I pretty much summed how I raced at Sandpoint in my previous blog, but I still can't stop thinking about what an outstanding race this was. Big, HUGE kudos to the race director and all of the awesome volunteers that helped facilitate this event. This is by far one of the best organized races I have ever competed in.
So what made this 1/2 marathon so awesome?
1. The course. It was beautiful! They warned that the course wasn't closed, but that wasn't even an issue because you ran on a trail the whole time, minus the few road intersections. They had volunteers at every intersection to ensure safety so this was a complete non-issue. Normally I am not a fan of "out & back" courses, but because this course was so gorgeous, I didn't mind.
A little chilly at the beginning with rain
The start/finish area
2. The volunteers. They were both friendly and helpful. You could tell that they actually wanted to be there and were excited about the event. They were cheering/encouraging everyone and made even us average runners feel like rockstars.
3. Free post-race massages! Need I say more????
4. The aid stations. They had just the right amount and in just the right locations. They must really know what they are doing. Each aid station had water, gatorade & a port a pottie. They also included friendly volunteers. :-)
5. The free picture at the finish line- what a great idea! It was a 5 X 7 in a frame and it was FREE! You can see my cheesy free picture in my previous blog.
6. The swag bag. It included a clif bar, bumble bar , a granola bar & caramel apple dipping sauce. It also included band aids, deodorant, and a 13.1 sticker.
I would never put this on Allie, but it is a nice sticker
7. Pre-race coffee stand that was FREE! It was perfect since the weather was so chilly and it was raining.
8. The post race buffet of yummy treats. They had literally everything- bumble bars, granola bars, trail mix, bananas, apples, caramel apple dipping sauce, cookies, gatorade, water....there was even more, I just can't remember everything.
9. The announcer- he was entertaining, but more importantly, kept the schedule of activities on time.
10. The awards schwag/ceremony. They definitely knew how to take care of business! The awards ceremony started promptly at 10:30 am and they included awards for the top 3 overall as well as the top 3 age group finishers for the 5K, 10K & 1/2 marathon. The winners recived a Sandpoint 1/2 Marathon hat that said "WINNER" on it and the females also recieved a Zulugrass bracelet.
***Zulugrass Jewelry is handmade by the Maasai women of Kenya using sustainable grass beads mixed with sparkling glass. By purchasing Zulugrass you are providing the women of Kenya with work opportunities. In addition, 5% of all sales goes back to the local community in the form of education and health benefits.
My neat bracelet
My hat I also won
Each participant got a lot of bang for the buck. At only $54 this 1/2 marathon is very reasonably priced with a lot of neat ammenities. If you are thinking about running a 1/2 marathon, think about Sandpoint! Check out their website at Sandpoint 1/2 Marathon....& 5K/10K