2017 Springville Extreme Quarry Run 6k
The 2017 event took place Saturday, August 12 at 8 am. The 6k run is part of Springville fun days. (This is in Springville, IA.) It was a great summer day for a race, the sun was shining and morning temps were near 60 degrees.
The weekend was full of races to choose from in my area, all shorter distances. I choose this one as I was excited to take on the challenge of running through the quarry. I also heard the RunIowa podcast with race director Joel, and it peaked my interest further.
I woke up early and had some toast, one slice with peanut butter and one slice with jelly, topped it off with the usual black coffee. I was on the road by 6:30 am for the 45 minute drive to Springville. I had never been to this town.
Gear: Orange Sparkle Athletic Skirt, adidas shorts, *last minute change to Lululemon shirt, XX2i sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, Garmin Fenix 3, Spibelt, Zensah pineapple socks, New Balance Shoes, Bibrave hat. *I also realized when I arrived at the race, that my outfit was supporting the school colors.
It was easy to find where the race started, even though the online registration information said “downtown.” I just kept making turns and found the downtown. I was able to find a spot to park on a side street about a block away, and of course it was free.
I walked to pick up my bib and timing chip, I also got a short sleeve race shirt. There was a discounted rate for no shirt too. Race day registration was available for around $35.
There were 2 port-o-potties set up near the packet pick up area. Previous year race shirts were also FREE for the taking. A pancake breakfast was in this area too for a small fee. People wondered about before the race start.
I ran into Joel before the race and he asked if I was going to write a review… I told him the pressure was on… lol. I also met twitter friend Amy (@amykeating05.)
Near 8 am, people headed for the starting mats. Then there were some announcements, but I heard none of them. The microphone was not very loud and the people were very chatty. They did quite when the National Anthem was sung.
I really didn’t have a grand plan for this event. However, since I had some background on the event, I wanted to “race” the hill. As I mentioned above, the race runs through the Wendling Quarry. This is the only time the quarry shuts down, and non employees are allowed access without a hard hat. As part of the race, you run DOWN into the quarry, through the quarry, and then through a tunnel, to turn around and run UP and out of the quarry. There is a King / Queen of the hill challenge, where timing mats are thrown down at the bottom, and the fastest person up the hill is crowned. I was going to give this a go!
This was also not my first go at the 6k distance. Way back when I ran the Drake Relays 6k, and I looked at that time to see if I could set a new PR.
With those things in mind, I didn’t push too hard until I saw the hill. The race was an out and back, and the first stretch was an uphill section. We were told to stay left of the cones that marked the course. They were easy to follow along with the arrows spray painted on the pavement or chip n seal surface.
The course flattened out, and then there was the water stop near the mile mark… which were paper cups, YAY! This is also where I got the first look into the quarry, but couldn’t really gauge the hill … so just kept motoring on. The surface also changed to dirt with gravel.
Then all of the sudden, I saw the blue timing mat on the top of the hill… and at the same time I was descending. I almost have a harder time on the downhill than the uphill, I am soo fearful of blowing out my quads…and after 3 Blue Ridge Marathons, ouch!
I wound down through the quarry and the leaders were on their way back, yet no one had started the climb. I yelled some positive words to people I passed, then it was time to run the tunnel. This is actually a natural bridge that was created to get under Hwy 151.
It was dark in the tunnel and there were blinking, lighted cones in the center. Ok, so I took my sunglasses off and I had no problems seeing. In fact, so many races through McCormick Tunnel in Chicago, and this was a breeze. Also even footing on the gravel/ dusty surface.
Then it was time to conquer the hill… so I started pushing the pace a little, and as I climbed I pushed more, then it came to the point where I had to use my arms, and I was passing people. I really felt good, until I came to the top…. I had to walk… WHEW!!! what a climb in a short amount of distance…. looking at the Strava data…
I finished near 34 minutes (not a PR, I shouldn’t have walked)… I got a small printout of my results; but that really wasn’t what I was concerned about, I wanted to know the hill climb times.
After some milling about and grabbing a bottle of water and granola bar, they did the awards before everyone was finished. The overall winners were announced first, and both male and female were awarded an engraved quarry rock. They were really cool!
I learned that after the race there was going to be a parade. Luckily for me I had no sweaty running clothes to change into in my car.
I met up with some fellow Corridor Running Board members – Joel (oh hey the RD of this race) and Michael. We talked “shop” and then the parade started. It was a nice little parade. I love small town events!
It was then time to make the trek back to Iowa City. I did so hitting up the bulletin boards at the Casey’s Convenience Stores with some New Bo Run race flyers. (Hey, you want a flyer to post? Or hey sign up for the race!)
After a stop in Mt. Vernon, I came upon a tractor cade or something. You know old tractors that are following each other… yeah they went on and on and on forever on the side of the road. Seriously, if you never leave your house, you miss so much.
I am getting sidetracked…. To bring it back around, I would recommend this race to everyone. With so many 5ks it’s nice to have something a little different.