Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Half (& 5K). Sunday May 4, 2014. 8 am. Cloudy, sprinkles 45 degrees.
Registration: This was available online or you could fill out a form to send in. Rates started at $40 and increased to $50 on race day. This race is also part of “Iowa’s Longest Marathon” in which you could also register for the Run for the Schools half in October. Included with your fee was a short sleeve tech tee, chip time, coupons, flyers & chapstick.
Packet Pick up: Many chances to get your things with 3 different pick ups. One Friday at the RMH, one Saturday at the mall, and one before the race. Someone else could pick up your packet. Organizers always kept participants informed through emails.
Pre-Race: Parking was available near the start / finish in adjacent lots around Carver Hawkeye Arena. CHA was where race day registration & packet pick up were taking place, but it also meant the bathrooms were open, access to the drinking fountains. and keeping warm.
Race / Course: There were 3 races, a half, 5k, and kids run. Each had a different start. The start of the half was at 8 am, and after we all lined up in the finishing shoot, someone said go and the race was underway. The course was on paved streets & sidewalks, no major cracks or pot holes. There were a lot of hills, nothing steep or long, just a lot of hills. There were law enforcement officials at the busy intersections, and volunteers at most other intersections or turns. There were also arrow signs stuck in the ground. Each mile was marked. Various hydration stops with blue Powerade and water in paper cups, some stops used different cups for different liquids, usually volunteers shouted what they had. No food stops on the course, unless you knew a friend. Spectators were few and far between. There was a halfway timing mat. There were port-o-potties on the course. There were photographers on the course, but at my pace I did not see any of them, except at the start. No course entertainment. The finish was also the start, marked with an arch and the clock. There were two chutes as the 5k was ran during the half.
Post Race: After a medal was placed around your neck, there were plenty of food choices. Bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars, fruit snacks, bagels, chocolate milk, orange juice, apple juice & water. A time print out station was set up to get your finishing time. A special presentation with a great family was made about how the Ronald McDonald house helps families, then awards for overall and age group winners were handed out.
Overall: I will always try to run this race because there are not a lot of longer distance races in my town. I also like supporting the Ronald McDonald House. The course is also a nice challenge, would be nice to have more spectators.
Personal: This was my first long race after Blue Ridge. I had taken the entire week off from running, well I guess there was the Nacho5k, I needed the break. I wasn’t sure how I would do, but I had a great base and my quads didn’t hurt to walk. I was able to run with Laura again, she is the best for pacing, she carried me to about the 12.25 mile mark. I finished the race, my quads felt like Jell-o.It did feel great to be back running again. I had a great time of 2:08:43.
I also was part of a twitter campaign for this race, it was really easy, all I had to do was tweet & RT things about the race using #redshoehalf. You can follow the house at @rmhc_eiwi
I am now trying to focus on breaking 2 hours in the half, I hope to do that at the Garry Bjorklund half as part of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN in June 21. I was able to enter this race as part of Bib Rave. I can’t wait to get there and accomplish this. Don’t worry there will be other races to read about in the mean time.