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Saturday August 29, 2015. Cloudy, humid, 70 ish degrees. 9 am. Stanwood, IA
Small town 5k to honor Bill Bails, or give back to a man who has given to so many others.
Registration: This was available through an online site and by printing a form and sending it through the mail. Registration started at $20 and you could register for $25 on race day. If you registered early you were guaranteed a short sleeve cotton unisex t-shirt. Otherwise a bib with timing chip was all that was included.
Josh and I ran this race. We registered on the day of, and received no t-shirt, which was fine with us, we don’t need another shirt. We are also happy to support Bill as he continues to fight cancer.
Pre Race / Packet Pick up: The race started and finished near a small park and football field. There was plenty of parking, wherever you could find it, in a lot, side of the road, etc. There was a park bathroom for everyone to use. Packet pick up was in a park shelter. A line for pre-registered and a line for day of registrants. Bill greeted everyone as they entered.
Runners milled about until they were called to line up at the start. Announcements were made on a bull horn, and special attention to the markings on the course and the roads were open. No National Anthem.
I was on a quest for 26 total miles on the day (training for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k), so I took to the nearby track to run a warm up mile. Before we made it to the race, I had already ran 4.5 miles.
Race/Course: The course was 2 loops through the streets of Stanwood, IA.
- paved surfaces – lots of warped asphalt, but no major potholes
- mile markers on yard signs – but being a loop race, came across mile 2 sign before mile 1
- photographers near the finish
- some spectators in their driveways
- roads open to traffic
- Volunteers and firefighters were monitoring the course
- one water stop, paper cups as you finished the first loop at the start/finish area
- flat, a few inclines / declines, but nothing to crazy
Post Race/Finish: The area was marked with a timing mat and a gathering of people. It was a tad congested as it was a loop race, with walkers just finishing their first lap and runners completing the race. There was bananas, bottled water and cookies. Results were posted, and you could get a print out to take with you.
I finished 5th in my AG, which is tough when it’s 30-39. My official time was 26:08. 12th female and 63rd out of 288 participants. I also ran negative splits 8:46. 8:21, 8:18. I was super happy with my finish, considering I haven’t been doing speed work, and had already ran.
As runners finished and Josh gathered results, I ran an additional 1.5 miles on the track to bring my total to 10 miles for the day. I did get some stares, but in a small town it happens.
Overall: I have mentioned how I like a small town race, this is another reason why. It is great to give back and it was a well organized event with a reasonable price. I hope they continue to make this event happen.
Personal: I had already run 10 miles with the race and what not, but needed to get an additional 16 miles. I had spoke to one of my #brf’s Amy about breaking up the miles in a long run, and she gave me approval so I felt better about my decision. (I ask Amy as she is a badass ultra runner, she is training for a 100 mile race)
So Josh and I stopped in West Branch on our way back home to log some trail miles. He needed to run more too. We headed out on the Hoover Nature Trail for just over 7 more miles.
I added up all my miles and was sitting at 17.34 miles, and I felt really good. However I was really hungry, but didn’t have many options. I drank some Gatorade we had in the car as well as some Hot Tamales.
When we got home, I changed shoes, wow what a difference that was, and was in my third tank for the day. I grabbed a water belt, as it was getting a little warmer and headed out for my 8.66 mile finale. I was also into the heart of my audiobook (Thanks Sue Grafton)
By the time I finished the 26.07 mile saga, I was feeling proud. Not only had I almost ran a marathon, but I ran the entire logged distance. When I run long mileage runs, there is walking, mostly to slow down and drink and eat, but also because I start to fatigue. This also helps my confidence going into this 50k.
I slipped into compression pants, and ate all the fruits, veggies and enjoyed a beer.