Triple D Half Marathon – Race Recap
On Saturday, January 13, 2018 I hopped into my car and made the drive to Durango, IA. It was a cloudy day and temps near the 10 am start were “feels like -6 F.”
Ok rewind…. yes, that is the temperature and yes I was going to run 13.1 miles in it. I should also let you know that I have been running in this cold and am acclimated to it. I think my last run indoors was almost a year ago.
Gear: Orange Mud vest pack 1, XX21 France 2, Spibelt, Pearl Izumi gloves, BUFF(R) ThermoNet, Garmin Forerunner 935, Zensah compression socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Craft Storm pants, Adidas boy shorts, UA Horizon trail shoes, B1G hat, Champion sports bra, Danksin tank, Lululemon t-shirt, Nike thermal turtleneck, Orange Mud pullover.
The event is small, but hosts quite a few events. There is a bike event and poker ride that starts earlier in the day. Along with the half marathon at 10 am, you could run a marathon or 50k. A 5k was on the schedule 15 minutes after the longer running events. If there were snow on the ground, cross country skiing was encouraged.
I still needed to register, and reading the website I knew that it was possible on race day. I parked, for free and easily in a gravel lot close to the start/finish and the bar that was hosting the event.
I walked in, wrote a check and in return I received a bib, unisex cotton t-shirt, 2 stickers and 2 Hammer gels. I used the indoor bathroom before returning to my car.
Back to my car I continued adding all my layers. The key to winter running is wearing the proper layers, but to still be able to move. Also, I didn’t want to stand outside any longer than necessary, this is where I get cold, I need to be moving and I am fine.
At 9:45 I made my way to the start area for announcements, and of course we had to wait. I tried to walk around or run in place, I could feel my toes getting cold… I knew I just needed to get moving.
Announcements were made about the event. The entry fee went to maintain and create new trails in the area. I also assumed it went to the user fee too. There was mention of the turnaround spots too, the half and full were out and backs. I was glad I was not running the 50k, it was the marathon course, but when you came across the marathon finish, you went out and back the other direction to make up the distance.
We were reminded to make sure our bibs were visible when we finished as there was no chip timing. Then it was time to run.
All that standing around, my toes were cold, well it was getting to the point where I couldn’t feel them. It took a mile or so until I was comfortable with the temperature and could feel them again.
The race did not have a lot of participants. Maybe 50 people, I am not good with guessing crowd size. The runners thinned out fast. I fell into my pace and could just see the guy ahead of me.
I mentioned this is a self supported event. This should not be overlooked. Bring everything you need, no matter what distance. There is NO ONE on the course, no spectators, no volunteers, no law enforcement, no mile markers….NO ONE! Which is also just fine, it’s a flat, crushed limestone trail and this is advertised. The one thing you want to make sure is your hydration doesn’t freeze. * I did this by adding electrolyte to my water.
After mile 3 ish I could see a chair lift, and as I got closer, I could see I was running at the base of Sundown Mountain, which is a ski “resort.” Yes, you can ski in Iowa. All these runs on this trail and I just realized this.
Just before the half way point, I started seeing people coming back. It was nice to see some humans. I made the turn around and made sure to drink and eat some Nutter Butter bites.
During this race I thought of the first half as adding miles and the last half it was a countdown of how many miles I had left. I looked forward to seeing the ski resort again, and then I knew it was just a few more to go.
I listen to music when I run races, usually on shuffle. Just when I needed it one of my favorite running songs came on. Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” and all the sudden I was passing the guy I had been trailing… “Music is like magic, there’s a certain feeling you get….”
That song got me pumped so after passing that guy, I came upon another guy…it feels to pass guys, lol. I made sure he was ok and was going to keep going…but he asked me what mile we were at, then we chatted for a bit. I thought I was ahead of him and out of no where we were running together again. This didn’t last long and I pulled ahead..woohoo!
I crossed the finish line with a Garmin time of 2:21 and a distance of 13.1. I claimed my finisher medal, which is a cool hand cut design of the logo and doubles as a bottle opener.
I walked the 50 feet or so to my car to get a change of clothes. The key to staying warm is to get that sweaty layer off. I talked to the RD about the post race awards and raffle. He said they were waiting for everyone to finish, but I think he meant the half distance. There were still some longer distance runners out on the course.
I wanted to stay for the raffle as I heard there were skiing passes, but I needed to get on the road as I was going to an Iowa wrestling meet and it was supposed to snow.
I grabbed some post race pizza. Usually I hate pizza after a run, for my pace it’s been sitting there and tastes like cardboard…. however the bar provides HOT, FRESH pizzas, it was delicious!! I also had a bottle of G2. There was water available, and I am not sure if beer would have been provided too.
As luck would have it the awards started while I was still eating and then it was time for the raffle. I did win!! Ok, with the amount of prizes and the number of people present it would have been weird if I didn’t. However, I won some Hammer gels…. I took them, but I shared them with someone who would appreciate them.
It was getting close to 1 pm, so I departed and made the trek back to Iowa City.
I really like the Heritage Trail, so I like the opportunity to run on it when I can. It’s also nice to have a longer distance event in the middle of winter in Iowa, those are very rare. However, I paid $60….. yes, it was race day and I did get a shirt and stuff, but there is no chip timing and no course support. I am sure I will be back though, just need to sign up earlier.