Latest reviews by Frank Nardomarino

(2015)
"Galena Lead Rush 1/2 Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I knew that signing up for this race would get me to train a little harder because this elevation was brutal! This was my first race that had such intense elevation changes. I trained hard for it but I probably should have done some more hillwork!

Registration - The staff was extremely friendly and encouraging and there was absolutely no wait for me. The price was hard to beat too!

Course - I was just floored at the layout of this course. It was some of most beautiful scenery you could ever ask for in a race. The first few miles were pretty acceptable and leg friendly with some minor hills but once you hit mile 6...OUCH! Thos hills were just painful. I didn't see many people running the big hill but if they did - Bravo to those machines! I'm a big fan of the downhills on the backside and I've heard many people saying that they hate the downhills. I get it but after those substantial uphills, cruising down was right up my alley. The rest of the course was just breathtaking through the windy course leading up to a picture perfect finish line at the base of the ski hill!

Swag - I really feel bad having any complaints at all as the shirt was awesome! This was my first long sleeve shirt from a race and it is absolutely perfect. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the finishers medal. It was much smaller than I was expecting after seeing a few of the years past medals. I understand that the race was very cost friendly and that may have had an effect on the medals but maybe something a little bigger next year? Maybe some color in it?

Race staff - I don't think you could find a more friendly and supportive group of volunteers along a course. They braved the cold temps and wind to be there for the runners and I can't thank them enough.

Post race party - The finish line at the bottom of the ski hill was just about as perfect as it gets. The finish line cheers were just awesome and everything seemed flawless. Everything you could ask for at the end of a race was there and easily accessible (fruits, drinks, medals, silver blankets!) Plus, the ski lift back to the top was pretty interesting. It was a little windy and cold but after that hilly race, I wasn't about to walk up the hill!

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(2015)
"9/11 Heroes Run"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I have always been a fan of military/1st responder races to show my support and while this was a relatively small race, it had a big effect on me. This was the races first time in Chicago and I know that next year will be even bigger as I'm telling all of my friends to get in!

The parking is about as easy as it gets along the harbor parking lots and if you get there early, you can chat with the organizers and watch them set up their well planned course equipment. They are truly professional and organized. Since there was no expo for packet pickups, they did it at the event before the race began and I think the wait was approximately 2 minutes at most!

The staff and volunteers were extremely friendly and helpful and really did make for a great experience. As for the course, how much more scenic can you get along the parks and lakefront?? Just a perfect route and tons of support around the trails.

The start of the race with the salute and tribute to our heroes was inspirational as well as the Chicago Fire Department hanging the American Flag above the first bridge. I finished my race much faster than I anticipated and had a 5k PR!!

After the race, there was plenty of drinks and fruit and friendly faces congratulating you. I stayed for a while to support the rest of the runners and as the crowds dispersed, I decided to leave. Little did I know that I took second place in my age division and some great photo opportunities. I wish I knew that there were going to be medals after the race but the race officials mailed me my medal and I can't thank them enough for it!

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(2015)
"9/11 Heroes Run"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb img 1503

I have always been a fan of military/1st responder races to show my support and while this was a relatively small race, it had a big effect on me. This was the races first time in Chicago and I know that next year will be even bigger as I'm telling all of my friends to get in!

The parking is about as easy as it gets along the harbor parking lots and if you get there early, you can chat with the organizers and watch them set up their well planned course equipment. They are truly professional and organized. Since there was no expo for packet pickups, they did it at the event before the race began and I think the wait was approximately 2 minutes at most!

The staff and volunteers were extremely friendly and helpful and really did make for a great experience. As for the course, how much more scenic can you get along the parks and lakefront?? Just a perfect route and tons of support around the trails.

The start of the race with the salute and tribute to our heroes was inspirational as well as the Chicago Fire Department hanging the American Flag above the first bridge. I finished my race much faster than I anticipated and had a 5k PR!!

After the race, there was plenty of drinks and fruit and friendly faces congratulating you. I stayed for a while to support the rest of the runners and as the crowds disperced, I decided to leave. Little did I know that I took second place in my age division and some great photo opportunities. I wish I knew that there were going to be medals after the race but the race officials mailed me my medal and I can't thank them enough for it!

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(2015)
"Fort2Base 10 Nautical Mile"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I absolutely love this race! Where do I even begin?!

Run along the north shore from military base to military base? Yes!

Support our troops? Yes!

Scenic route? Yes!

Top notch swag? Yes!

Unbelievably inspiring finish line? YES!

I was absolutely humbled by the support from volunteers and military personnel entering the base. Everything from parking and shuttling to aid stations was just perfect.

If you have never done this race then you are truly missing out. Just when you feel fatigued and question going on, you enter Great Lakes Naval Base to feel an indescribable feeling. The last two miles are tough but with the unbelievable support and cheering from the military personnel, you get your second wind.

Hero Hill?!?! Holy leg killer...

Thank you so much to the military volunteers for running it with us and pushing us up!

I am still in awe of such a beautiful finish line!

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(2015)
"Polar Dash Chicago 10K"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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I missed out on this race last year and wasn't going to miss this one! This was my first winter race and I wasn't quite sure how to dress and I definitely overdressed!

Expo - I signed up at the Hot Chocolate expo and picked up my bib and gear while I picked up my other race stuff so this was extremely convenient. It was quick and painless.

Swag - The jacket is absolutely awesome and the color is perfect for guys. While I didn't wear the winter hat, it was just as cool with the Polar Dash logo.

Course/scenery - How can you beat the view along Chicago's lakefront?? The start line was on the sidewalk along Columbus and after a quick walk from the Soldier Field north lot, it was easy to find. The announcer had great energy during a pretty cold morning and it was nice to listen to his enthusiasm. I wish I had run the 15 miler, but the 10K was just as nice. The paths were completely clear and I anticipated a little ice and snow and wore my YakTrax but did not really need them. They did a great job of clearing the route! The bottleneck at the beginning is expected at most of these races but opened up after the first mile. What a beautiful path along the lakefront for some scenery! A quick turnaround at 35th street and the path takes you back along the skyline view!

This was a well run race and the volunteers braved the cold weather to help out and I can't thank them enough for standing out in that! The medal at the finish line was about as good as it gets! It will be hung proudly!

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