I ran this race on a whim, signing up the day before with my wife while on the train down to Charlottesville for a wedding. She signed up for the half marathon. I was in the middle of training for an ultra, and I was planning on doing a 22 mile tun that day anyway, so I decided to give it a go.
Pros: The course is beautiful! I used to live in Cville and the course winds through some of the prettier parts. There was plenty of water, gatordade, and gels on the course. As someone who is used to New York Road Runners events the pre and post-race festivals were small, but relatively well run affairs with very friendly staff. The course was well marked, and the portable toilets were clean.
Cons: Not enough Port-A-Potties! At the start there was a HUGE line for the one set of bathrooms. The course is wicked hilly, and seems to be a little sadistic in the fact that they put a huge incline right at the end. There were a couple of points on the course where drivers annoyingly honked at runners because roads were not fully shut down.
Overall: A great small town marathon. The only major hiccup was the line to poop pre-race. I missed the start by 4 minutes because I was waiting to use the loo.
Pace yourself extra conservatively. The really hilly bits are near the end, and toward the warmer part of the day, so it is tough.
Arrive to the festival early, drop your bag early, and poop early. Just stay at the OMNI downtown if you can get a room. It's a nice hotel and super close to the race start. Grab some bagels at Bodos while you're in town.
By Nate about 2013
The course is very scenic and the town has a great atmosphere. The race, unfortunately, is very poorly organized -- in 2013 the mile markers did not seem to be accurate (some with GPS watches indicated that mile marker 2 was actually closer to 2.5, for example), and the course lacked clocks reflecting time elapsed since the start. I've tried this race twice but won't be back, since it seems its organization hasn't improved.