While the course was beautiful, the organization, shirt and cup were the worst I've ever gotten at a race. Lots of hills which were challenging and no gatorade? Rating mostly about course and great volunteers! Still waiting for times to be posted!
For a community run, and the relatively low reg fee, this was a solid event and I'd recommend it to others. It is low frills, so if you are used to mega races produces by national event companies (and at their prices), this is not that kind of event.
There are some simple things that could make it a better experience for first-timers and out of towners: more communication after registration and before the event; there was none and the website was extremely low on details. It would be helpful to know going in whether there would be water / gatorade stops and at what points, whether there would be portalets on the course, and if there would be splits available at the mile markers. A course map with elevations would have been nice.
The course was beautiful and yes, very challenging. Volunteers were friendly and helpful. Post race refreshments were plentiful (thank you for hot beverages). Fife and drum parade to the start was a fun, unique way to start. I'd strongly stronly suggest that they switch to paper cups at water stops instead of plastic cups that were hard to drink from. I for one didn't mind the lack of finisher medals and liked the long sleeve tech shirts.
For $35 you can't beat it! Yes you get more swag at Shamrock/RNR but you pay twice as much. This is a tough course. You don't do this one for the spectators, you do it for the challenge. My only complaint would be a few more water stops would be nice. But knowing that I should have brought my own. This is my 6th one and I will be back! BTW, I LOVE the 1:00 start!
Beautiful 13.1 miles! 2012 was my first year running this race, and I'll be back. The views couldn't be beat, and the people were extremely friendly. The price was beyond cheap for all you get!
My third time in four years at this race. One of my favorite races in VA. Course is beautiful, challenging (read hilly) and fun. Organization is low key and solid. Great job Tribe!
I fell in love with running on wooded trails in the Shenandoah when I was in school, and this took me right back. Loved the race. Loved the volunteers. Loved the Fife and drums. I'll be back and recommend it.
This was my first 1/2 marathon and I think the course was way too hilly. There were hardly any flat areas and a lot of changes in surfaces. My GPS also stated that the course was 14 miles instead of 13.1. After talking to other people, they confirmed that their GPS said the same thing too. The course was poorly marked and water stations were too far apart. The volunteers were great and much appreciated. I will probably not do this race again.
Love this course. It was announced early on this is a "challenging course". This is a BIG clue folks, this course will kick your butt if you are not ready. I don't know about everyone on this board, but I run for self improvement ( i.e. Trying to better my time) and not for medal or monetary award - though it would be nice if I am ever " fast enough" to win the top prize. Maybe one day... sorry for the digression.
To those who voiced their complaints about the course, water stations, porta johns, gel station, etc...
I would like to offer you the following:
1. Accept the course as a challenge to your self and run it the best that you can run
2. Carry your own water bottle and/or gel packets to meet your own needs
3. Relieved yourself before the race
Kudos to W&M, and their XC and Track and Field Dept. ( Athletic Dir and athletes) for contributing your time to this event while preparing for a major ECAC Championships. Thank you for all your efforts given to the 33rd running of this race.
As for the tech LS shirt, I thought it was just as nice as any other tech shirts that I have received from other races.
I will be back next year to beat my time of 2:03
I feel compelled to respond to your post.
"Relieved yourself before the race". So, my guess is, you've never once had gastrointestinal distress show up mid-race? Or during any run? Somehow I doubt that. I think it is incredibly nervy to basically call out those who complained. The course was challenging and beautiful and just what I needed for training for Boston. But when I pay for a race, fluids and bathrooms are not something I should have to be worrying about.
I run Central Park NYC the most often and this was VERY challenging compared to those races. It was my first time and I didn't realize we should have worn fuel belts (no gatorade, few water stops) and that there are no porta pottys (my male friend had to pee in the woods) I will probably run RUN FOR A DREAM next year but it was beautiful and an interesting challenge.
P.S. I'm a girl, knew that there would be a lack of porto-potties and just sucked it up and peed in the woods. It won't be the first time I peed in the woods while on a run nor will it be the last.
This was my first half. Excellent job by the college students and volunteers! I enjoyed the run overall; it was a challenging course for me because I'm not able to train on hills. There were a few negatives to me: 1) the check-in process was confusing, 2) the 1pm start time and late morning check-in didn't allow much time to eat; I was planning to buy the Power Bars at the expo but the ATM was down. I would have liked another place on the course near the 8-10 mile mark to hand out energy food, 3) I was hoping to run through the campus or colonial area more instead of just the woods. I don't think I'd do this one again unless it was through more diverse scenery, but I'm glad I did it this time.
GREAT course! I love running UP hills... Only complaint is that my chip is NOT accurate. I started late by several minutes, and my final finish chip does NOT reflect my actual run time (about 8 minutes less than advertised in results). To whom do I address this issue?
The timing for this race his excellent for the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach (3 weeks before). It was good to run in the forest and I liked the hills (some challenge compare of running flat all the time in Virginia Beach). 1 or 2 more water stations would be appreciated. If it would have been hotter, some people would have been in trouble. 1 spot, once leaving a trail to go back on a small road, was poorly marked. Being alone on the trail, I needed to ask people coming towards me on which side I needed to go. It is nice to finish inside. I will do the race again.
Overall, this was a pretty nice race. I was apprehensive at first due to the race website saying there were showers and lockers and when I arrived they were actually closed. But overall the race was well-designed and manned. There were plenty of runners and tons of hills (which were nicely left out of the brochure ) Again, overall, it was fun and I would do it again.