I ran the half marathon. It’s an excellent race if you like the smaller, “authentic” feeling races as opposed to the big, expensive corporate ones. The price of this one was very reasonable and the value is incredible for everything you get. Note that the race takes place on a military base so you have to be a US citizen and you must show photo ID to get on the base. Parking is free and plentiful, but it is about a mile walk to the start/finish area. There were supposed to be shuttles, but we never saw one until after the race, after we’d walked back to our car. It wasn’t a big deal though. Packet pickup was a breeze, as was gear check (which I never usually use, but did this time because the car was so far away). The race shirt (technical fabric) was really nice.
The race itself was fun. The day was much hotter than expected, but of course that is not the organizers’ fault. The field is small enough that even at the beginning of the race, there is enough room to move and pass people. There were a lot of veterans and active duty military running, including a platoon of Navy Seabees who ran the whole 13.1 miles in formation, singing cadences. The course is pretty for being on a base; a lot of it goes through wetland areas (though a lot of those areas have a quite pungent stink to them), and for brief periods you are right next to the ocean. You are on roads that are usually not completely closed to traffic, but there is very little traffic or activity on the base at that time of the morning. There are also very few spectators on the course, but those who were there were VERY enthusiastic and supportive. The proceeds of the race benefit wounded military personnel, and as the spectators are all people on the base, they really appreciate that you are there. The volunteers for the race were likewise awesome and supportive. Water stations were there at every mile. Many stations also had Gatorade and a few had Gu. Every few miles there was also a single port-o-pot at the water station (few enough runners that there was never a long line for it).
The finisher’s medal was better than expected for a low-cost race. There is a first aid station right by the finish line and plenty of water and bananas. They also have a ‘BBQ’ at which runners get a free meal consisting of burger (beef, veggie, or turkey), Sun Chips, and soda. What a great deal! All in all it was a wonderful, friendly, small race benefiting a great cause. Don’t do it if you need big crowds or bands, but if you are happy with a handful of people thanking you for being there, the occasional Navy guy carrying a machine gun directing you on the course, and a great value for your money, this race is excellent. I will definitely be back.