Latest reviews by Danielle Nardi

(2016)
"Good run, good beer, good cause!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb ccb 10k swag

This was an inaugural event hosted by Cape Cod Beer to benefit the Cape Wellness Collaborative. There was an option of a 5k & 10k and for only $30 the race registration included a timed race, a long sleeve tech race shirt, a Cape Cod Beer pint glass and a pint of beer after the race - no a bad deal!

We picked up our race packets about 45 minutes before the start and were able to go drop our stuff off in the car and wait there to stay warm until the start. The 5k and 10k started together and the 10k just completed a second loop of the course. I will say the split for the 5k to go to the finish and the 10k to continue on was quite confusing! The course was nothing exciting, just a big loop around the area where Cape Cod Beer is located in Hyannis and it was open to traffic (there were cones for the runners to stay inside of, but at the start there were way too many people for that to work!).

I think there are some small improvements they could make before next year (separate 5k & 10k stars and a less confusing split for the 10k to go on their second loop), but overall the event and after party at the brewery were a lot of fun and I'll definitely plan on doing it again next year!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"The Falmouth Road Race without the heat, humidity and crowds!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb lighthouse

The Falmouth Road Race is a wonderful big race in a small town held in Falmouth, Massachusetts every August. While I LOVE this race and have run it the past 3 years, it is somehow ALWAYS held on the hottest, most humid day of summer!

Enter Falmouth in the Fall - same race course, 20 degrees cooler and about 13,000 less people!

Falmouth in the Fall is SO small that there is no online registration, you actually need to print out your registration form and MAIL it in with a self addressed steamed envelope for them to mail your bib back to you. There is no expo, no t-shirt, and no race swag, but it's only $20, so really it's a great deal!

Since it's a point to point race, on race morning there were busses from the finish line to the start in Woods Hole. The race also offered a "bag check" - or "throw your back in the back of the marked truck and it'll meet you at the finish line". Yup, no name, no bib #, just throw it right in!

With less than 300 people and wonderfully cool temperatures I can definitely say I enjoyed this race much more than the summer version! There were two on course water stops and while the course wasn't closed to traffic there were volunteers out there at any intersections making sure runners got across safely. The finish line festival was MUCH smaller than the summer race with just one small tent, but in the tent they had CLAM CHOWDER! Yes, this was your quintessential small town New England road race and I loved it!

If you're interested in visiting Cape Cod in the fall (much less crowded in the summer!), I highly recommend checking out this little race!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"2015 Eversource Hartford Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb hmf finish line

What a wonderful race experience - the Hartford Marathon definitely plans with the runner in mind!

The expo was small but efficient and we had our bibs and t-shirts in no time! The race program and event day guide provided plenty of useful information for runners and spectators including directions, parking, course maps and even a pace chart so spectators could estimate when their runners should arrive at certain locations - very helpful for my mom and brother who were able to see me in several locations!

Downtown Hartford is easy to navigate and the start/finish area was all very centrally located. From my car to bag check was probably less than a 5 minute walk and bag check was conveniently located just about a block from the starting line!

The race itself was very well organized. The first 8 miles are in the downtown Hartford area and then go through some beautiful parks and along the river. Miles 9.5 to about 24 are a very long out and back through residential neighborhoods of East Hartford and South Windsor. Along the way the course was very well supported and I especially liked the "on-demand" support on bikes. The volunteers on bikes had gels, water and medical supplies and if they didn't have it (like when I asked for some vaseline), they biked ahead to an aid station got it for you and biked back to you on the course!

After crossing the finish line through the picturesque arch in Bushnell Park, we were immediately wrapped in heat sheets and had access to water at their unique "bubbler", a contraption with about 20 water fountain spouts on it. Just past that we were given our medals, a reusable "Finisher" water bottle filled with water and a reusable bag with snacks - I'm not sure I've ever seen such an organized and efficient finishers chute!

Bag check was a short walk from the finishers area, but it was up a hill which I wasn't particularly looking forward to…well, the Hartford Marathon folks had thought of that too! There was a line of golf carts at the bottom of the hill shuttling runners right to bag check - honestly, at that moment I couldn't have been happier to see those golf carts!

The finish line area in Bushnell Park also featured a athlete's food tent, the "Mile 27" beer garden, medical tents, a massage area and most of the vendors from the expo - it really just felt like a big festival, we put our heat sheets on the grass and hangout for awhile!

I really can not recommend this race enough, it was a great experience and the Hartford Marathon Foundation really does plan with the runner in mind offering some unique and much appreciated amenities such as the "on-demand" course support bikers and the shuttles to bag check. I'm really looking forward to checking out some of their other races throughout the year and am already considering running the Hartford Marathon again next year!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"2015 Marine Corps Marathon - A Must Do Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb mcm flags

With Marines fully organizing and manning this race, a full mile dedicated to fallen service men and women and a course that weaves its way through the monuments of Washington DC, this race truly feels as if it's about something more than running.

This is the second time I've run the Marine Corps Marathon and I love every second of it. The race is very well organized (I mean they ARE Marines!) and the crowd and course support is fantastic. I stayed at a hotel in Rosslyn and was able to walk to the starting area and back to my hotel after the finish (which is a HUGE plus since the metro & shuttle lines were crazy long!).

This is a great race for spectators as well - because of the ease of the public transportation and the way the course loops around certain areas, my husband was able to see me 6 times during the race, including right before the hill to the finish!

This is a challenging course with the first 3 miles all uphill, several out and back portions, and a cutoff time to "beat the bridge" at mile 20, but the scenery is great - make sure to try to take it all in! With temperatures a bit warmer this year than when I ran it in 2013, I found myself wishing for a few more water stops, but I did take advantage of the munchkin stop at mile 24 - who can say no to a mid race munchkin!

The Marine Corps Marathon is an amazing race that I would recommend to any runner - I especially think it would make a great first marathon!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"Johnny Kelley Half Marathon - Gorgeous Cape Cod Coast Views!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb johnny kelley start

The Johnny Kelley Half Marathon was a nice small local (for me!) race that started and ended on the Hyannis Town Green. The course was a 13.1 mile loop around Hyannis that highlighted the gorgeous Cape Cod coastal views and neighborhoods.

Overall the Johnny Kelly Half was a great race experience, but it was definitely a small town race that lacked some of the amenities of larger races.

It was an open course which always makes me a little nervous, but the roads in general were not very busy most of the way and there was ample volunteer and police support along the course to help direct runners and traffic and I never felt unsafe while running (unlike another open course race where I almost got hit by a car!). I felt the volunteers at the finish area may not have been given much direction, the water stops were a little disorganized and I had trouble finding any sort of medical support at the finish when I was looking for a bandaid. That being said the course was nice, very flat and had great views so I wouldn't hesitate from doing this race again and would definitely recommend it especially if you are local!

Pros:
- parking, we found a spot right in the town hall lot and were parked about 200 feet from the finish line!
- real bathrooms at the start!
- easy for spectators to have a great view right at the finish!
- flat race course with great coastal views (and a nice breeze along the water!)
- the finish at the town green provided a great place to hangout and meet up with friends afterwards!
- since the town green is right on Main Street there were plenty of places to walk to eat right from the finish area
- there are plenty of places to stay walking distance from the start/ finish if you are traveling from out of town
- the race was $56 which I felt was a good value

Cons:
- water stops were unevenly spaced and a little disorganized but they did have both water and Gatorade
- I didn't see any on course medical support and I had trouble finding a medical tent or personnel at the finish when I needed a bandaid
- race shirt was a cheap cotton t-shirt that I'd most likely never wear

Login or sign up to leave a comment.