Not too long ago, I posted a recap of my 35th half marathon, the Brokeman’s Winter Warm Up. Admittedly this was my first time running a Brokeman’s Series race, but I have had my eye on them on some time. Elizabeth actually told me a lot about them last year. As it turned out she was one of the ambassadors and going into 2017, I decided to throw my name in the hat for that as well. Low and behold, I was selected as a 2017 Ambassador and I was very grateful for that. Since I loved my first Brokeman’s experience so much, I wanted to share some of the great things about this series so that you can jump in on one of their races as well.
One part of the Brokeman’s Race Series vision is to provide affordable racing to all. Let’s be honest, race registrations can get out of control. I admit I’ve paid a pretty penny for some races, but ideally I’d love to never spend more than $50-60 on a half marathon. I love to race and by paying more and more for these races, it begins to cut into the race budget which means less races over the year.
Some races out there offer a low entry fee, but then you also don’t get anything for running. No medal, no official time, no shirt, nothing. You just get a randomly marked course and the ability to say you “raced” that morning. Well, that’s the opposite of Brokeman’s. It is a no frills race, but you don’t lose the support and you even get a woodal!
The race registration usually starts at $20 on opening day for registration and highest I’ve seen is race day registration which was at $60 for the Winter Warm Up. By offering this lower cost race series, it gives those who might not be able to afford the all frills races a chance at racing. Everything about race day is just like every other race day. There is packet pick up, you get a bib, you go to a start line and have amazing course support along the way. You only get a race shirt if you buy one. They weren’t too expensive though and if you pre-order you get a better discount.
One of the other big things about their races is that they are completely cup free! They encourage you to bring your own water bottle of hydration vest. If you don’t have one though you can buy a cup and take it with you along the course. This was the 2nd cup free race I ever participated in and I absolutely love the idea. In fact, the race director posted a picture of the trash after the race and instead of mounds and mounds of it, had one small garbage bag. For a race with over 500 runners and spectators, that was so impressive!
With the Winter Warm Up half that I ran, we did have an official finish but it wasn’t a chip time. This is probably the one thing I’d love to see changed and it’s more of a pet peeve if anything of mine. I just like to know my accurate time for a race. I know it’s additional cost, but it maybe could be kept lower with non-disposable chips, etc. At the very least though, there is an official finish time which is what matters if you’re on a 50 State Quest or 100 Half Quest.
Another great thing about this race series is that they use a lot of multi-use trails around the cities. Through all of my travels through Ohio, one of the things I have enjoyed most is exploring their Metro Parks and multi-use trails. It’s a great feeling being only 15-20 minutes from a major city, but also feeling like you’re out in the middle of no where at the same time. As a runner, this is also a lot safer since you’re not worried about cars on even a partially closed course.
There really is a great sense of community at the Brokeman Events. Along the course for my half, runners kept cheering on other runners. This even included some of those crazy fast first place runners. You typically see the back of packers cheering others on, but for this race I can’t say it was just them. It was everyone.
If you are in and around the Ohio area you really should get to one of these races. There are 4 more races left of the year, so hopefully one fits into your schedule. Below is the race information for the remainder of the races. If you get a chance to check them out, let me know your thoughts!
Brokeman’s Southwest Ohio Race
April 23, 2017
Brokebabes Marathon (Women’s Only Race)
May 14, 2017
August 27, 2017
Brokeman’s Central Ohio
October 1, 2017