Woodpecker Singletrack Trail

Places to Run – Woodpecker Singletrack Trail – Coralville, IA

“Disclaimer: I received three BUFF®️ products to use on new adventures as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

 A while back I started a page on my blog about the places to run in my area. With the help of the BUFF®️ campaign to push me to find new adventure and after a weekend race on this trail, I was intrigued and I had to go check out a ‘new to me trail.’

Location: The Woodpecker Singletrack Trail is location right inside Coralville, IA. In face I have run alongside it many times. For those who live in the area it’s located just north of the Clear Creek Trail, south of Highway 6, and just to the east of Camp Cardinal Blvd. There is another trail near the Coralville Reservoir, this is not it.

Mileage: The signage posted says the trail is 3 miles long, with an optional half mile section. When I ran the trail, including the optional portion, I had a distance of 3.24 miles.

Terrain: This trail is mostly packed mud. There are spots with some sand. Tree roots and things to stumble upon are at a minimum.

Elevation: FLAT! This is built for bikes, so it kinda reminded me of some random dirt bike trail you might see on TV, there are little “bumps” or small hills, but there are no climbs.

Scenery: The trail is near a small creek, so you can pop off an find a beach. The trail being within the city, has a small portion with buildings in view. Otherwise, lots of trees.

Maintenance: The trail is actually designed for biking, and while the city appears to behind the maintenance, it also looks like a biking organization helps too.

Markings: There are no mile markers, but every entrance has a nice sign with a map of the trail. The map includes your current location.

Features: On the west edge of the trail there is a parking lot and facility with drinking fountain and flushing toilets.


If You Run, You’re a Runner

This past weekend I was invited to be part of a 5k/10k. There was no race registration, there was no discount code to promote, and there was no sparkle skirt to wear. So, why did I commit?

Saturday, May 12th. 11:15 am. The weather was overcast and rain was forecast, temps were cool around 60 degrees.

I arrived at my destination and handed over my ID to get checked in. I waited for the other runners to arrive and we were given a technical shirt and trucker hat. However, this event was different, we were all checking into to race in a prison yard.

Now that I have caught your attention, I am writing my first ever prison yard race recap.

Maybe I should give a little background. The prison in my area has been doing this program for a few years now, modeled after a program in Oregon. In fact, last fall there was a half marathon offered. This is not the only rehabilitation program at this facility, I am amazed at the opportunities. Politics aside, I believe these are positives and can help inmates adapt to the outside world.

Personally, I was a little intimidated. I have never done anything like this; I was way out of my comfort zone. Second, I was a female going into an all-male establishment. I did get a chance to talk to past participants and they eased my concerns, so I was ready to give this a go.

Ok…now that all the running visitors had checked in, and the inmate count had been done, we were allowed to enter the main part of the facility. We gathered in the gym and signed some photo waivers as we waited for — what, I am still not sure? In the mean time we learned more about things, including a dog training program.

It was time to go out into the yard. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I just followed the crowd. Then I saw a tent, and things were set up just like any other “outside world” running event. There was a bib pickup. Inmates running the 5K were given bib numbers under 100, those running the 10K were given bibs over 100, and visiting runners were given bibs over 200. Very simple and easy. Also, just like some of the bigger races, inmates had their names on their bibs.

The weather kept the timing company away, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Some had watches and the visitors were allowed to bring in their watches. The race team of volunteers – which were easily identified in another color t-shirt – would be counting our laps for us.

It was time to line up at the starting cones, and just like any other race, announcements were made. The direction was decided, which way we would be running the circles. Then spitting was addressed, as well as staying to the right so the faster people could pass on the left. Oh, and it was suggested slower runners move to the back.

I couldn’t believe how much this was just like any other 5K I have paid to do. I was still a little uncertain about how it was going to go. I wasn’t sure if I could say, “Good Job”, or other encouraging words as we would all pass along each other.

Oh well, the race began and I started my watch, on indoor run as I wasn’t sure about the GPS thing. I am a ‘by the rules’ person.

Then for the next half hour, I ran circles around a prison yard. It really wasn’t any different than running around a track, but you could see people the entire time. As I ran longer I started to feel more comfortable telling people words of encouragement. There was even a water stop (with paper cups!)

There was no time I felt uncomfortable. I just remained aware at all times.

My watch said I had ran 3.3 miles, but with the indoor setting I wasn’t sure, so I double checked with a lap counter and he said I was done. I know I could have run longer, but I decided to join the small visitor crew that was cheering people on as they came close to the finish.

Again, this was just like any other running event, the smiles and sprints to the finish were really awesome to see. People accomplishing what they set out to do.

As everyone started to finish there was post-race food. Each participant received two chocolate milks, two hard boiled eggs, trail mix, a banana, and a Gatorade. This is better than many events I pay lots of money to do. This is also a reward for those that worked hard to get to the finish line.

The idea of this is simple. Show up, run, and celebrate your accomplishments. Yes, this is within the fences of a prison, but everyone that participated is a runner…it doesn’t matter male/female, fast/slow,  or a criminal/law abiding citizen…. Inside those fences we just ran! This is the running community! *Sometimes I can forget it’s really a simple as …you run, you’re a runner.*

I was told a story about an inmate that was worried about connecting with his daughter on the outside world. He signed up for the running program and has plans to run with her when he is released. These are always great stories, and I hope he was able to run with her.

There are many ways to give back, especially with running. There are fundraisers, programs for school kids, or volunteering at your area races. While this was something that pushed me out of my comfort zone, I feel honored and proud to have done this. I encourage you to seek out the opportunities in your community, you never know who you are helping to improve their quality of life.

*It would be cool to do the half marathon in the fall — maybe I will get asked back.

More Notes:

From Dan (visitor runner:) “I think it’s worth mentioning that this program was started by a member of Corridor Running — That it’s the first in the state of Iowa — And that it’s now being copied by the prisons in Anamosa, Newton, & Forth Madison!”

From Michael (visitor runner:) “They have a running club inside of the prison, and they put on this event. They limit the number of outside runners to about 10 each time. We run the event, provide encouragement, and offer any running advice we have. It has been a very rewarding and positive experience, and I have been honored to take part in it.
The other cool thing is the inmates use this event to fund-raise, and have used the proceeds to purchase tv’s for their treadmills, and have also donated proceeds to outside charities like Shelter House!”

Watch out Madison!

Headed back to Madison

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Conquer the Capital 19.3 Challenge to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I just can’t stay away. This trip I am bringing Josh with me and we are going to Conquer the Capital (again!)


I also ran the Soldier Field 10 the same weekend as my last Conquer the Capital 19.3


If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I have run in Madison many times and I frequent many sporting events. Last year we even hit up the farmers market. It’s only a quick three hour drive and of course beer and cheese!


This event is unique in that there is a 5k/10k on the evening of May 26th (starting at 8pm.) Then there is a half marathon the next day. You can also run both events for an additional medal, which is called Conquer the Capital 19.3. ALSO the fun doesn’t end here, there is a marathon in November you can participate in to get MORE medals.

While I struggle with that late night start time, all other race logistics are easy peasy. There are two days of packet pickup, close parking, and lots of port-o-potties. Don’t forget the perks, including: race tracking, Michelob post race party and FREE picture downloads.


If you want to join us, online registration is open through May 23rd – runmadtown.com – use code “RMRAVE18” for 10% off, not valid on kid’s race.




Seeking Adventure

Looking for Adventure

“Disclaimer: I received three BUFF®️ products to use on new adventures as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I am using this opportunity to take on the adventure in Iowa City. I know it exists! Urban adventure is out there, I just needed the final push to do those things I have been to timid to try.

In addition to drinking all the patio beers, playing trivia, and frequenting all the local ice cream shops. I am ready to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP), go kayaking, get lost on the trails and any other trouble I can find.

I was able to choose three products from BUFF®️. I have many of the multifunctional head wraps, which are great in colder weather. As the seasons change I decided to go with more appropriate items. I choose the Trucker Tech Cap, visor, and merino wool infinity scarf.

I have mentioned the activities I am planning on doing, but what am I missing? What are the hidden gems in the Iowa City area? I am on the search for adventure, especially since the kayak and SUP rental places aren’t open yet.

Market Stampede

West Branch Bear Stampede 10k

Saturday, May 5th, West Branch, IA. It was sunny and would warm up to around 70 degrees.

The race usually falls on the second weekend of May, but this year it was moved to the first. It just so happens that the little farmers market I am a part of was also the same weekend. The two events joined forces and were at the same time. This meant I would at the least be selling my headbands as part of the market on race day.

I am no stranger to this event, I have run it many times. I have also sold my headbands in the past. However, when I arrived on race day I was still uncertain if I would run the race. I would need someone to watch my stand while I ran, and I was on my own that morning. When I had my stand all set up my fellow market vendors agreed to to keep an eye on things, so I went to sign up.

Small town races are the best, we have a lot of them in Iowa, you could run 2-3 every weekend. One of the best parts is you can register on race day for a reasonable price. The 10k was only $30 on race day. I feel if I asked I could have received a t-shirt too, but that’s the last thing I need. I even got a timing chip for my shoe.

As I stood at my market stand waiting for the race to start, I think there were some announcements, but I was on the other side of the bouncy house, where it was hard to hear. Everyone moved towards the starting line, so I went that way too. It was a mass start with the clock, no starting timing mat. There was no National Anthem.

As I said I have run this race many times. I knew where the course was to go, which also meant I knew the hills and West Branch has hills. Hey, fun fact – Iowa is not flat.

The course starts by going down the main street, there are cops at every intersection and a few people around town stop and take notice. It happened to be the same day as a community cleanup, this meant that just within the first mile there was a situation with some extra traffic hauling their junk to a special trash drop off. I really wasn’t bothered, I just kept on going.

Up the big hill and then through Beranek park to loop back around to head out the Hoover Nature Trail. There is a 5k with this race too, both of them start at the same time. When we get to a certain part on the trail, the 5k turns around and heads back into town. It’s easy to cheer the leaders on as they pass by.

The 10k keeps running further out on the trail. This is the trail I run a lot on at lunch time. It is an old rail bed, so this part is really flat and it’s crushed limestone. On this portion the runners were really thinned out. I did pass another woman, I made a remark at the time that she would probably pass me again because I knew there were 2 hills at the end.

As I was getting closer to the turn around, a man who was on his way back shouted, “first female!” I was shocked, no…not me?!?!  Then the mental game was on.

On the way back on the trail, I knew the woman I passed was close behind me. I kept repeating – this is the flat part, keep pushing, build some time. However the first mile I ran an 8:41 so it was kickin my butt, also I was a little hot, oh and I had just run a marathon 6 days prior. I wasn’t gonna give up.

I made it back to the 5k turnaround water stop, I grabbed a styrofoam cup of water and saw that woman was really close now. AHHHH ok, will I be happy with 2nd female? I went back and forth in my head.

I was off the trail, and at the base of the first big climb, and then it happened, the woman passed me. I looked at my watch, 5.78 miles… I lead for this long, ugh, I didn’t have anymore in me. Then …. the woman started walking… I was still shuffling up the hill… I could do it!

I got to the top and I was again leading, I knew I had a little flat spot before I needed to climb the last hill, I just kept moving forward. I pushed up that last hill – Oh and I saw my friend Carol and her daughter Susan drive by, so that was a nice pep in my step. I knew I was gonna make it!

I got to the top of the hill, only to make sure I could make it back down to the finish line without tripping or doing anything stupid.

I DID IT!! I was the first female in the 10k!!  Ok, ok, ok sooo there were only 12 people who ran the 10k, but I am counting this as a victory, wahoo!!! I had 6 ish miles in 56:55.

I crossed the finish line and found a bottle of water. There were some baked goods and bananas. Since I had baked cookies and Krispie bars for the market, I just went back to my stand.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get an award, or what was happening. In the meantime there were a couple of kids races and I kept tabs on my market stand. I wished I had picked a spot in the shade.

It was time for the awards, I gathered and listened and learned that part of the announcements I didn’t hear earlier, was that the courses were short due to cutting out a block because of the trash cleanup event. Ahh, that made sense, safety was taken into consideration.

Anyway it came time for the 10k awards, my name was announced and I was gifted 5 – $1 coupons to the farmers market and I had a choice at a plant from the school FFA. What a fun, unique race award. I went with a petunia.

I walked back to the market and picked a home made raspberry jam and a bag of snack mix. Other award winners were given market bucks too. When the event was over, if you wanted the race would exchange cash for any market bucks the vendor received.

Then, just like that the event was over. I packed up all my things, and headed home to mow the lawn and plant my petunia.

As I have said, I have run this many times. This year felt a little different, only because there weren’t as many participants. I know how hard it is to get people to volunteer their time to make these races possible. I hope this event continues, it’s always great to run on the trail and in turn support the school. It was also fun to have the market at the event, maybe a little more cross promotion (or promotion in general) and next year will be even better!

If you ran the race, don’t forget to add your thoughts to a Bibrave review.

Inaugural Run CRANDIC

2018 Run CRANDIC – Race Review

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Where do I begin? I guess I will state the obvious, this is gonna be long, so grab your favorite snack and beverage and get cozy. If you are looking for a no nonsense, factual review, you can find that at bibrave.com.

Saturday, April 28th, the day before the race. The official expo took place at the NewBo City Market. (There was a packet pick up only event in Iowa City on April 27th) The expo was smaller, but was perfect for the race. There was even live music and a sign making station.

At 1:30 there was a race course talk at the nearby running store. I was involved in many aspects of this race, it was nice to help out and answer questions. I even met pro Christine (again.)

After the talk, I went back to the expo and hung around the Corridor Running booth, until it closed, then called it a day.

Sunday, April 29th – the day I had talked about for so long was finally here!!! I had put in the miles and ate all the pasta. I even purchased a new Sparkle Athletic skirt for the event.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Unicorn skirt, Brooks Running Ghost 10, Amphipod Vest, BUFF, Zensah socks (brand new from the box), Zensah bra, Rabbit Bibrave Tank, Road Runner Sports shorts, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Garmin Forerunner 935, Hawkeye hat.

At 4:21 AM, my friend Kevin and I were on our way to the shuttle bus. The race is point to point, you could park your car for FREE at the finish area and take a school bus to the start. As luck would have it, I saw Josh helping load the buses. He was in charge of race day University operations.

We made it to the NewBo Market, it was open! It was a little chilly out – perfect running weather, but it was nice to have an indoor place to wait around. The bathrooms were also open – in addition to the port-o-potties outside.

While I waited I caught up with many running friends. I wished “Chin” good luck on his first marathon. I finally met twitter friend Jim in real life. I said hi to Mark, Dan, Horacio, and Micheal who were all gearing up to pace the race.

There was a gear check set up outside, you could use the clear bag your packet came in, to check your gear. I was not checking anything as I decided to run with my Amphipod Vest.

The actual race start was a few blocks away. I was part of a group that ran the course, in reverse to measure it. If we started at NewBo it would have been really long.

The walk over was nice to stretch the legs and shakeout all pre-race jitters. There were some coffee vendors set up along the walk too.

I saw the cool starting arch, so I went over and took a picture. I ran into Wendy, who was running her first marathon. I saw Darcy, who was part of the planning committee too. The starting time was getting closer, so I made my way to the back of the pack. When I found my spot, it was time to listen to the National Anthem.

The race was on! Kevin and I started together and within the first few 100 feet, I saw my friend Jen, who was attempting her first marathon, injured.

Going into this race, I had no goals – well besides finishing. I really wasn’t sure if I would have to do a last minute job and not be able to run.  It was a really long, cold winter of training, so when the sun came up on race day, I was going to enjoy it. I knew where the hills were, where the aid stations were; there shouldn’t be any surprises.

Well there were already a few surprises within the first mile, the course was different than what I thought, it didn’t have an issue with anything, and I am not sure anyone noticed, but I knew.

Then came the first aid station, there were no cups. There was a port-o-potty, and Kevin needed to use it as I powered on. I did hear a volunteer shouting she was going to run across the street to get something at the convenience store. *I mean I was carrying a bottle with me, but I was alarmed, what went wrong, why no cups?

There was nothing I could do, but to keep moving forward. The course had one lane of traffic closed off, but there were no cones separating runners from the cars. The drivers were courteous. There were police at the major intersections. I powered through the hills, I knew they were there and then I saw Molly and said hi!

I came upon the second aid station, guess what, no cups! At this point I was not happy, so I got out my phone and called Josh, I had to tell someone. I then did what you do next, I sent a message to Tanya at the Corridor aid station, stop #4. I was hoping they at least had Gatorade. I knew I would need it.

I carried on, and Molly passed me, she was a well needed distraction. She was soo chatty and invited me to come over to some gathering. Since she shouted my name, the runner just up ahead turned around and said, “you’re Angie?”

I was like, yep, that’s me.  That is when I met twitter friend Robin, in real life. We chit chatted some, and she told me how she wasn’t feeling well the night before, but she made it to the starting line. This….this is just one of the many reason I love running and the community.

At this point I had just turned onto the long stretch of Hwy 965. The first portion was closed as the road was just resurfaced. Then came time to cross one of the biggest intersections, and it went by smoothly, as it was also the portion where we would cross from running against traffic to running as the same direction of traffic. That lane would be closed until we got to North Liberty.

I then came across the third aid station, they had cups! However, they were using 32 ounce cups the nearby gas station donated at the last minute as they too ran out. It was quite interesting drinking out of a plastic cup that big.

Why do I keep on with the cups? Well a group of University of Iowa students approached us about a sustainability effort with the race. We had ordered thousands and thousands of paper, compostable cups.

*UPDATE* 80% of the waste from this event was diverted from the landfill. 400 lbs were compostable, 50 lbs were clothing, and 47 pounds were recyclable. The University students were very diligent in their efforts, THANK YOU!

Ahh, well at least I had some Gatorade. I kept on moving… and up in the distance I could see Jen. She was not in a good place, she had an injury coming into the race and due to transfers closing really early, she had a choice of not running or showing up and pulling herself when she was done. I tried chatting with her, but I could see the pain on her face, I knew she was smart enough to stop if needed, and informed her the next aid station was just ahead. Kevin joined back up too.

We came to the Corridor aid station, and of course the first thing I noticed was they were not using the compostable paper cups. They had cups I know the club had in storage. They did have more Gatorade for me, and were a nice friendly face to see!

We came to the county line. I noticed there were now cones separating runners from the traffic. I knew Johnson County was the best!! These were a nice thing to see, even though there was to be no traffic in the south bound lane, there were plenty of cars going the wrong way. I did run on the gravel shoulder when I could, it’s a lot nicer on the legs/joints.

Swisher was the next milestone, there were small cheer spots as we ran up the hill, some with music. Then the next aid station, they had cups and orange slices!!! I also stopped to use the port-o-potty, where I had to wait because someone without out a bib (this person passed us running the course,) needed to use it. Seriously…🙄

We were back on the course. The sun was shining and there was a slight head wind, but the temperature was ideal. There were a few people out here and there, but there were also a lot of lonely spots. Kevin and I came upon Jen again… she was still moving.

We next came upon Ara. He was also not feeling very well and asked us if we had Bio Freeze, which we did not. We wished him well, and said we would ask for Bio Freeze up ahead and for anyone to have it prepared.

We were almost at the halfway point, and when I kept turning around to talk with Ara, I could see someone waving to me. I thought I knew who it was, but wasn’t sure until she caught up with us – after a photo with a T-Rex.

It was LIZ! She was running with her friend Buffy, who was running her first marathon. Kevin and I ran a few miles with these ladies, it was a lot of fun, those miles flew by. At the next aid station, where they were announcing they were recycling cups, Liz and Buffy stopped to use the bathroom and Kevin and I went on.

We were now running the flattest part of the course, miles north of North Liberty. We came upon an unofficial aid station. First we saw this piece of plywood, there were three flattened boxes of Cap’N Crunch posted to the wood, and each had a number next to it. Next there was a man filling cups with water. Then there were 3 stations with Cap’N Cruch cereal that matched the sign – he had regular, crunch berries, and peanut butter. There was one last bucket with skittles.

Heck, Kevin and I welcomed the surprise and just stuck our hands in and grabbed some, I believe we made a remark that we would all be sick the next week. I am happy to report I am healthy, community Crunch for all!

Kevin was feeling good and said he was gonna run faster, I said go for it!! I was also feeling fine, I wasn’t in my head or anything, and thanks to all the friendly faces on the course I was over the cup drama.

I do remember coming upon Darren, who had just run the Hawkeye 50k two weeks ago, and I remember remarking to an aid station person that North Liberty seemed to have moved further away.

Finally, I was in North Liberty. I was surprised to see my friend Jen K. I knew she had volunteered at the half marathon start, but it was nice to see her out there on the course. Then just after I saw her, I knew there was a busy crossing on Penn St. I made sure to double check for traffic.

Just after this was an aid station, a well needed vaseline stop. I had my pack with me, but up until this day, I had not run with it in hot weather or in a tank top. With my necklace and newly cut hair, I was having issues, vaseline to the rescue. I also remember removing my arm sleeves, and applying some sunscreen. There was also a couple on a bike cheering me on by name here too, I must have had marathon brain, I still don’t recall who they were.

I also know we all run different paces, which means we all have different races, different experiences. Next part of the course was on a paved trail through North Liberty. This was also where the city organized cheer zone was. It appeared that most people had left by the time I came through. I didn’t stop me and I kept on.

The shade on this trail was nice. There was a couple more aid stops on it too. I came across a guy yelling my name, I had no clue who it was, but his enthusiasm was awesome!!

Are you tired of reading yet? I am almost to mile 20, hang with me.

Just before mile 20, Kris and Brian had set up an unofficial aid station. It was a party. They had water and Tailwind. I stopped to chat, I made sure to ask if they had Bio Freeze, and out of no where Kris appeared with a bottle, I told them Ara was in need and to make sure he got some when he passed.

Just before the end of the path/trail portion was the Medirev aid station, they had bananas and Jolly Ranchers!!! I hate gels so I was very excited and grabbed my favorite, cherry. From here we were done on the trail and took a turn on Oakdale Blvd.

There was another unofficial aid station, the National Driving Simulator had gummy bears!!!! YES!!! Thank you again! I knew there was a big hill coming up and the last 2 stops had me feeling good.

That hill, I walked, but no big deal. I checked in with my IG stories and then I heard “GO ANGIE!” It was that guy that was enthusiastic on the North Liberty trail. I kept thinking, who is that? Then he said he was waiting for his brother that was just behind me. It was Darren’s family…ahh yes! His cheer squad was awesome! They also put on a race in Keota – it’s June 9th this year, see you there!

I made it to the top of the hill, where I would cross onto 12th Ave to take into Coralville. There were 0, none, nada volunteers at this intersection. This is a busy 4 way stop. There was an aid station just after you crossed, but no one aiding runners safely across. Ugh, I was back in a mood again…

There are hills that roll into Coralville, and this portion has some narrow sidewalks, but it was just me, so I could safely navigate. There were a few unofficial aid stations along this stretch, I remember one with bubbles.

Then as I was trying to pass some walkers, a woman stopped and pointed at me. She asked “are you Angie?” Puzzled, I said “Yes.”

I was about at mile 22, it was hot, but I was moving. The woman stepped in with my stride and introduced herself. It was Mindy W from Instagram. I am still in shock as I write this. What was she doing, why was she running with me, didn’t she just run an ultra? Again, the running community is THE BEST!

She was telling me about her friend that was running so she came over from central Iowa to support them, she then remembered I was going to be there and came and found me. She is awesome!! It was the perfect time for some pep in my step. We parted ways just after mile 23, when she shouted the 5:30 pacer (Robin) was coming, so I kicked into gear.

I knew the course, however I was running with some half marathoners at this time, and there was some confusion as to where people should be running. I was the lone person running 5th street on the north side (the actual course) while others were on the south side. this is also confusing because if you were on the north side, there was no arrow to cross the street.

Oh well, I knew where I was and wanted to gain time on that 5:30 pacer. I stopped for a drink at the second to last aid station, and powered through. I passed people walking the opposite direction, I assumed 5k runners getting back to their cars. Otherwise not many people out cheering, it was disappointing to see only one person left at the Lululemon cheer spot.

I turned onto the sidewalk along Hwy 6, and just kept pushing because I knew the Hawkins hill would be a spot I would walk, and Robin was not going to pass me. Then came the Guild Wurst Tavern. They had beer! I shouted, what kind? They had a wheat, so I stopped and drank some beer, it was cold! I regret nothing…

I thanked the cop at the busy intersection as I crossed Highway 6 and made my way to the top of the Hawkins hill. There were some members of the Iowa Cheer Squad at the top… not sure if they were tired, but I would have liked a little more pep.. I am picky!

I was in the home stretch. I had to run passed the baseball field and Kinnick was in reach. However, I got to the baseball field and the course was all different, we didn’t run to Lot 43 drive, and there really weren’t any volunteers telling anyone where to go, and the road was open to traffic. I safely made my way and finally saw a cop telling us to run along Kinnick.

I came to Gate B with some spectators still lining the entrance into the concourse. There was a sign for runners to wave to the Children’s Hospital. From here there was a short run through the south concourse to the finish at the Nile Kinnick statue. My name was announced as “local running phenom, Angie.”

I had a medal placed around my neck and I was on the search for some Gatorade and water. While I didn’t find those things, I did see Kevin, Mindy and Josh!!! I needed something, I found a cup of chocolate milk – it was really good!  I noticed there was no water left, no food and no Gatorade.

I knew there was a fountain inside Kinnick and I would fill my water bottle on my way down to the field. *Side note, the north end zone of the stadium is undergoing a HUGE renovation project, so there was no access to run onto the field. However, the University made it possible for participants to gain access to the field after climbing 72 steps down and back up.

I took some photos and ran into my friend Michael. He was telling me a crazy story about a guy who set a PR with his pace group today, and this is when I remembered why I run.

I had a lot of thoughts and was in a mood for many parts of the race. Every time I came across a friend who cheered me up, or had something positive to say. My favorite races are those I get to spend with friends, the best memories are made experiencing the run with them. The running community is the BEST!!

Oh, how did I do? I finished with a time near 5:20, not my best and not my worst. The 5:30 pacer did not pass me! I ran from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City, who does that?

I stood around the finish line to wait for Mark to finish, he was the 6 hour pacer and he came in at 5:59:14. I caught up with Wendy. Then I saw Jen, she looked rough, but I was sooo proud of her!! I gave her a hug. I hope she can also be proud of what she has done. I next knew Sheryl was out there, if she could finish she would finally be a marathon maniac…next thing I knew, she was at the finish line. Then I had one more person I knew was out there and the cutoff time was getting close. So a few of us made our way back out on the course and we saw Nikki, she was going to do it, complete her first marathon!


Ahhh, it was time for a beer! My car seemed too far away, so I might have pulled some strings and Josh gave us a golf cart ride and we grabbed things from my car, and then he took us to Mindy’s car where she would drive us to the post race party at the Big Grove Brewery.

We arrived at the same time awards were going on. We redeemed the bib ticket for a free beer – we had choice of 5-6 beers on tap – including a race specific Crandic 26.2. After some more chit chat with friends, Mindy, Kevin and I sat down at a picnic table, while some live music played.

The music ended and Mindy needed to be on her way. I am very thankful she decided to spend her afternoon in Iowa City. Kevin and I moved and joined another friend, “Chin.”

Ok his real name is Matt, and I really wanted to know how his first marathon went. He was happy to report it was a success, so we celebrated with some more beers! Sours all day!

Hey, it’s Lois and Tim.

The day was winding down, and I was tired. Kevin needed to get back home too. Matt gave Kevin a ride, while I waited for my ride. Josh showed up and we stayed for another beer. Ahhh soo good…however it was a long day in the unshaded beer patio, and I was ready to be home.

I am waiting for the results to be available on Athlinks.com. If you ran the race you can claim your results too.

I had a final blurb wrote, I deleted it. I reviewed the race I ran.

*UPDATE* The race proceeds benefited the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City School districts. Presentations will be made soon.

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest – Gear Review

“Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod®️ PureRun™️Minimalist Hydration Vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have run many miles, and many of them with some sort of pack. I am familiar with bladders, bottles and flasks. What intrigued me most about getting a chance to try this vest was the versatility to adapt to bottles, flasks or bladders.


The vest arrived with two, 12 oz Hydraform™️ bottles, one for each front drawstring pocket. There are 3 front buckles with adjustable straps. There are two front zipper pockets. The back is like a back pack with two separate zipper compartments, one large enough to house a bladder. The front even has a clip for the hose. There are also cords to carry a light weight coat or something on top of the pack. I also received a fun light up smiley face too.

When I received this vest, I was in the midst of training for my 25th marathon. However, I wanted to make sure before I took it on a long run, I would have no problems. The maiden voyage was just across town and back. I stuck my phone in the front zipper pocket and it fit! I have an iPhoneX. I also just carried the bottles with me, so I could get the feel.

Everything fit fine and was easy to adjust. I should note the vest does come in two sizes, so check your measurements before ordering. The only thing that is strange, as a woman, the placement of the bottles just looks “strange.”

I  ran next with the vest to a race day volunteer job. I was going to be directing runners at a corner. It was also very cold that day. The vest fit over many layers of clothes and when it warmed up, I was able to easily stash the extra clothes in the pockets.

I take gear testing seriously! I brought the pack along for a group training run. I was going to run at least 13 miles, and the route was along the highway. The one thing I appreciate about this is the bottles that come with it. It’s easy to bring water and an electrolyte on your run. I did find out that if you don’t tighten the drawstring on the bottle pocket, it will bounce and/or fall out! The vest was also great to hold the treasures I found along the way.

Then it was time for my last 20 mile long run before the marathon. I didn’t hesitate and grabbed the vest, filled it with all my snacks and drinks.

I also packed it full of warmer clothes, and an empty flask and deodorant on my way to the Iowa spring football practice. I didn’t even get checked in the security line and I was able to be fresh when I got there.

Up until this point all the runs in the vest were in cooler weather, meaning I was wearing multiple layers or a long sleeve top.

On race day, the Run Crandic marathon, I choose to wear this vest. The race course had many aid stations, but it wasn’t my first race and I wanted to have my snacks and at the least water when I wanted it. Race day temps would end up near 70 degrees, so I ran in a tank top with the vest. While it was nice to have everything I needed, I was happy to see Vaseline at an aid station as the chafe around my neck and arms was not pleasant. Maybe it was the necklace, sports bra and fresh hair cut…no clue, it just wasn’t pleasant. I am also of the school where basically all gear chafes, or all glasses fog up. I am sure if I gave my vest some adjustments, it would have fit better and I wouldn’t have any chafe. (at mile 17.5, I had no time for that) I will also note, I didn’t feel extra hot or extra sweaty due to wearing the pack.

If you are looking to finally get away from a hydration belt, I would recommend this vest. It’s not complicated, and easy to use and adjust.  The material breathes and you can carry just about anything with you because of it’s versatility. It is available online for $100 – http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/purerun-vests/purerun-minimalist-24

Check out what other BibRave Pros had to say: Andrea – AlastairMeridithRenee 

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