Taking it International with the Buffalo Half Marathon
Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Buffalo Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
The Buffalo half marathon was a fitting race to end spring racing season. Before I hit streets in Buffalo, I took a trip to Toronto, ON. This was my first time visiting Canada and I had an opportunity to do my first international shake out run! After 2 days in Canada, it was back to business in Buffalo.
I stayed at the Buffalo Regency Hyatt, the host hotel, and they had a great welcome for all the runners. They had signs, a whiteboard for writing messages for runners, and snacks. All the front office staff had on Buffalo Marathon shirts. The hotel was reasonable and check in/out was quick. It was also adjacent to the convention center where the expo and race were held.
The race expo was only one day (Sat May 27) from 9 am to 6 pm. Runners were emailed their numbers prior to the race and had to present the number to pick up their bib. I went to the expo soon after it open and pick up was quick. There were plenty of vendors selling apparel, nutrition, and discounted race entries. I snagged a bag of sour apple jelly beans, which I have been unable to find in ATL. There were speakers and I met fellow BibRave Pro Melissa, who was a speaker at the expo. The expo also had plenty of props for photo opps.
The race started at 6:30 am in front of the convention center. The weather was nice and cool. Everyone was self seeded and corrals were a bit crowded before the race. There were plenty of pace teams to support every pace. I joined the 2:30 corral for the race. As a bonus I had my mother in the crowd to cheer me on.
Once we got started, we were able to spread out. The terrain was mostly flat, with a few rolling hills. Even with the few out and back parts, but there was plenty to see. One thing that was interesting was the large amount of gnats on the course. I ran with my head down during the gnat storm so I wouldn't inhale or swallow any of them. The water stops were every other mile and thankfully it wasn't too hot. I finished in 2:32, which is my fastest half marathon time this year.
Overall it was a great race. I can put a stamp on Buffalo. My suggestion for improvement would be to have a two day expo so that runners can pick up their items on Friday. It would also been nice to have more crowd support from the city.