January 18, 2014. 1 pm. Scott Co. Park Long Grove / Eldridge, IA. Snowing, overcast 20 ish degrees with windchill.
Registration: Available online until 2 days prior to race. Only $20. Same day registration on site. Included was a koozie and a stocking hat (misprinted with 2013) Also entered into a drawing to win a bike.
Parking: Lot available near race start. Plenty of parking for everyone
Pre-race: Shelter open with heaters and fire. Park bathrooms were open, no port-a-potties. We (Friends Kelly, Laura & I) waited in the car by the starting line.
Race / Course: Race started with a “GO” and the clock was ticking. Course was on the paved surfaces through the park. However they were covered with snow, just enough to make running tough & slippery. Lots of hills. No major potholes or giant cracks in surface. All miles were marked. No water stops. Volunteers were at the one major intersection. Traffic cones guided the way. Finish was marked with the clock. No chips, volunteers grabbed the tag on the bottom of the bib.
Post Race: Hot chocolate and assorted store brand cookies available. As results were tallied, a random drawing for prizes was held. However it seemed Corn Belt might have been cleaning the closet and anyone with a bib was eligible for a prize. The grand prize was randomly awarded to a male and a female, a brand new bike. Award winners were handed a nice wooden plaque.
Overall: Tough hilly course, laid back atmosphere. Great challenge for the new year.
Personal: This was my second consecutive year at the race. The race organization seemed more relaxed than the previous year, and it was the 32nd year for the event. It was also my first race since Dopey. I thought I was running fast but the snow and hills proved otherwise. It was nice to be running again.
#Megsmiles: I also ran this race as part of Megs Miles. Raising awareness for runner’s safety. You can read about Meg’s story here, but she was killed by a drunk driver while on a run. Safety is very important as a runner. Here are some of my tips/ideas to stay safe out there: Wear an ID, ( I love my RoadID) tell someone where you are running & when, use an online tracking app, wear bright colored clothes, (I usually look ridiculous) wear reflective gear, use lights, always make eye contact with drivers when crossing intersections, run against traffic, use the sidewalk when available, don’t assume a driver sees you, and run with others.
Stay safe out there!