Race Review: One City Marathon

Disclaimer: I received entry to the One City Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Marathon #7 is officially in the books. This past weekend, I went out to Newport News, VA with fellow BibRave Pros Angie and Amy for the Newport News One City Marathon. We all had our own adventures as to getting out there or getting home! I left Friday afternoon and arrived in Newport News around 1130 pm. Amy had arrived earlier in the day and checked into our room. Angie and her friend Kate had loads of fun coming through Ohio thanks to a 2 hour stand still outside of Dayton due to a car accident, and ended up getting in Saturday Morning.

Amy and I slept in until 930 AM, which was beautiful. We went to a little coffee shop to get a bite to eat and waited until Angie and Kate came before heading off to the Expo. The Expo was held at the Denbigh Community Center, about a 15 minute drive from the Marriott Hotel. It was a smaller expo, but we walked in and were greeted by lots of friendly volunteers. We picked up our bibs (of which, there were a whole 381 marathoners) and our shirts (long sleeve techs!).

It was a smaller expo, with Point 2 Running store there selling some gear, some local races and some sponsors. There were also a people around making sure we had all our questions answered. There was an area for kids to play in, an area to get your gait checked and a few other fun things to look at. While we were there, we ran into fellow Bibchat regular, Meredith, who was running her first half (yay!). After the expo, we went to get some real food and then back to the hotel. I stayed back to do some work, while Angie, Amy and Kate went to the beach.

The race put on a Pasta Dinner Saturday Night at the Marriott, which we got to go to (and were even able to high jack our own table). We enjoyed some good food and more than enough dessert for 4 people, while hearing from some panelists (Roger Brown- a former NFL player, last year’s One City male and female winners and one of the docs overseeing the race). Afterwards, we went back up to the room and got all of our stuff put out for race day.

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Pasta dinner time! #bibchat #onecitymarathon

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The down side to any race this weekend? Daylight Savings time and we lost an hour of sleep. Needless to say, my alarm was the first to go off, but all I remember is hearing someone say, crap it’s 5 AM (which wasn’t the case at all). We all got changed, brushed teeth and determined how much or how little clothing we wanted to wear. The nice thing is that there were shuttle buses that took us to the start. The buses started at the Marriott and went to the other 2 host hotels and then to the start in Newport Park. We arrived a bit after 6 (and I may or may not have tried to sleep on the bus) and made our way to the starting area. Plenty of port o potties for people to use and not a whole lot of lines. Then again, there were only 381 Marathoners running (and the first leg of the relay). The 8K runners and the Nautical Mile started where we finished.

The ‘corrals’ were small, only marked by your pace/ mile. There were also pacers at least through 5 hrs that I could see carrying timing sticks with them. We started right at 7 AM and enjoyed the first 2 miles or so through the Newport Park, before we took to the streets of Newport News. We ran through neighborhoods, older parts of town, past schools, through 2 parks total. I was expecting something completely flat (or else I had course terrain mixed up), but there were some minor hills on course that I noticed. It started out cooler and cloudy, so I had a long sleeved shirt on under my Bibrave Shirt. It definitely warmed up and I noticed humidity by miles 15 or 16. By mile 23, I had yanked my long sleeved shirt off! The streets of Newport News had some areas with cheering sections (high schools, church groups etc) and areas in the residential areas with people sitting outside their houses cheering. Water stops were every 2 miles with gatorade at every other stop. With the relay, every once and awhile, we’d come up on a relay exchange and we’d have to pay attention to which side of the road to be on. It was definitely a rougher marathon for me because of lack of training (yay 12 hour inpatient medicine shifts!). It was definitely hot by the end of it. The roads were well marked and there was police and volunteers throughout. Though there was some traffic, runners had more than enough room to spread out and never had to worry about being hit by anything

By the time I hit mile 20, I was at a wall, but when you’re in it just for fun, you tend to not care. Took a long while, but the Victory Park came soon enough. You finish with your name being announced. All you have to do is walk straight ahead and get your medal from the volunteers with some water and drinks waiting for you. Down some stairs you go and you hit the post race party. I got there later in the game and listened to the band while attempting to find Amy and Angie. After meeting up with them, Angie got some tacos from one of the food trucks that they had. I didn’t have much of an appetite (and never do after races), so I passed. There had also been post race yoga, post race massages and some other activities for people. Angie’s friend Kate drove us back to the hotel (there were shuttles too if you needed it), where we took the 1 million dollar showers

We all headed home, but I was in for a long adventure. What was suppose to be 8-9 hrs turned into 12 hrs due to rain most of the way (especially on the turnpike), traffic in Virginia and having to stop at rest stops more often than not (yay for 3 hrs of sleep before heading to work this morning!).

Overall, I thought the race was well run and I think on the right track. I think if a half marathon was added, they could increase the amount of people that come for the race. I was also hoping some of the pre race stuff was more centralized (the expo/pasta dinner, etc), it would make things easier (less places to be). Also, minor thing, but chocolate milk would have been awesome!

If you’re in the area, look for One City. I thought it was a good race if you live close to run it and is something they try to include everyone in!

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Marathon #7 prep #bibchat #onecitymarathon

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