Race Review: Cedarburg Half Marathon

I randomly chose to run the Cedarburg Half Marathon just at the end of February. I figured I was running a half in Illinois at the end of April so another one at the end of May wouldn’t be too taxing on the body. I wanted something closer to home where I could sleep in my own bed and get up and go on race morning. This ended up being a diamond found in the rough. I thought everything was well done by the race organizers and they pulled off a great event.

Expo Quality: OK, so I give this a middle of the road score but not because it was a negative. It was just small and really just a packet pickup located outside of the Cedarburg High School. So, nothing special but besides your bib, the bag contained several coupons for local business and I can appreciate that since Cedarburg is a nice community which has some fabulous businesses to visit.

Parking/Access: No problems whatsoever parking (also at the high school where the race started and finished) when I arrived and it was very smooth departing after finishing the race. No issues at all and I personally love that about any race. Less complications for me at the start of a race, the better.

Course Scenery: A really nice mix of neighborhood street running for the first three miles and then almost all of the rest on a bike trail that went out and back for a finish at the high school. The neighborhood was nice and shaded and provided subtle ups and downs (nothing major and this was the only real elevation on the course) and then the trail, of course, offered up some nice nature views. It made for a pleasant run the whole way.

Aid Stations: A couple that you passed twice each way. Fully staffed and did not run out of water. My only complaint was that the cups were filled a little high which caused some spilling on myself.

T-Shirts/Swag: Along with the local business coupons, the event gave out a really nice race shirt; quality material, fun design. And the organizers even gave the option to me at pickup to exchange the size if I needed to. Plus, there was a nice medal at the finish line. The post race party included music from a DJ, plenty of water, bananas, granola bars, and, get ready for this, a pancake bar free for all the runners. How awesome is that?!

Race Management: Great job with a local event! They communicated very well leading up to race day and had the race results ready to go about an hour after the final finisher. And the group they used for the race photos did an excellent job; I loved how crisp and sharp my pics looked; for once, I’m not looking like a gargoyle, haha.

Just a couple of the pics the Big Dipper Media Co. took on the course. There were several others and are some of the sharpest I’ve seen in some time. I’d highly recommend this race if you are in the Wisconsin/Illinois/Iowa area next year.

Happy running! And feel free to comment or ask questions! 😊

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!!!