This is a great race. There was good crowd support for a small town race, which was nice. The race had water and Gatorade stops every 1.5 miles, which were well-staffed and sufficiently long that runners were not tripping over each other. I thought the course was good; it does have rolling hills and several uphills toward the end so don't expect a flat course. We ran through downtown, around a park, and through nice residential areas. The last few miles were on roads that were open to traffic so we were a little cramped on the side of the road, which was hard because many people were walking on the hills.
I would recommend leaving plenty of time to get to the race because the freeway and street heading to the start does get backed up, but that is to be expected with thousands of rubbings trying to get to the same place on only a few roads. You do get to park right near the start, though, which is nice.
The medals are great. There was a lot of waiting to get the "post race premium" (a cool part-zip technical shirt) but I imagine they will fix that next year. The women's shirts were tiny (seriously, like children's clothing) but the race organizers are talking on Facebook about allowing runners to exchange their shirts. Hopefully they fix the shirt sizing next year as well.
All in all, a great race. I thought it was better organized than the National Half, which I ran in March. I have heard that the race organizers made changes to the course and packet pick-up this year in response to past comments, so I am hopeful they will be responsive again and make this great race even better.
I have run three half marathons in the past three weeks -- the first and the BEST being the Frederick Half! I was impressed with everything from sufficient parking, reasonable restroom availability, great course, swag, and beautiful medal. It helps that I got a PR -- but that's not why I consider it to be the best of 3. While the other two were wonderful in their own right -- Frederick got it right across the board. In comparison to my other two -- this was a "flat" course. Marathon Foto did a great job also. This race will certainly be one of the highlights of 2011! Great job to the Race Director and Staff -- see you next year!