July 13, 2013 – Race start of 9 pm
70 degrees, 62 dew point, wind SE 5, Clear, NOAA, MLI 8:52pm (Perfect summer weather for a race!)
Pre Race: Parking was a slight problem as the race is during the town’s festival and all the close, on street parking was full. Advised to park in nearby high school, that lot was even filling up. We arrived about 7:20pm. Registration was still open from 2-8pm. Packet pick up at same time, held in the basement of the bank. Easy packet pick up, noted bib number, told the volunteer and were handed a plethora of stuff. Inside a small lunchbox bag with race logo was the cotton t-shirt, gatorade, energy bar, bib number, timing chip, beer token, and some samples.
The kids fun run and one mile race were held before the 4 mile race. Porta-potties were available, as always could have been more; plus these were shared with the beer tent goers. However they were the cleanest I have ever seen, workers cleaned them almost after every use.
Just before the race the national anthem was sung, live! Announcements kept to a minimum. Participants filled the street, according to pace, or most tried to line up this way. There were even pace signs.
9pm, Race starts, Course notes: It was dusk, course lined with luminaries. On the streets of Eldridge, paved, however there were some cracks so needed to pay attention. Start was crowded, took a while for everyone to pan out. Lots of weaving in and out of people. At each mile, marked on the pavement, there was someone shouting times. The course had lots of water stops, spectators, drunk spectators, spectators handing out beer, music, and sprinklers. There were a few dark spots and a corner marked by a safety vehicle, the flashing red and blue lights were blinding and made it hard to see anything. Finish was clearly marked with a banner and the clock.
Post Race: Area was secluded with metal barriers, a little crowded with people getting chips removed and grabbing water, grapes, bananas, bomb pops, or strawberries. There was also a finish area sprinkler. Awards were announced and gun times were posted on a scrolling lap top.
Overall: Great race with lots of course support, a little difficult to manuever the town with the other celebrations going on. This was my third time running this race, if I don’t have any conflicts I would run it again. Not a bucket list race, but if you are in the area it’s one of the better races. Any Corn Belt race is always a good one!
Personal: I was able to run this race with a great group of friends, as always representing my favorite things; #runchat, team sparkle and procompression. I PR’d this course by 3 minutes! My husband was looking to PR, he did! It was Joel’s first 4 miler, so he set a PR. Kelly ran the entire course, no walking, personal goal accomplished! Tereasa finished her first race ever! This group is very inspirational, every once accomplished something, hope they keep pushing and obtaining their goals. I love to share running with others.