On Sunday I ran the inaugural Go St. Louis All American 5k. This is my review. I feel it important to point out that all my reviews are based solely on my opinions and experiences at the race and I am not compensated in any way or form for them.
I chose to do race day pickup because I was busy on the other day the were offering pick up (Saturday) and I felt that since it was a bit of a drive from home, I could just grab it Sunday morning. There was lots of free parking by the YMCA in Kirkwood, and you could have also parked at the finish and taken a bus back to the start (provided by Go St. Louis), since this was a point to point race and not a loop type course, which is what I usually run. In hind sight, I wish I would have parked at the finish in Webster Grove and bussed back to the start vs. parking at the start because the lines for the buses where long, and I felt like I had to wait for a while to get on a bus.
You got a nice cotton shirt and finishers medal for this race, which is always nice. I love when a race gives you something other than a t-shirt to remember the race with.
The Race & Course
The race started right on time at 7:30, which is a plus since there were about 1500 runners/walkers in the race. The course ran through a residential area so it was actually mostly shady. The scenery along the course was nice because you got to see several nice houses and pretty churches along the route. Spectators were minimal, but several families and church goers sat outside and cheered the runners on. Plus there were tons of course volunteers. There was one water station 1.75 miles in to the race, and they were doing a good job keeping the water available and spread out so you didn’t get involved in any congestion.
One thing I did not particularly care for was the this race was marketed as a “fast, downhill course”. For it being a “down hill course” there were quite a few up hill areas as well as long (ish) climbs. Now I did like the course, but it was not what I was expecting from the marketing done by Go St. Louis.
The finish area was in Webster Groves, in a commercial area. After going through the finishing chute there were some volunteers directing you to go a certain way to obtain your medal and refreshments. They had some water (which wasn’t very cold, but they had also just dumped some more in to the tubs when I got there), bananas, granola bars, and then a free ice cream bar to participants. I thought this was a pretty nice spread for a first time event. Volunteers worked hard to make sure you got what you needed. There was a post-race stretching/massage area that had tons of tables set out.
Overall I thought this race was a great race and will do it again if offered next year. The only major hits against it were the long lines for the return shuttles and the misinformation on the course elevation. Which, just to ward off any nay-sayers, I did look at the elevation chart and DO NOT recall seeing so many inclines. Perhaps the downhill areas were so gradual that you didn’t really notice them I don’t know.
All in all, I would give this race a 9 out of 10 and encourage everyone to run it next year!