At this point, I feel like its fair to say that I’ve ran a few marathons. The Hatfield McCoy Marathon was my 43rd marathon. I know a good one from a bad one. I know that each of us has personal preferences but there are a few things that we all want in a good race: community support, great aid stations, frequent aid stations & a great course that keeps our mind off the miles. Hatfield McCoy delivered all that and much more at a very low cost.
The expo was easy & fast. Not a lot of booths but Gypsy Runner was there and she always has fun things for those who are looking for great gear! The registration, which was very reasonable ($65 for early birds) also included a free pasta dinner at the expo location for each registrant.
The race started in Williamson, WV and ran into KY. The half way point was Matewan, KY. Therefore, we were able to use this race for either KY or WV for those of us who are trying to run the 50 states. As a result, there were lots of 50 Staters, Marathon Maniacs & Half Fanatics who were trying to grab a new state. The race also offered 2 half marathons, one for each state, so the half runners could actually run both to capture 2 states in one day, if they were so inclined.
This race was really a great mix of terrain from main highways that were partially closed to traffic, thru neighborhoods where residents were out sitting on their front porches, on trails (paved, gravel & mud). We saw a little bit of everything but what was consistent were the aid stations and the amazing volunteers who were super friendly and welcoming.
A bit of the course.
A few hills. Otherwise know as mountains. Some up. Some down. Some steep. Some gently sloping. I actually didn’t even get a picture of any good “ups”. Boo! Third photo below courtesy of Amy from Gypsy Runner.
Varied terrain, bridges & river views. 1st & 2nd photo below courtesy of Amy from Gypsy Runner.
We loved the wobbly bridge!
And friends. That’s what I love about marathons the most. The people I meet along the way. The stories I hear. The places we go. Extra person in pink. Amy in yellow (back), Lainey (white & red – left) & Julie in green. A little blurry but still a fun shot.
And some history about the Hatfield’s & McCoy’s thrown in along the way.
This was a great race. One of my favorites thus far. The first half was shaded, which is a total win in my book! There were hills but it seemed manageable even though this race took over the #1 spot for the most elevation gain (1,544 ft) of any road marathon that we’ve done to date. We had steep accents & descents but a lot of flat ground in between. Better for me than the continuous up and down rollers! In case you’re keeping track of my road race elevation gain list, #2 is now Mississippi Blues Marathon (1,319), #3 is the Georgia Marathon (1,265), #4 the Rock N Roll Nashville Marathon (1,121), and that bumps Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon (1,020) to #5.
The second half of the race was full sun. Not ideal but the aid stations were close together, about every mile. They had cold water, ice, bananas, oranges, watermelon, gels, electrolyte tabs, pickle juice & other random goodies. We even had a volunteer or random stranger (who can really tell?) drive by at some point handing out Twizzlers. We definitely felt welcomed into the various communities and even though the race shut down a lot of roads, everyone seemed content to help out or sit on their front porches & wave as we ran past.
SWAG? Unisex tech shirt & a mason jar with the race logo. I love unique SWAG!
Smaller race. 256 full marathon finishers. Then another 400ish runners between the 2 half marathons offered. Great day. Great race. Great area. Loved it. I’d highly recommend this race and anticipate it being the best “bang for my buck” for this year. Registration was low ($65) and the hotel was reasonable ($115 with tax), plus there were much cheaper options for those traveling on a budget. Put this one on your “must do” list!
** Run the Hatfield McCoy Marathon ** Amanda – TooTallFritz