Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Atlantic City Half Marathon Review

Well, you know the down and dirty of how the race went. The ups. The downs. The sweat. The almost tears. After it's all said and done, this is what I thought was good and bad about it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

* Location. Hello? Atlantic City! I may be biased being a Jersey Girl, but it was a cool place to have a race. You got to run around the casinos, the water, and on the boardwalk.

* Shirt. Sweet! It fit well. There were no logos on it. Very stylish. I honestly think it's my new favorite race shirt. Seriously. Great shirt!

* The post-race area was good and had a great variety. There was Rita's Water Ice, oranges, bananas, Johnson's caramel corn, water, pretzels, and of course beer. The bag pick-up area was right there, which was nice for those who used it (I used the hubby). But I did like how close it was to everything. They had a table set up with merchandise that didn't sell during packet pick-up. I tried again for a medium or large in the half marathon, but nothing.

* Medal. Awesome! Seriously. Hubby said he still likes Shamrock (it has a bottle opener on it), but I really like this one. It really incorporated all the aspects of the race and the shore.

* Photography. Included in the race bag (which is pretty nice too actually...) was a post card from the photography company saying photos would be up in 72 hours. Well, they over delivered and I got my photos on Tuesday around 1:00 p.m. via email. So, in about 48 hours they had my images ready. Nice job Ken Shelton Photography!

* Race support. They were fabulous! The police were fantastic keeping the cars from running us over, the water stations had very enthusiastic volunteers, and the volunteers were very clear as to what they were holding or would ask what you wanted when you got to them. One volunteer had gatorade and water. When I said I wanted water, she handed me the cup with water. I was impressed. Race officials are giving the volunteer group with the best response from runners prizes. It's good to hear they will be rewarded for all their hard work!

* Pre-race pasta party. FREE. Did I mention the pre-race pasta party for runners was free? I did not partake, but I was impressed the pasta party was free. I've never seen that at a race. The price for guests was kinda stiff ($25), but I thought it was a nice touch that it was free for runners.

* Starting with the expo, I was not happy that there were no medium or large ladies shirts/jackets by the time I arrived (4:00 p.m.). Sure, I know it's late in the day, but nothing in either size? How do they not know that the half always has more runners than the full and more women are running this distance? How do you not plan for this? 

* Also at the expo, either vendors who were scheduled didn't show or they left early because when we arrived there were a few empty tables. I know of one vendor that was on the list of vendors who was not there. I was looking forward to them being there. I had also thought I would be able to pick up a hair band to match my outfit (yea...yea...I'm a girl). Nothing.

* The course is billed as flat. Um, no. There were quite a few uphill highway entrances that were challenging. It wasn't like Dreaded Druid Hills or anything, but it was hillier than billed. Be prepared for the many uphills. 

* One of the things the race officials made a big deal of was entertainment on the course. And apparently there was...on the marathon course. The only entertainment on the half course was a radio station van playing music. It was disheartening to think the half runners didn't merit entertainment. No offense, but those same marathoners had to pass through the half course too. The half is a challenge to many runners. We're not second class citizens.

* Saturday and Sunday morning walking to the race start, we wondered how they were going to separate the runners from the rest of the boardwalk. Apparently, that wasn't a consideration. There was no lane for runners and so we had to weave our way through tourists who had no consideration a race was going on and on the way out avoid the runner's on the way to the finish. It was frustrating. I'm slow enough as it is, don't make me slow down even further by having to dodge people. It's a race, not Frogger.


  1. I agree with many things, loved the medal and the shirt. Yes, and the hills the first 4 miles were way more than I thought. Luckily later on it was flat. I was glad I didn't run the full marathon, since it was only a few runners for the full and seeing so many people turn around would have been tough.

  2. I thought the same thing about the full. It would have been hard to know you still had 13.1 miles to go before coming back! Halves are good enough for me!

  3. Great post Chris! I was actually looking up Atlantic City Restaurants online when I came across your article, I'm so happy i did because I would love to run one of these marathons next year. Thank you for sharing this with us!