Monday, January 18, 2010

First Light Marathon... Race Ratings (#23)

Tagline: "If only it was as warm as the people are nice!"
2010 First Light Marathon

Registration Fee: $45 to $60 early ($75 late). Discount for 50-staters of 20% (mail in)!
Overall Race Rating (weighted): 3.1/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 3.2/5.0

~ I would call this race a very quiet and peaceful run. It has a pretty course of southern suburbs through Mobile. The race organization can use a little work, especially if the race continues to grow (almost 10 years running).

Race Director: Let's place race director...
~What would I have changed if I were race director? For a course growing in size, there needs to be some sort of Gel on the course. Also, the expo needs a little work... if this continues to be part of a double marathon weekend with Mississippi Blues, they need to get a few more vendors. Also, I think there should be some sort of extra medal or Pin for those who complete both marathons--- I think this would be a great way to get more runners as well. This is the same weekend as Disney's goofy challenge-- this could be the ultimate challenge! Runners will come!!!

Event Organization: 2.5/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll go ahead and include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: 13 Miles (25 min)
Rental Car Required: Yes
~ The hotel/expo weren't too difficult to find, and the event was held in a pretty area of Mobile. The website was a little shotty-- slow, difficult to navigate, etc. The airport is also pretty tiny, so there may not be too many flights on the day you're looking.

Race Organization: 3.5/5.0
~ The start of the race is held at the hotel/expo area, so we were able to stay inside, away from the cold, until the race started. There were no GU/Gel stops, so plan on carrying your own. The rest stops were pretty well supplied-- even giving out chicken broth at points to warm the runners. I didn't notice a ton of rest stop... but I didn't need one. The race was pretty well blocked off with cones-- we didn't get the entire roads, but they blocked them pretty well and cars went by slowly, so we were safe.
~Post Race Food: (new sub catagory) There was a bbq-type food area after. You could get chicken/pork sandwichs with different kinds of sides and salads and cookies. They also had different cold and warm options for drinks.

Course: 3.2/5.0
~ I would describe this course as very quiet-- in a good way! It's a very calm, peaceful, pretty course through Mobile. You go through a lot of suburban areas with very pretty houses and lots of people along the way to support the runners. The course wraps through 2 universities and is relatively flat until you get to miles 15-18. There are a few hills at this point, which probably seem worse because of the marathon the day before. Nothing overly special, but still nice. The end is a little rough because its mile long straight aways along traffic.

Spectators: 2.9/5.0
~ Spectators are ok in this race. One thing I noticed was that police blocked off the streets for most of the race, but the last few miles seemed to be patrolled by a biker gang sort of group! Unusual, but kind of cool. Spectators were throughout the suburban streets. The campuses were quiet-- too early for the college students to be up.

Pace Group: /5.0

Runner/Corrals: 4.5/5.0
~ Runners were very friendly and fun. Groups started forming in the race at random for people to run together. One group I paced with for a bit, had a guy who was talking a mile a minute... suddenly he yelled out that there should be music and started to bust out "Eye of the Tiger" -- everybody joined in!! While running a pretty good pace. Pretty funny.

Expo: 2.8/5.0
~ The expo here wasn't huge.. but you could get a few items. There was one table with running gear/equipment and a few other tables with drink samples.
Swag: 2.7/5.0
~T-Shirts: The T-shirt is long sleeve and light blue, but its a regular cotten long sleeve-- not something you should run with too far. The picture on the front was ok, nothing special. 2.7
~Medals: The medal is a wooden medallion with a sticker of race information on the front. On the back, the medallions are painted by members of the L'Arche-mobile community (the charity the race is for). 2.7
~ Goodie Bag: There wasn't really a goody bag, you had the option to take some leaflets if you wanted them, but nothing extra.


  1. I love your race reviews! So thorough...they definitely help me decide which races to prioritize as I continue to sort through all the choices. I agree with the token for the double marathon. It's amazing what a little trinket can get runners to do!

  2. The Swag did not sound too swaggy.. Congrats on ANOTHER Marathon..

    I need to add your schedule to my Tall Mom calendar for High Five Fridays..

  3. As always a great recap!

    I love that the talkative guy had the energy to start singing "Eye of the Tiger" mid race!