This is my take on the race and it’s different aspects, not all of them but the ones that stood out.
The Course: A-
Fast but not as fast as a quick look at the profile on the site suggests. There are some serious rolling hills and if you go fast ok the downhill you will pay the price with your quads. The last 6 miles are blazing fast as long as you run a smart race.
They came to the hotel. School busses and they were heated. Best part, when we got to the start they idled and left the heating on … and you could sit in them and stay warm till the start.
Porta Potties: A+
The start had 250 of them all lined up. Plenty for the number of runners, I’ve never seen this at any other race.
Very wide road and start.
Water Stops: C-
Very inconsistent. The early ones had plastic cups Whig were very hard to use. At some stops it was water first an then Cytomax and at others the reverse order. At some the cytomax cups had cytomax and at others those had water. Some had 3 tables and 15 people and some had one table with 2 people. You just didn’t know what you were going to get.
Mile Markers: A+
Very tall signs you could see a quarter mile away. And there was somebody reason out your gun time, pace and projected finish time at pretty much every mile.
Pace Leaders: D-
First off, I don’t believe in relying on pave groups since the race is my race and I should know what I’m doing. We had people from under 3 to 4 and a half hours and only one or two pace groups were good. The pace groups tended to run the race based on their fitness, banking time early and then giving time up. I crossed the half at 1:29:58 and the 3 hour group was nowhere to be seen. They went across in 1:28:30 (two of my team mates were with them). Apparently the secobd or third mile was around a 6:30! This is fine for a 2:35 marathoner like the pace group leader but insanity for the people with him that are closer to their limits. We can’t handle the same pounding on our quads or the lactic acid buildup and suffer later on. At the start there were 50 or so people with the pace group, when I passed the pace group at 22 miles there were 5. And this wasn’t the only group that did that, our coaches were out in the course and this was the trend. Going out blazing fast and then slamming the breaks at the last 4 miles to get in at the groups time isn’t pacing, it’s just trying to get in at that time for you. That said, people should run their own race … however pace groups should really not have plans that 90% of people will fail with.
Road Closures: A
They had all then roads completely closed, 4 to 6 lanes!