Quad Cities Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, & 5k. Sunday Sept 28, 2014.7:30am Sunny, 60 at the start – nearing 80 at the finish.
This is my 3rd time running the half marathon at this event. I was given the opportunity to participate in the expo, so I decided due to the PF I would run the half. You can check out my review for last years full.
Pre-race / expo: The expo was held the Saturday before the race from 10am to 6pm. This was your only chance to pick up your packet. However you could have someone pick it up for you, they just had to sign a form saying they did so. There were scheduled events during the expo and a pasta party in the evening. With your registration (approx $45) you received a shirt, bib, chip for timing, post race food, post race beer, a poster and lots of papers, pamphlets and flyers. (virtual race bags would have been nice, as my flyers hit the recycling bin.)
This year there were a record number of runners, 5700; so there are no issues with parking Just need to make sure you have enough time to maneuver through the area as the main streets are closed for the race. Lots of parking in the lot adjacent to the iWireless Center.
Plenty of port-a-potties lined up before the race. Hand washing stations were also stationed near them.
Before the race, some of the running crew assembled for some photos, high fives and good lucks.
Race: All races started at 7:30, in the same undivided corral, just a big mob of people encouraged to line up with a pacer, to say it is crowded is an understatement. It was also the finishing shoot, which was set up with tents on either side. The race is chip timed so not a huge problem with timing, just a problem with too many people in one spot.
There were some announcements and a live singing of the National Anthem, which I did not hear as too many people were talking. If it were my first long distance race I would have been mad.
Course: All races start together, but quickly the 5k splits off and tours through Moline, IL. The half sticks with the full until mile 8, crossing the Mississippi into Bettendorf, IA, then to Davenport. When the full splits and goes into Rock Island, IL, the half comes back to Arsenal Island.
- The terrain is all surfaces, pavement, asphalt, grave, bridge grate – pay attention to not get tripped up
- water and lemon lime Gatorade stops along the course
- Gu stops
- No “lube” stops on the half as there have been in the past.
- One fruit stop, near mile 12 / 20 – oranges already peeled
- Port-o-potties on the course
- Spectators along the course, except on Arsenal Island
- Bands, live music, singers, DJ’s on the course
- Each mile was marked
- I did not see a medic or medical tent on the half course, but there were official bikers monitoring the course
- There were volunteers at every intersection
- The course is pretty flat, bridge crossings and one hilly area
- MarathonFoto on the course for photos
- Participant tracking was available via text
Post Race: After crossing the finish line a medal is placed around your neck and a finisher’s photo is taken. Tubs of ice with bottles of water available. Chocolate milk at another location. Mylar blankets were available. There was a food tent with watermelon, grapes, oranges, bananas, chips, granola bars, cookies and bagels. There were tents with things to buy, a tent with benches for sitting out of the sun & massage tents. Then there was a stop with Pepsi and Gatorade, a hot dog stand and then the beer trailer with Miller Lite. At the end of the finishers area was the stage for awards.
Overall: I like this race, it’s well organized, decent course and decent price. The starting area is about the only headache. I have been part of it for the last 4 years. I will always try to run it.
Personal: I ran with Laura, she is training for the Chicago Marathon. I ran a decent 2:07, with PF and my lack of training I’ll take it! I crossed the finish line with Ella by my side. Josh was running the full, Joel, Kelly & Tereasa were running the 5k. Amber, Ella and T’s mom were part of the cheer squad. Laura and I caught back up with Amber, Joel and T, and went to mile 20 to cheer on Josh. We gave him a high five, and then saw Kelly, while we waited for him at the finish. At that time we learned Joel placed 2nd in his AG in the 5k. It was also approaching 80 degrees.
Josh crossed the finish line and wasn’t doing too well, so I made sure he got some fluids and calories, then got him out of the sun. We all hung around after the race, enjoying the 84 degrees, we stuck around so long the race gave me bags of oranges and cookies to take home. We also watched and applauded at the awards ceremony. After that concluded we got to chat with Bart Yasso and Stephanie. What a great guy for the running community!