Disclaimer: I received a free entry to run the Bank of Marin Running Festival 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!
Hello and happy day to you!
I feel like I am writing race reviews & recaps every week now…
Which is definitely not a bad thing, by any means.
I have been running very well lately and have really enjoyed all of the races I have done.
This race was no different.
The Bank of Marin Running Festival was held on Sunday, May 21, 2016 in beautiful Novato, CA.
In typical RatherBeRunnin’ style, I arrived at the hotel the day before the race.
I stayed at an absolutely gorgeous DoubleTree about 20 minutes away from Novato.
Checked in and quickly headed to the restaurant for dinner.
This was my view from the hotel restaurant.
Ridiculously awesome, right?!?
I had a delicious kale salad with cranberries, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds.
It was so freaking good.
I was able to get my bib the day of the race- which was really nice.
In all honesty, it was THE smallest half marathon I have ever run.
Which was pretty cool.
The lines for the porta-potties were small.
The expo wasn’t crowded.
And there was lots of food for the runners at the end of the race.
But, I digress.
Let’s talk about the race itself.
Around 6:45 am one of the race sponsors held a warm up and stretching session with the runners, which was a special treat and something I had NEVER seen at a race before.
Again, another perk of running in a smaller race!
The race started promptly at 7 am and there were a total of 121 runners who ran the half marathon.
The course scenery was absolutely gorgeous.
There were lots of race volunteers situated along the course…
And get this!
They were actually cheering for the runners.
What a concept, right?
If you have read any of my race reviews in the past, you probably already know that I have been to my fair share of races that had volunteers who just stood there starting at the runners passing by.
This is a pet peeve of mine.
But, thankfully, the Bank of Marin Running Festival was not like that.
I was really impressed by the level of support coming from such a small race.
It was awesome!
In my opinion, small touches like this really make a big difference.
The festival offered a number of races for athletes of all different abilities:
- Half Marathon
- Corporate Challenge Relay
- Run Like a Girl 1 Mile
Which again, is something that not all races offer.
Another reason why this event was pretty darn cool.
The half marathon course weaved its way through a few beautiful neighborhoods,
up some pretty gigantic hills,
through a wooded trail,
and along a gorgeous country road…
where I may or may not have waved at a few horses.
As you can see from the elevation chart courtesy of my Garmin…
It was definitely a hilly race.
I took it in stride and handled the hills like a champ.
But, overall, I really enjoyed the race and felt like it was well-managed.
There were water stops every mile and they gave out HammerGels at two different stations.
And there were a BUNCH of people cheering at the finish line.
Very, very cool.