Friday, November 12, 2010

Spinx Run Fest ~ Race Ratings (repeat state)

Tag line: "Easy stress-free marathon!"

Spinx Run Fest ~ October 30, 2010
Greenville, SC~ Greenville Drive Stadium
Type: Road with "Rabbit Trail"-- track-like surface option
Year Running: 6th
Registration Fee: $65-$85 Early ($95 late)
Charity Race? No
Runners:  604 Finishers ... 220 Females
Available Races: Full, Half, 5K
Average Finish Time: 4:19:44
BQ %: 13.91

Overall Race Ratings: 4.2/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.0/5.0
~ This found this race very stress free. Everything you need to know is communicated so well and everything is easy to get to. It's very simple with nothing crazy going on... but still fun! Based on past and current comments, this race is maturing into a fantastic marathon. It seems that the director takes any and all comments to heart and tries to improve every year (ie. "bad" shirts in 2008... fantastic shirts in 2010). 

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ This race can use a little help with the race organization. We need maybe 2 more water stops in the 2nd half of the course for when it gets hot. Also, port-a-john need to come in pairs of 3-- one is not enough. Since this race was cancelled in 2009 and just coming back up, I'm sure they weren't able to get a good estimate of the number of runners participating. Also, the timers were all off-- but most runners wear watches anyways! The director DID send out a survey and listens to the runners, so I wouldn't be surprised if a few of these things were fixed for next year. 

Event Organization: 4.3/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll 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: About 15 miles
Rental Car Required: Yes!
~ You HAVE to check out their website here. It has to be one of the most intricate and well-written marathon websites I've ever seen. Everything is very clearly marked and any information you need is available... it's also kind of cute :P There is a slightly further airport that is a little less expensive, but GSP was definitely on the pricier side. One you're there though, Greenville is pretty easy to get around. There are plenty of hotels within walking distance that have very good rates. The expo is also very close to the host hotels/start. 

I also wanted to note that this race is 180-degrees from the other big marathon in SC- Myrtle Beach, which got cancelled this year due to a few snow flurries. That whole mess, made this race seem so much easier, stress-free and fun! Also-- The race director sent out an email with a survey on the marathon... I haven't seen that in a LONG time! I think it's just great. 

Race Organization: 3.5/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Yellow Gatorade. 
Gel Type/Flavors/Availability:  Various/various/1-2 stops
~Post Race Food: .The post-race food was a little unusual. They had some good poppy-seed breads, as well as some really great fruit. The usual bagels were available along with chicken salad sandwiches... then they also had this bowl of hot stuff that was either really hard grits or really soft mashed potatoes. I stuck my tongue in it and immediately threw it out. iiiiiickkkk
~ They could definitely use a few more water stops  (about 8 total), especially in the later miles. There was supposed to be Gel at 2 aid stations, but I only noticed them at 1. They did have a few options on gel with both GU and (gag) Accel gel (aka battery tasting). There were always port-a-johns available, but it was usually 1 at a time, so you may have to wait. If I had been racing this course, I would have been a little frustrated here. The start, however, had a ton of port-a-john-- shortest lines I've seen at a race. They also had a little expo pre and post race with local vendors, which was kind of neat! They had some issues with their clocks... they were scattered throughout the course, but they were definitely not started at the same time (sometimes at all). Mile markers very well placed! 

Course: 4.3/5.0
MarathonGuide Rating 
Garmin Distance: 26.6
Type: Road with "Rabbit Trail"- Sections had "Track-like surface"
~ Elevation Gain/Loss: NA
~ This race got a little confusing- we knew we crossed our own paths a few times, but couldn't exactly figure out how. I think there was some sort of worm-hole we went through :) The course was very pretty, especially in the park areas. It ALSO has this rabbit trail thing... basically it's a normal bike path, but on 1 side it has this strip you can run on that is similar to running on a track, only even softer/bouncier. It felt SO good in the 20-miles. This is not as flat as you would expect... there were several sections of short, but steep, rolling hills. Definitely tough on the ole' hammies! The best part is the last .15 or so... they wind you into this big baseball stadium and you run the perimeter of the outfield. As you enter they put you on the big jumbo-tron screen. SO cool! 

Spectators: 3.7/5.0
~ I was pleasantly surprised by the number of spectators. They seemed to be stationed all around the parks and cities so you never went TOO long without at least a small cheering section. They were always very excitable and even if they were out for their own runners, whey cheered on the rest of us crazies. 

 Pace Group: NA/5.0

Runner/Corrals: 4.2/5.0
~ No Corrals necessary. Runners were VERY nice. This is now one of the few SC marathons so of course there are a lot of maniacs and 50-staters. Everybody was very upbeat and friendly. I tried to make friends with most people around us... only one guy did not want to talk and he ended up seriously hurting at the end-- serves him right. Brent (MM) was kind enough to run with me the whole race and endure my babbling/crazy dance moves around mile 23!

Expo: NA/5.0
~ I was unable to attend

Swag: 4.2/5.0
~T-Shirts: The shirts were long sleeve tech T's about the same color as the blue ribbon below. They have white stripes down the sides, which I always find slimming. And a very simple design with the race logo. It's sweat wick and comfortable and definitely designed to be worn a little baggier-- which means I swim in a small. 4.3

~Medals: The medals were unusual with a stone-looking pattern, and a woman racing in the middle. Don't know how the guys felt about the fem-medal, but I thought it was kind of neat. 3.6

~ Goodie Bag: Nothing special here, BUT-- upon finishing the marathon, you're rewarded with an additional blue finishers cap with a cute design and very comfortable! Loved it! +.2

Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:51:53
Place: Overall- 178/604, Gender- 40/220, A/G (F25-29)- 9/46

Goals! I had 2 special goals for this race. Let's see how I did...
1) Get a "jumping jack picture" like Dave Mari always does! CHECK!!!!! (see above)
2)  Finish with all the costume accessories I started with! FAIL!!! I started losing pieces of my ammo belt and eventually Greenville, SC would be covered with fake bullets... eek. 
... Ahhh 1 for 2 is NOT bad! 

Happy Racing,
"Run to Win" - Meb

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