Run Madtown 10k Review

Run Madtown 10k Review

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Twilight 10k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

The 2017 event took place on Saturday, May 27th at 8:10 pm in Madison, WI. It was overcast and around 65 degrees, it was humid. The 10k started, 10 minutes after the 5k.

Read about my road trip to get there.

The 2 night races are part of a weekend of events which also includes a half marathon on Sunday. If you do the 10k and the half marathon you will get an additional medal, and can say “I Conquered the Capitol.” I was fortunate to do that challenge last year, and top it off with the fall marathon, for a huge medal haul. – Ok, enough of that, back to the 10k…

Gear: Sparkle Athletic stars skirt, BR tank, Adidas boy shorts, B1G hat, Spibelt, Gamin Fenix, Adidas Ultra Boost X, Road ID, Zensah USA socks, Buff


Registration for this race was available online, but it closed May 24th. There was a chance to register at the expo. I honestly can’t remember how much this race costs, looking at my review last year, it topped around $60.

The expo was at the Monona Terrace Community Center. It was open Friday evening and Saturday until 5pm, before the race. If you were not able to make it, it was easy to make arrangements for someone else to pick it up for you. Parking was available in the attached ramp for a fee, or in downtown at a meter – with a short walk.

The expo wasn’t huge, but had everything you might need. The bib pickup was in the back, and you had to show an ID and give your bib number, which was sent in an email the week prior. There was a station set up to check if your timing chip was active. Many photo opportunities, including a banner with your name on it. There was race merchandise, a running store and area vendors. There were water stations set up in the corners to keep hydrated.

The expo closed 3 hours before race start. Since the race starts and finishes at the State Capital there are many things to do & places to go, or you could just take a nap on the lawn of the Capital.

After an afternoon at a nearby brewery, I came back to downtown and was able to find on street parking, which was now free as it was after 6pm. I had to find the starting line, it was on a street alongside the Capital, but which one? There was also some construction, so it didn’t start where it did last year.

Once I easily located the start, which I arrived too early, I saw Dan from Iowa City, so we chatted a while, and then I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Lisa, who was also running the 10k.

We all paused for the recording of the National Anthem. (It sounded like the Jordin Sparks version at the Super Bowl.) We then watched the wheelers start the 5k, and then the 5k runners follow. It was then time to get into the corral – which was just one big corral, and for the most part people self- seeded.

Going into this race, I thought I would have a decent time. I did my best to prepare for an 8:10 pm start. I would also like to note I was wearing the Adidas Ultra Boost X shoes, I am testing for Bibrave – I have run up to 7 miles in them, so thought this would be a good race test. (Foreshadowing – I’ll have a review coming, but I have to keep them tied loose, for the best fit for me.)

The course is a nice tour of Madison, it’s short, but it takes you by many things including Camp Randall and the Kohl Center. It is on all paved surfaces. This year, as I mentioned there was construction, so there were areas you needed to watch out for potholes or road drop offs.

It should also be said, Madison is not flat, and every race I have ran, always includes Observatory hill. However, once you are at the top you are rewarded with a really cool view of the lake.

There were a few spectators out on the course, but the volunteers where the ones that were energetically cheering everyone on. Speaking of the volunteers, they were at every intersection, making sure everyone went the right way.

There were 3 aid stations, and at least one had lemon-lime Gatorade (2nd – after the water.) Liquids were all served in paper cups.

Now, I previously wrote a post about how the course was lit well enough in the past, but I noticed the bike path we ran on to be a tad dark this year. It was also open to other users, including bikers, one of which almost ran over me.

Each mile was marked with a sign, and there was a timing mat at the half way point, with a clock. The timing tag was located on the back of the bib.

There was also an app called RaceJoy available for spectators to track you, My phone battery was already at 34% at the start of the race, so I put it on airplane mode while I ran. The RaceJoy app needed you to open it while you ran. This app also allowed spectators to send you cheers.

Now that I have mentioned all the bells and whistles of the course. How did I do? Well, I was having a good time tackling the hills, and pushing my pace, being familiar with Madison also helped. However, since I keep my shoes – double knotted – tied loosely, I just kept felt like they were slipping off my feet. At mile 3, my double knotted shoe came untied. Have you ever had to stop, bend over, tie your shoe, then continue racing? UGH, huge momentum crasher.

I tried to keep pushing the last half, but I felt the humidity, just couldn’t get back into it. Then there was the above mentioned bike path incident. I could hear this noise behind me, and by the time I looked back, this dude was off on the side passing me. Oh well, before soon, I was back at the finish at the Capital.

When I came across the finish line, and announcer said my name, a volunteer placed a medal around my neck, and another volunteer handed me a bottle of water. There was a backdrop set up for taking pictures. The race provides FREE pictures, which were posted online in 2 days. After a photo opp, there was Rocky Rococco’s pizza. Sorry, but the last thing I want to eat after running is a greasy slice of pizza, there were no other food options…a banana would have been great!

I looked at my watch, and I finished with a time near 1:01, which is alright, not bad.

After the long walk of the finishers chute, you could leave, or turn the corner into the post race “party” area. There was a tent set up to get your results printed, and a place to buy some race branded merchandise, then there was the beer tent, where you could grab your FREE Michelob Ultra. I think you have heard my thoughts on this… it’s the land of 23948092384 craft breweries, I passed on the Mich Ultra.

I found Lisa after the race, we chatted and took a picture or two, and just like that it was after 9:30 pm. This old lady was going to turn into a pumpkin. We departed ways and I was back on the road to Iowa.

Overall, Madison is a great place to run. While this race is shorter, it offers a great tour. The expo is easy to get to, the price is competitive and the volunteers are great. I hope in the future to see a different post race food & beer option – which, really, is just me being picky.

Did you run this race? Tell everyone what you thought with a review at

Watch out Madison, I am making a return to the Madison Mini!


Running at night

How do you train for a night race?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the RunMadtown 10k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

Ok, I have run A LOT of races, however I still don’t have the evening or night race thing down. I am going to be running the Run Madtown Twilight 10k in Madison, WI on May 27th. It starts at 8:10pm. As someone who usually runs in the morning or goes on a #runch, I am still trying to prepare the best I can, I have come up with a list of things, I have done or should be doing.


I ran the even in 2016 with Lisa, and will be meeting with her again in 2017

1.) Familiarize yourself with the course. Will there be hills, pacers, aid, trail? At this time of night it’s just starting to get dark, and the lighting can throw things off. Knowing at what mile I can grab a water, or at what point I might have to climb a hill will help keep me on pace to finish in a decent time. This way I can deal with my eyes adjusting to the light and looking out for unknown course hazards.

2.) Run at night. This may be the most obvious thing to do. Run at the same time the race starts, then your body is ready. However, this is just so hard for me. I want to get my run done, I am not a fan of waiting all day. Also by 8:10 pm I am tired and don’t want to do much. Hey – I am an old lady.

3.) Eating. Perhaps, this is tougher than the night running. In my everyday life, I do not eat an early supper. Some days, I might not eat until 9 pm. The solution is to eat an early light dinner so the food has time to digest. I wouldn’t eat a plate of nachos, covered in jalepenos, well unless that is your thing. Then when you are done, enjoy the post race food line up as a snack. This year there will be Rocky Rococo’s Pizza at the finish.

4.) Find something to do during the day. I get anxious, and waiting around all day to race drives me nuts, I need things to do to keep my mind occupied. This isn’t a long distance race for me, but if it were I would recommend finding something to do to stay off your feet, or try to relax – and you can never go wrong with taking a nap!

I will also need to get my bib, so I will have time to check out the expo at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Lakeside Commons. There is no race day packet pick up, so I will have until 5 pm on race day to check out all the goods.

There are also a ton of things to do in Madison. I really like the farmers market on Capital Square – which is where the race starts/finishes. You can also check out many breweries, the lakes, tour the Capitol or the UW Campus. Many things to keep an anxious mind busy until 8:10 pm.

5.) Prepare your gear. By the time this race is over, you will be finishing in the dark. The course is well lit, but you want to make sure your outfit is ready for the FREE race pictures. I like to wear all the colors, but you can wear what is comfortable for you to run in, remember pictures last forever on the internet.


I just need to work on the evening and night running thing, and I think I will be ready. As a Hawkeye fan it may be tough to travel to Madison for a sporting event, but for a race, I am ready to get back to Madison.


B1G Fun in Chicago

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the BTN B1G 10k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews.”

I will be honest, I wasn’t sure I would run this race again, I ran this in 2014 and wasn’t super impressed. However, with my love for the Hawkeyes and the opportunity to run for Bibrave, I decided to give it another shot. (spoiler alert, I am glad I did!)

If you want the basic review of the race, check it out at On the blog I tend to post all the pictures and all my adventures.

Registration for this race is about $50 for the 10k depending when you register. There is a 5k as well, but register early or you may think it costs too much. However, there are a lot of fun things included with your fee. The most “fun” thing is a school specific, gender specific, short sleeve tech tee. (keep reading to hear about all the other things.) Also depending when you sign up, Ram offers freebies.


This race is also different as most participants wear their race shirts to race in, school pride!

When I ran this race in 2014, I wasn’t too happy with the packet pick up process. Friday after 5pm in downtown Chicago was my only option, and it was a nightmare. However, Ram Racing has taken over this race and has started to offer options with their packet pick ups. Josh and I opted to get our stuff mailed to us, it was a small fee, but we had our things a week or so before the race. They also offered pickup starting on Tuesday and lasting through Friday at at Fleet Feet store. Also with the appropriate waiver someone else could grab your stuff for you.

I mentioned Josh was running this race too, but we picked up Hawkeye friend, Kelly on the way,and would be meeting Bibrave pros – Frank, Heather and Cass at the race. (and anyone else who wanted a koozie)

We drove into Chicago on Friday afternoon / evening, had a hotel reserved downtown, and a parking spot reserved with the Park Whiz app.

Supper was at our usual spot in downtown, Miller’s Pub. They seriously have something on the menu for everyone. Fish, fried chicken, pasta, burger, omelet, etc….oh and we can’t forget the beer!


After dinner we caught up with the Olympics and the opening ceremonies. We had time to lay out our gear and then with an early wake up call, we called it a night.


RACE DAY! – Saturday, August 6

Gear: Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, ProCompression Socks, Aftershockz Trekz Titanium, BibRave Tank, Adidas 7″ boyshort, XX2i USA1, Nike Hawkeye Hat, Hawkeye tattoos, Nathan Race belt. Moving Comfort bra, Garmin Fenix 3

It was a nice sunny day, and a cool start in the 60’s. The temps would rise to about 80 for the day. Race start time of 7 am. The 5k started after the 10k.

My before the race plan was to meet up with the fellow pros, and anyone who wanted a Bibrave koozie, near the starting line. We hung out there for a while, but were encouraged to get into our assigned corrals at 6:30 am.


I was joining Heather and Kelly, so we rounded the corner for our corral. There are plenty of corrals for this race, but I am still not sure of the seeding process. In addition to people being seeded into speedier corrals there is the usual sneaking into the wrong corrals. (However once we were off, I didn’t experience any problems with crowded streets or people stopping in front of me)

The course was new this year!! YAY! I was most excited to not be running through McCormick Tunnel, and the more narrow Lake Front Path on the South Side of Soldier Field. Instead the course ran north of Grant park and looped around by the Shedd Aquarium to run back north on the Lake Front Path, where there were 3 different areas to share amongst everyone.


I enjoyed running with Kelly and Heather as we ran intervals. Although, I am not sure they liked my encouragement about running up Mt. Roosevelt during a running interval…hey, it was just a friendly nudge.


There were a couple of water and Nuun stops along the way. Then there were also 2 fun stops with water slide inflatable things. Of course, I had to do the first one! Then my socks were wet. Also at this spot they were playing each school’s fight song. Heather did not appreciate Kelly and my singing of the Iowa Fight Song. We’re good!! “The word is fight, fight, fight…”

We all came across the finish line and were in search of the medals and some water. We weren’t the last finishers, but they ran out of towels to dip in the cold water (which was all gone too) It took a while to find a bottle of water, but we got one, there was also Goose Island Beer in the finisher’s chute too, it was busy. There were also bananas and Clif bars. We claimed our medals (with a ticket on the bib), with school specific ribbons. The medals were huge!


The new location also allowed for plenty of space for the post race festivities. Kelly and I found Josh at the Iowa tent, helping hand out the sunglasses. Each school had a tent with their swag to giveaway and a statue to raffle. There was also photo opportunities with mascots, cheerleaders, traveling trophies (Paul Bunyan’s Axe was there) and the B1G Championship trophy.

This new spread out area also had the post race sausage, more beer tents, a meet & greet with Kyle Schwarber, the tailgating area and the football “combine” type activities. There was something for everyone to do. Although it would have been nice for an actual chair in the shade.

After we got all the Hawkeye things, we met up with the rest of the gang at the nearby “Ill-annoy” tent. (ha but we convinced them of a better spot for a group picture) Even met up with twitter friend Jim, and he claimed a koozie. It was nice to chat about the race with Frank, Anthony, Cass, Tyler, Kelly, Heather, Marge and Josh. I have said this many times before, but races are the most fun if you can do it with friends! (no matter what school they cheer for)





It was time to move along, and the post race was closing up. However, Heather and Marge were down for a post race donut before we said our goodbyes.

IMG_7060 (1)

taking donut selfies are always flattering

Josh and I were sad to leave them, as we weren’t sure when we would meet again. We drowned our sorrows in a bag of Garrett’s popcorn (it was this race 2 years ago when I was introduced to this stuff, it was the race freebie if you were one of the first few to sign up)

We met back up with Kelly at the hotel, and she was getting ready to take off on her next adventure of the weekend. We all left the hotel. Josh and I headed to a Potbelly for lunch and an ice cream sandwich.

It was a quick trip to Chicago, but I really enjoyed the BTN B1G 10k this year. I am glad they made the changes to the course and post race. If you are a B1G super fan you need to get to Chicago and do this race. Who doesn’t like a little, friendly, pre-football season rivalry?


Keota Fun Run 10k

I know I have a problem, but hey I could have worse addictions. Running all the races is a good problem to have until the bank account is empty.

That’s right I had an open weekend, and I saw a race in my neck of the woods (meaning I could sleep in my own bed), so I signed up on race day to take on the mean streets of Keota, IA.

I added this to Bibrave too, so add your review if you ran.


I woke up early and grabbed my race belt, some extra water and ventured out on the 45 minute drive, through Amish country.

The 2016 event took place Saturday, June 11 at 8 am, at the Keota Community Schools. It was humid about 70ish degrees. partly sunny.


I think my favorite thing about this race was the price, only $15 on race day !!! Registration: Early rate was a flat $10 for all events with a guaranteed unisex cotton short sleeve shirt. The price increased and topped out at $15 for all events, shirts were first come, first serve. You could print out the registration form from the web and send it in, or register on race day. No online registration.

Expo/Packet pick-up: No expo…you could double check you were registered on race day. No bibs.

At the time I registered, my name was the only one written in for the 10k. This is a small race, I love small community races. This race is also part of the town’s summer celebration, parade & activities throughout the day.


Pre-race: Plenty of parking on the school grounds or on nearby side streets. The school was open for access to the bathroom. Music pumping on a loud speaker. Announcement made to line up. No National Anthem. No corrals. The start line was painted on the street between 2 orange cones. All 3 races started at the same time, 10k,5k, 1mile.

I just put myself on the left side of the pack, as there was a small split in the courses where the 10k would go left.


Race/Course: For the most part the race was an out and back course on the edge of town.
-flat, one hill at the 10k turnaround, but nothing steep
-all on the roads, some asphalt, some country highway, could run on the gravel shoulder, not close to traffic
-no spectators, except random family members
-2 water stops, in styrofoam cups, one at the turn around, and one you could hit on both the out and the back…one additional water stop set up by residents of town with plastic cups (but was only set up for the short distance)
-scenery – cornfields and houses
-no photographers
-course marked with spray paint on the road


I started out way too fast, posting sub 9 minute miles, but at the first turn for the race, I saw the only other female in the 10k and I was challenging myself to keep ahead…finally the humidity caught up to me and I stopped to take a water, then slowed the pace to sub 10 min miles… I did manage to push myself to a 56:57 minute finish. Which placed me as the overall female winner, but don’t let that fool you, I was also 3rd from last. (I will be getting a plaque with my name engraved!!!)

One other thing that was confusing or what have you…the race runs part of a county road, which is not closed to traffic. Yes, there is law enforcement at the intersections, but there was no encouragement for participants to run on the side of the road, facing traffic. In fact, at the turn around a guy was still running on the center line. I get that it’s a race, but it’s super small and they did get permits to close the road.

Finish/Post Race: There were cones set up at the finish line that was sprayed on the road. A volunteer pressed the split time on a stop watch, and another gave you a popsicle stick with your placement. There was a tub with ice cold bottled water outside. Proceeded indoors to turn in your stick, so they could write down where you finished on a piece of paper. Bagels, oranges and bananas available inside.

A note on the popsicle stick method. There is not timing system, except for a volunteer with a stopwatch. When you cross the finish line, one volunteer clocks your time, and the other gives you a numbered popsicle stick with your placement in the race. You then turn that in to the person tallying the results. Easy peasy!

Once all finishers were in, the results were tallied and awards were handed out. Overall winners got plaques (will be engraved with your name) and everyone else got AG medals.


It seemed there were a lot of participants in the one mile distance, and only like 10 in the 10k. So I challenge the ladies especially, to show up next year and run the 1ok. Let’s show Keota, women can run all the distances too!

Overall: Excellent no hassle small town race, and the price….$15 for a race day 10k…can you beat that!?!?!??!


I really wish I didn’t have so many other things to do, but I left town. It was hard to get out of town as all the GIANT tractors were rolling in for the parade, not a lot of room on the roads to pass by. I wish I could have stayed for the parade and festivities, there’s always next year, plus I will have to defend my 10k title. 🙂


Regal Run 10k – 2015

Sunny, about 80 degrees, HUMID!!! 8:30 am. Iowa City, IA.

This review is long as I chose to write it differently.

It’s no secret I like to run all the races. There are a lot of area races this weekend, and I was excited for a race in my hometown. Nothing better than sleeping in your own bed, and not having to wake up extremely early to get to a race.

This race is part of the Regina (local school) Fall Festival. In addition to the 10k there is a 5k and one mile race.

I was able to register online for $25-$30. Race day registration was available. Included was a bib, and soft cotton, unisex short sleeve t-shirt. Participants could also save $1 on the brunch later in the day.

There was a packet pick up at the festival the evening before, or you could grab your bib before the race.

The race morning started like any other. I had my coffee, wheat english muffin with peanut butter and caught up with social media. Since I already had my bib number, I needed to put together the perfect outfit and get to the race on time.


I arrived near the start at about 8:00am. I knew I needed to park so I could leave when it was done without a headache, to make it to my next destination, an outdoor market. There was plenty of parking on the back side of the school, but it would have been difficult for leaving.  I am not sure what the bathroom situation was, but I am sure there were port-o-potties available for the festival nearby.

The one mile race had just started when I arrived, the kids were off first, full of energy, and it wrapped up with some walkers in the back. I overheard some say they should move to the sidewalk, as the roads were open and busy with traffic, and there was not a bike or patrol car following the last person.


I watched the racers come to the finish, and did a little jog and found the starting line, on the open street. Runners had gathered and a guy with a bull horn showed up. He said the race would start on “Go” there was no timing chips, just a clock that started. The 5k & 10k started at the same time. There was a moped that led the runners. (for how long, I am not sure)

This race was small, about 100-150 participants. No encouragement to line up according to pace, but everyone seemed to do that on their own, YAY!! No National Anthem. The guy said “Go!” and I hit start on my watch.

I had looked at the route that was posted online, and knew it was going to be hilly, with the steepest incline near the last mile. I also was aware of the heat, humidity and lack of shade. Since I sat outside the day before, all I had been doing is drinking water, Gatorade, and eating watermelon.  Ok I had one beer 🙂

The first few blocks, on the city streets I tried to take it slow and not go out too fast. We passed one patrol car guarding the first busy intersection. The streets were all paved and there were no major potholes. When we came to the first turn a few blocks in, the road was marked with chalk arrows. As I ran all turns were marked this way and with yard marker signs. There were some volunteers on the 5k route telling you which way to turn.

After that first turn we were still running on the streets, but they were not busy. We transferred to a sidewalk and came upon the first hydration stop at around mile 1.5. We were still with the 5k runners. I approached the stop and the energetic students were shouting “Gatorade” I was like “no water?”  I grabbed a paper cup of red Gatorade, which was a nice change from the standard lemon-lime and was on my way.

I was hot and sweaty. There was a small out and back section, before we parted way with the 5k runners. Then it was as if I was on my own. With a small race it’s not a big deal. I was trying to stay consistent with time. My first mile was around 9 minutes, and I thought with the heat I could stick with that, however at mile 2, I was at 9:48, I really needed some water.

When we got to the part where we needed to turn on Scott Blvd, a really busy intersection, there was no one with the race near, no one alerting traffic. So you might have had to stop, to safely cross the road. The miles we ran on Scott Blvd were when the hills started and there is no shade. This part was all run on sidewalks. Lucky for me, a woman pushing a stroller passed me on the uphill, I wasn’t out there alone.

Mile 3 came, and there was no water stop. I was running a little faster than the last, mostly because I didn’t want to lose sight of the woman with the stroller. Other than her, and a few other runners in the distance there were no spectators.

However by mile 4, I was toast. I was running 10 minute pace and there was no water stop. However I topped the hill and saw a water cooler in the distance. The cooler was after another busy road crossing with no volunteers or officers. I crossed the road and asked, “water?” They said “no” I knew if I didn’t take any red Gatorade I would really be hurting, so I took a drink and moved along. I really wanted water, and wanted to dump some on my head.

This little loop of the race was on an entrance to a business, so running on the road was not a problem. Then before mile 5 we were back on Scott Blvd sidewalk. This is when I noticed someone on my tail. I didn’t care if they passed me, all I was dreaming about when crossing the finish line was some water.

I knew there was also the super steep hill near the finish. I was now running conservatively. I hate the dehydration headache and I knew I was going to be battling this if I didn’t get some water. At this point the race was all on sidewalk.

I topped the last hill, made the last turn and could see the finish. It was clearly marked with flags and the finishing clock. The last few yards finished in the grass.

As I crossed the finish line I was handed a participant ribbon and headed straight for the post race drinks.  I spotted the water cooler and noticed a woman filling a cup, I asked “is that water?” she said “yes” Then we made small talk about the water situation.

I then went to grab a cup to fill, NO CUPS!!! Some kid made some silly remark… I was soooo mad, I said, “I need water” and stormed off. I had a bottle in my car. I have never been so angry at the finish of a race. I don’t know if there was food or bottled Gatorade, or anything else happening at the finish. I just left! I wasn’t sticking around for someone to find cups, maybe they did. I needed that bottle of water in my car.

I made it to my car and guzzled that water. I live maybe 2 miles from where I parked, I had almost drank the 20 oz bottle by the time I got home.


I’ve been thinking about this race and situation all day. My first thought was, maybe I missed something on the information sheet, about this being a race with no hydration or something. So I checked :


hmm looks like there was to be water on the course.

It also didn’t appear there was a lack of volunteers at the water stops. I get that Gatorade or an electrolyte is an essential need on a hot day too, but I think water should be a main concern. I wonder if some people passed all together because they have intestinal issues and read there was water on the course?

Next I thought, maybe it’s my fault: never assume and always carry your own hydration. I have always been one to make fun of those carrying water on 5k’s. Lesson learned! If it’s a hot race, I will bring something to drink. When it’s cooler I can run 10 miles with no water, but this heat & humidity bothered me.

Then I thought about whether or not safety was even considered on this race. First with the obvious water problems, but then with the lack of marshals on the course at busy intersections. I paid to run this race, no matter how many people sign up, there should be road permits or volunteers at each busy intersection.

I also know this was only the 2nd year for the 10k, but the 5k has been going on for a while. It’s not a first year race. I’ve ran other races starting at this location. The Blue / Gold 5k which was a similar route and then Thanksgiving race and Red Shamrock race which start on the trail near the back of the school.


I am trying to pick out some positives. I did like that the course was posted, so I was prepared for the hills. I also like that each person received a finisher’s ribbon. Also the price for a 10k was great, and the shirt wasn’t bad either. Also being an experienced runner was a positive, I knew to slow down.

I’ve been asked, “what race should a person run in Iowa?” Well, I never recommend a race in Iowa City, why can’t they be as great as all the ones I travel hours to get to? Don’t get me wrong we have some good ones, but there are never any spectators, and there is always some quirky problem. Why can’t we have fun races, well organized races?

Maybe I am biased because I run so many races….However for those who ran their first 10k today, don’t let this discourage you, there are plenty of fun ones out there.

I’ve spent the better part of the day, drinking more water and gatorade and trying to eat salty things. I understand water can dilute your system and all that, so you need the electrolytes Gatorade offers, but you can’t dump it on your head either. I think my headache is finally gone, and according to the pee chart I am well hydrated.


I will just remember to read through all race information and bring my water bottle next time. Cuz there will be a next time, like tomorrow I have a 5 mile race. (but I’ve run it before, it’s a good one, an hour away)

Now I wonder where the official results are? They must not be uploaded yet, I can’t find them at this link: My garmin had a 58 min finish time with just 6 miles.


I will be adding this review to I think this race is why the site was designed. If you loved / hated a race, make sure to tell everyone.

Thanksgiving in July, Turkey Trot Review

Saturday July 11, 2015. Humid 67 degrees, cloudy, RAIN. 8 am. 10k, North Liberty, IA

10k, 5k, 1 mile – North Liberty Community Pantry Thanksgiving in July Turkey Trot

Registration – This was available online through get me registered, or you could print a form and mail in a check. Price increased as race day approached, where could also register for $35, shirt was not guaranteed. All distances paid the same price. Included in registration unisex short sleeved tech tee, chip timing, bib & post race raffle chance.

I was late to the party, so instead of pay the online fees, I just registered on race day, I even scored another shirt.


Packet Pick up: There was no expo. Packets could be picked up the night before the race at the Pantry, or on race day up until 7:45 am. There were some flyers, chapstick and a pen in the bag of things.

Pre-race: The event was held on a 40 acre park, all grass. Parking was on the grass (it was raining.) There were port-o-potties, but they were a short walk to get to. There were a few race announcements, thanks to the runners, directions on the course (where the 5k/10k split was.) No National Anthem.


Race / Course: Run through the city of North Liberty


  • course was on sidewalk, narrow in spots, low hanging trees
  • one water stop, dixie cups (would pass twice on the 10k)
  • the 10k was 2 loops
  • many volunteers and officers at major intersections
  • no spectators
  • no photographers
  • no mile markers, no arrows on the course
  • Flat, no hills

Running on the narrow sidewalks was difficult in parts, not only does it make it tough near the start with too many people, the trees were too low in places. Also it was easy to fall off the edge of the sidewalk in crowded places. I appreciate races where I can run on the width of the street. 

Also even though the volunteers were very cheerful, I feel they didn’t know what they were doing. In face when the race started the directions for the 10k turn around were quite different than where volunteers told us to start the second loop. At this point my Garmin said 2.87 miles, the math wasn’t adding up. I knew it would be a short race. I don’t know if the rain hindered the ability to mark the course with chalk or what the deal was. I also have no clue where the 1 milers went that started at the same time, never saw a split.

Finish/Post Race: The timing mats signified the finish of the course. There were no post race announcements, overall winners were just found and handed their trophies. Runners could check in to see if they won a raffle prize. There were bananas, coffee, bottled water and a buffet of baked goods.

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I did not win any raffle prizes or overall. In fact with the rain and my moody Garmin, I am not sure how fast I ran or how far. I would guess it was a 5.5 mile course. When I went back to look at my watch, and after running a little extra I had 5.9 miles in 54 minutes.

My favorite part about the post race was my personal delivery of coffee & donuts. I saw Jen at the start, she was enjoying a Saturday of errands, so she stopped by the race. At the finish, there she was again and hat hot coffee and a giant glazed donut for me!!! THANK YOU, that was awesome! So nice to see a familiar face, especially with a disappointing race.

Overall: The price is right for a 10k, and the money goes to a great cause. However the race is a little unorganized and running on sidewalks in a race is too crowded.


I am training for my second 50k, first official, so I had 10 miles to run. I was going for the 6.2 miles of this race and a 4 mile race in the evening. I like to run races as training, it’s speed work and I might pick up some bling along the way.

Results: 15th overall, 9th female, in a time of 51:02

If you have raced add your review to

Bear Stampede 10k 2015 Race Recap

Bear Stampede 10k, West Branch, IA Saturday May 9, 2015. Sunny 65 degrees. 9 am – humid

Registration: Participants could register through or by submitting a form through the mail. Registration was open until the start of the race. Race distances included 10k, 5k, 1 mile, & kids fun run. Costs from $20-$30, price increased closer to race day. The cotton short sleeve t-shirt wasn’t guaranteed on race day. Everyone received a swag bag with flyers, even dog treats, etc. The 10k was only $30 on race day, I have paid this for a 5k, such a great price.

Packet Pick up: Held at the elementary school Friday evening before race, or race day. I was fortunate to set up and sell my head bands during this time. I donated half my purchases back to organization.


Pre-Race: Parking available near elementary school, but come early as the street is blocked off. Other parking available a block away on street at Public Library. Timing chips were distributed race morning. The school was open for bathrooms or the drinking fountain. Announcements were made and a school kid sang the National Anthem.


Race: The 5k & 10K started at the same time. The course routed through town, then on a part of the Hoover Nature trail out and back, finishing with 2 hills near the school

  • All road hazards were marked, 2 spots on trail
  • all surfaces, pavement, asphalt, chip n seal, gravel, trail
  • 10k had 2 water stops, first was part of 5k with styrofoam cups. The second stop was mini plastic bottles
  • Hills in town, trail is flat
  • Each mile marked
  • Police at major intersections, volunteers at other intersections
  • Very few spectators
  • No photographers


Post Race: Lots of baked goods, cookies, bars, muffins, bananas, oranges, chocolate milk, yogurt tubes, & water.  Participants were given a plant (flower) grown by the high school FFA. The one mile race was at 10:30 and the fun run at 11. I ran the fun run with my niece Awards were announced afterwards. Herky, and Elsa & Anna made an appearance and encouraged mile & fun run participants. An inflatable bouncy contraption was set up.

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Overall: Great price! Great family orientated race. A distance for everyone. The 2 hills near the finish make the course.


Personal: I like this hometown race, I always try to run it, if I am available. I think I have done it 3 or times. I was also asked if I would like to sell my head bands at the packet pick-up. I couldn’t resist! I recruited my number one head band seller, my sister, and she brought my niece Ella.

There were not many people registered for the 10k, but I still did my best, finishing with a 55:01, good enough for 18th of out 21 finishers, lol!. It also placed me 2nd by 6 seconds in my AG.  This course is a great challenge, after you snake through town the first time, you are treated to a nice flat trail, only to have to finish with 2 uphills. My Garmin was also very close to an actual 6.2 distance.

I’ve added my review to If you ran the 5k, make sure to add a review as there are none yet 🙂