Race Review: The Non Cancelled Marathon

On May 1, I ran the Non Cancelled Marathon put on by Silver Circle Sports Entertainment. I’ve had the pleasure of running several of their races during the last year during the pandemic and they have done an excellent job abiding by safety protocols and providing a friendly and secure racing environment. The weather lined up nicely on race day, for the most part. There was a nasty 16-20mph wind that gusted frequently in one direction which not only gave resistance but made it slightly more chilly than it should have felt with the temperatures that day.

Aid Stations: I have to give this zero stars since this is the only thing to not return to normal yet. No aid stations and you were responsible for your own hydration and fuel for the race.

Expo Quality: Again, zero stars since there was no expo. Packet pickup was before the race (or the day before if you drove out to the organization’s headquarters in a 3 hour time window. Packet pickup was smooth and simple though; wear you mask while in line and grab your bib and pins if needed. Your verification was sent via email in the form of a Q-code. Nice and easy, just scan.

Course Scenery: This was an out and back course so the scenery didn’t change and if you did the marathon, like me, you got to run this out and back FOUR times. Yeah, four times. Buuuuut, the race was out on a paved trail and there were a lot of birds to look at while running. I even saw a sandhill crane attempting to camouflage itself in a marsh area off the course. That was pretty cool to see so close. Also, this race allowed for spectators and was that awesome to hear! Even if they were cheering for others or just cheering in general, it was really great to hear! It made what could have been a drag of a race into a more splendid experience.

Elevation Access: Minimal. Slight incline going in one direction and one or two very small up and downs just before the turn point.

Parking Access: There was some parking lots near the race start/finish but those filled up quickly. But there were plenty of side streets to park on so everything was good.

T-Shirt/SWAG: A bright red t-shirt with the race name and sponsors on it and a medal were the items provided for all race participants. I like the shirt; it has a nice feel to it and red is always a winning color in my book. And the medal, well, they didn’t like about it, lol. They promised the largest medal ever and it is gigantic! It announces you finished and in a big way.

The Silver Circle Sports group does a great job with these events and, in the last year especially, have been incredible having races that actually took place. They communicate very well, constantly sending out updates and they answer your direct question within one day of you submitting a query. I can’t say enough about how good of a group they are. I know when I sign up for a race by them, it will take place and I will have a good time, no matter what type of race it is.

Happy running!!!

The Race That Never Happened: The Kansas City Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Kansas City Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

What to do when the race you train for and prepare to travel to simply gets canceled and all of it’s out of your control? Well, 2020 made that a reality for just about all races across the country. Many returned entry fees or deferred entries to their 2021 race but the Kansas City Marathon chose to do something different, something special and that stuck to their goal and mission of why they put on the race in the first place. They gave options. You could defer your entry to next year’s race. You could outright donate your fee to the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, a non-profit group that not only organizes the Kansas City Marathon but also takes the lead in maintaining and selectively acquiring a diversity of amateur and professional sporting events for the city. Or you could transfer your registration over to their One Million Mile Challenge, a contest for all runners to participate in and collectively run one million miles all while reaching benchmark distances where the group would hand out prizes to random participants.

Yeah, it isn’t the same as running the streets of Kansas City, especially if you were planning a trip to the area for this monumental race. But, it’s a great way to keep your running base engaged and interested as well as planning to come back the next year for the race. This challenge allowed you to “race against” fellow runners to see who can get the most mileage, depending on the distance you selected. I say “get” because the challenge is still going on and you can still register for it if you want and gain a chance to win one of remaining benchmark prizes by being randomly selected. The extension for the One Million Mile Challenge runs through December 15 and costs $40 to register. There’s a mile tracker and you receive a race-branded t-shirt, a finisher’s medal, race bib, a digital finisher’s certificate, a Challenge finisher item and more!

I know I was disappointed by the Kansas City Marathon being canceled this year. I had very much looked forward to this destination race and exploring the city and surrounding areas for a few days. I hope the opportunity presents itself for 2021, because I almost certainly will be there. Until then though, this was a nice option put on by the race organizers who have been in constant communication through all of this and continue to do so while the Challenge has been going on.

I hope to see you as well on this course next year for an amazing experience in an amazing city with some very deep culture. Happy running!!

Claim Your Results Like Me on Athlinks!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

The “best half marathon” in the United States is done and I was able to claim my results on Athlinks. It’s a website where you can find all your race results; running, trail and even obstacle course races! They’re usually ready within a day. Or you can wait (like I do sometimes) and claim them after  a few days have gone by.Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 5.45.52 PMScreen Shot 2018-10-28 at 5.31.05 PM

Athlinks + BibRave: A Match in Results Heaven!

Disclaimer: I reviewed Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve never really kept a close enough attention to my race results as time as gone on. Don’t get me wrong, after running a race I was quite eager to find out what I did that day but I would tend to forget those numbers as the days went by. So, knowing if I PRed a distance or how much I might have improved a time (or took a step back) was never easy and required more guesswork than actual fact. Not anymore. The Athlinks website is a great device that locates your personal results from any race that you have run over the years and connects them to your profile. And it’s has simple as registering your name and creating said profile.

Once your profile is created you’re off to the races, no pun intended, as you search out your results. My most recent race in February was ready to “claim” approximately one week after running it.

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Once you claim your result it is added to your list of races and compiled by year. Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 10.50.07 PM

Another neat feature lies at the top of your home page. The site gives you your PR marks in various distances and also provides number/percentage comparisons to others on the site.

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Another fun feature is the “Rivals” tab and it is exactly what you would expect. It finds your friends from your social media sites, if allowed to, and shows how you’ve done in the races you both participated in. I clearly have my work cut out for me against my “rivals” and need to step it up!

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When you click on the name of a rival, it will show what the races were, so even if you are just becoming friends with someone, you will still be able to see back to races you both ran well before you ever knew each other. Pretty cool stuff!

Lastly, for all those upcoming races, you simply search for the race, add it to your list and fill in the info of what distance and your goal time. The site then adds it to your home page and others can see what events you have in your future.

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So, why wouldn’t you sign up with Athlinks too? So much information and a lot of fun competition too!

Will you be my next rival? (I might have stolen that line from Lisa Dretske, who has an awesome blog that you should check out!)