Race Day: June 1, 2014. I loved this marathon from beginning to end! The scenery is wonderful and the trail is easy on your knees. The only thing I would like changed is to have the buses drop off runners a later or so they don't have to wait an hour and half before the start. Besides that, I think this is an awesomely run event.
Bring a fanny pack that can hold your gel packs and a poncho. It rained for a couple of hours while I was on the trail, and a poncho would have been nice to use. The rained kept the temperatures down which made the run that more enjoyable.
If you want to save some money, look to get a hotel in Sturgis or Lead. The drive to Deadwood is less than 20 minutes to the rodeo where you have to meet the buses to take you to the start line. There is plenty of parking.
By PS about 2012
What a beautiful run it was. Ran it in 2012. I realized while running how blessed I was to get to run the historic rail line and see the Black Hills. It was a small run and no crowds cheering - it was just a wonderful relaxing marathon.
The first half is a slow grade climb - so make sure you are doing some hill work. Bring music!
We stayed at the Deadwood Mountain Grand and loved it. The staff was wonderful. My mom was with me and we didn't bring her scooter. They made sure we had a wheelchair at all times during our stay. And it was only a few blocks from the finish line. Highly recommend.
By NGB about 2012
I liked the scenery.
This is a beautiful place to visit and the summer crowd had not hit yet.
I didn't like that the downhill caused my knee to be sore for days.
I didn't like that all refreshments were gone by time I came in-@6 hour mark.
You cannot fins a restaurant without walking through a casino-planned intentionally. Deadwood has a lot of history and interesting places but, they are becoming overrun by the "Las Vegas comes to Deadwood" theme.
Train for long hills-after talking with several friends we decided that using a treadmill workout with a gradual incline increase over a total of 1 1/2 to 2 hours would be a great training tool for the uphill part.
We were concerned about it being warm-so if you can, train for a warm race (70 to low or mid 80's).
I would NOT recommend the 1/2-it has too many runners for the course-my 3 friends that ran the half did not have the same experience I had even though we ran the same course-they were unable to enjoy the scenery because of the crowds.
Lots of campgrounds, cabins that run 1/2 or less then half the cost offered at the host hotel.
The pasta dinner was poorly planned-people were waiting 45-1 hour and longer for their meal. For some reason they grossly underestimated the # of people interested-probably should have had it set up to pay ahead of time-then they would have had some solid #'s to work