, just left everything on the chairs and floor in the lobby of the college. There was ample free parking. The course was marked as well as an ungroomed foot trail could be. There were race volunteers when there were major turns in the race but it was essentially and out and back course. The bibs weren't runner specific; Everyone was #2016. The race also wasn't timed, other than for the top 3 males and females. The course was very difficult despite being a flat course. The elevation of Breckenridge is ~9600 feet so fast times should not be expected if you're a visitor. I walked a handful of times because of the snow, elevation and lack of an official race time. :) The views of the mountains were amazing and the creek that the trail followed was pretty. My watch clocked the race at 2.6 miles - I had never been so thankful to see a finish line in my life and I wasn't angry about the short course. They had a few snacks and drinks at the end (inside of course) and a raffle which included several Whole Foods gift cards. I won some Smartwool socks. Race pictures were free to download afterwards.

If I was in Breckenridge on New Year's day in future years, I would likely do this race again. It was hard but it was fun! Maybe I'd consider doing the snow shoe division...

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