Author: Jeremy Granger
Date I Attended: May 1, 2016
Location: Knoxville, TN
Website: Race 13.1 Knoxville
Description: Start/Finish located in the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek shopping center in western Knoxville (outside downtown). There is plenty of parking and leaving was effortless as well. Moderately hilly with a number of short, steep climbs and descents. The run is mostly through subdivisions that are well maintained, there were several short sections on greenways that ran between communities and several miles were on main roads.
Opinion: Overall I liked the race. I loved the start/finish area which was easy to find, there was plenty of parking and it looked like a relatively new outdoor shopping complex. The race I found challenging and taxing on my quads and calves due to several short but steep climbs. I found the route to be a little confusing with a lot more turns than I like, 5kers and 10kers diverging and merging and several intersections that I wasn't sure which way to go. I would attribute this to a convergence of incoming racers and a busy intersection that had one traffic officer. There was simply too much going on for me when I'm in the running zone to determine which way to go at a busy intersection without trying to get the officer's attention.
The aid stations were spread out close to every 2 miles. For me, this is plenty so that I don't have to carry water along the course. However, many participants opted to run with a bottle or pack. It wasn't a big race, so there wasn't a large cheer squad, but at the same time, they had plenty of volunteers to man the aid stations. I didn't see any food or gels along the way, only Gatorade and water. Normally I'm not interested in food or gels for a half marathon, but some runners at the end mention that it would have been nice to have them.
Race results could be quickly found by typing in your bib number on a laptop and getting a printout of your results. If you were an award winner, you could simply hand your results ticket in at the awards booth and claim your winner's medal. I found this to be unique and useful if you had to leave early, but at the same time, there was no podium to stand on with your fellow winners.
The weather was typical of early May in Knoxville; it was humid, in the 60s and low 70s and cloudy. You could feel the humidity taking its toll on you during the second half when it was getting warmer. You can expect that the longer you are on the course, the more you will have to contend with the heat and humidity.
Would I recommend this race? Yes, if you are close by and want to get in a good and inexpensive half marathon. The finisher medal was cute with an orange fox, and I liked getting the second medal for placing in my age group. The race shirt was okay, again with a cute fox on it, but it was gray, and I rarely wear my gray, black and white race shirts.
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