Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Asbury Park Half Marathon Review

Asbury Park Runapalooza Half Marathon
Asbury Park, NJ
April 16,2016

  Half Marathon 1592

Winning Time:


Free photos:

Take a tour of stunning homes and the beautiful shore

  Runners know there is no better way to see a new place then by foot during a race. If not for the 108 half marathons I've run the world would be a much smaller place. The Asbury Park Half Marathon let's us daydream as we look at the gorgeous homes strategically placed along the shore with their large windows and balconies offering ocean views for their occupants. This flat course takes you through the residential areas then leads you onto the boardwalk. The sites of the crashing waves with people strolling along enjoying the day is a welcome get away.

Arriving more then an hour before race time I was able to park very close tot he start. All parking lots are free on race day, paid for by the event. Packet pickup is located at a venue inside with an expo that morning. However they do require a donation for race day pick up. Although it is a small donation this is the one of the two things that keeps this race from scoring 5 gold sneakers.  As an avid half marathon runner who travels upwards of three hours on race morning the last thing I want to do is worry about bringing a check to get my BIB. Fortunately a friend was willing to grab my BIB the day before otherwise I wouldn't have registered at all. I ran this race last year and found the forced check donation to really leave me with a negative feeling.   

On a very positive note there is something this race does that I think is brilliant. Your race shirt is available for pick up after you finish. This completely avoids the need to grab your BIB and walk back to the car to place that shirt, to later be added to the insane collection you have, safely inside. Very smart idea! At a race like this its nice to leave your car and take a walk on the boardwalk, chat with other runners and yes... snap all those selfies. There is no gear check so having that shirt after the race can be very handy. Besides I'm sure some of us find it very gratifying to combine the shirt with the medal as a post race outfit. Go ahead you earned it.     

The Half Marathon starts on the street directly outside the PPU. Porta-potties are close however the line was very long. I'm sure the people behind me either started the race late or dealt with this in some other manner.  I do think this event could've used a few more. 

Announcements were made regularly with time checks and directions to line up. Spectators eagerly waited to cheer the crowd on as it was sent on it's way.   

It is often that one volunteer saying, "water water water" that makes you smile. Maybe it's the runner who starts a conversation with you and says, "you are an inspiration" that unknowingly is the inspiration you need.  It could also be the spectator holding a sign or the one beating a drum. I love when sometimes tells me it is their first half marathon.  

This race had water and Gatorade often enough. All intersections were marked and controlled with a volunteer. I found myself at the back of the back this time and it was nice to see no one had left their post, nor did they run out of anything. 

Back inside after crossing the finish line we were treated to a delicious nice cold pasta salad by the happiest volunteers ever. The expo was still open because why not treat yourself to something after running 13.1. 

Asbury Park does an overall great job with this event. Bring the family to make a nice day of it on the boardwalk and beach. 

Thank you to the Race Director who offered members of the  100 Half Marathons Club an exclsuive  discount. 
You can visit our website here: http://www.100halfmarathonsclub.com/

Monday, April 11, 2016

Caesar Rodney Half Marathon Review

Caesar Rodney Half Marathon
April 3, 2016
Wilmington, DE  

 Half marathon 613

Winning time: 
  1:12: 33


Like the changing seasons 

 I will state immediately that is one of my favorite races. I ran it for the first time in 2015 and returned for the 2016 event. This year proved to be a challenge with high winds and cooler then normal temps. I was hearing many runners decided not to run it due to the conditions. This however didn't stop me from running one of the races I was looking most forward to.   

There are many approaches to running a half marathon. If you scour the internet there is evidence to refute or validate each and every one. "Break the race down into manageable parts" is a very common suggestion. The Caesar Rodney Half marathon will help you utilize this approach. Why? .. you ask. Well because like the changing seasons this course offers changing scenery. 

Taking you on tour of Wilmington Delaware the race starts in the city and passes through a wildlife refuge. After a quick few blocks back through the city you make way to Rockford Park running around the Tower. Then we are treated to a nice residential area before reentering the city towards the finish line. Each part of the course promotes a feeling of renewed energy. 

There is a mix of both open roads and paths along the rivers. Cones on the open roads keep drivers  at a nice distance while police officers and volunteers do a great job at controlling the traffic.  Water was available often enough. 

The finish line was welcoming with a race announcer announcer calling out your name. She even new it was my 105th half marathon. Thank you to the runner who asked me and told her. The Caesar Rodney race offers 100 Half Marathons Club members an exclusive discount.  

Let's talk about the post race refreshments. Hot soup, pizza, bagels, all kinds of fruit, chips and energy bars were plentiful. Well done! Thank you to the Race Director and all the volunteers. 

Fighting Seabees Half Marathon Review

Fighting Seabees Half Marathon
April 30, 2016
North Kingston, RI

  Half Marathon 273

Winning Time:


"I don't give a crap about who wins this race, I care about one thing, everybody making it to that finish line..." RD- Gary

  If you have never run an Ocean State Multisport event I highly encourage you to do so. These are no fuss low key half marathons with a race director that truly cares about the runners. Have you ever had the RD himself pull up to you on the course to see if you need anything? You will see Gary on the course checking on runners. 

This course run at Quonset Point is flat with only one hill, an overpass around mile 9.5. There was virtually no traffic to deal with, just wide open roads. All intersections were manned with a highly visible volunteer. It is a pleasure to be able to just run your race feeling safe. Aid stations were fully stocked about every two miles. 

With an option to buy multiple races at a discounted price and/or taking advantage of the discount this race provides to 100 Half Marathons Club members it is a steal worth every penny. I admit I questioned myself for leaving my house at 3:30am to drive the three hours, run this race and turnaround to make the trip back home. When I was finished I was so happy I resisted the urge to skip it.    

Even with the low entry fee every runner received a tech shirt and finishers medal. There were plenty of snacks at the finish line. Let me not forget to mention there is a very generous cut-off time. 

Thank you Gary and all the volunteers for making this a smooth enjoyable event.  

Monday, April 4, 2016

RunnerBox Product Review


  After contacting RunnerBox  on behalf of the 100 Half Marathons Club  they offered to send me a complimentary box to see what it's all about. In addition RunnerBox has offered club members an exclusive discount. My opinions in this review are my own. I was not paid for a review nor was the club discount contingent upon providing a review. 

RunnerBox is a bi-monthly subscription to receive really cool goodies. They also offer one time gift boxes and limited edition specialty boxes. I highly recommend you go buy one for a friend right now.. GIFT A BOX!!!    They will be thrilled to receive their box filled with a variety of high quality products.  

Now let me explain that I've seen and heard of most every product out there for runners. With over 400 races of varying distance under my belt which includes many expos it is rare to come across something new. Oh and I should mention a large part of my job with the 100 Half Marathons Club is working with vendors.  Why is this important to this review you ask?  Well because RunnerBox got me. There were SIX things in the box that I either never heard of or never considered looking into as a runner product.  You're off to a good start RunnerBox, great job! 

Let's take a look at what I received from RunnerBox

The box  measures 7 3/4 X 3 1/4 X 5 1/4. I did get one item on the side that didn't fit in the box. 

Some literature was nicely wrapped in their tissue paper that I intentionally tossed off to the side to excited to see what was underneath. Surprises are always fun. 

All this is what I found inside the box. It is a nice mix or products.

Remember that literature I tossed to the side, well it had my favorite thing of the entire box in it. This super awesome 13.1 coloring page.   It's a page from the book "COLOR MY RUN"

Also included is a very detailed list of each item inside the box. That's going above and beyond and I'm sure takes plenty of time to put together.  

Now that we've looked inside the box the real question everyone wants answered.


Well that depends on you. Are you willing to be experimental?  Do you like finding out about new products? In this particular box I would use or try about 3/4 of the contents. In order to really make a better assessment I'd probably need to receive a few more boxes. A great idea would be to swap the items you won't use with your running bodies.  Then you'd really be getting some great value from it. 

I really enjoyed receiving RunnerBox and think it makes an awesome gift for any athlete. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Run With Heart Half Marathon Review

Run with Heart Half Marathon 
January 30, 2016 
Mansfield, TX 

  Half marathon 212

Winning Time: 


Well done Texas!

    What was I to do when the half marathon I had scheduled as #99 was canceled? There really weren't many options. My 100th was already planned and I was intent on having it be close to home with a Race Director I've run with many times. I'm a big fan of Trimara Sports !  My biggest supporters planned to be there and I couldn't fathom letting them down. So this idea of jumping on a plane to Texas was developed. I mulled over the idea while consulting with the friends who know me best and soon I was on my way. 

Thank you to everyone who gave me that little nudge. Sometimes you need that voice of reason to stop you from crazy ideas and other times you need those same people to tell you it's okay to MAKE IT HAPPEN. 

While the field of runners may have been small there was nothing small about this race. If only all races were so easy. Arriving early as always there was ample parking for more then triple the amount of runners.  I just love parking feet away from the start/finish. Porta potties where in decent shape and stocked with no lines even minutes before the race. Pre-race music got everyone pumped while race day packet pickup was underway. Vendors and volunteers were busy setting up there tables of goodies while runners met and chatted with one another. The vibe was friendly and welcoming. 

After a quick briefing, race blessing and the singing of the National Anthem we were sent off to embark on 13.1 miles....on time.  


This race offered a nice course with enough aid stations. At my pace I found myself alone at times which I don't mind. The nice change of scenery into the park was very welcomed. There is always something special a race that treats each and every runner the same. No matter if there are thousands of us or a couple hundred, if you are in the front of the pack or the back we all like the support a race offers. This race did a stand out job of that. From the law enforcement to the volunteers they held nothing back.