Latest reviews by Jesse Lagle

(2013)
"2013 SF Nike Women's Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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Course Scenery
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Elevation Difficulty
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This was my first full marathon and it was an overall great experience. There are a couple points to consider when signing up for this marathon and some minor things Nike could certainly tweak in the future.

Pros-
The "metal" is a beautiful Tiffany's necklace that can be worth all day, every day! An exciting alternative to the traditional race metal.
The start was pretty organized... easy to check bags and the music really set the mood for the start. Also, really great start location as it is centrally located.
The aid/fuel stations are amazing- Nuun, shot blocks, water, fruit. Really awesome especially when battling all these hills (see below).
The course travels through a lot of beautiful park areas of SF that you don't usually get to see as a visitor.

Cons
The Expotique was a pretty big con- the crowds were SUPER overwhelming and the vendors/swag available were majorly underwhelming. For such a larger race, I'd expect a lot more vendors. For instance, I made the major mistake of not having time to buy fuel before traveling to SF. The only products available at the expo were CLIFF goos/shot blocks.
Hills- god the hills. I was anticipating the hills in the first 16 miles but thought the course would flatten out in the last 10 miles. Even though the hills were not as steep from 16-26, my legs were so tired that it still felt like I was going constantly uphill.
The finish was a mess. The shuttles that NIke provided were NOT included in the race registration price (I believe they were charging $20 per person) and there were NO easy ways to get back to the downtown/financial district area. We ended up walking (aka crawling) up some major hills in order to find a public bus to get back to the hotel.

Lastly- my chip did not work and my friends/family at home couldn't track me using the app. It took several weeks of following up with Nike and their tracking partner to get this fixed and to finally have an official time. Such a weird thing to happen after such a great marathon experience.

Overall- this is a great race to run if you want to explore SF more and are not scared away by HILLS and quiet streets.

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(2013)
"A great way to discover a new city!"
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This is such a fun race! I'd recommend taking a group (family or friends) and making a weekend out of it! Explore the beautiful city of Vancouver while doing tons of running and yoga. Not only do you get to see the city on your 1/2 marathon run, but the planned activities take you all over the city as well.

The course is not super tough- the hills are pretty limited and there are long stretches of flat terrain. The aid stations and cheering stations are well equipped, plentiful and totally keep you moving. The cheering stations include drag queens, people on paddle boards, native drummers and even an elementary school class cheering you on! SO much fun. The after-race food was the most gourmet race food I've ever experienced... waffles and muffins oh my! We closed out our race day with a really unique yoga class before the Sunset Festival.

The expo was all lulu lemon clothes for purchase. No huge discounts that I can recall though everything in the "expo-tique" is limited edition if LuLu is your thing. They did have plenty of free food along with free manicures and braids outside the expo.

The weekend was a truly unique experience and recommended to anyone who enjoys exploring new cities while running and yoga-ing

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(2013)
"Hills + Lots of Girls"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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Three important things to know about this race. 1) its rather large... it attracts a lot of first-time half marathoners and groups of runners. 2) its 2 loops around the rolling hills of Central park and 3) there are also walkers.

The rest can pretty much be surmised from the above. The course offers several rolling hills which can be tough if you haven't trained for them, especially on the 2nd loop. Train for those hills! The larger crowds at the beginning and the walkers at the end tend to slow you down BUT the cheering crowds and happy teams of women help get you through. The positive vibe coupled with the accessibility make it a really exciting and fun race to run. And if you're lucky, April in NYC is beautiful.

The only minor let down was the expo. It not as awesome as I figured it would be! Tons of swag for purchase but not a lot of cool swag options for runners like you find at other expos. Bummer!

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