Quad Cities Marathon weekend, 5k Race Recap
What a busy weekend, so I am gonna dive right in.
Friday, Sept 20
I was working the expo for my local running club, Corridor Running. I had left work a little early and made the trip to Moline, IL. My car was loaded with the things I would need to set up our space at the expo.
After discovering which entry to use at the Mark iWireless Tax Center…. whatever it’s called, I met up with fellow board member Carol. Together we assembled a back drop, hung up shirts for sale and set up the appearance of our booth. We had it ready to go in no time!
I departed and met up with my sister for supper in Blue Grass, about a half hour drive away. I stopped at the convenience store to pick up my home made “baked” chocolate chip cookies to add to her delicious home cooked meal of stuffed shells. Don’t worry she loves me so much she made some with no sauce and some with enchilada sauce. After some crafting with my niece, we called it a night.
Saturday, Sept 21
I was up and at em early, my sister had the coffee on and it was some strange bourbon blend. I enjoyed a granola bar on my ride back into Moline. I was going to catch up with the shakeout run at 8 am.
I met up with my friend Kevin, you may recall him from training for Crandic or Run For Carl posts. We listened to some announcements, including some from a guy who was run a lot of marathons… I can’t remember at this point… and really Kevin and I were chatting and not paying attention, happens to the best of us.
It was time to go, and I was watching the clock as I wanted to be back in enough time to get the booth ready to go for the 9 AM expo opening.
Kevin and I fell in line and ran a mile out and a mile back. The whole time I think I never shut up. I need to run with Kevin more often, we were also throwing down some fast times for me.
We were back and coffee and GIANT muffins appeared! I made sure to grab a half a muffin and more coffee. I then proceeded to move inside to our club booth.
I met Carol again, she was ready to expo all day…. more board members would show up, but I had to keep moving. Oh yeah, I needed to get back to Iowa City for a bridal shower at 10:30.
I was back at my sister’s house, hopped in the shower and we were loaded up and on the road to Iowa City. We were also right on time at the shower.
It was a very fancy shower, complete with bloody marys! The bride requested biscuits and gravy and pickles…. so that is what we ate. Then it was time to move on and play some games and open gifts. I got married in what feels like forever ago, but really all showers are still the same, celebrating the bride with some fun!
The time ticked on and I needed to get back to the expo. It would close up at 5 PM, but I also wanted to relieve anyone that had been there all day. With a quick stop back at my house in Iowa City, we were back on the road and I was back to the expo around 3PM.
There were many board members gathered around. We discussed how the day went, and the things people were interested in hearing about the club. I told people if they wanted they could go home, so they did.
In the meantime I was also offered a race entry from the expo director. I gladly accepted, and registered myself for the 5k – as it would fit in my schedule for Sunday.
Finally 5 PM and the expo had come to a close. Jennifer, Michael, and Craig helped take down all the things we had set up. Many hands make light work!! The hardest part was getting it to all fit in my car as storage overnight.
The next step was to then get a tent to the finish area for race day. This was a cool option this race provided the club. On race day we would be able to provide a shelter for participants on race day. However, the weather forecast was rain and we weren’t sure if the tent would stay up overnight so we put the tent on it’s side for the night.
Around 6PM I joined Michael and Jennifer for dinner at the TGIFriday’s nearby – hey it was in walking distance. It was very busy with marathoners and homecoming kids. After dinner, I was back on the road to Blue Grass to get some much needed rest.
Sunday, Sept 22 – RACE DAY
I was up before 5 AM getting ready to head back to Moline one last time for the weekend. My sister was magically awake too and had brewed me some coffee. The forecast was calling for rain.
Back to Moline – parking is super simple for this race. The lot near the Mark tax iWireless place is free and has plenty of spots. I was parked and back to the start/finish area around 6:15AM to get our tent set up, but no one else was there yet. I waited a little while and help arrived.
Michelle, Michael and Dan were part of the club’s relay team and with their assistance we had the tent up in no time. I brought along a tailgating style bench and we had one folding chair. It was like our private little gear check area.
At 6:57 AM Carol arrived, just minutes before the marathon, half marathon and relay would start at 7. The start area does get a bit crowded as all the tents are set up in the area for when it becomes the finish area, however it’s been this way for years.
After the National Anthem and a cannon blast the longer distance races were off. I then waited around for the 5k to start at 7:15AM. Dan waited with me as he was running the 4th leg of the relay – You all know Dan from running in Madison with me. The cool thing about this relay is the city bus system works with the race and every 15 minutes takes runners to their posts, the buses were just across the street from the finish.
I lined up for another cannon blast and I was off! I lined up way to close to the back of the pack, it took a while to get free of the walkers and strollers and such, but I broke free to run the flat out and back course. The 5k course is also where the last 6 miles of the marathon takes place.
There is a water stop you hit twice. The turnaround was clearly marked with a lift and sign in the air. We even had a marching band on the course. Out and backs can be boring, but the best part is that you can cheer on the people. I was trying to keep tabs on Instagram friend Liz, she had introduced herself before the race and said she was nervous and wanted to do well. I was able to see her strongly running back as I was running out.
I had good splits for me. My running is all over the place, but I was happy with my time as I crossed the finish line. Another sub 30 5k, at just over a 9 minute pace.
The race gave us medals…for a 5k!! Then because it was the same finish as the longer events we had access to all the finish line amenities as them. Bottled water, chocolate milk, chips, cookies, grapes, watermelon, hot dogs, pulled pork, Soda and Michelob Ultra. There were also tents with massage therapists. *As the day went on I noticed those who finished the marathon back of the pack did not get all that food.
I grabbed a bottle of water, grapes and a bag of chips and joined Dan back at the tent. It then began to rain. I ran my race in no rain, but what felt like 500% humidity. Craig joined us under the tent as he would be running the 5th leg of the relay. We chatted and stayed dry.
The guys took off on their buses and I remained under the tent, staying dry. I visited with many people who needed to take refuge under the tent. I also met more social media followers as well. The tent was the best thing!!
I was keeping tabs on time and wanted to be able to cheer the relay team in as they finished, so I went out on the course to about mile 21 and met up with the Fleet Feet Struggle bus and found Kevin cheering on participants.
I saw Dan pass and then knew our team had about 5 miles or so to go. I also saw friend Jennifer run by too and kept cheering for runners for a while. Then I made my way back to the relay reunion point. I was clearly not a relay runner, I didn’t have a bib, just my 5k finisher medal and I was allowed to stand in the area. However, there were many spectators in the area too – mostly because it was under the shelter of a bridge.
I found Michelle, then Dan and we kept our eyes open for Michael, but he was no where to be found. Then Craig running the last leg came down the course, so I positioned myself to take a picture of the 3 of them as they finished. *Michael knows my thoughts on his missing this, lol.
I met them back at the tent and we chatted some more, it kept on raining. I told them Jennifer should be coming in, and she did and she came to the tent.
Then it was just time to hang around the tent, I also had a hot dog. People came and went. I knew Carol and Amy were still out on the course, so Dan and I went to wait for them closer to the actual finish line. In the mean time I was able to grab a friends AG award too.
Carol came to the finish line with Amy, and I missed them. However I was able to congratulate them just after Amy rang the PR Bell.
I didn’t want to rush them, but we went back to the tent to chat for just a little longer, and then it was time to take it down and load it up! Carol helped haul somethings to the area, so she would haul the dry items back, and I would take the wet tent.
After I had loaded things up, I saw Kevin again, so I said see ya later and one last time I was in my car on my way back to Blue Grass.
I was exhausted! I grabbed my things at my sister’s house and hopped back in my car to Iowa City. What a weekend!!
As busy as these weekends are, I truly enjoy these things. I really like working expos and sharing the love of running with others and learning their stories. The Quad Cities Marathon treated the club well, and myself. It’s rare you are able to talk to the race director without problem or fuss to find them. Oh for actually running this race, I had never run the 5k before… it wasn’t my favorite course, but everything is done right. Fun fact, this race is where I ran my first half marathon in 2011. I always recommend this event to anyone looking to run in the area.