Health Solutions 5th Season 8k. Friday July 4, 2014. 8 am. Cedar Rapids, IA. Sunny humid 65 degrees.
Registration: Available online, and at packet pick up the day before. No race day registration. Included with registration fees a dri-fit t-shirt, bib, timing chip, lots of paper flyers & coupons, & a protein bar.
Packet pick up: Packets could be picked up the day before the race near the start at the Museum or on race day near the start in the park. Someone else could pick up your stuff.
Pre-Race: Plenty of parking available around downtown or the race starting area. Might have had to walk a couple blocks. Port-o-potties were lined up on the street, but the street wasn’t closed to traffic. There were lots of people milling about. Runners were encouraged to line up at the start 10 minutes before race start. Corrals were based on pacing time, but near the back the pace went from around 9 minutes per mile to walking. The National Anthem was sung live and then the race was underway, on time.
* There was also a 5k, it started 15 minutes after the 8k, on the same course
Course / Race: The race was on an out and back course. There were a lot of racers in the 8k, bordering on crowded. The course started on paved or asphalt surfaces with no major potholes or cracks. Then we ended up in a petting zoo park, where the surface was packed dirt, or gravel; where there were holes and things to watch out for. This was also the area of the turn around, it was tight. Each mile was marked with a flag banner. There were plenty of volunteers or law enforcement at every intersection. Water hydration stops only with paper cups, one stop had giant 20 oz cups. There were some inclines, but no major hills. There were a nice gathering of spectators, but the course was not lined with them. The finish line was clearly marked with a clock and an arch.
Post Race: There were popsicles, gatorade, and water in the finishing chute. No medals just for running. Other food items in the park. There were 2 free drink tickets to redeem at a nearby bar, about a 3 block walk. *I did not stick around for the awards ceremony
Overall: I wouldn’t add this race to your bucket list, but if you like a bigger racing crowd, it’s your race. If I remember the price was in the $20-$20 range, and there are not many 8k’s around.
Personal: I ran this race with Laura and Josh. Josh is always so much faster, but I kept up with Laura for the most part, however she was on a negative splits plan, and I lost her the last mile. I felt good, didn’t have any goals for the race, just to finish with a smile. I was close to a PR, results.
I did not like how the 5k turnaround was in the middle of the 8k, depending on your pace you could have been scattered with slower / faster runners, it created a bottle neck. This course also reminded me of the Bix, less alcohol, but still lots of runners on a out and back course, minus the Brady St Hill. Even saw a fully naked man on the course.
You can also check out my review at bibrave