Smaller, low key, but well organized and pretty (about: 2000)|
Ollie from Peoria, Illinois (10/8/00)
This is a smaller race which runs on two seperate out and back routes. A much larger half marathon starts concurrently, and a 5K starts 10 minutes later.
The start was reasonable; one can get into their pace rather quickly. You run some in a park and then take an out-and-back course through neighborhoods. Aid stations were numerous; 21 in all! In fact, I started to take water at every other station rather than at every station.
Traffic control was excellent. And the second half of the course, which runs out and back mostly through a state park is very pretty. Lots of room to run, and there were enough runners to keep you company. There was a 400 m stretch (each way) on the out and back from the half marathon point which was run on tricky gravel, but we were warned in advance about that and this is likely to be only a feature of the year 2000 race.
The course was rather easy; almost as easy as Chicago. Though the day was breezy, the trees and houses gave reasonable protection from the wind. There were a few minor hills, but nothing serious. There were not many spectators, but most of the runners were very supportative of one another, as was the support staff. A 'hamburger, hotdog and potato salad' meal was given to the runners.
My only complaint: there was no gear check; that would have been a nice addition. Otherwise, a very well organized race over a pleasant course! A good place to try for a PR, in my opinion.