Parking was free and abundant! I parked 1 block from the start / finish line so it was no trouble to get my camera after I finished.
A church served hot homemade soup at the finish line. When I tried to make a donation, they said they weren't accepting donations from runners :)
Rather than a crappy shirt full of sponsor logos, participants each got a jacket, polyester on the outside, fleece on the inside. It's men's sizing, so the sleeves are long enough!!!! Easily the nicest gear I've ever gotten at a race.
The Y was open for post-race showers.
I generally drink water and/or Gatorade from every table, yet there were SO MANY fluid stations that I passed by several without stopping. Most of them had bananas, oranges, Gu - more than anyone would need or want.
Every church on the route, and the VFW were open so runners could use the restrooms.
It was NOT an out and back route.
Packet pickup was in a tent!!!! I'm used to pick ups at places like Cobo Hall or the Indiana Convention Center. This was great though because I walked in, got my stuff and left. No crowds to dodge :)
Sitting on the ground at the finish line. Look carefully - there is the slightest DOWNHILL at the finish :) and yes, that's a tank under the street light.
I talked with Lauren before the start of the race. She is one of the teachers from West Bloomfield (less than an hour from my home) who had arranged to run New York as a fund raiser to fight bullying, but when the race was cancelled, they decided to run the Veterans Marathon instead. I saw her a few times on the course, then again at the finish. I said it was a great race and I really enjoyed it, but I doubted I would be back in 2013 due to the monster hills.
60 hours later.....
I liked the small town feeling, I enjoyed talking to an elderly woman while I was doing pre-race yoga accompanied by Axl Rose's wailing "Welcome to the Jungle." Despite the hills and the wind, I REALLY liked the race. Registration two days beforehand was cheaper than early registration for a big race, so if the forecast is good, I'll be there :D
Due to the number of participants, I was expecting a duplicate of the Martian, but the Veterans race was GREAT! It didn't have the mind-numbing boredom of doing an out an back on a closed course. I was alone for 92% of the race, but I train that way, so it was totally fine. In fact, I'd rather be alone than be at mile 8 and see people run past me at mile 17.
Sign at the side of the road at mile 16: It's not if you can, but if you will.