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I was really looking forward to this race depite it falling being the week before the Chicago Marathon! After the crap show Montreal turned out to be; I hoped this could be my longest run of the training cycle.
I didnt go into this race thinking I was going to win or set a PR; but I wanted to keep a respectable pace; seeing as how Montreal wound up being a walk fest
Totally nailed it.
As with a lot of races, I went into this one not expecting anything grand. In fact, I was totally expecting to feel like poop. I told the guy on the bus with me that I was feeling like a 4 hour marathon was in the cards for the day.
I feel that there were a lot of contributing factors to the “stunning recovery” from Montreal.
– The weather was spot on.
– I planned for the hour or so I would be waiting for the start of the race.
– The course, while flat in the first half, offered turns and some undulation which helped slow me down.
– I listened to my body and stopped to enjoy the scenery.
Yes, I know, I should always listen to my body. But let’s be real. Who does it every time!
Any way. This is a race review not a Bill review.
The race was fantastic. I really feel this is the most runner focused race I have been to in a while.
I was in Montreal two weeks ago and Berlin the week prior. Both are big events. What’s funny is the difference between expo and pre-race experiences. The expo in Berlin felt more like a convention than a race expo where as Montreal was hyped to be a big deal, but I was left wanting more.
In contrast Freedoms Run was the perfect size. There was bib pickup; a vendor for essentials and then a few local places representing.
The start line was low key. They had music and warm restrooms. They also had enough port-o-johns to accommodate everyone! Bag check was super easy. All in all it was a positive pre-race experience; especially considering Montreal had over an hour delay and Berlin has 40,000+ people.
The positive pre-race experience was followed by a positive on course experience. My only critique would be a second Port-o-John at mile 7 and or 9. I didn’t see one coming through the aid station at 4 and when we passed 7 there was already a line. Similarly mile 9 there was one off course which I couldn’t get to by the time I realized it was there.
Anyway. I think what I liked most about this race was (were?) the battle fields. The race director and the park rangers did a really fantastic job of providing a scenic journey through history for us.
As you can see above, there were no shortage of hills during the later part of the race…Let’s not call it a race. Sure there were prizes for the first people, and sure there were people looking to beat their previous times, but I would feel more comfortable calling this a running event. This was a running event, put on for the enjoyment of the participants and the community more than a race.
This is one of the few events I would come back and participate in the whole thing. I’ve said that other events i would come back and do the half or the 10K, but this was a completely enjoyable experience.
My buddy Ken also wrote a review of the race; check it out below!