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Running With The Bears Marathon Reviews
5.0 Stars from
By Chris about 2014
I've run 9 marathons (big and small) and probably a hundred other organized races. This is by far and away the best experience I have ever had at a race. The setting is a small town in the northern CA mountains. The town comes out and supports this race 100%. The event is organized by people provide fun outings (skiing / camping) for foster children that don't usually get to do things that a lot of us take for granted growing up. So #1 - it's for a great cause. Beyond that, they do a phenomenal job organizing it and the course is stunningly beautiful with comfortable temperatures, especially for an August marathon. If it's within driving distance, this is a no-brainer - do it. If it's not within driving distance, consider getting on a plane, renting a car and driving out there - the experience is worth it. Awesome race.
The course is generally flat on paved roads with several smallish hills. I'm not a hill runner and this course felt comfortable.
The town folks treat the race as a competition to see who can have the craziest aid station (most of them dress up). Very fun but made for some interesting race snacks (think home made peanut butter crunch ball cookies vice a pack of GU). If you need your gels, bring em. All of the stations did have good old H2O and there was enough of them.