The Comfort Inn at Presque Isle was convenient to the race location.
Easy logistics, great staff, fast course - Erie Marathon 17
By JWC about 2017
First time for me to run this marathon, I would definitely recommend it to others. I thought all of the logistics for this marathon were well thought out and executed. It was a little intimidating at first at check in b/c it seems like EVERYONE is wearing a Boston jacket.
PROS: Flat course. Mild temperatures. Shaded course. Excellent course support with water stops and porta-johns every mile. Scenery was interesting and enjoyable. Music at the water stops was fun. The fact that the water stop crews are competing against each other makes it fun. Contrary to earlier years reviews, there were pacers this year.
CONS: Maybe a pro from your pov but it is kind of a serious race with large majority of runners trying to BQ. Overall, I give the course high marks but some will not like double loop. The courses one true con would be leading up and including the turnaround right before miles 13 and 26--felt like you were running through traffic and then having to do a 180 turn to come back to start/finish area.
Logistics were very easy for this race. Parking this year was about .7 miles from start and we rode the shuttles down to the start area. Most recommended hotels are nice and clustered around 9 miles from parking. No traffic issues getting to parking in about 18 minutes and immediately boarded shuttle to start. Bag drop and plenty of porta johns immediately adjacent to start corals. Nice finishing snacks with subway sandwich pack, chips, cookies, bananas, bagels, chocolate milk and plenty of water bottles.
Things I liked: LOVED the size of this race and the first loop was absolutely beautiful (by the second loop it kind of all looks the same). Loved that there as a fun water stop every mile (the volunteers and water stops were AWESOME)- gave you something to look forward to. I happened to get lucky and had great weather but I have heard the weather is usually very good for this race each year.
What I didn't like: We had 1.5 miles each loop of swarms of newly hatched mayflies that were EVERYWHERE so for 3 miles of the race, you were literally swatting swarms of bugs that you could not avoid. Nothing that anyone could control, no biggie. The sand made it slippery around a couple water stops. I was fortunate enough to have BQ'd before this race so this was simply a training run for me (though I did clock a PR) but my biggest downside to this race was the feeling before and during the race...it felt...heavy. Not as fun and relaxed as other races and I'm sure that was largely because many people were there specifically to BQ. Finally, the GU Brew was terrible. I am used to Gatorade so maybe it's supposed to taste that watered down but it was not good at all. The fun volunteers handing it out made it worth tolerating though!
If you want to BQ and actually run Boston, you would have to pace ahead of your group as they were only about a minute under BQ time standards, which would likely not be aggressive enough to get a person to run Boston.
This race feels very much like a long training run (which I LOVED) so just know going in that it isn't huge with spectators or noise. It's just you, running alongside trees and water with newly found friends.