When you run marathons, you get asked, a lot, for suggestions on what races folks should try. Please check back here for our more detailed race reviews, but below are summaries of the key information that is important to us about the races we have run. Remember, a race differs from year to year, and even in the same year, a runner’s experience has as much to do with how your day goes, as it does about amenities and medals — If you have a good race day, chances are your view of the race will differ from someone who has a bad race day! Good luck and let us know what you think about any of these races. Links to the race website are provided when available.
Below are options for Fall races offering both a full and half marathon distance. These races provide great flexibility when traveling as a group!
|Who ran & when||Course||Logistics||Swag||Organization||Overall|
|Akron Marathon, 9/26/2015 (includes a half)||MB, Sandy (Half), Deborah, Jenny (2014)||Overlapping flat double helix (or something) first half is entirely downtown; moderately hilly second half includes scenic park and neighborhoods.||Not great, but OK. Very little hotel space at start/finish, so you have to drive in, about 15-20 minutes to the start. Road blockages challenging, but parking available near the start.||Medal, tech socks, Asics JACKET (if you register early enough)!! Finish in baseball stadium with free beer and a food tent with the essentials. Plenty of room to hang out after and gather.||Well done. Water stops crowded for the fast folks (10,000 or so racing). Slower folks had no problems at all. Great volunteers on the course.||Would do again! Wish you could stay downtown to see more sights, but overall great experience.|
|Marshall University Marathon (Huntington, WV), 11/??/2015 (includes a half)||MB, Deborah, Lisa, Sandy (Half) (2014)||Two connected lollypops — you run twice. Finish at Marshall Stadium goal line (with a football!), includes a long, pretty park section. Flat.||Easy peasy. Tiny, tiny expo with free pre-race meal. No hotels at the start, but parking is plentiful at the stadium, so no super early arrival necessary. Downtown has plenty of places to eat and is easy to navigate.||Super awesome Asics jacket if you register early! Otherwise, tech shirts, nice medal, wooden coaster thing. Not cushy at the finish – bananas, water, and if you find it, grill food (hamburgers, etc.).||This is a small race, but not lonely thanks to the half. The double loop was nice for runners and great for spectators. Water stations were well staffed and organized. More volunteers at the finish would have been helpful.||Really good race if you bring the family along. Would do it again for the swag and finish line experience. Likely not a best first marathon due to little attention after the finish.|
|San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll, 12/6/2015 (includes a half)||MB (2008)||Flat. Sort of a figure eight. You see the Alamo and pretty parts of town, then you head to the mission district — which is basically desert!||We stayed with friends who dropped us off at the start, so no issues there, but no experience with hotels or those other start logistics. San Antonio is a great city with plenty of terrific food.||Tech shirt and medal. There are bands – but they seemed concentrated in the first half, and I always hit them on breaks. Not a big selling point. I don’t recall a stellar food selection at the end.||This is a big, big race with lots of corrals, but the start was well coordinated and water stops well done. Finish area at Alamodome had plenty of space.||Worth it if you are going to be in/like San Antonio. (Disclaimer, MB’s not a R-n-R series fan. This race was fine, but not worth the price had we not been visiting friends.)|