Freezefest 2017

Corridor Running Freezefest 5k

I am so excited to have something to write about. I ran and volunteered at the Freezefest 5k or should I say “Warmfest.” (More on that later.)

As most of you know, I am on the board of my local running club, Corridor Running. This is the first race of the year for the club. In addition to running, and creating the playlist for the event, I was on board to take pictures, post to social media, shoot video and anything else they needed me to do.
For my official race review – check out

Gear: Ice Cream Sparkle Athletic Skirt, xx2i France2 sunglasses, Garmin Fenix 3, Go Pro, Adiddas boy shorts, Lululemon shirt, Corridor Running Trucker hat, spi belt,  2xu Vectr socks, aftershokz

The event always takes place in February, and it has a later start time of 11 am. It is in Marion, IA at Squaw Creek Park. This is mostly due to the weather. It can be cold or as we saw this year, record warmth, nearing 60 degrees.

*Personally, I would rather have a race start at 7 or 8 am. I run in all weather conditions, so I would just like to get up and get it done.

This is a smaller race, and it’s capped at 350 participants due to the lack of parking.. This means that packet pickup is the day of the race, which works out well because of the late start I was whining about above. Anyway…. the lodge allows room for an easy packet pick up as well as an area to get information about upcoming Corridor events & membership. It’s also a good location to stay warm, if the weather is cold. There is also indoor plumbing, however the system seems to get overwhelmed and backs up….but don’t fear there are extra, clean port-o-potties set up outdoors.

It was time to start the race. While there were no signs encouraging people to line up according to pace, everyone did an excellent job of self seeding.  Mark – the club president said some words, and then the National Anthem was sung live, however if you were in the back of the corral, you might not have been able to hear it.

With this being a 5k, my usual goal is to run it sub 30 minutes, however I had a Go Pro in one hand and my phone in the other. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to tackle all of this.

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The race course wasn’t too difficult, it was basically flat, and on all paved surfaces. Ok, so the finish was uphill and there were some potholes….but totally manageable. The course also has out and back type sections, so you can cheer on the others.

I crossed the finish line, while watching the clock…SUB 30!!! My official results:

After I was done running, I picked the camera back up and snapped some pictures of the award winners. Then I went to check out the post race food, since it was lunch time. Volunteers called the “cookie monsters” brought a lot of baked goods, and there were 2 different types of homemade chili. There were some sandwiches and fruit too. I waited too long and there wasn’t much food left, and I don’t care for chili, so I grabbed a cookie. There was also lots of beverages – bottled water, sodas, and some Miller Lite.

I really needed to get on my way, there was Hawkeye basketball game at 1pm… I was already late.

This is a great race! The price is right and it gets you out of the winter funk. The club does a great job too, everything runs smoothly. I also like getting to socialize with everyone. I also forgot to mention, a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Boys & Girls club.

See you at the next Corridor Running event, the Shamrock Shuffle – PS registration is still open. There is a 3.17k and a 6.24k. They could also use volunteers.

Keep up with Corridor Running: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram & don’t forget to tag #corridorrunning




Hooters Last Chance 5k


Josh and I were in Florida for the Outback Bowl, and of course I was on the look out for a race in the area during the time we would be there. I stumbled upon the Hooters Last Chance Race of the Year in Clearwater Beach.

I also needed to log some miles, I have run at least 100 miles a month for over a year now, with the 2 mile run to the race and the race, I would hit that goal.

If you haven’t figured it out the race was on Dec 31st….. It was to start after the one mile swim at 10 am. The race was on the beach, it was sunny and around 65-70 degrees.

I don’t remember the last time I ran a 5k….in fact my last race was a the Artic Frog 50k at the beginning of December. Who am I? LOL

Gear: Iowa tank top, yellow Sparkle Athletic skirt, 2xu vectr socks, NB 880 shoes, Garmin Fenix, Iowa Nike hat, Adidas boy shorts

Josh and I ran to the race with plenty of time to spare, so we ran an additional mile along the beach. We watched the swimmers as we ran… that looked tough, and then they had to come out of the water and run through the sand to finish. We also had time to cheer them in, very inspiring.

The announcer was very energetic, I think she was also the RD. She knew many of the people at the event and called them out over the loud speaker that was also playing music. The race was put on by a company that does many local events.

When it was time, runners all lined up near the water, on the beach, no corrals. However, I felt everyone was smart enough to line up according to pace. The National Anthem was sung live.

The race was on. I have run on the beach a few times before, you know on that hard packed sand, just at the water’s edge. Once I even tried this barefoot, but got a nasty toe blister. I was glad I had my shoes, but don’t tell anyone, I didn’t read the race description and didn’t realize it was going to be on the beach…SHH, it’s our secret.

Ok, the goal…sub 30…. It was hot for me, so I just pushed the pace. Running 50k’s and marathons for a year, I did 0 speedwork, so this was my challenge.

I was doing fine, until I came to the part on the course where the lead pack was headed back, as this was an out and back course. We had to share the piece of sand…or I guess I could run in the dry stuff, but why?  It was difficult to share, as the going out portion was on a slant. I did see Josh, and I gave him a high 5!

We passed mile markers, and a water stop with plastic cups at the turnaround. The turnaround guy was holding the trash bag for the cups, something even more guilty feeling about leaving your cup trash on the beach.

I didn’t see many other Hawkeye fans, which was strange as this was the beach the Outback Bowl held events on. Last year I ran a half with at least 15 other Hawk fans. Oh well, I did see 2 guys pushing strollers….at least they never passed me, I call that a small victory. I also splashed in the water a few times…ok it was by accident.

I could see the finish ahead, so I pushed the pace on the packed sand, as I knew I would be running through the dry, loose sand the swimmers had to finish on. That portion was tough, but glad I had practiced by running in the snow at home.

I came across the finish line and a volunteer handed me a medal, a bottle of water, and a piece of paper for a top finisher award. (The top 25 in each gender received one.)

The race was sponsored by Hooters, which was just across the street from the race start. The post race party started on the 3rd floor at 10:30. Each participant got boneless wings and a free beer. We found out, at the party that the beer options were crap…but we did our best to sip on some Mich Ultra. Also, this was my first time at a Hooters, and I am not sure if they made these boneless wings ahead of time, but they were dried out and gross! (This does not reflect on the race at all) It was nice of Hooters to open up for the event.

We got in line to get our top finisher award, which was just a plaque that said we were a top finisher, it was cool. When we were given the award, the RD asked questions and made you feel special. Great small town feel to the event.

We milled about and talked to an old lady who wanted to see my hair cut, as she needed to shave off her hair, because she dyed it red and it didn’t take….see runners are awesome…they will talk about anything…she also whined about how cold it was…oh Florida, don’t ever change. Seriously, there were people in stocking hats and gloves, long pants and long sleeves.

I got my sub 30!

It was time to go, we had to get to Ybor City for the Hawkeye festivities of the day. We pulled up the Uber app….yep we didn’t run back…we had medals and plaques.

This was a fun event, it was only $25 before the fees, and I registered the week of the race. Doesn’t get better than that… I didn’t get a shirt, but I don’t need any more shirts! The RD made everyone feel special too. I would run this again…who knows with the Hawkeye record with the Outback Bowl, the odds are in my favor.


One GIANT Medal!

Kickoff to Kinnick – 2016

Well you might remember I ran this race last year, and I didn’t really enjoy it. Even heard feedback from some people that helped put it on. Which is “whatever” I feel running as many races as I do, my opinion has some merit. Anyway, I did come back to run it again..mostly because I told people I would be running it, and it’s a race 3.5 miles from my house.

I added my more factual thoughts on ( I will admit it was hard to keep my opinions out of it, lol)

This race was held on Saturday September 24, 2016. This was an away game for the football team, as the race finishes on the football field. I wish the race actually kicked off the season, instead of in the middle of the season, but logistics happen how they happen. It was a cool, cloudy 68 degrees, but the humidity was over 90%.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, UA Iowa tank, Adidas 7″ boyshort, Hawkeye hat, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones, Garmin Fenix, 2xu short socks, Brooks ghost 8

I registered late for this race, because that is just how it happened. Online registration was still open at this point and I paid $49 – OUCH! (ok I still paid it) This is an example of where registering early is beneficial. You could also register on race day for $50…yep for a 5k. (Keep reading, you will see why) *Also the race benefits the UIHC and Tim Dwight foundation*

Included with the registration was a fancy, colorful bib with timing chip; gender specific cotton short sleeve shirt; finisher’s medal; finisher’s party; and a finish on the football field. There were also 2 coupons, one was $10 off a $30 purchase at the local running store.

There was a packet pick up the Friday before the race at Scheels (local sporting goods store) or you could get your things on race day, starting at 7am (no mention when this would close.) Last year the race was on a Sunday, and they had 2 PPU before the race, so they are very accommodating for this.

I left my house just around 7 am, the race started at 9 am, but I wasn’t sure when they would close PPU. I wish I would have known, so I wouldn’t have to wait around. I got to the race area, the start is different than the finish, and parking is scattered in many lots in between – all FREE!

Ok, so I rolled in and parked, then walked to the PPU. There was a table no signs, so just waited in line, told them my name and they seemed to know which box to find my bib in, but it seemed a little disorganized for them. However they found it quick, and it was marked with my shirt size, I was given that and on my way. Easy Peasy! There were a lot of volunteers just standing around though, but maybe they would be busier later.

I now had a lot of time to waste…thankfully there is social media, lol. Here is one example where the race could cater more to runners, start it earlier! I guess that is my main problem with this race, it caters to the casual runner…the running is just something you do to get you to the medal or fun. There is room for both!

Once it was closer to the race start, I made my way to the starting area. I did run into some people I know – Hi Anne!! Hi Wendy!!.

The starting “corral” could use some improvement. The music was playing in the background and people were told to line up. I am not sure if they were encouraged to line up by pace as I couldn’t make out the actual announcement words. There were some pace signs. I saw one for 7-9:00 mile pace, it was held up into the air for all to see. However when running a 5k a 7 minute mile is a lot different than a 9 minute mile, that many people shouldn’t be grouped into the same area. There was also a 10 min plus pace sign, however unless you were standing next to the person holding it, you couldn’t see it as it was held chest high. I didn’t see a sign for walkers, maybe there was and maybe people just missed it.

I think this starting thing is my biggest “beef” this year, it causes a huge problem at the start and during the first mile. I am slow, but if I am lined up in my 10 min per mile pace area, I shouldn’t have to stop due to walkers a couple tenths into the race (ok maybe the Olympic race walkers did this?) It doesn’t take much effort to add more pace signs, or because of the increased popularity of this race how about actual corrals with wave starts. There is chip timing, so why not? It will then make the race pleasant for everyone, there wont be a huge bottleneck the first mile or so with people. People wont have to run outside the coned off area. Or is it the time the course is closed? Start the race 5 minutes earlier.  Easy fixes…what am I missing?

Ok, the race was underway. It started near Carver Hawkeye Area and we went down the hill on Hawkins. It took a left turn onto the Coralville Strip. It was here that some runners took the sidewalk, when there was one lane of the road coned off, there were runners running on the grass between as well. Also on the stretch was the Coralville Police Department yelling over their loudspeaker to stay inside the cones. To say this was crowded is an understatement.

The course approached Mormon Trek and we took another left. The sidewalk is up against the street here and participants used both the sidewalk and street again. I also wonder if they had a shorter race distance doing this, or did they care?

The City High drumline was near the softball fields, that was a cool pick me up!

The field started to thin out, and it was easy to find a pace and not worry about bumping into someone or having to go into the open lane of traffic.

At the halfway point, volunteers were on both sides of the course…but this mean for the road lane and the sidewalk lane…handing out mini plastic bottles of water. Sigh…I understand the ease for volunteers, but IMO for a 5k, a sip of water is enough, that is a huge waste of water and plastic.I am hoping those bottles were all recycled. Maybe I am wrong and people prefer these? Give me a paper cup to pinch for a sip any day… on a side note I didn’t feel the need to stop and get a drink.

Then the course hit the intersection of Melrose, where we took a left. This part has some rolling hills, nothing steep. This takes the course back towards the stadium, passing by the golf course and through University Heights.

There was a spot where we all had to run on the sidewalk due to some construction. I did not see any construction. However the sidewalk is wide enough here and the field was spread out enough, it wasn’t a problem. Although those pushing a stroller could have encountered a problem if they didn’t get on the sidewalk when told, as they had to navigate the curb.

Once near Kinnick, the route took another left, and we ran alongside the pressbox side and entered the stadium at Gate, where is a direct shot into the tunnel that leads to the field. Yep only one direct way onto the field. The tunnel is at a steep decline, with sharp turns and in places has low clearance. All the hazards were marked, but you should pay attention.

After some twisting and turning, you see the light and enter the field at the NW corner.  This is the cool part, running out onto the football field. Spectators are allowed inside and are lining the both sides, cheering everyone on. You can spot yourself on the jumbotron as you cross the finish line.

*the overall course is a fair challenge for everyone, and it’s easy to navigate, just a tad crowded at the start*

Once you cross the finish line a volunteer gives you a GIANT finisher’s medal. (Ok I am almost embarrassed to say I was given this medal for just participating in a 5k, LOL) There were some Hawkeye Spirit Squad members there too. Then you can mill about on the field. However, some milled to close to the finish area, it was a little congested. There was room to take pictures on the field, if you just walked away from the finish. There was no food or drink on the field, so if you needed to exit the field to the post race tailgate for a bottle of water.

I was running a marathon the next day, so I didn’t have plans to go all out, just the usual Sub-30…which I did with a 28:59.

There was one way off the field, the stairs on the NW corner, so that backed up a bit. Then you were at the concourse level, which was not closed off, so I used the real bathroom and popped out in the stands to take a picture.

Then I made my way to the tailgate party. This was in the parking lot behind the pressbox (lot 43.) There were many things going on. There was a silent auction, race sponsors, a live band, a beer area, brats being grilled, granola bars, chips, bananas and bottled water were available.

This was fun! There was a back up in the beer line. (at one point it was crowding the race course) ID’s were checked before you were admitted to the gated off area. It was taking some time as they had to put a bracelet on your arm. Once inside the beer area you were given 2 tickets for Millstream Beer. There were bar height tables available to lean on, rest that GIANT medal on. I guess the downside was the tailgating games were inside this area as well as the craft root beer. So I am not certain if your ID was checked and you just didn’t get a bracelet?

The live band was a lot of fun. They even played background music while they announced the AG winners.

Then it was all over and time to go home…the post race was fun. I didn’t have a chance to stay for it the last year, so glad I was able to enjoy.

I really want to like all aspects of this race, maybe it’s why I keep coming back. I would say the actual running parts have a lot of room for improvement, but the post race events and finish on the field are a lot of fun.

End #NF 5k – recap

Iowa NF 5k Walk and RunIowa NF 5k Walk and Run

I had run this race last year, and wasn’t too impressed. However, a friend, Jen was going to run this year and I thought I would join her. I could also run to and from this event getting a few extra miles for the day.

Check out my official review at

Gear: Sparkle Athletic superhero skirt, ProCompression socks, Moving comfort bra, Green Walmart Tank, Nathan race belt, Garmin Fenix 3, OM Endurance Pack, xx2i sunglasses, Adidas shorts, Brooks Ghost 9

This year’s race was on Saturday Aug 13. It was warm, sunny and humid.

I woke up early and ran to the Terry Trueblood Recreational area. It is about 4.8 miles from my house. I was hoping for more miles on the day, and I was early to register so I ran around the lake when I got there. I actually ran into Jen, when I was about done.

Registration opened at 7:00am, and it was about 7:15. I walked over to the table to register expecting it to cost more on race day, but nope, only $20, and I didn’t have to buy a shirt. The last thing I need is another shirt.

Jen and I talked until the race started, mostly about her neon orange shoes.

We lined up and noticed that the one and only Erik Sowinski was running this event. He’s the coolest, compete at the Olympic trials and come back to Iowa City for a low key 5k.

Ok, after sizing up the competition…who am I kidding I will never be that fast… the race started. It was an out and back around the lake this year. There were 2 water stops with plastic cups. There were no spectators and the course was not closed to the public. It was nice on the out and back to wish others good luck as you passed by them.

I started way to fast, I think it was because I was trying to keep up with Jen (who by the way is a former college track athlete.) I only caught her at the turnaround, and that was because she stopped to take a drink. I had my OM pack on, as I needed it for running to/from the race.

Jen and I ran for a while together and chatted a bit. I told her I ran the first mile in 8:44 and that was way too fast. I slowed down and she kept moving faster, I just couldn’t keep up with her, and I think she was trying to keep up with a 10 year old kid.

The course was all paved and flat, but I just didn’t have any more speed in me. Running a marathon a month, I haven’t done any speed training except when I pick up a 5k here or there. Sure I can run 26 miles, but pushing in a 5k is tough!

I crossed the finish line in 27:15, wahoo!! It’s always a goal to hit sub 30, well and to finish.

Once I finished I made my way to a banana. They also had cookies, granola bars, apples and bottled water. Pizza would be showing up at 11 am. They had events all morning until then, including a one mile walk, a silent auction and things for kids to do.

Jen and I waited around for a while as there was mention that Star Wars characters would be showing up. While we waited we found Herky.

While we were standing around, I was tapped on the shoulder by an Iowa City police man. I was like uh, what did I do? He noticed my OM pack, and as he had an OM bottle pack, was curious about this new one. He asked me what I was training for, probably confused why I was wearing it for a 5k. I told him I ran there and that I was running a marathon a month. He then topped me and said he needed something to help him train for his first hundo in a few months. I wished him luck.

They had the awards presentation. Jen and I won our Age groups and received a plastic medallion.

Then we saw the storm troopers from the 501st Legion, and other characters. Of course, we had to get a picture. They insisted I hold a light saber. I was all sorts of confused as they talked, I have done too many Disney races.

It was time for me to get moving home. I had about 5 more miles and it was plenty warm. I said my goodbye to Jen and trotted back.

This race was much improved over last year, and I forget that it’s a fundraising event versus a competitive 5k. I would consider running it again. I had around 13 total miles on the day.


There isn’t a 10k?

I went a whole week without running a race (GASP!) Now that you are over that shock, I did volunteer at the Health Solutions Fifth Season Race on the 4th of July, so I was still involved with a race. I should write a post about volunteering at a race…I know my local area could always use more volunteers, it’s how races happen.

Anyway, I did have a couple of options to run a race July 9th in my area, you know sleep at home, no hotel cost…One of those races was the Thanksgiving in July Turkey Trot in North Liberty, which I ran last year and wasn’t too excited to run again…so I picked the second option, and that was what I thought was going to be a 10k in Mt. Vernon for their Heritage Days celebration.


I drove to Mt. Vernon, and was there before race day registration closed before 7:30. I filled out the paper form and noticed there was no option for the 10k, so I asked…and the lady couldn’t figure out why people were asking about it…CHANGE YOUR WEBPAGE INFORMATION!!! It still links to a 10k…So I decided I was already there, paid the $25 race day fee, and got a unisex short sleeve cotton t-shirt. I picked up the timing chip that would go on my bib, and said hi to Jeff & Candy, they must time a race every weekend.

I had time to do some warming up, since I hadn’t raced a 5k I think since the Easter Egg Scramble in April. I ran a mile, then did some stretches and more walking. I was at the starting line with 5 minutes to go, with only like 5 other people. Small town racing folks…

Ok once everyone was at the starting line at about 8am, there were some announcements and thank yous, then a kid clapped 2 boards together to signal the start. We were off…told to stay to the left so the timing crew could get to the finish, which was not at the start.

When I run a 5k, my first goal is to run it sub 30 minutes, next goal is to try and actually “race” it. I was working hard to not start to fast, I past the first mile marker, and the water stop in a time of 9:28. I also thought I would skip this water stop, because if there was water the the first mile, there would be another stop later.

I battled the hills, and uneven pavement cracks and hit mile 2 at 9:11. I though, “oh maybe I can run the last mile faster yet” “wonder if there is a water stop?”

I felt my watch buzz at mile 3 and saw the time of 8:57, dang, negative splits!!!! I was feeling good, although a bit hot. The turns in the course had parts where there was no air moving, and I never saw another water stop after mile 1.

I came close to the finish area, which was on the high school track. It wasn’t the best terrain to get to the track though. It was clearly marked, but we had to cross a grass section, and step over the lip to the track, to then finish on the actual finish like, which was cool.

There were cups and a water jug available at the finish area, and you could get a receipt with your finishing time, the results were also taped up. The finish food and awards were back at the start area, so after a short walk you could then get the post race granola bar of skittles and some blue Gatorade.

I got my printed receipt and discovered I had finished 5th in my AG with a total time of 28:27, HEY that’s exactly what my Garmin had, am I good or what??!??!?

I’m too lazy to fix the upside down picture 🙂

Ok so I didn’t place, so after I grabbed a granola bar and some Gatorade I was on my way to hit the trail near Solon on my way home for some additional miles.

I had a decent race, but I am not going to make it a point to run this event next year. It was too expensive or anything, it just wasn’t anything special.

Some follow up with my post race miles, I am documenting something new…weird shaking and feeling hungry. Signs of low blood pressure or hypoglycemia. Earlier in the week I had a case of the shakes and even felt like I was going to black out, eating helped a bunch, and I thought it passed.

This particular morning I had my usual coffee and peanut butter toast before the 5k, I did feel hungry again before I raced, but I had the post race granola bar, and hit the trails. I was going to run 3 out & back, I made it 2.42 and there was that feeling again…so I turned around and struggled back to my car, where I had some water, but could then drive to the convenience store for some food.

I am staying on top of this, trying to eat small snacks every 2 hours, and I hope to get a blood test soon. I have already made one call where a nurse told me “You have to be experiencing symptoms before they administer a test.” I am like I need to arrive like I am going to pass out?  I will try to get to an Urgent Care clinic next.

I really want to run my July marathon this next weekend, so I am hoping for positive things to happen. I will have details soon, hoping to have you join me.

Bear Stampede 5k

I have run this race many times, but only the 10k. This was my first year running the 5k.


I was also asked to come back to sell my head bands at the race. I did this last year, and like last year I was happy to donate 50% of my proceeds back to the PTO. You can check out more on my head bands here.


This year the race took place on Saturday May 14, 2016 at 9:00 am. The weather was a cool 45-50 degrees, sunny and windy. The 5k was run as the same time as the 10k.

Registration: You could register online through a certain date, and were guaranteed a shirt by a certain date. Paper registration forms were available too, as well on race day for only $25, no shirt guaranteed. Included with registration; bib, timing chip and a cotton unisex t-shirt if registered by deadline.

Even though there was chips to coordinate with registrants, they were still taking new people up to 5 minutes before the race start.

Expo/ Packet pickup: There was no true expo, but there was a packet pick up held the night before at the school entrance. Head bands were for sale at that time. There was also race day packet pick up. For the day before the race, parking was right at the front door of the school, but started just as school let out for the day, so at that time was congested.

The night before packet pick up was dead, it was also raining, so not sure if that was the problem. It’s also a small race.

Pre-race: Parking was nearby, but the race started in front of the school and sections of the parking lot were blocked off. Restrooms were available inside the school. Packet pickup and registration were still open. There were head bands and a raffle. Announcements over a loud speaker. A bouncy house was set up for kids. The National Anthem was performed on a guitar.

– few spectators – mostly included the volunteers at the intersections and family members
-volunteers at each intersection
-one water stop at the turnaround, styrofoam cups
-paved surfaces, sidewalks, nature trail – had to watch footing, but nothing major
-scenery – nothing exciting to see, it’s in a small town
-elevation – mostly flat except the 2 hills near the finish, which are steep
-markers on the course- yard sign style


My race: I didn’t have huge expectations, I was running a marathon the next day, this was just a shakeout for that. However it’s hard not to try and do my best. I ran with Bryan, he was running the 10k. I said I started too fast, and he did too, but I also told him since he was running the 10k, he was pacing me….but later he thought he was keeping pace with me as he thought I was running the 10k. It was his first 10k…oh well, I think he was surprised when I left him at the 5k split. 

I was then following a kid, who would not let me pass him ( I later found out it was my chiro’s kid) He just kept going, he even dropped his water cup, I said it was ok to not have to pick it up…and he turned the jets on, because I was going to pass him. He did smoke me on the last hilly part.  I was also passed by my AG winner on that last hill, and I actually knew her too…her goal was to just pass me, lol. THIS IS WHY I LOVE SMALL TOWN RACES!! I love the running community!

I finished with a 27:37, which was good enough for 20th place overall, but out of 62 finishers. This was good enough for 2nd in my AG of 30-39.

Those last 2 hills are a great challenge, as much as I hate them, I love them.

Josh also ran the 10k for this race.


Finish/Post Race: The timing mats were out for the finish with finish flags on either side. A volunteer snagged the chip from your shoe. There were a variety of home made baked goods (even gluten free), as well as bananas, Gatorade, bottled water, and chocolate milk. Awards were given to overall and first place in each age group.


The one mile and fun run took place starting at 10:30.

For fun I also entered the raffle that was going on as well. I bought 6 tickets for $5 and put them all in the “movie night” box. It was basically all candy, more candy than I have eaten in a long time, but hey I had a marathon coming up, a relay, and a 3 race weekend, who doesn’t love a post race candy bar?


Well I won! I may have given my 5 year old niece a candy bar too, her parents were not happy. I am Aunt of the Year!!!

Overall: This is always a nice community/school event. Great price, fair course, race distance for all abilities.


if you ran this race, would love to hear your thoughts on

Girls on the Run….

… Is so much fun!

I was asked to be a running buddy as part of the Girls on the Run Eastern Iowa.


If you are not familiar with this organization, here is what the website has to say “a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running”

You can read more about the program here –

In other words it’s an after school program that teaches young girls life values while training them to complete a 5k. There are coaches that help put this program on, and then there are the running buddies who run with their participant at the practice 5k and the final 5k event.

This organization is nationwide, you can look into participating as well. I was actually familiar with the group, I have been asked to be a coach before. (I just don’t have the time) I also have ran a race or 2 with them before the organization became too big, they now have their own 5k, and no longer have to be partnered with another area race.

Ok, enough with all the background of the organization, let’s get to the race. Now if you want a race with tech shirts, open roads and racing; this event is not for you. However, if you need some inspiration or want to run your first 5k, sign up!

IMG_3877Mr. Shucks, the local minor league baseball mascot was there.

The 2016 spring event took place at the Cedar Rapids Prairie School complex, May 7. It was a sunny day, maybe 60-70 degrees with some humidity. Race started at 10 am.

I was not excited about the later start, but with so many area school kids coming from all around, it allowed them to all get there at a decent time.

Registration: Available online for about $25 and on race day for $30. Included with this cost was a unisex cotton t-shirt, a bib, and shoe timing chip. Race was open to everyone, not just the girls doing the program.

As a running buddy, I was only asked to run with the girl, but had to register myself, and had to check which school I was running with.

Packet Pickup/Expo: There was no expo for this event. There was packet pick up in Cedar Rapids at the Running Wild store on Thursday evening, pickup at Scheel’s in Coralville on Friday evening, and race day pick up. Someone else could get your packet.

I just picked up my bib the day of the event. I didn’t want to drive across town for the Friday event, easiest to just grab it before the race since there was so much time.  I also got my cotton running shirt, I was like the only one who didn’t wear it, I just prefer tech clothing for running.

Pre Race: The event started at a school, so there was a lot of parking available, however it seemed everyone was arriving at the same time so the entrance to the lot had backed up. There were port-o-potties lined up.

I arrived with what I thought was enough time, but the parking was kind of a hassle, some lady just told me I could park on the grass, so that’s what I did.

The event started in a large open parking lot. There were school kids everywhere! They all clustered into groups based on the school they were a part of. The kids had spray painted their hair and added lots of face paint and pizazz to their running attire.


The pre race announcements started about 10 minutes before the race, this included some aerobic stretching workout. The National Anthem was sung and then participants were told to line up. There was no starting arch, but the timing mats were out and marked with some balloons on the sides.

I was shocked at how many kids were there, I think the race results listed about 1000 finishers. This event is huge. When we were doing the aerobic warm ups, it was really crowded, so we just kept moving and tried to do the movements.

Race/Course: The race is on school grounds. (same course as the CRFD Memorial 5k)

  • Terrain – pavement, asphalt and limestone trail, just watch your footing. There was one section that was on narrow sidewalk – I wish they would have got a permit to run on the road for the .25 long section.
  • Elevation – really flat, some incline sections but nothing steep
  • Scenery – school grounds, ball fields
  • Spectators on course, mostly family members
  • Miles were marked with card board signs, course marked with card board sign arrows
  • No photographers on course
  • one water stop at the half way point, small Dixie cups
  • Volunteers – they were wearing neon shirts, at all the intersections, police at the major intersection
  • there were port-o-potties on the course

My Race: Since I was a running buddy, I stayed with Ava, she just turned 10. I had run the practice 5k with her on April 19, so I knew she would be able to complete the 5k. We started out in the crowd, as it was just one big glob of people to start, however this kept us at a slower pace which was great. We had to walk the first bridge crossing as it was too narrow for everyone to move along. We then chatted and walked as needed. Made sure to stop at the water stop, as Ava had been training with a water bottle. At about mile 2 I heard a lot of other runners wondering how far they were in the race, it was getting warm, and I am sure the kids wished they had more water. All the participants we passed, and that passed us shouted “good job” or “Way to go” We saw Ava’s family cheering us on, which put a smile on her face. We even skipped a portion of the course. The last half mile or so was a little slower, but once Ave saw the finish, she turned on the jets. We discussed throwing our arms into the air as we crossed the finish line. (Note to self, always check to see who else is finishing, you might elbow them in the face)


Finish/ Post Race: The finish line was also the start line, the timing mat & balloons were still there. Spectators or family members were lined up along each side of the finishing chute, behind some flags. A volunteer snagged the timing chip from your shoe.

There was post race bottled water, in 2 different sizes, bananas, bagels and popcorn being dished into small cups. There were 2 lines. These tables were set up adjacent to the finish line, so you had to double back and around to get to it.

The girls all received finisher medals and certificates from their coaches. There was a back drop set up for photos.


I forgot to hit stop on my watch, but estimated we finished around the 35 minute mark, which is excellent! I think my first 5k I finished in like 38 minutes. After checking the official results we finished 34:59.

I have mixed feelings about this race and the organization. I love that this teaches young girls about the values in life,  how to be confident, and about accomplishing goals. However I wish there was more emphasis on the aspects of running, like getting a good fitting shoe or not wearing cotton to run in. (ok maybe I am a snob?) I  was also confused about my role, I was just a running buddy, I showed up on race day to run a 5k, I was encouraged to go to the practice 5k, but it wasn’t required, so if you had never ran with your buddy, race day could be an adventure.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great organization…just some of my thoughts.

Also something to note, if you wanted to run this as a competitive 5k for time, this isn’t for you. However if you want to run your first 5k, this is the race to run! There is so much encouragement and positive vibes from everyone.