Amana Freezer 5k – 2018 recap
The meat bag swag keeps me coming back!
Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 10 am.
Unless you are new to the blog, you know this is one of my favorite Iowa winter races. I have run it a hand full of times, the swag is one of the reasons I return. Instead of another shirt, participants can choose a meat bag from the Amana stores, or you can opt for no swag.
I made sure to register online before the price increase and to get a guaranteed meat bag. I believe the cost was around $25. I am probably going to say meat bag as many times as necessary in this post, so let your inner 12 year old keep chuckling.
Josh was also able to make the race this year, and he was able to register on the day of the event, and still choose a shirt or meat bag.
There are no changes from last year for this event. The race day packet pick up happens in an old appliance factory building. There is a bathroom in this location, and they had port-o-potties outside the door. Again this year the visitor center restrooms were locked. There is plenty of free parking around town.
We grabbed our bib and meat bag, then chit chatted with everyone – Oh yeah, another reason this is a great event, all the area runners come out of hibernation.
WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The 2018 edition included thuringer – which is like summer sausage, a package of swiss cheese and a package that contained 2 smoked pork chops. My bag also had a ticket for a post run Millstream beer. Josh’s bag did not have one.
We finalized the gear we would be running in and did a warm up run to Casey’s and used their restroom, then ran back in time for the 10 am race start.
There was no National Anthem, in fact people were just kind of standing around and then people were moving. It’s small town Iowa racing at it’s finest…. just go!
A photographer snapped shots as we all ran over the start mat. The course was the same out and back, on paved surfaces. Well that is what I thought until we did the turnaround loop in Middle Amana. It’s a tiny little place and they must have went to a chip and seal, creating a loose gravel running surface. There is also a short hill here.
Ok, I am getting ahead of myself. I haven’t raced a 5k in what felt like years… so I didn’t know what to expect, but one thing seems always certain, I start way too fast. I just went, and then I saw my friend Mark ahead and I thought I could catch him. Well, the watched beeped at the first mile and said 8:30… NOPE! I wasn’t going to maintain that, and let Mark go and backed it down…but reflecting on it… dang, an 8:30 mile, pretty good for me!
I made it to that loop in Middle Amana and the front runners were on there way back. I cheered on my friends, and kept moving forward.
It seemed like forever to run that final stretch back into Amana, but I made it back to the timing mat, crossed the finish line, ripped the chip off my own shoe and found Josh. I did check my watch real quick and I had run another sub 30, with 28:11.
The timing company had race printouts if you wanted to get one, but we decided to walk back the race course a little bit and cheer on those still running. It was a nice winter day, the sun was out and it wasn’t too frigid.
When it was time we made it back to the building where you picked up your packet, for the post race treats and awards.
There was all kinds of baked goods, bagels, bananas, clementines, hot chocolate and bottled water. There was also plenty for everyone!
The post race awards always crack me up. For whatever reason, no one is listening and everyone is talking so you can not hear anything. The lady brings a bull horn and everything.
There were a lot of speedy people this year. I did not place – hey my AG of 30-39 is very competitive. I always joke I should have ran in college, I would have won many small town 5ks in my AG. I did cheer for all the winners, they received medals.
Then it was time for the random raffle prizes. I had my fingers crossed, but I did not win anything. Well, or did I? The prizes concluded and my friends were all standing around discussing the fact there was no bag of bird see raffled off. Funny… the lady got back on the bull horn and said “We have bird seed to giveaway!” I crossed my fingers, but I didn’t win….oh wait, it’s get’s better… the person I was talking to about this – won. Congrats Michael on your bird seed win!
It was time to move on, Josh had to get to some sporting event. I wasn’t leaving without cashing in my beer ticket. We walked over to the Millstream Brewery where I got a barrel aged brew, whoa! It was a strong one!
When at the brewery we chatted with some more friends. As I said, this race is great people come out from hibernation and you get to catch up, find out where you will see them next, what they are training for.
I could have stayed all day, but we had to get back to the big city.
I think I write the same thing every year, but I will always run this race if it fits in my schedule. A $25 price tag for a meat bag and some camaraderie, what more could you ask for in the middle of winter in Iowa.