Great course! Plenty fluids and gels. No food at the end. Maybe I should run faster! Only issue I found was one kid in middle of road swinging a plastic toy on rubber string and mom not getting him off the course. That was at mile 25. Move out of my way I want this race over!!!
Pros: The race was pretty well organized and well staffed with great volunteers. I liked the water/gatorade stops and the gel support. The route was super flat. I LOVED the finish on the Waterway. Cons: There were not enough port-o-potties! Also, I didn't like that there was no one calling splits along the route, and no time clocks on the route. The route had a couple of weird spots (parking lots on New Trails) and it took a little long for the results to be posted. We got lucky that cold front blew through the night before, because it could have been really hot and muggy at this time of year. But it was fun to run in my own back yard!
First time I have run the Woodlands Half Marathon. I thought there was pretty good organization and the course seemed "downhill" all the way, must have been an optical illusion...It was great to see the cheering fans. I also thought the music along the route was great. Add more! Perfect timing on the water and gel stations. Gatorade was cold, which was good! I too found it hard to get to the food after, and left without any due to long lines. One other comment: Move the teeshirt distribution center out of that enclosed space. Too long to get in and even longer to get out. Was there a picture station? I didn't see one. All in all, a great experience. Thanks for ordering up that perfect running weather!
Overall we had a great time. The only things we were disappointed with was the exchange points for the relay were not clearly marked at all and the map/people did not help much in finding these points. Also, the shuttle from the points could have been better to find.
I was disappointed in the half-marathon course. I signed up for this race because I had heard that the Woodlands has beautiful trails. I was not excited to run on the side of 4 lane highway most of the time. Also the course was very narrow and I wish that the organizers would have stopped traffic from running along side the runners. There were plenty of alternate routes for cars, so why can't they block out traffic for one morning for a race? Also, trying to leave the Woodlands was very confusing because the traffic cops were directing but the traffic lights were still working. It would be helpful to turn the traffic lights to flashing yellow so that drivers know that the police are the ones directing traffic.
It was weird to see that we were running alongside traffic. I noticed on second loop. I thought to myself, "thank God I was not outside the cones". As I typically do to fight the crowd. The trails in woodlands are really nice but too small for a race that size or bigger. Maybe you can come out just for fun to run the trails!
The course was a good one and the event was organized really well. Water/gatorade/gel shots were helpful and nice. The only complaint I have is the restroom situation. There should have been a more organized system or more places to use the restroom before hand. All the lines were very long and my friends and I ended up having to start late even though we got there 45 minutes early. Other than that, great day.
I loved a lot about the race but I wished it had been a more scenic route and the marathoners and 1/2 marathoners didn't,t have to get out of each others way (since the full marathoners did the track twice). The Woodlands is beautiful and we seemed to run on an ugly 4 lane road most of the race. I also wished they had closed the course to traffic. We ran along side traffic too much. At one point I was honked at to move for a Uhaul truck. Scared me to death and knocked me off my groove! I wished there was a post race photographer to take a picture of me and groups with our medals. I wanted timers/clocks throughout the race. No engraving, a hidden results area, and too little fan fare at the end of the race was also disappointing. I LOVED the area of the Woodlands. It was soooo nice. The restaurants, the people, the hotels, the scenery, everything! I hope they learn from this and make adjustments for next year because it is a great place for these events.
I ran the half marathon. I was very disappointed in how the marathon/half-marathon starts were organized. It was very difficult to navigate around the "slower" marathon runners when I started catching up to them around miles 3-5. Most were running 5 or 6 abreast and it was impossible to get around without running outside of the cones. This was made more dangerous by the fact that there were 2 lanes of traffic moving at full speed without any buffer lane between. I actually saw a truck, without slowing, hit a runner in the arm with its rearview mirror. Luckily the runner was not injured enough to stop running, but this could have been a tragic situation.
I think a better way to organize a 2-loop race (that includes both a marathon and half-marathon) would be to start runners by their race paces, e.g 6 min-mile, 7 min-mile, and so on. That way runners of similar speeds would be running together, and would not have to pass slower racers who started 10 minutes earlier. By the time the course would need to split at the half marathon mark, the crowd would have thinned enough to make this easily done. The half-marathoners had to split off at the end of their race anyway, so it would not have been difficult. I have seen this done with success in more than one race.
The only thing negative I have to say, is T shirts were not in our packets?!? I knew my size would not be there at the end due to people exchanging it for smaller or larger size. Guess I should have ran faster to get to the end!!! Next year would be nice to have t shirt prior to the race!!!!