10.15.2012

Nike Womens Marathon: Pros & Cons

Marathon #3 is behind me now! It was nice to run a race so close to home. Thanks to Yurbuds, who sponsored me for this race, as well as Fitfluential, who got set it up! Now, here are the pros and cons of the race! The recap is coming shortly!

The Start Line @ 7 am

Pros: 

- Good snacks at the end. Luna bars, bagels, bananas, coconut water, frozen fruit (yum), Ghirardelli chocolates and water.

- The race shirts are made from recycled plastic bottles.  (*however, they did not hand them out until after the race)

- All the money from this race goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I think I heard someone say that they had raised over a million dollars.

- The spectators and volunteers were awesome. They were very cheerful, cheered for everyone and were so encouraging and helpful.

- There were plenty of aid stations. I don't know how many, but there must have been one about every 2-3 miles. The fuel was Clif shot blocks, which were opened for you already.

- The firemen in tuxes handing out necklaces at the end. And the necklace is pretty cool as well.

- The weather. It was overcast / misty / foggy the entire time.

- The TNT coaches (pacers). They cheered for everyone, not just the Team in Training folks. Also they were very inspiring because they would run with any TNT person who was having trouble. I watched a few of them really get their partner going again when they were lagging.

- Free bras. I am not sure whether to put this as a pro or con because at mile 6 you could exchange your old bra for a free new nike sports bra. However, I wasn't clear as to HOW.  Do I take off my bra I am wearing, in the middle of a run, and change if for a new one? Or am I supposed to carry an old ratty bra for 6 miles and then carry a new bra for the remaining 26? I don't get it.

Cons: 

- You could sign up to have automatic posts to your FB wall, which is pretty cool. I did sign up; none of my posts got posted. I spoke with a friend who said she had the same problem.

- I had to pass a bunch of walkers who were in the way of the runners. I think they started the walkers earlier, which is fine. I just wish they would have reminded them to keep to the right and not to walk 3 (or 5. My dad said he saw one group walking 5!) abreast.

- There were no spectators on the hardest part. They used buses to get the spectators from place to place. They should have had a drop off at mile 20 or 21. Miles 19 - 24 were dead and hard and boring.

- The hills. They kicked my butt.

- The start line. It was a mess. I saw a lot of 10 minute mile people (we had bracelets) in my pace corral. Also, my corral was 7:30 - 9 minute miles. That seems a bit broad to me.

- The crowds. I have said it before and I will say it again: I prefer small races. The start and end and the expo were all extremely crowded. It really did not make me want to hang out AT ALL. I got my bib, shirt and food and got out of there each time. (I did try to find my results, which took me nearly a half an hour!)

- The half marathoners. This race has about 25,000 people. I am not entirely sure about this year, but last year only 4700 of them were marathoners. I really wish they had started the half marathoners later, and given them a separate finish section. At the end I was trying to dodge and weave around them to cross the finish line!

- Their website. They only have a FB page, no actual website. It's a pain. For a company so big and a race so big, I think they can afford to design a REAL webpage! 

All in all it was pretty good. Luckily I got pretty close to the start line, since a lot of the reviews I read complained about having a hard time getting around people in the beginning. I still like the smaller races better, so I probably won't do this race again, but I did have a lot of fun doing it this time!

A few fun facts: * The Nike Women's Marathon is not just for women, despite the name.  * Last year 10% of the runners were male.

Do you ever go and spectate a race just for fun? Would you rather run in rain or heat?

19 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting race. The free sports bras thing sounds intriguing but I would have wondered the same thing about the logistics of that! Also, I'd certainly agree with you on the pace, things, there's a tad difference between a 7:30 and a 9:00 minute pace!

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  2. I was trying to find their website yesterday! Now I know why I did not find it. That is just bizarre honestly! Sounds like a great race, though, despite some of the headaches. I think they shoudl start walkers later! And 1/2 marathoners, too. We all start together in DSM, but it's a small race so not a big deal!

    I want to see the necklace! Men in tuxes = nice!!

    Well done and congrats on another successful marathon!!!

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  3. Congratulations!!! I love the men in tuxes handing out the necklaces.

    I had put my name in for the lottery and thought it was weird too that they only had a Facebook page and not a website. Weird.

    I can't imagine running a Marathon in a race where the majority of the runners are running a half. I've heard that during other races as well - too much running and weaving.

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  4. Congrats on another marathon! You are a machine!

    Hmmm...that whole sports bra exchange thing is just a bit odd. Before or after the race would make more sense!

    I'm with you--I'm a small race fan. This one sounds a bit too crowded for me, although the bling at the end might make it all worthwhile.

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  5. A huge congrats for finishing another marathon. You're well on your way to kicking my ass (well, you already do in terms of time, but I'm talking # completed!). I trained with TNT for my first marathon. I could write a whole blog post about the pros and cons of being involved with that organization. But, as far as your race goes, the pros are that you felt very well supported by their trainers, even though they weren't your coaches. I'd say the cons are that TNT supports and encourages first time distance racers (walkers and runners) to complete marathons ... they aren't always aware that there is etiquette on the race course. =(

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  6. Congratulations on your third marathon!! You are such an inspiration and I have learned so much from you.

    Thoughts on the marathon:
    That is so weird about the bra. Maybe they did expect you to change right there since it was mostly women? Weird. I would never do that.

    I cannot believe they started the walkers first! That is just weird to me!

    I spectated at my first race a couple weeks watching my friend one his first double digit race (a 10 miler). He did great! 1:45!

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  7. Congratulations on another marathon! I think it's neat that they have firemen in tuxes handing out Tiffany's boxes with the necklaces in them. Big races aren't my thing but I might be persuaded to do this one at some point if there's Tiffany's at the end. I had no idea they didn't have a webpage. That seems odd.

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  8. Great job Kyria! The bra thing is kind of weird. I love that your dad was there to cheer you on. My parents have never come to any of my races and most of them have been run less than a half hour away! So awesome about the firemen in tuxes, I love that!

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  9. It sounds fun but the bra thing baffles me, too. No one actually trying for a race would do that, but a free bra....tempting....

    I'm looking forward to your report.

    Do you still like me even though I'm a cradle Cardinals fan? :^)

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  10. Wow, hard to pick between the best pros and the worst cons... cuz the shirts sound awesome, as well as the finish and the fundraising part but you and I have the same feelings about big races and I think I would have gotten flustered. Very cool that you got sponsored for it though!!

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  11. Congrats on #3. I am still trying to figure out that bra exchange thing you talk about.. what a weird place for it. Wonder if they will offer any explanation on their FB page.

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  12. Those snacks sound fantastic! But wow, hills and crowds are not ideal. Congrats on #3!!

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  13. Congrats on another great race, Kyria! You kick ass. For serious.

    I've spectated at two Disney Marathons which has a LOT of TNT folks and I always thought it would be fun to train with them - mainly for all the support you get! The coaches seem to really be awesome! Disney is like, a PRO, at helping spectators figure out ways to get to each point (I saw my mom 3-4 times during both her marathons, and could have seen her more if we communicated better). I love Disney races for that but you would NOT enjoy the crowds, haha. It's nuts. And the start time is ridiculous. We had to leave our hotel at 3AM to get to the race site. SO glad my mom is done with marathons! ;)

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  14. Congrats, girl!
    I'm with you--smaller races are the way to go.
    Can't wait for the recap!

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  15. Great update on pros and cons, I have considered doing this for the past two years and am sure I will do it one day just to get the necklace but the fact it is so freaking huge turns me off a bit, love your recap to know what its like!

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  16. I hope that it's true that LLS raised that much money with that one event. That would be amazing! I do like bigger races with the crowds, but I find trying to pass walkers really annoying.

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  17. Wow. So many people! I can see why you prefer smaller races. I think I would too. My sister just participated in one of those muddy 10k races with obstacles. There were a lot of people just making a joke out of it, but I think if I did it I'd want to take it seriously and see how fast I could finish. It would be a little frustrating to have to weave my way through the people who were there just to hang out.

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  18. I spectated at the NWM last year :) I didn't see any of the people I specifically went to see but it was still fun!

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  19. Good job on your 3rd marathon! I have to say though, while scoring a free new sports bra sounds nice, having to change your bra mid race seems a bit sketchy lol.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!