Bibrave Race Review: Alamo 13.1

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Alamo 13.1 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!

Weekend getaways to warm places are always too short. This weekend, I was in San Antonio, TX for the Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon. I was last in San Antonio 4-5 years ago for a race (that ended up being short for whatever reason).

After getting stuff done throughout the week, I headed out to Texas Friday morning after waking up ridiculously early for a spin class. Needless to say, going from 40 degrees to 80 degrees was much needed! I took an Uber to the Menger Hotel downtown and checked in without any issues. I walked around downtown and the River Walk to find dinner. The amount of St. Patrick’s Day shinnanegans going on was insane!

Saturday was expo day. In the past, it had been held in downtown San Antonio, but this year it was moved to the Granberry Events Center about 15 min from downtown. I had the chance to talk to the RD, David, and in the past the expo had been downtown. With Spring Break and the Texas Rangers taking over downtown, the past year or two, people had been driving around for 40 minutes and paying $50 to park and walked in ready to beat someone. I ended up taking an Uber to the expo (about $15-$17 one way), which wasn’t all that bad. Packet pick up was easy. There were areas for the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. I wish before hand, you had the ability to look up your number instead of having to just give your name at the pick up. The Expo was small with some local places et up there and some photo op chances. If you were from out of town, you had the option of picking your bib up at The Menger Hotel that evening, but no expo vendors were there.

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Saturday afternoon, I found some lunch, went to church and found a wine bar with college basketball on for March Madness. There was the added amusement of sitting next to someone at the bar who asked for Coors Light and chips and salsa. What the what?

Race Options: Half Marathon (individual or 2 person relay), 10K and 5K.

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Sunday morning, I was up early and got changed and ready to go. The race was right in front of the hotel, so getting there was the easiest it’s been for me in a while. No parking, no shuttles, no issues what so ever. The half marathon was set to start at 7:15, but we headed off about 10 minutes late. The 5K and 10K were scheduled to start at 7:45 to give us a good amount of leg time. The first part of the race took you around downtown and back to the front of the Alamo. We then took some roads through some neighborhoods of San Antonio. Some parts weren’t the best and there were some parts that had someone not been there, I might have been a touch confused. We also went through Breckenridge Park and around some athletic complexes before turning back and ultimately ending up on the River Walk. Though I appreciate the amount of stuff we saw, here were my issues. We ran on no fewer than 5 surfaces: gravel, pavement, sidewalk, brick and brick with holes in it and pothole filled roads. I hardly ever get sore after halves anymore, but I was feeling this one. The mile markers seemed a little off to me as well. I wish the course had less of the iffy areas and less of the river walk with amount of narrowness that there was (it was only 2-3 people across along the river!).

Aid Stations: every 1-2 miles it felt like with some impromptu ones set up along the way.

The Finish: literally, right in front of the Alamo with announcers calling out people as they came across. Post race there was plenty of food, but the line to get it was long. It would have been helpful to have people be able to go either side of the food tent in order to move things along a little bit quicker. They also had music, massages, medical tents and the ability to check your time. The Krispy Kreme Donut truck was an added perk if you could stomach it!

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Overall I think this was a good race. Definitely one to look into if you need Texas! A few things to work on though: getting the course a little bit fine tuned (not so many surfaces, less of the iffy areas), faster food lines, etc.  I also think social media could be improved. I don’t think their twitter account has been used in a few years!!! The Race Director, David, was a good guy and I think is one who takes all suggestions to heart in order to improve the race! Keep this race on your radar, because it’s one to do every March!

Race this weekend? Don’t forget to go to Bibrave and review!

It’s Alamo (13.1) Week!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into Alamo 13.1 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!”
It’s officially race week for Alamo 13.1! San Antonio can’t come soon enough (though the PNW is officially not being hit by super snow storms). Here’s all the info you need for this weekend!
The Expo
  • Saturday, March 18 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Location: The Granberry Events Center (6390 Granberry, San Antonio, TX
  • Free parking and beer if you’d like!
  • Need someone to pick up for you? Take a look and sign the waiver!
  • Staying at the Menger Hotel? Special Packet Pick up (though no vendors) from 6-7 at the hotel

Race Day

  • Starts at the Alamo!
  • Bag Check opens at 6:15 AM
  • Half Marathon Start time: 7:15 AM
  • Doughnut Dash 10K, Alamo 5K: 7:45 AM
  • Course Limit: 4 Hrs (18 min pace, not to shabby!)

 

 

 

Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon

As March approaches, so does Half Marathon #3 for the year. This time, I’m off to The Alamo 13.1 in San Antonio, TX! I was last there in 2013 for a different race and stayed across from the Alamo. This time, I’m Menger Hotel (can’t complain about group discounts!).

Haven’t registered yet? Here’s what you need to know!

  • 20% off with BIBRAVE17 when you register here. Race fees go up on March 5, 2017, so hurry and beat the price increase!
  • Races include the Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 10K and 5K. The 10K and 5K may or may not involve Kirspy Kreme donuts!
  • Stay at the Menger Hotel or the Laquinta Hotel!

If you’re even considering the Alamo 13.1, hurry and sign up, we’re still looking for runners from Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming at the minimum!

I’m thrilled to be going back to San Antonio. Course seems flat and it’s warmer in Texas than Washington State at the moment. If I can get below 2:25 on course, I’d be thrilled!

Don’t forget to like them on Facebook

 

Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon

New year, first race of 2013, might as well take myself to San Antonio and some 60-70 degree weather!!  I found the Cocoa Half Marathon online back in October and Southwest was running a 40% off fare deal so that’s how this trip came to be!!  A few weeks ago, this went from being most of 1/18- 1/21 to a late Friday night to Sunday night trip thanks to work.

I got in Friday night around 10:50 and thankfully was at my hotel by the Alamo by 11:30.  After a partial room upgrade and 2 free breakfast tickets, off I went to crash.  Saturday morning, I took full advantage of breakfast before hiking my way 1/2 a mile plus to the Marriot hotel where the expo was.  Note, this was the inaugural Cocoa Half and the expo was fairly small.  We had to look up our bib numbers when we got there.  Mini Crisis: I couldn’t find my name (they were in last name order and let’s face it, my name isn’t that common).  Go in and ask what’s up, had to check under my first name and there I was! Here’s the bib:

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Afterwards, I set out to visit The Guenther House.  I love things with my last name!  I may have went on a bit of a shopping spree here to boot.  I hiked back to my hotel (1 mile plus in the other direction) with my goods and after a second breakfast.  I took advantage of the Alamo, the River Walk, San Fernando Cathedral and some other sites before heading in to call it a night.

This morning, I woke up around 7 and realized I hadn’t charged up my garmin.  I plugged it  in while I was getting ready and thankfully it still had a bulk of it’s charge and needed to get an extra boost. Weather wise, it was in the mid 50s or so as I headed to the start around King Williams Historical District.  I got there about 15 minutes before the start.  No corrals or anything and about 1700 people total.  The half had the option of doing it as a relay and there was also a 5K option.  As we’re getting final instructions, we find out that the course was altered last minute, which is fine.  I just didn’t realize how much.

We started on time and spent the first 3 miles or so on the street.  It really seemed like we were seeing a lot of S. Alamo Rd, some of the scenic River Walk and the 1968 World’s Fair Park.  At about mile 3.5ish, we headed onto the River Walk paths and the Mission Trail for a bulk of the rest of the race.  As we were running, I noticed that we were about .15-.2 miles short on course.  It was kind of frustrating and I’m wondering why they had to move things to the side walk, but that’s what had to be done I guess.  As I hit mile 6, the lead runner was on her way back (it was her mile 10).  At the relay switch point, we had our first bit of elevation, which wasn’t bad.  We kept going and went past the Mission Conception.  I wish I had some way to visit there, but had no way to get out there on my visit.  We did a loop around something which brought us to mile 9 and the relay check point.  And the lone hill of the course.  As we weaved through miles 10-12, we started to see more of the city from the River Walk.  When we crossed the finish, I had 12.70ish on my Garmin (I ended up running to make up the difference).  My chip time was 2:07:27 which put me at 25th in my age group.

Post race, they had local vendors with different forms of Chocolate.  Chocolate chip pancakes, fudge, chocolate ginger cookies, fondue, pineapple/bananas, etc.  All was delicious!!!!

Overall, I think this race did well for it’s first year.  I think it has a few things to work on, but overall a good experience.  Hopefully they can get the course glitch figured out, but I think they’ll do well for themselves in the future!

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