- Terrific course! We ran along the Columbia River and the majority of the race was on a flat, paved path. The only "hills" were the four times we crossed over the river. I liked that we had the bridge crossings for some variety so it wasn't completely flat the entire race. The view of the river was nice too.
- The course support was great with water and Powerade every two miles. I think a couple of the stations had gels too.
- I loved that the race started and finished at the host hotel. It made things so much easier, plus the hotel is in a great location. There's a grocery store, pizza place, and cupcake shop all within a short five minute drive. With the race starting at 8, I didn't get up until 6:30, and I could have slept in later if I was more efficient at getting ready in the morning. The hotel offered a late checkout for a $20 fee which I gladly paid in order to shower and have time to pack up after the race.
- Chip-timing - even though it only took me 15 seconds to cross the start line, it's still nice to have my exact time from start to finish. There were three checkpoints during the race and it's fun to be able to analyze my stats. There were also touch screens at the finish so we could look up our results immediately.
- The medal is nothing fancy, but the fact that this small race had medals puts it in the pro list.
- Free post-race massages!
- There was a photographer at one spot on the course and at the finish. All the photos taken on the course were displayed at the finish line and it was only $10 to purchase the print.
- The registration fee was $70. It feels slightly high to me considering the size of the event, but given how well organized everything was and all the pros above, I think it was worth it.
- According to the results, there were only 180 finishers. I've had other races where I couldn't even see anyone in front of me, but that never happened here, although I would have been fine if it did. I think this race confirmed for me that race size isn't a big factor for me when choosing a race, even at the marathon distance.
- There weren't very many spectators, just those cheering on friends or family. More spectators would be nice, but I didn't need them.
- The race "website" was really just a page on the 3 Rivers Road Runners website and I found it slightly lacking in information. However, when I emailed the race director he was very helpful and got back to me in a day.
- The race shirts only went down to a small (no XS) and were unisex. They were also bright red with silver printing, which I didn't think was a very attractive combination.
- This is petty, but I'm disappointed that the age group awards weren't unique. We all got a pint glass with the race logo on it. I know a glass is more functional, but I honestly would have preferred a ribbon that said 1st place - Female 25-29.
Overall I really thought this was a fantastic race and would definitely recommend it. I'm even considering running it again, despite the 5+ hour drive. I could see myself going back next year to try for a BQ.