BLUF: Well organized race with few frills. Plenty of hills to be a challenging training race for an out of towner.
Why: I scheduled a few practice races to prepare for my first ever half marathon (Rock n Roll Nashville). The Intown Ten fit perfectly with my training schedule. The hill profile of the course and the small size (450 pers) was an added bonus.
- Race organization was superb! I needed to pick up my bib the day of the race since I traveled from out of town. The registration tent ready to go well ahead of the posted time and it only took five minutes to check-in.
- Fantastic course management. The few races I've participated made me feel as if I was playing Frogger due to poor course marking and police presence. This was not the case with the Intown Ten. Police escorted runners at the beginning and end of the pack and controlled traffic at practically every (large/small) intersection. I was worried about getting lost in the neighborhoods but was pleased how clearly the course was marked. I cannot recall if there were signpost for every mile but I am certain of two with three and one mile remaining.
- I loved the course! The course was described as: "Both [5K/10K] courses have long flat stretches, some downhill stretches and some inclines, as is characteristic of the neighborhood." I did not calculate that hills to an Atlanta native means something different from someone coming from out of town (Montgomery, AL). As a new runner it'll be difficult for me to provided a detailed course breakdown. What I do recall while running is feeling there were more hills than flat portions. Nothing excessive and in all I would say there were four steep inclines/declines that blasted my legs and had my backside sore for days afterwards. Watch out for the last major hill towards the finish…it's a killer (the one time I was forced to walk).
Neutral: Race sponsors offered bananas, water, and various other snacks after the race. Scored a hand towel from Sprouts but I didn't stick around to check out what else was offered.
- If you are a runner who feeds off a crowd, this might not be your race. There were a handful of people sprinkled along the course but nothing significant.
- The race is not "scenic." The neighborhood was pleasant and cozy but not one I call unique.
- Early packet pickup cutoff was the Thursday prior to the event. Packet pickup was offered the weekend prior as well but the days/times would prove difficult for those out of town.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed myself! Perfect training race, great cause, well managed. I only care about supporting good causes and setting PRs during a race so the medal and long sleeve shirt were a plus. Count me in next year!