Registration and Cost: You can't beat the cost of this one!
MCRRC members: Register for free on race day. If you already have a club-issued bib and timing chip, wear them. Otherwise, you can pick them up at the registration tables. (If you have not picked up your chip yet, bring a $5 deposit.)
Non-members: Register online for $21.40 ($20 race fee + $1.40 online processing fee) through August 1. (You can register in person on race-day morning but, because there is no runner limit, you could be waiting in a lengthy line. Pre-registering also means we can't misread your handwritten entry or mistype it to the computer. We want your name spelled correctly in the results!) At the race site, you will be given a bib and timing chip. The chip must be returned immediately after the race.
Expo and Packet Pick Up: No expo. Pick up packet on race morning.
Start Line: Low key and not too crowded at the start. The lines for the porta potties went fairly quickly. No pace corrals and the start is not chip timed.
Course: MCRRC says, "Riley's Rumble is the evil half that your mother warned you about. Don't be seduced by the lush bucolic countryside of rural Montgomery County. This race will challenge the best runners. If you want the 3 H's (hills, heat, and humidity), this is the race for you. It is a good workout if you're preparing for a fall marathon but Riley's is not a good idea for your first half marathon. As an alternative, consider volunteering for Riley's and then running Parks Half Marathon (our 'better half') which takes place in early autumn when the weather is usually significantly cooler."
They aren't joking when they say it is hilly. The entire 13 miles I felt like I was either going up or going down. The uphill on mile 11 was a killer. I walked up a portion of it because I felt perhaps that would be faster, ha!
There are no bathrooms along course. I held it and made it. There are plenty of water stops serving water and Gatorade. I stopped at every water stop and walked through making sure I got plenty of hydration. I have learned the hard way this summer!
The course is tough, but the volunteers are amazing and full of humor! Not a lot of crowd support, but some of the signs will make you laugh out loud. One sign said, "Bathroom stop ahead!" and I thought awesome...I didn't think there would be any! Then as I got closer, it had an arrow and said "find tree". Gave me a good chuckle!
There was also a popsicle station. I grabbed one and the cold felt so good in my hands, but I realized I just couldn't run, breathe and eat it all at the same time so I tossed it with half left.
For the amount of hills and the humidity, I surprisingly felt pretty strong. I was able to talk with the runners around me.
Coming into the finish line, nine minutes off a PR. I consider this a win with the course and the humidity! (Not to mention all the water stops!)
The finish line had plenty of water and snacks available to runners.
Grade: A. I will definitely do it again next year. You can't beat the price...for me, it was FREE! If you live in the area...you should seriously consider becoming a member of MCRRC!