I was already registered and planning to run Grandma’s Marathon. Then I received an email that said ” It’s simple… it’s easy… but it’s LIMITED TO THE FIRST 300 and is exclusive for our 2015 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon registrants. If you are one of the first 300 to register for the 2015 William A. Irvin 5K beginning today, you will receive a guaranteed entry into the 2016 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon!” So of course, I had to register.
Friday June 19, 2015. Sunny, 65-70 degrees. 6pm.
Registration: This was available online for $30 plus the registration fee. Included with registration was a bib, electronic timing and short sleeve unisex technical shirt.
If you registered early enough your name was printed on your bib.
Packet pick-up: According the rules on the website, you needed to bring your wavier with you (electronically was fine) or someone could pick up your stuff with a signed wavier. Pick up was located near the start/finish line, not in the same place as the expo for the other races. Pick up closed 15 minutes prior to race start. Warnings were posted to be aware of heavy traffic patterns.
Laura and I were running this race, and had left Iowa with a quick stop in MPLS, with what we assumed was enough time to get our packet, and find parking. We were wrong! We got stuck in traffic at approx 4:45. Cars were stopped on the interstate just to exit. We had one hour to get our stuff. Thankfully Sub 30 member Pam to the rescue. I had been talking to her as we had been planning a meet up, she suggested since she was standing across the street from the packet pick up, that she would get our stuff. With no problem, they gave her our things. We made it to our parking spot at about 5:20. We would have had time, but it was close. I love runners!
Pre-race: There was parking available near the start/finish for $5. Due to the congested area, plan ahead. Real toilets were available at the convention center. Runners milled about near the “big red boat” or the William A Irvin, the freighter stationed in the harbor. There were announcements and music over the loud speaker. A drone flew over head capturing photos as the National Anthem was performed live.
As luck would have it fellow 100 miles in November participant Don, spotted me in the crowd. I love seeing familiar faces, especially when they have been very supportive on my running journey.
Race /Course: The 5k, went on an out and back near the harbor & industrial area
- paved – many hazards to watch out for, lots of railroad crossings
- running around industrial area is not very scenic
- each mile was marked
- a few spectators, guy playing a trumpet
- I don’t recall a water stop
- course well marked, volunteers at each intersection
- no photographers on course, but MarathonFoto at start/finish.
- flat, no hills
- on city streets, but all closed to traffic
Finish / post race: The inflatable arch clearly marked the finish along with a clock and timing mat. There were many treats available in the long chute. Bananas, water, clif bars, salted nut rolls. A finisher’s video was sent via email with your results after the race.
Overall: Nice race, easy course, boring scenery, competitive price, tough parking situation.
Personal: As I was running the marathon the next day, I really didn’t have a goal, well except maybe finish under 30. I didn’t want to push it too hard, just a shake out. I stayed with Laura for the most part, she pushed me every step, I even told her as she stepped up her game going around the last corner that I was taking it easy. I had an official time of 29:10, Garmin 29:12. I felt good after the race, and was ready for my 8th 26.2
As always all my race reviews can be found at Bibrave.com