Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to race in the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

 

So this is my first race running for BibRave and I couldn’t have picked a better one! This is a must-do race for anyone looking for a fun-filled scenic and historic 1/2 marathon. I always heard great things about the race and had it on my to-do list. I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in a race that goes all out to ensure the runners have a memorable experience.

Expo – The expo was held at the Double Tree Hilton in the Ballroom and while I didn’t stay at this hotel, it seemed to be well organized. I stayed across the street and walked over around 5pm and was greeted by the friendly volunteers who guided you to the lines (alphabetically). The volunteers handing out the packets couldn’t have been more polite and enthusiastic. After receiving my goodies and bib, I walked around to see everything else around the expo. The first thing that caught my eye was the pacer boards. I’ve never seen a posterboard of bios on those that will lead you through the coarse. It showed how many times they’ve run the Lincoln Half as well as how many marathons they completed. It was nice to see what their goal was for pacing (Neutral splits, start off slow, etc). The rest of the expo had some vendors selling miscellaneous tshirts, socks, GU, and other running items). The last spot I stopped in at was for the Rolling Meadows beer samples. I tried the Abe’s Ale and the Lincoln’s Lager and well, loved them both. They were small cute shot sized samples just to tempt your senses.
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Prerace – I always love the excitement of everyone walking to the start line and scoping out the competition. This start line at 6th and Washington was such a perfect spot in front of the Old State Capitol with plenty of spots for prerace photos. I of course with fellow BibRave Pros, opted to get in some photos with the Abe Lincoln impersonator. This guy is a treasure for this race. They picked the perfect guy to play Lincoln. He was genuinely attired and played that role to a tee with a little humor added in.
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Race/Scenery – The start line pacers began to assemble in the area and I picked my pacing group in anticipation of getting a realistic PR. Before we began, the Race Director gave out a few encouraging words and handed the microphone over the Abe himself for a great funny speech before the sounds of firing muskets starting us running. I loved that part of the race that gives you chills to the roaring crowds! The race takes you through some extremely beautiful areas through cobblestone and brick streets in some areas. Running past some historic buildings with actors dressing the part and encouraging you as the runners went by. There was so much support along the coarse from residents cheering from their home as well as police officers and volunteers offering their support. Running through the cemetery and along the scenic river were two of my favorite spots to run around. But, nothing beats the finish line. Before you round the corner, you can hear the roars of the crowd and once you see the finish line itself, you get that last bit of adrenalin to push on.
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Postrace – Thank you to those volunteers handing you the medals. They were so friendly and congratulating everyone with a medal and some hugs. Right after that, you get enticed with the usual postrace needs like water and gatorade. On the lawn of the Old State Capitol, you can already smell the goodness that is beer and donuts! They also had orange slices, banana slices, and trail bars but of course the postrace beer and Krispy Kreme donuts were the popular choices. The band that played on the stage by the Capitol was just awesome! I’m a fan of any band that has a banjo in it!
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All-in-all – This was such a fun race and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for such an interactive historic race. The Race Director does an incredible job to ensure that everyone has a great time. The Abe Lincoln impersonator is icing on the cake. You can tell that every detail was thought about throughout the entire experience from registration to finish line

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