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Best Marathons of 2016

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Steamtown Marathon Reviews


4.6 Stars from 15 Runners





  

By about 2016


Review

Fun environment,lots of fans, personalized bib and name called at the finish line. Very, VERY organized. Great course. And the FOOD is outstanding!


Race Tips

Beginning is mostly down hill. Pace yourself and don't try to bank hours! There's a huge hill at 22.


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

Hotels near finish line, take the bus to the start.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Liked: Great organization, beautiful course, and gorgeous medals. Very friendly and one of my favorites (I love small town marathons.) Also enjoyed the weight classes.

Didn't like: don't expect much of an expo, and they ran out of the coolest shirt. (The women's shirts were awful- no trains on them! It's Steamtown! They should have trains!)


Race Tips

You will either love or hate this course, depending on how smartly you run it. I ran consistent energy rather than pace- a lot of people may have passed me in the beginning, but I passed a LOT of them back in the last eight miles. Run it smart and this is a PR course. Run it wrong and your legs will be hating life.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

Great, fast course. Course and race management was excellent. Hometown and family feel. Lots of good support from the locals showed it is appreciated by community. Funny weekly emails and updates leading up to the race.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

It's NOT easy. The last 4 miles are tougher than most marathons!


Race Tips

Do not bank time in beginning. Relax as much as possible! Mile 8-18 are downhill, but barely. Be prepared to work during those miles as well.


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

LOVED the Hilton.


4 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2016


Review

This is a very well organized marathon. Start by studyng the course description and the related reviews in its' web page to decide if this marathon is for you. Do not expect to have a PR or BQ without proper training, as in any other marathon, and just run it. Do not try to bank time in the first 12 downhill miles to avoid destroying your quads for the relatively 3 tough hills in the last 3-4 miles. This is a suggestion of many seasoned runners that actually have run this marathon. My personal experience was gratifying, even without getting a PR that could get me to Boston. Believe me, not complains at all, very beautiful course, the support amazing, I have not enough words to praise all the details that make this a marathon for marathoners.


Race Tips

As mentioned just run your marathon, preferably trying to keep an even pace, or at least not running more than 5-10 seconds faster per mile during the first half.


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

Because of the location I think that there is not better hotel than the Hilton in downtown: very close tho the finish line and the buses that go to the start.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Well done race. Great for runners that like to run downhill. Tons of food at the finish line.


Race Tips

Save something for the 3 final hills at the end of the race.


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

We arrived on Friday night and found it helpful to take a short run on the final mile or so of the course. The give free admission to the train and trolley museums which were fun and interesting, but don't wear yourself out sightseeing.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Great communication prior to the race. Beautiful course and nice point to point race. Definitely gets tough after the initial downhills and you will pay if you went out too fast during the last 6 miles.


Race Tips

Do not bank time early. The last few hills, though small, will be unbearable if you have nothing in the tank.


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

It starts at the high school in Forest City, so plenty of bathrooms, warm gyms to sit in. Smaller race, so you do not have to get there more than an hour before the start.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Fast course, great support, logistics, crowds


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

Overall "A" grade - weather is usually ideal for marathon running. Foliage beautiful. Support from the locals outstanding. Well organized for a smaller marathon.

Did not care for the part of the Rails to Trails section that was on soft ground. Yes, your knees and legs got a slight break from the pavement, but the unevenness and jagged rocks and sticks sometimes got you right in the foot when you landed.


Race Tips

This was my first marathon. The course is deceptive as others note. The downhills are not necessarily your friends. I think other race organizers do a bit of "smoothing" on the elevation profile, but if you look at the elevation profile on Steamtown's web site, you would think there is not a single uphill until the final 3 miles. Take a peek at other sites offering elevation profiles - there are plenty of small, short uphills - just not as daunting as the ones in the final stretch. But every hill counts when you're taking 30,000+ steps.

EVERY site, review, and discussion about Steamtown tells you to be conservative and treat the first 8 miles as your warmup. Then go race. How people did not know about that or ignored it (and wonder why they bonked) I have no idea.

You do not need special quad strength training to do Steamtown. You need to train and race smart. And I'm a guy who didn't log insane weeks of mileage (most weeks between 25-40). I didn't train exclusively on flat terrain, but I didn't seek out "hill training" either. I had no problem last weekend. I listened to the advice to chill out in the beginning and save energy. I never needed to walk on the course. I wasn't pushing for an elite time, so maybe my perspective isn't as helpful.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2015


Review

If you're looking for a PR or BQ time and think this is ideal because of the decline, be warned, you will have to prepare intensely for the downhill. I have run similar profiles (Run for the Red most recently) with much success but this course chewed me up and spit me out. The downhill destroyed my quads by the halfway point and eventually that took its toll on the rest of me. It wasn't going out too fast or lack of training runs but rather a lack of quad strengthening before this race. If you decide to do it (there's a lot to like about this race if you like small town races - the director is organized and hilarious, the course is great for family to spectate on and see you at several points, you have a gym to stay in before the start, etc. etc. etc.) you MUST spend time building up your quads to withstand this downhill.


Race Tips

Train on downhills AND do quad specific strengthening prior to this race to withstand the decline in the course.


2 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2014


Review

Absolutely top-notch marathon. Pre-race communication was second-to-none; informative and humorous. The small-ish expo at the high school was easy to find and packet pick-up was a breeze. Bus pick-up was smooth, the greeting by the high school kids at arrival was a nice touch, and waiting in the warm gym was great. There were plenty of potties at the start; not much of a line at all. As for the race, as others have noted you need to be prepared for the downhill stretch. I went out too fast and had a 8 minute positive split; the last couple of miles were difficult for me. Post-race was a blur; there was a decent spread but I just grabbed a banana and chocolate milk as eating is the last thing I want to do for a while after a race. I will be back in 2017 to get my sub 3:00.


Race Tips

Definitely include long downhill runs into your training; for sure some training at marathon pace and if possible some at tempo pace.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2014


Review

This is a really well run marathon. The event has a very enjoyable small town feel including several nice elements like a great after race pasta party, race walk-thru and lots of spectators. The course did not seem that fast, but is deceptively so. A PR is very possible.


Race Tips

Early downhill miles need to be run conservatively. Rails to trails section is fun as the narrow trail has plenty of cheering onlookers on both sides.


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

Very easy to get to race if driving.


5 / 5 Stars


  

By about 2011


Review

Well run, small town feel. Love how the towns along the way (it is a point to point race) welcome the runners. Staying warm in HS gym before race was nice and the HS students there were super supportive.


Race Tips

Lot's of downhill early. Be cautious or you will thrash your thighs. Three hills the last 5K which can really hurt if you went out tot hard. Nice few miles in the middle on a soft trail. Give your legs a break from the pounding.


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

The shuttle system to the start worked great for me (I did get there nice and early).


4 / 5 Stars


  Don't go out too fast on the early downhills

By about 2010


Review

This is a great marathon, but don't think that just because the elevation profile is downhill that it is fast. I had the worst of my four marathons at this race. It is a well organized race with lots of people and local bands cheering along the way.


Race Tips

I really blew late in this race. I made the mistake of going out really fast on the downhill part of the race. The first six miles are really steep downhill. By the time I hit 17 miles, my legs were cramping bad. The last part of the race is really kind of hilly. If I was going to run this race again, I'd go out a lot slower and control myself down the hills.


4 / 5 Stars





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