Prairie Du Chien Half Marathon, Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. May 2, 2015. 7:30 am. Sunny 60-70 degrees.
Registration: This was available online and on race day. Price in the $50 range. Included with your registration Short sleeve tech tee (gender specific wasn’t an option online, but shirts were male/female cuts) chip timing on bib and the world’s largest swag bag. The bag had a roll of masking tape, 2 scotch tapes, 2 Futuro wraps, Scotch Brite cleaning cloths, pens, flyers, a Hammer gel, cards, magnet and a drawstring bag. The bag was heavy, but there is a 3M plant in town.
Expo / Packet pick up: There was no expo. You could pick your packet up the night before and on race morning.
Pre-race: Plenty of free parking near the start. Port-o-potties set up with a hand washing station. There were also real toilets at a nearby ball field. Music played over loud speakers. Announcements started about 10 minutes before the start. A recorded version of the National Anthem was played and we started.
Race / Course: The race starts near the Mississippi River and goes north on the road, turns around and then winds around through the downtown, to finish back where we started.
- All paved or asphalt, many potholes (to be expected after winter in the midwest)
- Course marked well, signs on the road and spray painted arrows on the pavement
- Each mile marked with a sign
- Flat, with the exception of one bridge that crosses railroad tracks, you have to cross twice
- Lots of hydration stops, with water and a sports drink – which I think was Cytomax – Attn RD, please tell the volunteers what they are serving, I was told many times it was Gatorade, which it was not. After each water stop was a sign to the next one and the next toilet
- Port-o-potties on course
- Very few spectators, but any easy course to spectate
- Run on roads that were open to traffic, traffic was moving fast
- Volunteers or officers at most intersections. The finishing stretch was on one of the busiest streets, we had moved to the sidewalk to run, and there was no one watching the majority of these intersections, runners had to beware
- No photographers on the course, but they were taking pictures at the start and finish
- No pacers
- Not a lot of shade on a hot day
Post Race / Finish: The finish was marked with an inflatable arch, timing mat and clock. A volunteer handed you a finishers medal. One of Wisconsin’s dairy princesses offered chocolate milk. There really wasn’t a chute, just the entire road to walk and cool down, not crowded. The food was under a tent off to the side. Bagels, bananas, bars, water.
Awards were handed out at a set time, people were still finishing the race. Overall winners were also given age group awards.
Overall: Given the shortage of intersection volunteers, and strange sports drink, I really like this race. It’s laid back and stress free. The price is great too.
Personal: I had run this race back in 2012, so I was ready to get back. It would be half #27. I was familiar with the flat terrain, so I really tried to push the pace. I was also joined by Laura on this one. I was aiming at sub 10/miles, however my lack of actual training for this specifically and the heat with lack of shade, had me slowing down at mile 10.
Then we caught up with 2 college “kids” from Minnesota. Laura and I enjoyed chatting with them for a mile, which was a nice break in the running.
I was also testing out a new app, Motigo. It allows friends to send cheers to you as you run, while you can still listen to your music. It is only available to iphone users at this time. I received my first cheer from Jordan, who is not in this country, how cool is that!!! He left me with some great motivational words at around mile 2. Then my friend Heather reminded me about beer when I was finished. Then a surprise wahoo from my husband just before mile 10. At mile 12 Julia said I had one more mile left and then I would get to eat all the donuts. It was nice to hear these on a course with very few spectators. It also didn’t drain my battery, my phone went from 100% to 72%.
My dad was also around to cheer us on. We saw him at the mile 4-5 turn around and again at the finish.
I didn’t run my fastest, or my worst, in fact ran a little faster than last week’s KDF 13.1 with an official time of 2:12.
Laura and I did not place in our AG, however if we were in the 20-24 AG, we would have taken home 2nd and 3rd. The older I get the harder it is to place.
There was no beer at the finish so we stopped and picked up some Wisconsin brews and curds, then made a stop at Pike’s Peak.
I should also be training for Grandma’s marathon June 20, but have yet to get a specific plan together. However 50K redemption training begins May 18th
Don’t forget to check out my review at Bibrave.com