R-U Rah Rah! R-U Rah Rah! Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Rutgers, Rah!
For the second year in a row, I will be representing the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon as a race ambassador. I ran this race last year and had a marvelous time running over the Raritan River. What can you expect from this race?
Rutgers Unite Half is one of the many races that’s put on by CGI Racing, a race management company, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I’ve run the Rutgers Half, Philly LOVE Run, and the Perfect 10-Miler that CGI Racing has managed. Their races are well-run and with good customer service. Last year I had a concern about bib pick up, so I emailed them wondering what I should do. They promptly responded and the issue was quickly taken care of. Having done a number of races from a variety of different racing management companies, I truly appreciate the ones who care about the runners and making sure that we have a good experience.
While CGI is a pretty big company and there are some aspects of their races that feel “corporate-y,” I appreciate how they focus on making each race unique and try to retain some feeling of intimacy. The feel and focus of Rutgers Unite are around the Rutgers college spirit. The mascot, the Scarlet Knight, is found at the beginning of the race (he may have also been at the end, but I had to leave pretty quickly last year, so I didn’t stick around). Much of the community comes to this race displaying their Rutgers pride. My only wish is that the marching band plays as you run toward the finish line, but they did have the drum corps. As a lover of college towns and college culture, I got to pretend that I was a student again, reliving my glory days of studying in the library stacks.
The course winds around the different campus and the route provides you with many opportunities to see other runners. My favorite section was running on the bridge over the Raritan River. It’s lovely and a break between the more urban sections of the race.
The weather in New Jersey in early April can be uncertain, but usually it’s quite nice. By April, winter is definitely over and it’s just starting to warm up, meaning it’s still cool enough to race hard, but you’re not freezing at the start line.
If you’re looking to race a spring half, I recommend Rutgers Unite, or you can use it as the last long run for a late spring marathon, or as a tune-up/test run for a late spring half.
Come join me at Rutgers Unite. Use the promo code: LILLIANUNITE for $5 off your race fee. Don’t delay because the race fees go up on Jan 6th.