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Cox Sports Providence Marathon
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Boy, this did not turn out well for me. The marathon itself is fairly good. It begins and ends downtown with many convenient (if pricey) hotels, the course is reasonably scenic at times, and although a bit hilly, I have run on hillier courses. Now the temperatures were in the 50s but for some reason I sweated a lot, and then I ran into one of two problems the marathon did have, marginal hydration. There weren't a whole lot of water/Gatorade tables, especially in the first 20 miles, they used small cups, and several stations ran out of cups. I ended up dehydrating, and really struggled. My clock time of 4:46:08 is my 4th slowest ever, but my comparison rankings to other runners may be my worst ever. Just before I was to enter the beer area my calves cramped up big time and the next thing I knew I was sprawled on the ground and consorting with the insects because I was in too much pain to stand. A 45-minute session in the medical tent allowed me to recover enough to limp back to the beer area, so the day was not a complete loss.

Providence has a nice downtown with restaurants which are open on the weekends and the course is good, so this can be an enjoyable event. Another hydration station or two (and with bigger and more cups) would help. Organizers also need to correctly position mile markers, as these were inconsistently placed. The worst was having marker 12 for the half marathon appear about a quarter mile before marker 25 for the marathon (same finish line).
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