Latest reviews by Michelle Tucker

(2014)
"Scorcher Half Marathon"
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The Scorcher Half Marathon was an inaugural race in Stillwater, Oklahoma! The course was great and some of the areas were really pretty! The elevation was pretty much flat. I really can't remember any hills that were along the route. There wasn't an expo that went along with this race. I loved the fact that they had aid stations every single mile and even though it was pouring rain for the entire race the aid stations were still open and had plenty of water. The only downside was the lack of food at the finish line. All we were given was a bottle of water but I'm sure this is something they can fix for next years race. Parking was super easy and very close to the start/finish line. Overall I would definitely recommend this race to anyone wanting to find a half marathon during the month of June!

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(2014)
"OKC Memorial Half Marathon"
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Thumb okc 2014

Yesterday I finished half marathon number 5 of 2014 and it was certainly one of those races that leaves an impression! I did the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon last year and absolutely loved it! The course and the volunteers are amazing and the reason behind the race is so meaningful. I love how much effort the race officials put into making sure to remember what happened 19 years ago and go above and beyond to make sure the 168 people who lost their lives are remembered. Probably two of my favorite things about this race is the 168 seconds of silence at the beginning and the banners that line the course with the names of the victims. It really is special!

So all week long they had been forecasting severe weather. The storms that eventually caused so much damage in central Arkansas were supposed to start right around Oklahoma City and then make their way to Arkansas. I had gotten several emails from race officials about what their plan was to make sure we were all safe so I had no worries about driving up there and running the race. The race starts pretty early at 6:30 so I got up at 4 and took a quick shower and made it downtown by about 5. I had checked the radar as soon as I woke up and there wasn't a single storm around! I couldn't believe our luck! Even as late as Saturday night they were still forecasting thunderstorms with hail for early morning. Well of course literally the minute I got out of my car I saw lightening way off in the distance. I decided to go ahead and walk to the start line because I needed to find the port-a-potties! On the way it started to rain a little but stopped just as fast. I watched a little bit of the sunrise service and then started the walk to my corral.

At 6:00 the race announcer came on and said that they had decided to delay the race start by 30 minutes because of storms moving in. So I just stood around and then not 3 minutes later they came back on and said we needed to get to the shelter that was closest to our area right then. Thankfully I had lined up right by a parking garage that I knew was one of the designated shelters so everyone around took off running to get there.

I made it in but it still wasn't doing anything outside. I could still see some lightening but that was it. Probably the most frustrating thing about the entire situation was that my phone wouldn't work so I couldn't check the radar or let anyone know what was going on. Everyone in the shelter kept trying to pull up the radar, facebook, or twitter to check to see what exactly was coming towards us. We were far enough away from the corrals that we couldn't hear any announcements so we had no clue if it was just a strong storm coming or a tornado. It was a little crazy/scary for a while.

At 8:00 everyone started walking out and getting ready to line up. No sooner had I made it out about 10 steps that it started raining and storming harder than it had all morning. So back to the garage we all went but not before getting completely soaked first. Finally at 8:10 we were told we were going to be starting at 8:20. It was hilarious to watch us all come out. We were convinced that the minute we stepped out of the parking garage we would have to run back in.

The first couple of miles were rough. I was already hungry because I had planned on being almost finished by now and not just starting! It was super humid outside because of all the storms. It felt like I was running through thick air and I couldn't catch my breath. Welcome to running in humidity! The course was crazy crowded because they hadn't waited as long as they usually do to start the 5K so it was packed. Finally we split from the 5K and it was so much better. Around mile 4 the sky started to clear up and I actually saw blue sky! Miles 5-8 I felt great! When I was struggling so much in the beginning I lowered my run intervals to save some energy in case it was rough for all 13 miles and that helped so much. I changed my intervals back up and was feeling awesome. The volunteers all along the course are the best. They were handing out all kinds of food. I had an apple, 2 oranges, a bunch of pretzels, and a banana all while I was running. My all time favorite thing that they hand out at this race are the cold sponges.

Around mile 9 I was getting super frustrated. Besides the huge blister I was getting from wet socks, there were people that were walking everywhere. I don't mind at all that they were walking but when you take up the entire street and I feel like I'm playing Frogger to try to get around everyone it's annoying. Plus then the walkers started to move over to the lanes reserved for the marathon runners. The marathon peeps at this point are super fast and I just kept waiting for someone to get hurt. I also kept getting extremely frustrated with the people who were doing run/walk. Obviously I don't care that they are doing that since it's what I do also, but if you are doing run/walk for the love of all things please don't go from running to a complete stop right in front of me! I actually ran right into two ladies who just completely stopped and never bothered to look if anyone was behind them. It was just so frustrating. I felt like I could never get in a good groove because I had to keep dodging people and making sure I wasn't going to run right into someone.

I finally saw the finish and just sprinted because I was ready to be done. I felt great but it had been a long day and I was just done. It was not even close to a PR but I finished over 20 minutes faster than last year so I'll take it! This race is still one of my favorites that I do! The race director and everyone handled the delays and crazy weather so great! They had a plan and made sure we were safe and once we finally got to start it was a beautiful day. The volunteers were amazing and stayed out there an extra two hours because of the delays. If you ever get the change to run the OKC Memorial race you have to do it! And hopefully the weather won't be so crazy next year!

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(2014)
"Gulf Coast half-Pensacola Beach"
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This course is amazing! It is all along the beach with great views. The only downside to the course is that there is absolutely no shade! The medal is awesome and there are plenty of aid stations. The volunteers and crowd support is very strong. There were people all along the course cheering us along. This race also has a longer time limit for us back of the pack runners. They also made sure to support the people in the back just as much as the winners! Great race and I would definitely recommend this one!!!

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(2014)
"Rock n Fly Half Marathon"
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This was an excellent race! For the first year the race officials did amazing! There wasn't much of an expo but bib pickup was easy and easy to find. The tshirt is hands down one of my favorites and I wear it all the time. The medal is great and also doubles as a bottle opener. Can't beat that! The race has different songs playing at each mile and I love that they let the runners vote and choose their favorite for mile 3! The scenery is amazing. The race is completely inside the Naval Air Station and for several miles you run along the Gulf Coast. It is beautiful and flat-a great course for a PR. The time limits were great and even us back of the pack runners had plenty of food and water along the course and at the end! I would strongly recommend this race to anyone considering it!

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(2014)
"Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long 25K"
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I woke up super early Saturday morning. One of the things that made me want to do this race was that it had race day packet pick up. I'm trying to do 14 half marathons in 2014 so if I can save on a hotel room for a race then I'm in! I knew I could get up early Saturday morning and make the 2 hour drive to Tulsa. I got there in plenty of time and I finally decided once I got there to go with my shorts and tank top with arm warmers. It was cold at the start but by the finish it was supposed to warm up into the mid 50s. I hate being hot when I run so I much rather be cold in the beginning! The course was along the Arkansas River and it was pretty and all, but for some reason I just wasn't a fan! I was just kind of bored. You can only look at the river for so long and try to distract yourself. It was cool that we ran the same route that I did for my marathon for a while! I looked up and saw the Route 66 sign at one point and remember thinking to myself that it was incredibly annoying that 15 miles was proving to be more of a challenge than 26 miles.

I was not a big fan of when we got to run by the waste water treatment facility. That was interesting! For the first half of the race I was pretty alone. There were several groups in front of me and several groups behind but I was pretty much just running along by myself. It was probably a good thing because I wasn't in the greatest of moods. My foot would not quit hurting and I was just hoping that I would be able to finish. I think another thing about the course is that I'm just not a fan of being able to see how far I am from the finish. When we finally reached the bridge to cross back over the river I remember looking up and seeing downtown Tulsa way off in the distance. I couldn't believe that I still had to run that far! I do much better when I can't see how far is left. I love running in neighborhoods and having people sitting outside and cheering you on and this course didn't have that. It was nice that we ran along the trails for the entire time so we didn't have to worry about car traffic. I guess I just need more entertainment!

Overall the race was ok! Fleet Feet did a great job of making sure us back of the packers got just as much encouragement at the finish line as the winners!

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