Despite mother nature’s torrential down pour the day before, the weather for the race was perfect. Overcast in the morning with the sun coming out towards the end of the afternoon. This race offers a full range of distances, enough to include all running levels, 2K, 3K, 5K, 10K and half marathon. Having run the 10k with a 10:20am start, I thought the event was wonderful. This must have been a widely held sentiment as this race seemed to be filled to capacity! The race course was initially hard to navigate secondary to the large number of people, however this quickly resolved to a point where your neighbor wasn’t right next to you but a good arm’s length away. The course was a mixture of city with interspersed nature scenes including some nice panoramic scenes with tree covered hills and a large coursing river. Having said that, the only way to get a nice overlook is to climb in altitude, which means that hills were present during the race. This was the first race with hills for me, I was initially nervous, but the course was very manageable. There were approximately 4 hills during the course, with the last being right before the finish line. I have to admit, I found that to be cruel in that it was the steepest for the whole race! Never the less, very doable! The race was organized with frequent drinking stations, approximately six during the 10K which is more than enough. In addition, there was a great deal of community participation with at least 5 Taiko drumming clubs along the way and multiple cheering on lookers throughout the entire race. Perhaps the most wonderful part of the whole experience was the race gifts provided for participating. They provided a sapling tree to all participants (in addition to an arm band runner for your phone)! I loved this! What better way to remember the whole experience but to have a growing tree that will continue to remind you of a wonderful day and successful race! I will definitely do this race again next year.