What a great day it was for a half marathon! I enjoyed the course and the volunteers very much! I really liked the early start and same day packet pick up. My only real concern, like some others have mentioned, was the 5K'ers starting at the same time. Maybe a 5-10 minute delay for them next year? (I am not overly concerned about the shirt and liked the medal!) Other than that, no complaints. I will absolutely be back next year if my schedule permits. Thank you OshKosh for a good race!!
The weather couldn't have been better! This is my 6th Oshkosh half marathon and this year I convinced my wife to run the 1st leg of the "relay" for the half. CONS: Very congested at the start with the 5kers. Disappointed with transferring bibs from one person to the next plus there should have been a transition area that doesn't go against your time. Cheesy white t-shirts(get away from white and go with a color) and goody bags from a left-over Christmas client left me with a disappointing feeling in my stomach. We're getting ours mailed to us Mile markers were hard to spot(elevated signs are inexpensive and would solve this problem tremendously). The final kick at the end was too narrow and impossible to pass. . . It would have been nice to run in the traffic lane up and down the bridge to the finish. Beer lines were extremely long and instead of asking each person what kind of beer they wanted(which took forever), they should have just filled up a bunch and put them on the table like 2011. After getting food you had to merge with the other long line of people waiting to get beer, not good. Trophy presentation was muffled and sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher. No band this year unlike years past. We wish the run was on a Saturday morning so we could make a weekend of it. We drove up Sunday and left Sunday, kinda disappointing not to spend time with and reminise with old college friends who also attended UW-Oshkosh. PROS: Ease of registration, great to see all the volunteers and local residents cheering everyone on through the event. This course is beautiful and flat that takes you through campus then up and down the Fox River. Course was very well marked throughout. Water/Gatorade stations had plenty of volunteers handing out stuff. Pit toilets were fine and understandable considering the amount of people. Medals are such a reward at the end to remind you of how hard you trained for the event. Good food to top off a great race! See you next year for my 7th!
I ran this year and last years Oshkosh Half Marathon and enjoyed it both times! Thank you to the coordinators and volunteers! I am mainly writing this review because I have two main complaints (and I feel bad complaining) but think two major improvements could be made for sure: At the start, it was mayhem with both the 5K and Half runners together. This would have been fine if people would follow the instructions to line up based on their pace!!! Rather people walking where in front of those trying to run. Second near the finish from the start of the bridge to the finish line the coarse was way too narrow, only a sidewalk width, making it impossible to pass! Usually at the end many like to give an extra push or have been pushing the whole way only to be slowed down due to inability to pass. Thank you.
I walked the half marathon and finished before the 11:00AM time limit, however I was very disappointed in the water/volunteer stations. By the time I got around to them, the stations were being broken down and it seemed like none of the volunteers were interested in cheering me on. I walked in the Appleton half a few years ago and really enjoyed it...I will not sign up for the Oshkosh half again as it is not geared towards walkers at all.
For the most part I liked the race. This is not my first race. From what I heard along the race, this course was better, since you didn't have to wait for a train. I didn't stick around for the food or beer, not really into that. But some things I would definitely improve upon:
1- I have heard others make this remark, and I definitely agree, none of the 5Kers or walkers should be at the front of the start line. I remember hearing the start go off and no one was going anywhere, and then I had to politely go around all of the walkers who were stopping the runners. Quite annoying.
2- Around mile 3 there is a ditch and a small wooden "plank" for people to cross, this became very congested, and it's not very safe.
3- After the 3 mile marker, you ran on some gravel, by the end of the stretch, everyone I was running with had a rock in one of their shoes. Not sure if you realize this, but that is not fun running 10 miles with a rock in your shoe.
4- Not sure why you had Hammergel at miles 1 and 5.5 miles. Really? Most people, if they train right, do not need it at all during a half, and marathons typically give it to you at mile 20 or 21, definitely not at 1 and 5.5. Unless you had those donated or as a sponsor, I wouldn't waste your money on that. I think if the day were hotter, you would run into a lot more dehydration from people that did choose to take that early in the race. (My advice, take the money from this and build a more stable walkway around mile 3, especially if you intend on having this race for awhile)
5- I did see some comments on the mile markers, it's not that big of a deal, but mostly everyone in my pace group had mile marker watches, and there were a few markers that were way off the mark on placement.
6- Lastly, the shirt isn't a huge deal, but it did remind me of something from the 70s, I would definitely try and beef that up. I ran a few halves in Atlanta, and their shirts are awesome! The first year they had all the neighborhoods that the race ran through in one color and the 13.1 in another color to contrast, the second year they had in one color a picture of runners legs that did a skyline view of Atlanta's landmarks. Definitely more creative, but not impossible compared to this last shirt
This year is the third year I have run the race and while I think it is overall a good race, the quality seems to have declined in recent years. Pros - very nice course, love the variety and portions on the trail; cheap entry fee, awesome volunteers, the straight shot to the finish is much better than last year. Cons - The mile markers are hard to see. The shirt was awful this year. I don't get it because last year's maroon colored tech tee was good quality. I washed the one from this year and it already has a big pull across the front and it hasn't even been worn yet. Having to exchange a bib for a relay team is not ideal - every other realy I've ever done has ankle straps or another easy means of transfer.
The weather for it was great. I was not able to to pick up my packet on Saturday, thus on Sunday before the race their were no t shirts left. I also agree with dinyk60 that the start was confusing as I also did the 5k. We had no where to really go as the 1/2 marathon runners took most of the space as is understandable theirs was more competitive but we had no space to get ahead.
I really enjoy this event and will be back. Here are some areas that I think could be improved: mile markers--road had some numbers sprayed, but the cones didn't match. I was trying to time my miles, but I didn't know which was right. Some mile markers were missing. For the food stop, I would like to see a napkin of snacks that we can take rather than one of this and one of that. I was walking and found it difficult. I was happy for the food though! I can't imagine what runners did. For the volunteers at the water stops: they were stating 'gatorade here and water there'. I wasn't looking so I couldn't tell where they were standing and which side had which. It would be better for them to say 'gatorade on the left and water on the right'. Shirts have been better; the fabric and design on this one was nothing exciting. Can't wait for next year and another DRY year.
My only disappointment was the lack of or poor visibility of mile markers. Post race concessions could have been available on both sides of the theater to cut down on lines
I loved it...a great day, lots of runners/volunteers! To make it better, I would consider making a bigger bridge after the cemetary/before the river trail, and for me who doesnt where a watch, to add a clock along the way so we know how were doing...Otherwise, I'm already looking forward to next year!!