Bibrave Race Review: Ft. Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon 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!”

In typical runner fashion, I made this weekend a double race weekend. On Saturday, I ran the A1A Fort Lauderdale 5K. Miss that review? Head over here and read it after you’re done! Sunday, I tortured myself some more with the half marathon.

I arrived Thursday and stayed at one of the host hotels by the start. Not so hot on the area, but that’s besides the point. Friday afternoon, I headed to the expo. The expo this year was held at the Broward County Convention Center from 3-8  pm on Friday and 9-6 on Saturday. I wish there would have been earlier hours on Friday, because there was a lot of waiting around. Since I went when it opened, there was a mass of people getting in. Bibs for the half and full marathons were sorted by last name and you had no idea what your number was until you picked it up. What ended up happening was a whole lot of congestion because of the name situation. The space was small enough where that didn’t help either. Shirt pick up was next to the bibs and easy enough to pick up, but the shirts looked cheap and small. My women’s medium half marathon shirt was smaller than my women’s small 5K shirt. What the what?? I explored the expo, picked up some freebies and made it back to the hotel to unload my stuff.

I ran the 5K on Saturday morning and could tell Sunday would be warm. The 5K was 730 AM and already warm and humid by that point. I took some time to explore, grab some food and head to church before calling it a night

Race Day for the Half/Full Marathon:

The race itself is a point to point race, with the start being in the River Park area. I walked to the start, while others parked at the finish and took the shuttles to the start. It was already hot at 545 AM on race morning. Plenty of port o potties, though lines were long. Bag check was available, though at the back of the start corrals and then they were bussed to the finish along the beach

Start: the half and full start together bright and early at 6 AM. When you’re still half on PST, trying to get any sort of food in to your system when your body thinks it’s 2-3AM is fun and entertaining.

The course:

The first few miles head along Las Olas Ave. 1/4 mile in, there’s a set of train tracks that most of us got over, however, a train came rolling through that had the 2:30 half marathons and a bunch of full marathoners delayed 20-30 minutes. Read long enough to where they were taken back to the start and restarted. How does that even happen?! Apparently, the race had permits for no trains before 7 AM that somehow were ignored. Whoops.

Anyways, After we got to the beach, we turned on A1A along the beach and took it out a few miles before turning onto some neighborhood streets. We were led through some sort of park for at least a mile or two and then back out to the roads. Right before mile 9, the half and full split. The full marathon looked lonely as we split. We were also dealing with sharing the road with traffic at that point. By mile 10, we were on the beach the rest of the way. Right before I hit mile 11, I saw a fellow Bibrave Pro, Meredith on the out portion of the course. She ended up getting delayed because of the train.

Weather: we got the excitement of dealing with 70s-80s and humidity that could be cut with a knife. That made things difficult as the course had little to no shade.

Aid Stations: every mile or so with water, electrolytes and the occasional gels. I only saw one legit medical tent, which I didn’t think was enough given the heat and humidity. I saw at least 4 people down being carted off.

Post Race: After finishing and regrouping (read, finding some chocolate milk and getting some sort of food into my system), I picked up my checked bag (again, at the back of the finish area. WHY?!?). Plenty of places to get food (greek yogurt popsicles, ices, bananas, etc), massages, etc. I hung around and ran into fellow Bibrave Pro Samantha.

It’s never a trip to Florida or the coast without enjoying some post race Beach either!

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Post race sand shot! #bibchat #a1amarathon

A post shared by Christine (@cgrunstheworld) on

Overall, I’m on the fence about this one. The aid stations were a bit of a mess. It didn’t seem like anything was prepared ahead of time in terms of fluids being poured, so the volunteers were forced to react, even though there were plenty of aid stations on course. Given the amount of heat and humidity, we really could have used some cold sponges, sprinklers, something to cool us down. I was feeling off by the end of it. I feel like there needed to be better corral separation. I was trying to weave in and out of people who shouldn’t have been in earlier timed slots, but moved up. The finish area was also congested and difficult to get through. People weren’t moving through and it was really hard to navigate at times, just to get out. I’ll probably simmer on this one a bit more to be honest

Race this weekend? Don’t forget to go over to Bibrave and search/review/add and review your race!

Bibrave Race Review: Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K 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!

Warm weather with plenty of sun in Florida this weekend, and I was so ready to get out of the rain that is the Inland Northwest this weekend! I came out for the Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K and Half Marathon (because hey, 2 races are better than 1!).

I flew out Thursday afternoon and got into Fort Lauderdale late. I caught an uber to the hotel (which really shouldn’t have been as hard to find as it was) and checked in before hitting the sack. Needless to say, I enjoyed sleeping in until 9 AM. I found some breakfast and took a jaunt down Las Olas Ave. Never hurts to window shop, right? I killed time until the expo opened up at 3 pm at the Broward County Convention Center. I was hoping it would do 2 days of like 9-5/9-7 sort of thing, but not so much for day #1. The other downside was that there was no clear signage as to where to go and there were other events going on in the convention center, so it got tricky to find. After heading to the Grand Ballroom, a mass of us were waiting for things to kick off at 3 pm. We got let in and off to get our bibs we went. The 5K table was not in the vicinity of the half/full marathon packet pick up. It was off on it’s own next to the Susan Koman 6K booth. No line and took a whole 30 seconds to get my stuff. While the half/full bibs are beach themed, the 5K bibs are RoadID standard bibs. For a race that is close to a sell out for the half/full, I was expecting something fun in terms of bibs across all races. I searched the expo before heading back to the hotel and looking at all my stuff

5k

One of the things that’s obnoxious is that my 5K shirt is a small and my half marathon shirt is a medium. My 5K shirt is larger than my 1/2 marathon shirt. Really? I’d rather there be better quality and size consistency across the board.

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I found some dinner and went and relaxed in the hotel the rest of the night. This morning, I was up and at it bright and early, despite my best efforts of wanting to throw my alarm across the room. I had a little bite to eat before heading out to Las Olas Ave, where the race was held. If you couldn’t get to the expo to pick up your bib, you could pick up your packet race day, as well as register for the race. There were some vendors there as well as pre race announcing.

The Race: started at 730 AM. Flat course, out and back. There were mile markers at 1 and 2 with clocks going, and the finish line in sight at mile 3. There was water available around mile 1 and just after mile 2. The course gave you a good view of the shopping district in a sense. Even though it was an early and quick race, I was soaked by the time I was finished. Post race, water, medals and fruit were available, as were awards for those who qualified. I’m just glad there was sun, it was warm out and I didn’t have to do multiple layers!

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Overall, a good race if you want a 5K to do if you’re starting out or if you’re using it as a warm up to the main events on Sunday. A smaller 500 people race (and hey, running a sub 29 min 5K race, I can’t complain about). Take a look at this one if you’re ever in town!

Some stuff to work on though. I wish the bibs would have had some sort of design like the half and full marathons. Also, I don’t think anyone’s touched the race’s twitter account in at least a year- more social interaction would be good. You could do race tracking on the RaceJoy app, but it’s completely dependent on the runner to enter their info and carry their phone throughout the race (really?!). This should really have been all triggered by bibs and timing mats. The shirts are sort of on the cheap side and inconsistent. My 5K small shirt is larger than my half marathon medium shirt.

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