The 10th year of Run 4 Troops, a Marathon from Dyersville to Dubuque, IA.
Saturday, June 23, 2018.
This was my 5th year participating in the event. I have run it twice as a relay and twice as a solo marathon.
Josh and I left for Dyersville, bright and early Saturday morning. Josh was not participating in the run, but he was going to “crew” me along. I didn’t really need anything, but it was nice to have support along the way, and a ride home. Ok, so I could have met the shuttle bus in Dubuque at o’dark thirty, but it’s just easier for us to drive to the start.
We both had run Grandma’s Marathon the week before, and I was using this second marathon in 2 week as a training run for an upcoming trail 56k race.
There was nothing new about the pre-race announcements or procedures. I was able to grab my bib, which was inside a drawstring bag with my race shirt. This year the solo marathoners received a singlet. I liked this, however…. there is a race sponsor called “Gigantic” printed just above the ass. NICE! Also included was a silicone band that doubled as your trail pass, the bib with chiming time, and post race beer ticket.
The start was a little different this year. They spaced out the relay runners and made 3 waves. The first relay teams would start at 7AM, the solo marathoners at 7:15, and the last wave of relay runners at 7:30. The trail gets really congested at each transition, because each team has a vehicle getting their runners to those points. I think it worked out a little better, but as a slower runner not doing the relay, I wasn’t as affected. However, Josh and I worked on a plan to meet at some non relay intersections, which seemed to work well.
Ahhh, so how did my race go? I am so glad you asked.
I started with the 5 hour pacer. We were almost 2 miles in when I asked “Do you pace a lot of marathons?” Ha, I should have known the answer as the guy wasn’t super chatty until I broke the ice.
This was his first pacing “gig.” After, that initial question, we chatted for the next 8 miles. It was great to have someone to talk with, and the others that were running around. However, I met up with Josh and wasn’t able to keep up with them. I would miss their company the remainder of the run.
I was glad, I stopped and met Josh as I was suffering from a horrible chafe. I felt it starting after about mile 5 or so. I stopped and Josh sprayed some Aquaphor on my back, and it was then I realized my pack wasn’t as tight as it should have been. AHHHHH…
Oh – what was I running in? As you can see the tank and pack combo was where the initial problem was.
Gear: Sparkle Athletic Stars skirt, Adidas boy shorts, Zensah sports bra, Zensah socks, Brooks Ghost 10, Coros Pace watch, XX2i sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Wal-Mart Tank, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Hat.
The race is run on the Heritage Trail, a crush limestone trail. It’s FLAT, with some inclines to cross the roads. I am not sure if it was too flat, but it’s a great place to run, and has some shade.
I discovered there are some race photos online. I also recall waving to a camera numerous times, however, this is the only image I could find of myself *eye roll*
I came to the finish line after 5 hours… in fact near a time of 5:35. My time was not pretty, and I didn’t feel “pretty,” but I finished!
A volunteer put a medal around my neck, a wet cloth on the back of my neck and gave me a bottle of water. There was a tub of chocolate milk, a tub of bottled water and a tub of bottle Gatorade. I met Josh and made him bend over to grab me a chocolate milk and snag a Gatorade bottle for later.
We chit chatted for a while, and I heard the name of someone I knew finish, Don.
Then we went to find a slice of wood fired pizza. This is actually good post race pizza, crispy thin crust, not heavy and greasy. Sadly, the slow runners got no pizza, they were out. PSA – if you did not participate in the race or volunteer, please do not take the food.
I settled with some fruit and grabbed a cookie. My frown turned around when I remembered the race added post race beer, in fact there were 2 craft choices as well! I chose the Exile brew and sat down, while searching for Don.
Josh and I chatted under the shade of a tent and watched people finish. The 5 hour pacer found me to check in (that was nice.) He said he missed 5 hours by only a couple minutes as he started cramping near the end.
I finally spotted Don and went up to congratulate him.
The day was getting late, so we thought we would go find some real food and get back home. Ha, when I say real food, I mean I need salty, McDonald’s french fries.
I like this event, it’s almost a hidden marathon in the state of Iowa, or I always forget about it when someone asks, “what marathon should I run in Iowa?” The tough part is that it can be hot, and you need to work out the logistics from getting from point A to point B.
I will always recommend this event, if you are not up to running a marathon, do the relay, it’s a fun day!!! Sadly, I see that this event is the same day as Grandma’s in 2019.