Latest reviews by Paul
In 2012, this marathon was my second marathon ever. Last year in 2013 I ran the Half. Let me try to roll my feelings about this event into one review.
First off, for me it's a local event. It's well produced, organized and attended. It was recently reviewed my Runner's World Magazine as one of the Top 10 new marathons in the country.
I've used both a parking pass ($10) extra at registration, if available. I used off site parking the second year, and shuttled in. Feel comfortable that either method for getting to the race start will be easy. Thomas Brooks Park in Cary is where the race starts. As this race grows I worry about the tightness of the starting chute. It can be tight. Corrals, and timed release of runners will be a necessity soon. You run out to the American Tobacco Trail, which in the distant past was a railway used for the transport of tobacco. The surface is softer to run on than asphalt. While it may be easy on your feet, I found the marathon course extremely boring. I mean boring. Bare trees on either side, straight monotony. It really kind of made me crazy.
There are few areas for spectators along the majority of the race course, so plan on giving yourself your own pep talks and encouragement. I would suggest using an IPod to break up the monotony. The only considerable elevation change is at the start and finish. Otherwise this course is flat, and fast. There is a great percentage of runners that qualify for Boston at this event every year. I just find the course dull and boring. I prefer to have a scenic course, so if you are the same way, I suggest running the Half instead of the Full, as it will only be half the boring distance.
Organization of the event is top notch, however. Great communication, great expo, great swag. Post race festival with beer, pizza and everything in between is more than adequate as you rest and recover after the race.
These opinions are my own. Obviously this is a very popular event, and people love it. I do love having a local marathon touted as one of the best in the country. I just wish the course were more interesting.