Thursday, April 22, 2010

GO! St. Louis Marathon ~ Race Rating (#28)

Tagline: "GO! for the marathon, stay for the weekend!."

St. Louis MO~ Downtown and Historic St. Louis
Year Running: 10th!
Registration Fee: 
Runners: 2082 Completed, 710 Females
Available Races: Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, Relay Full, 5K (run & walk), Children's fun run...
Average Finish Time: 4:26:40
BQ %: 8.0%

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 4.6/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.54/5.0
~ This is a great marathon with a fantastic course full of historic and fun sites in downtown St. Louis. The spectators are amazing throughout!!! There is a pretty sweet medal and post-race party at the end as well!

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ This race opened up a few thousand more spots for halfies and I think that may have been a mistake. There were 13,000 of them to crush the streets and made the first couple water stops feel like feeding time at the zoo. It's great to have so much participation, but the half-marathon needs to be closed down sooner. Or they can find a way separate the half and full marathon water stops??? The marathon gear could use some perking up as well at the expo-- better shirts, jackets, etc.

Event Organization: 4.8/5.0 (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: 33 Min
Rental Car Required: Possibly-- Hotels have airport shuttles, but the start and finish may required a car to get to.
~ This weekend was the 10th running of the GO! St. Louis Marathon, and they definitely prepared the runners with any and all information they needed, leading up to the race with both email updates and a booklet of information on the race, the area, travel, etc. They offered discounts on hotels located near the start/finish. Downtown St. Louis, like any big city, is a little pricier for hotels, but that usually means you get the added benefit of area attractions. If you go to this race, definitely go to the Gateway Arch, and possibly stay for a Cardinals game. Opening day, this year, was the day after the marathon! All of the events were fairly easy to locate and parking was widely available. The volunteers were very helpful throughout the race.

(Pic Left: Me and my friend "Prince" how gave us a ride around the Gateway Arch)

Race Organization: 4.7/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Green Gatorade & Water
Gel Type/Flavors: Hammer Gels in Chocolate and (I think) Banana? Not sure if there were any others. ~ The race seemed to go off without issues (that I saw anyways). There were water stops about every 2 miles and most of them were fully equipped with aid stations. I used 1 to get Tylenol and another to get a bandaid when a blister formed on my toe then popped. The medics were on patrol along the course too, which seemed like a good idea with the large number of people I saw out of it on the side of the road. The road was a little crowded with the 13,000 halfies, but they cleared out and the relay teams wer very clearly marked with signs on their backs! I love that! Oh also-- the bibs had our names on them for extra cheering!

(Pic Right: MB and I in front of the Gateway Arch-- a few steps away from the finish and the location of the start)
~Post Race Food: Nothing crazy here, but they had a few goodies. Bagels and fruit (pretty standard) and they also had nature valley bars (the green kind-- 99% of the worlds favorite) and tiger-stripped mini cookies-- YUMM. They also had pretzels, which were good for salt in the heat. Oh, and Mic Ultra was the beer sponsor at this race… and judging by the drunk dancer mentioned in the last post, obviously they were doing a good job!

Course: 4.6/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating

Garmin Distance: 26.3
~ I liked this course for the extreme rolling hills and the sites of St. Louis. This looped course takes you past some pretty cool stadiums and at least 3 gorgeous college campuses. You also go through equally pretty parks and see the Gateway Arch looming behind the start line for some cool pics. Actually, I noticed that MOST of St. Louis has some really cool architecture and beautiful building throughout. The course is definitely a challenge, especially if you don’t like hills. However, there are lot of turns and sites to look at to keep you distracted. The last mile has, what feels like, a pretty good sized hill, followed by a .25 mile downhill to the finish. I wish there was a little more shade for these extremely hot days.
(Above: Busch Stadium)
Spectators: 5.0/5.0
~ I can’t give this race anything less than a 5/5 for the simple fact that I was sprayed with holy water by a catholic priest spectator during mile 7. Aside from that, there were also spectators through the whole race!!!! And they gave us bibs with our names on them so people could cheer us on!

Pace Group: 5.0/5.0
~ They had a pretty solid pace team, especially considering the extreme heat. I ran with the 3:30’s and 3:40’s for a bit and they were pretty dead on. I also saw some of the slower pace teams finish and they didn’t seem to be having too much trouble. Ooooh and the pace team is sponsored by a running skirt company and almost ALL of the members were wearing short flowered running skirts-- yes, all-- including the MEN! When we asked the 3:40 pace leader about the skirt he said “isn’t it great? New for spring!” Umm lol… then he said they were sponsored by the running skirt company and it was a sort of advertising for them. Cool.

Runner/Corrals: 3.5/5.0
~ There weren't strict corrals, but the pace team did a pretty good job holding up their signs to suggest where people start and runners actually listened pretty well. This is a slow start with the thousands of half marathon runners starting with you but everyone was pretty nice-- even toward the end in the heat.

Expo: 3.9/5.0
~ This was another largeeeee expo with all the typical companies there-- 1 more mile, bondi band, discount running shoes and clothing. You could get anything you needed, and spend your time getting sold on other things you may or may not need. I was a little dissapointed in the actual marathon gear. They had a small selection of shirts, hats and socks with the marathon name--  but nothing overly thrilling.

(Pic Right: MB as we look into the arena at the big expo)
Swag: 4.8/5.0
~T-Shirts: The women’s shirt was a bright blue, v-neck fitted tech-t with a simple logo on it. The men had a similar design on a darker blue crew neck tech-t. Both very nice. 4.7
~Medals: The medal had a cool design with the arch prominently placed. The colors of the ribon were pretty cool too with blue and green swirls of color. Very nice design and very distinctive. One of my favs. 4.5
~ Goodie Bag: : For the 10th anniversary they gave us a duffel bag in the same vibrant blue as the womens T-shirts with “GO! St. Louis” on it. They also had some goodies in the bag, including fiber chips, some foot and body lotions and discount leaflets for both marathons and local events/restaurants. +0.2
Time: 3:54:35
Pace: 8:57 min/mile
Place: Overall Teams 529/2082~ Gender 82/710~ Division 21/189 (F25-29)


  1. Sounds like a pretty decent race overall. Brutal about the heat, but you ran a great time! Love all the pics.

    Have I mentioned your recaps are THE BEST?

  2. Congrats on your time! Impressive! Thanks for the great review of the run! I enjoyed reading about it!

  3. Steph - toooo funny about the priest spraying you with holy water!! Good luck in your double this weekend