Latest reviews by Natalie Matthews

(2014)
"Lake Country Half Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb img 4427

I really enjoyed this little half in lake country! It was a pretty small race - I think 500-600 runners. It was nice not having to dodge people for the first couple of miles. Also, parking was a breeze. The start of the race was at a church so we parked minutes from the starting line (a bonus when you're running late!) Another benefit to the small size and church home base was access to the restrooms before and after the race. Running around Lac La Belle was beautiful. The aid stations had water and gatorade and Hammer gels at mile 7 or 8. It was a very humid day and some spectators had sprinklers running in their yards. It was very refreshing to run through those! With the exception of the hill at mile 12, it wasn't too hilly of a course, which surprised me for that area. The top 3 finishers of each age group received trophies, which you don't see very often so that was fun. The post race food was awesome. We stayed to snack for awhile! I'd recommend this race if you're ever in the area and want to squeeze in a scenic/fun/affordable half!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2012)
"Walt Disney Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management
Thumb 029

The course was super fun and interactive! Running through all the parks and taking pictures with Disney characters at each mile marker was a blast. It was really humid, and since I took my time enjoying the sites at this race, the heat caught up with me towards the end. I did not like having to walk over a mile to the starting line, but that was probably my only complaint. The expo was huge. The shirt and medal were awesome. I doubt I'd run this one again simply due to the travel involved (I live in Minnesota), but I really loved this race experience. It was a nice excuse to run a winter marathon and get out of the freezing midwest for a long weekend!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2011)
"Twin Cities Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Twin Cities Marathon is such a gorgeous race. It's hard to beat running from downtown Minneapolis around the chain of lakes and by the river into St. Paul on a cool, fall day. It was a coooold start though. Everyone received arm warmers at the expo which was super nice, and I ran with them the entire race. The race support is huge, and there is rarely a time when you're running the course without spectators cheering you on. A good fall marathon to try, for sure.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2009)
"Valentine's Day 5k in Minneapolis"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Minneapolis Valentine's Day 5K was my first race and it was really fun! Obviously a race in Minnesota in February is going to be chilly - I think it was 10 below at the start! Everyone dresses up in fun Valentine's Day gear and makes the best of the cold conditions for a quick 5K around beautiful Lake Harriet. Parking is always kind of pain for a race around the lakes, so arrive early (but wait in your car as long as possible!) before heading to the starting line. The super cute and delicious heart shaped cookies at the end are worth it ;) Overall I'd recommend this run as a great way to kick off a new racing season. BUNDLE UP!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2009)
"Madison Mini Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race first started in 2009, and I remember being hesitant about signing up for fear it would be disorganized and chaotic. I was pleasantly pleased to discover that the opposite was true. I can't comment on the expo or packet pick up, as I had friends pick mine up both in 2009 and 2012, but everything else went very smoothly. The aid stations were organized, the swag was awesome and the course was well marked and scenic. There is so much energy and so much to see that the time flies when you're running. The after party at the terrace was a blast, too. Would definitely recommend this race to others.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.