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Pocono Mountain Run For The Red Marathon Reviews


4.1 Stars from 16 Runners





  

By about 2017


Review

The Run for the Red is a purpose built race for BQ qualifiers. I was amazed to stand at the start and see how many people lined up in front of the 3:25 pacer. With that said, there is over 600' of uphills, with many back ended when your quads are screaming. The first half of the race is bucolic and quiet and provide ample opportunity to cut corners. The back half includes open roads with 2-way traffic, but you should always feel safe. The finish is awesome, and the logistics, while a bit complicated, are easy to handle.


Race Tips

Best pacing strategy - buy a wrist band from findmymarathon!!! I ran an even effort strategy, and it's sometimes shocking to see 20-30 sec/mile under your overall pace but reassuring when you check in with the pace band that it's the course, not you. I never got more than +/- 30 sec from my overall target. If I had to run this race again I would probably target a more aggressive negative split - cruising through the cool first half and banking energy definitely helps the tougher back half.

Three race tips:

1. There is no nutrition provided on the course, so if you need GUs, bring 'em yourself.
2. At the water stations, they hand out full bottles of water - grab one. While the aid stations are stated to be every 2 miles, sometimes they are a bit further.
3. Keep your eyes peeled for potholes - there are many, especially in the beginning third, that looked like ankle eaters.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

This is a nice, small, well supported race. Parking is easy at Pocono Mountain West HS. The HS is open, providing a great place to keep warm and use any last minute facilities. The race organizers provide a drop bag for the finish. If you are coming from out of town and don't want to pick up your bib the night before I recommend paying the extra $20 for race day pickup. I cruised in at 6:10am, picked up my bib, used the facilities and still had plenty of time for warm ups and bag drop off before 7am start. The shuttle buses make the 20 minute drive back to the start after the race and leave frequently.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Easy check in, good support on the course, fun finish on a track. The elevation chart is misleading. Be ready for lots of climbs in the second half.


Race Tips

Wish the water stations were very mile instead of every 2.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

For a relatively small event, this is an extremely well-produced race. Everything from packet pick up to on course water stops to the finish facility was very, very well done. Both the start and finish are at large high schools with ample bathroom facilities. Each are supplemented with a seemingly excessive port-a-potty supply. The volunteer support throughout the race was top-notch, too. I've done much larger races with significantly inferior support, organization, and production to this one.


Race Tips

Downhill does not bother me, so I'm a bit biased (if downhill racing is tough on your legs, this one is not for you!). I was able to execute my race strategy (in order to achieve a BQ) exactly, which was to put some time in the bank in the first half (then hold that pace/effort as long as I could) to buy myself some wiggle-room in the 2nd half in case those rollers at the end hit me hard. Fortunately, it went exactly as planned and by the time fatigue started to impact my pace, I'd bought myself plenty of time. On the rolling hills in the 2nd half, every up is followed immediately by a down, so you can recover quickly -- don't worry about your pace in the up hill; just maintain the same effort and you'll make it up on the following downhill.

You will see other comments about traffic not being completely closed. This is certainly the case, but I never felt unsafe; I just couldn't take every tangent perfectly.

Similar to my statement about downhill; if you need huge crowds (both racers and along the course in support, cheering), then this might not be the race for you. However, if you're able to let your mind wander and enjoy beautiful rural scenery in relative solitude, you'll be just fine. If you need on-course support, have a similarly paced running buddy do it with you.

My logistics provided me the opportunity to drive the course the day before the race -- if you haven't done this one before, I highly recommend it.

I somehow managed to beat my goal time (3 minutes faster than my BQ standard) by one minute, 14 seconds -- a significant PR, as well. Big caveat here: the weather was damn near perfect! This leads me to my final point:


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

If you live within driving distance of this race, and are training to race a marathon +/- one week of this one, you can wait until the just before race weekend and check the weather forecast. If the weather is good (like we had this year) you can register as late as the morning of and have a great race. (I'm pretty sure the first overall woman this year did exactly that, and earned $2000 for a little under three hours of work.) I can see this being a very tough course on a hot day, though. It's mostly shaded in the first half, but pretty exposed to the sun in the 2nd, where the course gets a bit harder.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Well organized. Great course!!! Suitable for a BQ. Pacers are provided, but I wish they can provide pacers at Age group specific BQ times less 5 minutes. Because I think this is a course where people mostly come for a PR and maybe a BQ. My BQ time is 3:25. I followed 3:25 pacer and finished in 3:24:41, a PR for me of 4 minutes. But most likely this won't qualify me for Boston.


Race Tips

Either follow a pacer or create a custom pace band from here with Even Effort, even pace, etc. Because of significant downhill in the first half and then some uphills in miles 18, 20, 22, 24, you need to conserve energy during downhill/first half. It's not easy to bank on the time saved in the first half for the second half because of the rolling hills from mile 18.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Bring your own gels. Have one Gatorade bottle in your bag checked for after the race to get rid of cramps. I didn't get any Gatorade and any salty pretzel from the organizers after the race, when I was cramping severely. But they had plenty of water, turkey sandwich and bagels, and chocolate milk and ice bags and medical tents.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Small but very well run race. The course is not as easy as it looks on the elevation chart. The early miles of the constant down hills does take its toll on your legs as you enter the 2 hills around miles 19 to 20. I was pretty much on pace for a BQ finish until I hit those hills. I managed to hang on the final miles coming in 14 minutes under my goal time. Disappointment on my part for maybe going out too quick to early but I would certainly do it again next year and will stick with a pace group instead.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2017


Review

Loved the scenery... beautiful course! This is a smaller race that's well managed. Although it's a net downhill, you need to be well trained or the hills toward the end (barely noticeable on the elevation chart) will get you in the later miles after mile 18.5+. Rolling hills the first few miles. Water bottles were handed out at two spots later in the race which was great! No gels, but that wasn't a problem as the website states it so I brought my own.


Race Tips

The race was well organized with packet pick-up the day before, and the start line was at a high school so bathroom facilities were available. I wish they had more food at finish line... only small dry (no mayo/mustard) sandwiches and muffins were provided; no chips, granola bars etc!! (I thought these were standard at finish lines.)


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Shuttles were available from the finish line to the start since this is a point-to-point race. I didn't need it but it was nice to know it's available... just in case!


5 / 5 Stars


  Very Fast but Challenging

By about 2017


Review

Very fast but challenging. Net downhill but a couple uphills near the end. Great smaller race with great organization and very high percentage of BQ's.


Race Tips

They have excellent pacers. Avoid going to fast early with the downhills. Weather is variable but was great this year.


5 / 5 Stars


  Be careful of the downhills

By about 2017


Review

I ran this marathon this year 2017, finished BQ-6 and here's my thought about this course. 1. I assume you come to this race for a PR or BQ. 2. The course has a deep downhill until 18 miles marker. I have to say the downhill did help you with easy goal mp paces but after that, there are several rolling hills -- They are not long, but hard for legs got adapt to downhills. What's more, the deep downhill over uses your glutes and hamstrings. Trust me, I ran past over 10 runners after 18 miles, all of them were running too fast when downhill but hardly felt it, when the course went to flat or uphill, that really killed you.

3. It's a small race, the race organization is not good enough, most of the course you have to run on the curves of the road against two ways of traffic, that's dangerous though few cars passed by.

4. Again, if you train hard in winter to pursue a pr or bq, this course is just the same as the other flat courses, no easier. Unless you trained exactly for a downhill course and run lots of downhill mileage in your training cycle. Otherwise, I would recommend you to choose a more flat or more beautiful course to run your PR or BQ.


Race Tips

1. Stick to your goal marathon pace or just a little bit faster in the downhill miles, otherwise you'll be much slower than you think in the last 8 miles.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

1. I would recommend you stay near the finish line, other wise you have to take the shuttle back to the start line to get your car. The shuttle takes longer after a marathon.

2. You can call the local cab company to schedule a ride to the start line on race day, cost us about 40 dollars, we have 5 runners to split the cost. 1. I would recommend you stay near the finish line, other wise you have to take the shuttle back to the start line to get your car. The shuttle takes longer after a marathon. 2. You can call the local cab company to schedule a ride to the start line on race day, cost us about 40 dollars, we have 5 runners to split the cost. 3. Don't expect to take the Uber to the start line, it is a very small town, few Uber drivers there, plus race day morning is too early.

3. Don't expect to take the Uber to the start line, it is a very small town, few Uber drivers there, plus race day morning is too early.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

This marathon was very well organized and run. I ran it to try to qualify for the Boston and came up a little short, but it was due to lack of speed than the course. There are some small hills in the final 5 miles, but nothing that I hadn't trained for. Overall, the course is downhill and allowed me to run a very aggressive pace through the first half without putting forth extra effort. You do run with traffic, but it was not an issue except for a 2 mile stretch when traffic going in both directions made it a challenge to cut the corners. Folks (drivers) were very cautious and courteous, and I never felt in any danger.


Race Tips

Even though this course is net/net down hill, you still need to pace yourself to have something left for the few hills at the end. The course is mostly on back roads and is very scenic. Being able to have access to the high school at the beginning was great to stay warm and use the facilities.


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We got to the starting location around 6:15 or so. Volunteers directed you where to park. My wife took me, so I did not have to bother with a shuttle back to the starting line since this race is one way and not a loop back to start.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Good-net downhill, good weather. Bad-plastic cups, low crowd support, no transport to start.


Race Tips

Bank strength.


3 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Great fast course. Didn't like that traffic was still opened.


Race Tips

Pace yourself and definitely train for the downhills!


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Well organized smaller marathon, adequate well run aid stations with potty, net downhill yet challenging overall course. Large warm facility with plenty of washrooms at the start, Fun stadium track finish . Aggressive traffic and runners conflict on an open highway around miles 20 - 23 lots of near misses. Inadequate traffic control at this section.


Race Tips

Even effort rather pace, first half is fast, the advise to save something for the last 6 miles is even more appropriate here.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

I signed up for this race to achieve my BQ since I was only 1 minute off on my last race, I missed it by over 35 minutes!!! Many reasons why: * Roads were in ridiculous shape. The big potholes were marked but we spent miles of the course dodging and wasting energy. We also had to run over a quarter of a mile on a closed road that had just recently been ripped up! There was re-barb and misc. construction materials ALL OVER. * Water stations were mismanaged. Yes, you can not control volunteers but there was NEVER any consistency as to which fluid (water or Gatorade) was in which cup and which was being served first. The volunteers rarely told you what they had in their hands and it was a constant guessing game when you arrived. Most volunteers just stood there with there hands out saying nothing. The exception was the station at 24.6...they rocked. * ZERO gels or ANY nutritional support. I did not personally need this but it was 86 degrees that day and runners were depleted...unacceptable. Praise to the people that brought us ice and orange slices out from their homes! * Two-way car traffic! There is a large number of non-runners in this community that do not wish this race to be there. They drove dangerously close to us runners, sped up right next to you, honked (even at those clearly off the side of the road) and had no problem yelling at us from their car windows with four letter words. I was disgusted! * Police officers, while most were nice, did not want to be there. They had no problem communicating to us runners that this was their day off and they did not appreciate us. Not sure what this was about but I can only guess that law enforcement and race directors don't have a great relationship. Regardless of their attitudes, I thanked each and every one. * Which brings me to my next point. The heat was stupid! It could have easily been avoided by starting at 6am. The reason for the late start posted to FB by the race is that law enforcement refuses to help with an earlier start. In the end, a man dropped from a heart attack, many racers were carried off course by ambulances (of which I witnessed no less than six personally), and the medical center had a television spot the next morning declaring that racers filled up their ERs. * The finish line, while staffed with medical center professionals, was inadequate. They ran out of ice and were constantly scrambling to deal with those in bad shape. Did they get it done? Yes, but not what you would expect out of a race running for 10 years. There was extremely minimal replenishment at the end...it was like they ran out of money. My family took me to nearby grocery store for electrolyte and nourishment. I am a seasoned runner and can honestly say...please avoid this one. It would be good if you have no time goals and were out to run it with a group of friends...and come prepared!


Race Tips

Come prepared for heat, crazy two-way traffic and bad attitudes:-(.


1 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Many showed up to try and BQ and many were disappointed. Typically the Pocono's are relatively cool in May, but this years 86 deg and 95% humidity made an already challenging course for runners a dangerous one. Do not let the net downhill fool you. Yes, you can coast on the middle section of the race, but the last 5 miles is where the real work starts with 4 big, steep, punishing hills. The positioning of the hills is just killer. If you are looking to BQ and you live in PA I would consider another race over this one. If you are just running for fun then I would recommend it.


Race Tips

Make sure to incorporate hill training (up and down) into your program. Bring extra fuel for the last 5 miles. Sunscreen:)


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Bring as much food, drink, etc. as you can when visiting this area. There are very little stores, shops etc. to get last minute supplies. Pocono Manor Inn is a great place to stay.


3 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2013


Review

I loved this race. Ran it in 2013 and it was my first sub-4:00 marathon. The course was easy for spectators and had a home-town charm to it. It's small and you won't have a lot of spectators or excitement to take your mind off the run, but it provides you with a great opportunity to focus on the race. The downhill was manageable with proper training and unlike Steamtown, the impact of the decline was not nearly as hard on my body as a steady downhill.


Race Tips

Have a spectator come along to see you at several points on the course, it's easy to navigate and there's so few spectators, you'll be glad to see a friendly face.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2012


Review

The hills were amazingly tough...and I live and train in a very hilly area. The website claims that it is downhill....well maybe they should talk about the many uphills as well.


Race Tips

Race day in 2012 was 82 degrees!


1 / 5 Stars





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