26.2 mile Journey From MPLS to ST. Paul

2016 TC Marathon

For race specific facts check out my review at Bibrave.  – Bibrave.com 

Alright, when you last checked in with the blog I had wrote about my super hot September marathon. Well, that is in the past…by only 2 weeks, and it was time to conquer my October Marathon – The Twin Cities Marathon!!!

This was my first ever marathon in 2012. I can still remember making the decision to run my first ever marathon in the fall of 2011, after I completed by first half marathon. I was soo excited that I registered on the first day it opened!!! This was not the case this year, I waited too long and registration was over $150, yikes, lol!

For this trip to MPLS, Josh was in tow and he would be running the full marathon too. It did take some discussion, as he was considering running the Chicago marathon the same day. I really don’t care to run that one again, but I would have volunteered. Also as luck would have it, the Iowa Hawkeyes football team was playing the Minnesota Gophers the day before the marathon in MPLS, so there was the answer, run TCM!


We took off early from Iowa City on the Friday before the race. We thought we would just hit the expo so we didn’t have to worry about cramming it in after the football game.  We got to the expo and had no problem grabbing our bibs and checking out all the vendors, we even got free coffee!! Josh participated in a gait analysis and got a cooler, it was a fun expo with just the right amount of things.


Also we ran into a fellow Bibrave Pro – Andrey.  He was working the expo for a reflective sticker company. It was nice to meet him in person!


We departed the expo and met up with Kate, she would be our hostess with the mostess for the weekend. You may remember her from my adventure to the One City Marathon in March. She had suggested we dine at the French Meadow… they have great food!! After that we called it a night.


GAME DAY! On Saturday, Josh and I woke up early to get in a short shake out run by the Lake. We stopped by a neighborhood coffee shop on our way back to Kate’s and dined on some pastries for breakfast.


We traveled to the game, and paid to park in a nearby ramp, and made the short walk to the game. This walk was on the same street as all the campus Greek houses. They were all having a great time!!

We had to get our tickets at the will call gate once we got to the stadium. So, Josh got them all, and we were then led through a back tunnel of the stadium and then we were inside. Strange! We didn’t have anyone scan our tickets or wand us through security, oops!


We found our seats, and were ready to cheer on the Hawkeyes! During this time there were multiple trips to the bathroom, the most puke I have ever seen, and the most saltiest bottmless bag of popcorn.


Ugh, it was not a great game, in fact I am not sure how we won, but we did. The game is a “trophy game” and we took Floyd of Rosedale back home to Iowa City.

With a win in the books, Josh and I decided to take a nap, while Kate met up with some friends. It was then time to get our pre-marathon eating on!!! We went to a favorite, local pizza place – the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I, of course got a bowl of plain spaghetti noodles, and we had all the garlic bread! Hey, it’s what I like! After all the carbs, we called it a night.


It was another early wake up call. The race was at 8, but we wanted to make sure we had a chance for coffee. The plan was to go the nearby Bruegger’s bagels, to get a PB bagel and coffee, however it was closed!! Which is weird, because looking back at the pics when I ran this the first time, it’s where we ate. Oh well, we quickly adapted to the new plan of grabbing coffee at the Caribou across the street in the grocery store and buying some Justin’s single serves and bagels. (Pro tip, this is why you figure out what you need on race day, so you can adapt, if there is a problem)

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Pro Compression Socks, Brooks Ghost9, GarminFenix, Hawkeye Pullover, Hawkeye Tank, BR tech hat, XX2i USA1 Sunglasses, Addidas 7″ boyshorts.

Kate was our own personal chauffeur, she then took us to the race start. The roads were closed in the area (it started at the new Metrodome, yes it will always be that to me) and she just pulled over and let us out of the car. There was parking in the area too. If you parked here, you could get the light rail back to your car.

Josh and I milled about near the first corral gear check and actually ran into a couple people we knew. One of them being another Bibrave Pro – Casey! We said a quick hello, and I head to my corral, which was the last one.

Photo cred 📸 Casey

It was a cool start, maybe 35 degrees, a huge change from my last marathon. I was huddled in a few layers of running clothes and a disposable Tyvek jacket. The wait wasn’t long in my corral, maybe 15 minutes after the first corral was off. I am not sure if there was a singing of the National Anthem as I couldn’t hear, but as my corral moved forward, I could hear upbeat music.


I really like this race course. It starts in downtown MPLS and you end up at the state capital in St. Paul. There is a church in the first mile that is ringing the bells like crazy, sounds amazing! The course is never super crowded either, it starts using the full width of the road, which are all closed to traffic. The course is all paved with minimal hills, the biggest being around mile 20. Which is great, too much flat and my legs get bored working the same muscles, they need some hills.

The scenery is great too, it’s tagged the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon on America.” You don’t get the stuffy city feeling, especially running by the lakes as the leaves are changing.

The spectators on the course are great! So many fun signs, high fives, cheering from random strangers. It’s also not so crowded you have a hard time picking out your friends. There are also some bands along the way too.

Josh and I run super different paces. He actually set a new PR in the marathon at this race. I on the other hand got my moneys worth. 🙂 I did see Kate many times along the course, and was surprised to see another MPLS friend, Anna at a couple spots on the route. At one time Miguel, met up with Kate and there were more people cheering for me!!!


I was having a good race, but I needed to use the bathroom early on, however every port-o-pottie I passed had a line at least 5 deep. I was even searching off in the distance at all the parks we passed. I didn’t want to lose minutes waiting to pee. Finally at mile 18, I found a bathroom with no line and only lost one minute.


I carried on, and made sure to hit the Aid Stations, randomly choosing blue Powerade or water. My biggest dislike of road marathons is the lack of actual food on course, gels are so gross!! However this race had bananas, orange slices and some candy – ok so they weren’t advertised on the race website.

I was having fun running in my Hawkeye gear, since the Hawks won the football the day before. However , I got a some boos and a go Iowa State…really? I think I did yell “scoreboard”at one point.

The weather was a non factor this day too, while it was a cool start, it warmed maybe into the 50’s and was always sunny. Perfect day for running!

Then at about mile 22, after a random shout out, by name from a stranger…I was done…in other words, it was time to walk. The main issue was my lingering cold… my throat would dry out, so I would walk to the next aid station to wet it down, and it would continue…blah blah… I knew I would finish, but just done, lol.

I did finish in a time of 5:18, which was a lot faster than the last race, and actually a decent time considering. I was happy.


I crossed the finish line to get my cool shiny medal, and was also handed a bottle of water, a bottle of chocolate milk, and could grab a cup of blue Powerade. Then there was all the food choices – fruit cups, chips, nut rolls, bread, broth….many things that had to be opened to consume, or things I had to all try to carry in my hands. At some point we were given heat sheets too.

 


The finishers chute is large, and closed off to everyone but runners. It loops around to the gear check pick up and the finisher shirts. That’s right you earn your shirt! They tore off a ticket on the bottom of your bib to get the shirt (long sleeve, gender specific, tech shirt.)

I told Kate I would meet them at the beer area. However, since I run with my phone on airplane mode, apparently that message wasn’t passed along. I had messages of “where are you” “we are at the reunion area” I just responded with “beer!”


In what seemed like another mile walk, I did make it to the beer area, where I got a Summit in a can. I was reunited with Josh, Kate, and Miguel. Yay, friends!!


I really enjoyed this race!! It’s just nice to run a big city race, without the big city hassle. I will definitely be back! Also as Josh proved, you can PR!

Then it was time to go home…boo! We really didn’t hustle back home, as we made sure to grab some Sebastian Joe’s ice cream & Five Guys on the way out of town. Always sad to leave Kate too, she is such a great friend.


So what’s next? Oh, I am sooo glad you asked….Well there is a little event called the Runner’s World Half and Festival, some more Iowa football, then the Tulsa Run 15k — and then in November I get all crazy… Milwaukee Run Fest 26.2 and the Madison Marathon. I am still on the lookout for a good December race to fit my schedule, so let me know if you have an idea! I am looking forward to capping off this crazy with a winter trip to the Key West Half Marathon in January… who knows maybe Disney?

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “26.2 mile Journey From MPLS to ST. Paul

  1. My sister ran that race (has a couple times actually) and raves about it! Congrats on a strong finish!!!

  2. Pingback: A Runner’s Inclusive Event | Angie Runs

  3. Pingback: A Marathon a Month | Angie Runs

  4. Pingback: 2016 in review | Angie Runs

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