Saturday July 11, 2015. 9pm. Eldridge, IA. 70 degrees, HUMID!!! 4 miler
I am not stranger to this race, in fact I can’t remember how many times I have participated in the past, I always try to do this race. I love a race that is centered around a small town festival. It’s also a race where I get to hang out with some running friends.
Registration: This was available through the website link to get me registered. Price increased as race day approached. You could also register on race day for $30. Included in registration was a unisex short sleeved tech shirt, reflective arm band, beer ticket, chip for timing, bib, small men’s deodorant and some flyers to other races.
I missed the deadline before the price increased, so I waited and avoided the online registration fees and registered on race day. I even received a tech tee. Race day registration takes place in the basement of a bank, if you had a handicap, I haven’t noticed a good way to enter the basement.
Packet Pickup: Participants could grab their gear the day before the race and the day of the race in the basement of the bank. Someone else could grab your stuff.
Pre-Race: There was plenty of parking available at the nearby high school, but it was a short walk to the festivities. There were many port-o-potties available near the start/finish. Volunteers were even keeping them clean!
There were other events happening before the 4 mile race, the 1/4 mile fun run and the 1 mile race. Announcements happened and music played over a loud speaker. With about 5 minutes before the start of the race, people started lining up next to estimated pace per mile signs. The National Anthem was performed live. 1500 racers were then sent on their way.
Race/ Course: One loop on the city streets of Eldridge
- paved, asphalt – potholes or cracks to watch out for, especially as it got darker
- night race, course lined with luminares in most areas, some residents on course decorated with lights
- lots of spectators, handing out beer in addition to high fives and blaring loud music
- miles were marked, volunteer yelling time
- water stops, paper cups
- no photographers
- flat, a few inclines
- Volunteers at all intersections
I never have trouble navigating the course, but there were plenty of areas that were really dark, just need to be present and watch where you were going. The mile markers were hard to see, but when a volunteer was yelling the times, you knew where you were on the course. The residents who participate in the fun really make the course, there was a guy in a lit up suit dancing and playing guitar.
Finish/Post Race: There was an announcer at the finish, a banner above the street an overall time clock and a giant mural was painted across the street; it was easy to spot the finish line. After the chip was clipped from your shoe, a volunteer handed runners ice cold bottled water. Then there were tables with strawberries, bananas, cookies, grapes and bomb pops. The final thing up exiting the finishers chute was a sprinkler system.
Runners could redeem their beer tickets at the nearby beer tent for a Coors Light, Bud / Bud Light or Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Once out of the finishers area it was a little crowded but you could proceed back to the finish to cheer on other finishers. There was a computer set up scrolling results.
Overall: This race is always on my calendar, as I mentioned before, I love a small town summer festival, and when they have races that coincide with them, I try to run them. The price is right, and the organization gives the money back to the community. It’s not bucket list material, but if you are in the area, I would run it.
Personal: This was my second race of the day, I didn’t set an expectations on how I would be finishing, but I always do my best. I was also joined by friends Kelly, Tereasa ( 2 year runiversay) and my sister Amber. Races are always more fun with friends.
I didn’t have the best start to the race, as we were just all standing around talking before the race, and when it was time to go, we just all took off. There was a lot of snaking around people, a game of Plinko, for the first mile.
I am not sure I ever felt the groove, but I pushed the entire race, and even though the air temp was cool, the humidity was a factor. I never let up.
I was also running in my new Buff – Thanks BibRave!! I like to wear a hat or visor when the sun is out, but since this was a night race, I thought it would be the perfect time to test it out. It’s like a stretchy head band. I really wasn’t bothered by it, but it didn’t keep the sweat off my face, even though it was soaked after I was done racing. I’ll have more to say about this product as I get to wear it more.
I finished the race in a time of 35:01, so close to 34…but I’ll take it. Not a PR for this race, but still did my best. I stood by the finish and watched Amber, Kelly and Tereasa finish (she shaved 6 mins/mile off her time from 2 years ago, woohoo!!)
Once we were all done, we chatted, grabbed our beers,and I purchased some kettle corn. The only downside to a 9pm race is scheduling when to eat and what to eat. By 11:20 it was time to call it a night.
Make sure to review your weekend races at BibRave.com