Thursday, April 12, 2018

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon

This was my 4th time running the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon.  I keep returning because I enjoy the race course, the amenities, and the close proximity to my home.  The GO! St. Louis Half Marathon was my 19th half marathon in 2013, 28th half marathon in 2014, and 38th half marathon in 2015.  This year, it was my 49th half marathon!

The Expo:
Like all of the expos I have been to this year, I spent less than 15 minutes actually inside.  The GO! expo was on the campus of Harris Stowe University this year instead of at St. Louis University, which is just across the street and where the expo has been every other time I have run this race. 

Why you should run this race:
  • Several distances over two days: 5k, Children's Fun Run, and Mature Mile on Saturday with the 7k, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, and Marathon on Sunday.
  • Saturday's races were at Forest Park  and Sunday's races started and finished along the riverfront and adjacent to the Gateway Arch.

  • Medals and shirts for all distances!

  • The 7k, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, and Marathon courses all take you on bridges over the Mississippi River, into Illinois, and then back into Missouri.
Runners on the bridge crossing into Illinois

  • The Marathon course also takes you through Forest Park.
  • Park and Ride Shuttle available for those who decided to park downtown on race day (Sunday) OR MetroLink's Laclede's Landing Station is in between the start and the finish lines.  I would recommend MetroLink to avoid having to worry about road closures.  It was so simple!
  • Crown Candy Kitchen chocolate station at mile 6.
  • Great pre-race communication, which started three weeks prior to race day.
  • Post-race email with links to results, photos, list of upcoming GO! events and challenges, and a discount code for the Cardinals Care 6k
  • Several coupons in your race packet with more sent via email through the virtual goodie bag. 
  • Plenty of well-staffed water and Gatorade stops.
  • The finish line is between the Arch and the Mississippi River and then the new sidewalks lead you up the hill to the Arch as you exit.  
  • Vendor village near the Laclede's Landing Station. 
  • Finish line food included bottled water, fruit cups, bananas, toasted ravioli, peanut butter crackers, chips, and Ted Drewes ice cream sandwiches!

I recommend any of the distances during the Marathon and Family Fitness Weekend, and I am sure that I will run one of these races again in the future.  I always forget that downtown races tend to have hilly courses, so try to incorporate hills into your training if you decide to run this race in 2019.

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