Race Logistics

RACE LOGISTICS

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

If you have been reading since the beginning, you know I run A LOT of races. I’ve been asked why I choose an event, or about my favorite race… well first I consider the price… but next I always consider the logistics – can I make this race possible.

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I will be headed back to Madison, WI for my 4th Madison mini, one of the most important race logistic when I am participating in a race sooo close to home, yet soo far away… Can someone else get my packet?

Madison is about a 3 hour drive for me… sooooo I can leave first thing in the am and arrive on race day. The Madison mini makes this easy for me by allowing someone else to pick it up for me at packet pick up. All they need is a copy of my photo ID. If I were really planning ahead, I could have paid a little extra (when I registered) and picked up my packet at will call, which is open before the race on race day.

I could go on and on about inconvenient packet pickups, ok maybe I will. The year Josh and I ran the Chicago Marathon, we had to drive into Chicago twice…once was to pick up our packet as there was no packet mailing, no race day pickup, and no one else could get it for us. ( I don’t recall packet mailing)

Other race logistics that make a race a great event:

  • Parking – is it close? do I have to pay?
  • Bathrooms at the start
  • Online maps of the course, start/finish – what is available at the start finish, do I have to walk far to get water?

When a race considers what it’s like to be a participant, that is an added perk, so the special perks of allowing someone else to grab your packet or multiple banks of port-o-potties makes my decision easier… well after I check the price.

Madison Mini Packet pickup information:

 PACKET PICK-UP INFORMATION

Location:  Alliant Energy Center, Hall C, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison

Friday, August 18: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m

Please bring your Photo ID as packet pickup is by last name. You will not need your bib number. REMEMBER! THERE WILL BE NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION OR PACKET PICKUP AND NO THERE ARE NO TRANSFERS OR REFUNDS.

FAMILY OR FRIEND PACKET PICK-UP

If you would like to have a family member or friend pick up your packet for you, they must have a copy of your photo ID (either digital or paper).  Please have it ready when you go to their line to get their packet so you can show it to the volunteers.

WILL CALL PACKET PICK-UP

The Will Call Packet Pick-Up Booth will be located at Library Mall near the fountain and will be open on Saturday, August 19 from 5:30 – 6:45 am

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Springville Extreme Quarry Run

2017 Springville Extreme Quarry Run 6k

The 2017 event took place Saturday, August 12 at 8 am. The 6k run is part of Springville fun days. (This is in Springville, IA.) It was a great summer day for a race, the sun was shining and morning temps were near 60 degrees.


The weekend was full of races to choose from in my area, all shorter distances. I choose this one as I was excited to take on the challenge of running through the quarry. I also heard the RunIowa podcast with race director Joel, and it peaked my interest further.

I woke up early and had some toast, one slice with peanut butter and one slice with jelly, topped it off with the usual black coffee. I was on the road by 6:30 am for the 45 minute drive to Springville. I had never been to this town.

Gear: Orange Sparkle Athletic Skirt, adidas shorts, *last minute change to Lululemon shirt, XX2i sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, Garmin Fenix 3, Spibelt, Zensah pineapple socks, New Balance Shoes, Bibrave hat. *I also realized when I arrived at the race, that my outfit was supporting the school colors.


It was easy to find where the race started, even though the online registration information said “downtown.” I just kept making turns and found the downtown. I was able to find a spot to park on a side street about a block away, and of course it was free.

I walked to pick up my bib and timing chip, I also got a short sleeve race shirt. There was a discounted rate for no shirt too. Race day registration was available for around $35.

There were 2 port-o-potties set up near the packet pick up area. Previous year race shirts were also FREE for the taking. A pancake breakfast was in this area too for a small fee. People wondered about before the race start.

I ran into Joel before the race and he asked if I was going to write a review… I told him the pressure was on… lol. I also met twitter friend Amy (@amykeating05.)

this is actually a post race photo

Near 8 am, people headed for the starting mats. Then there were some announcements, but I heard none of them. The microphone was not very loud and the people were very chatty. They did quite when the National Anthem was sung.

I really didn’t have a grand plan for this event. However, since I had some background on the event, I wanted to “race” the hill. As I mentioned above, the race runs through the Wendling Quarry. This is the only time the quarry shuts down, and non employees are allowed access without a hard hat. As part of the race, you run DOWN into the quarry, through the quarry, and then through a tunnel, to turn around and run UP and out of the quarry. There is a King / Queen of the hill challenge, where timing mats are thrown down at the bottom, and the fastest person up the hill is crowned. I was going to give this a go!

This was also not my first go at the 6k distance. Way back when I ran the Drake Relays 6k, and I looked at that time to see if I could set a new PR.

With those things in mind, I didn’t push too hard until I saw the hill. The race was an out and back, and the first stretch was an uphill section. We were told to stay left of the cones that marked the course. They were easy to follow along with the arrows spray painted on the pavement or chip n seal surface.

The course flattened out, and then there was the water stop near the mile mark… which were paper cups, YAY! This is also where I got the first look into the quarry, but couldn’t really gauge the hill … so just kept motoring on. The surface also changed to dirt with gravel.

Then all of the sudden, I saw the blue timing mat on the top of the hill… and at the same time I was descending. I almost have a harder time on the downhill than the uphill, I am soo fearful of blowing out my quads…and after 3 Blue Ridge Marathons, ouch!

I wound down through the quarry and the leaders were on their way back, yet no one had started the climb. I yelled some positive words to people I passed, then it was time to run the tunnel. This is actually a natural bridge that was created to get under Hwy 151.


It was dark in the tunnel and there were blinking, lighted cones in the center. Ok, so I took my sunglasses off and I had no problems seeing. In fact, so many races through McCormick Tunnel in Chicago, and this was a breeze. Also even footing on the gravel/ dusty surface.


I looped back around and was on the way back to the finish. There were many volunteers on course in the quarry too, even though there was no confusion about where you should be running.

Then it was time to conquer the hill… so I started pushing the pace a little, and as I climbed I pushed more, then it came to the point where I had to use my arms, and I was passing people. I really felt good, until I came to the top…. I had to walk… WHEW!!! what a climb in a short amount of distance…. looking at the Strava data…


After the short walk, I stopped at the water stop and took a sip, and kept moving… It was hard to push the pace again. It was an uneventful trot into the finish line.

I finished near 34 minutes (not a PR, I shouldn’t have walked)… I got a small printout of my results; but that really wasn’t what I was concerned about, I wanted to know the hill climb times.


After some milling about and grabbing a bottle of water and granola bar, they did the awards before everyone was finished. The overall winners were announced first, and both male and female were awarded an engraved quarry rock. They were really cool!


Then it was the age group awards, and finally the King & Queen of the Hill awards. Which were a little confusing…but I did not win. I ran the hill in 1:45 and the female winner ran 1:20. DANG!

I learned that after the race there was going to be a parade. Luckily for me I had no sweaty running clothes to change into in my car.

I met up with some fellow Corridor Running Board members – Joel (oh hey the RD of this race) and Michael. We talked “shop” and then the parade started. It was a nice little parade. I love small town events!


It was then time to make the trek back to Iowa City. I did so hitting up the bulletin boards at the Casey’s Convenience Stores with some New Bo Run race flyers. (Hey, you want a flyer to post? Or hey sign up for the race!)


After a stop in Mt. Vernon, I came upon a tractor cade or something. You know old tractors that are following each other… yeah they went on and on and on forever on the side of the road. Seriously, if you never leave your house, you miss so much.


I am getting sidetracked…. To bring it back around, I would recommend this race to everyone. With so many 5ks it’s nice to have something a little different.

 

Did I PR the 10k?

DID I PR?

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

The last time I mentioned the Big Ten 10k, I was hoping to set a new PR. Well, did I? *Spoiler alert * No, however I had a great time, and of course I will tell you all about it.

If you want the basic facts of the race, you can find them on my review I left at bibrave.com.

Saturday, July 22

Alright, so Josh joined me on this “racecation,” how could he miss out on a race supporting the Hawkeyes? We left first thing to get to Chicago.  We had plans to meet up with Heather, and run some miles on the lake front path.


The great thing about this race is someone is allowed to pick up your packet for you, or you can pay a little extra and have it sent in the mail. We chose to have it mailed, when we registered we weren’t sure what our plans would be.


After a run with Heather, and navigating the streets of Chicago, we tried to get checked into our hotel… which they still didn’t have ready. It was 5 pm, wut?  However, after a room service credit and a talk with the manager, a room was made available.

After all the drama, we made it to one of our favorite spots for dinner, Miller’s Pub. Then called it a night, after some room service chocolate cake.


Gear: bibrave tank, Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest pack 1, Sparkle Athletic skirt, Pro Compression socks, Road Runner Sports shorts, hawkeye hat, Road ID, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Garmin Fenix 3


Sunday, July 23

We woke up early and ordered a room service breakfast. I had a bagel with peanut butter and fruit for $18 – DANG! Josh stuck with steel cut oatmeal. We left the hotel and walked to the race start on Columbus, near Grant Park.

The race started at 7 am, so we planned on meeting up with the other pros before the race for a picture and wish each other good luck.


Announcements were made, while music played in the background. We were encouraged to line up in our corrals, which were noted on our bibs. I was in corral B (not sure how or why) but it was full by the time I got to the entrance. I waited outside the entrance, however instead of letting all of us in at the back of the corral, corral C passed by before I was let in.

It was a sunny morning, and extremely humid. It made the race very uncomfortable. We even received an email before the race (as well as a note posted on the website) about additional hydration on course, and slowing down our race goals.

Spice Adams started each corral with an air horn, he is a Penn State Alum. I started off cruising… since I had run this course before, and as mentioned in my previous post, this course is flat, I thought I could PR. However, that plan went out the window soon after the part on Lower Wacker Dr. This portion of the race is underground, so it’s HOT and stinky…the air was not moving.

My first 2 miles, were sub 9 minute… then this part hit and I was running over 10 minute miles. The next plan was to just enjoy and get to the finish.

While I did bring my own water with me, I was trying to pay attention to the hydration on course. There were 3 stops with Nuun and water, but I didn’t feel there was anything extra than the previous year.

After the lower wacker part, the course went back along Michigan Ave, then turned and climbed Mt. Roosevelt, while then taking us around the museum, to then run along the lake. This part offered some great views of the city.


Then there was the first of 2 water slides. I made sure to give this one a go, I had done it in the past, and with the weather, I thought it would be a good idea. However, I just didn’t get enough steam to slide the entire distance… so I had to crawl out, leaving me with wet socks… at least I felt cool for a while.

I continued on the run, more along the lake, and this is when I realized the area was not closed to others – meaning bikes… and they were not too happy to share.

I made the turn around, and just kept moving… it was tough, that humidity made the air really heavy and thick. I passed by the second water slide, where they had the fight songs playing… sadly I never heard the Iowa Fight Song.

I was happy to finally come back to the finishers chute, where I saw a photographer at the end, but another runner came in ahead of me blocking my shot.

As mentioned before, I did not set a PR in this distance…heck I was 10 minutes off… but I didn’t have it in me…I did finish, and am happy with that.

When I crossed the finish line I was given a bottle of water first, then I grabbed a wet towel. There was a chance to grab a banana and a Clif protein bar…then finally I got my medal.


Unlike the previous years where each school got a different medal, everyone got the same finisher’s medal. We had to redeem a ticket on our bib at our schools post race tailgate tent to get a “coin” (which was a magnet) that stuck to the medal.

There were also tags on the bib to redeem for a Revolution Brewing beer and an Amylou sausage with pretzels.


The post race is always my favorite part. As mentioned above, each school has a tent…I found out this year that each school’s tent provided something different. In the past I feel that Ram racing provided one school specific swag item for everyone to get ( I got sunglasses before) I guess the magnet was the item this year. So, that left the other swag up to the school itself. Well my school is one of the geographically closer ones, so they can easily drive more swag to the tent. I was given the chance at stickers, magnets, photos with props and much more. I found out that the Ohio State tent was selling t-shirts. Some schools had their mascots. So, I imagine the school only brings what they can, however this allows each participant a different experience.


While, I spent the majority of my post race time near the Iowa tent. There were also tailgating style games, live music and giveaways.


This race is a good time for the B1G fan, or for anyone looking for a 10k in Chicago that does not go through the McCormick tunnel!


I will give my 10k PR another go, some day… but as I mentioned I will be training for the Detroit Marathon… well then there is the Madison Mini Half Marathon and North Face Wisconsin Half Marathon… oh and the Madison marathon…. so maybe one day I will get back to speed…


Go Hawks!

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BEER!

Beer Run!

Hey – some fun news… a beer run! That’s right… show up, run, drink a beer!


As you might know this past spring I was asked to be a “Captain” for the midwest region of the BibRave program. I am happy to serve this “post” with my friend Heather. If I am being honest, the midwest region of pros are the best!!! I think my favorite part of racing is meeting them in real life. Seriously, if you are racing with them, make a point to say hi!


Ok, I am getting carried away, I do that a lot. So what does a Captain do… well lots of things, but one is an opportunity to host some fun meetups throughout the year, and while it will be tough for Heather and I to co-host an event… we will do our best to accommodate.

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Alright the details!!

What: Beer Run ( or social run, ending at a taproom)

When: Wednesday, July 19th, 2017. 6:00 pm.

Who: you!

Where: meet at the Big Grove Taproom, 1225 S. Gilbert St.  Iowa City

Why: Because running is fun, and beer is good.

How: ok, how about just the details… Please arrive at the Big Grove Taproom around 6pm (near the entrance – in back) some announcements will be made. We will then walk around to the start of the trail (on the other side of the creek.) Then it’s time to run/walk/move. The pathway goes around the Terry Trueblood recreational area, if you want to do the total distance it is near 5.5 miles. If you want to go out and back 1 mile, that is fine too.


Really the idea is you show up, do some physical activity, and have a social afterwards. All paces are welcome, and it you just want to walk for 10 minutes that is fine too. Not a beer drinker? That’s ok, come for a soda.  Have a dog? bring them too!

Amy and I drinking a post race brew at the Key West Half Marathon

If you can, please RSVP to this FB event page

Next?

GET OUT THE PASSPORT

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

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I find it strange that I don’t have another big race until October…sure there is the Run for Troops relay, B1G 10k, the Madison Mini, The NFEC WI 13.1…. but it seems like forever until my next marathon….. running one a month will do that to a person.

I will be running the 40th Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 15. This race is unique in that you run in and out of Canada. This means I need to bring my passport. The registration process had me sweating, there were notes and warning about the possibility of being detained in Canada. Which might not be so bad, however reading through everything, I will be ready to run my first “international” event.

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I have never been to Detroit, in fact the only time I have spent in Michigan was a summer family vacation, in which we drove around Lake Superior, and we were in the UP…which should be it’s own country, LOL.

While I will continue the struggle to find a training plan…it’s just how I do…or heck maybe this time, I actually pick a plan… I am going to start planning my first adventure to Motown.

Running has taken me to so many new places, one of the many reasons I love it. So what should I do while I am in Detroit?

If you want to join me in the shenanigans, use code “DETROITBRP17” for 10% off race entry. http://www.freepmarathon.com/

What’s new?

If you a frequent visitor to my blog discount page, you might have noticed something new and different.

Discounts from Zensah and Aftershokz!

In addition to my ambassadorship with Bibrave, (applications are currently open – tell em I sent you!) I have had the opportunity to join the Aftershokz Shokz Squad and expand my involvement with Zensah.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

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Zensah – VIP baby! Alright, maybe I am taking this a little too far…. back at the beginning of the year I was given a chance to be a brand ambassador for Zensah. Recently this has led me to the exclusive review club.  While this means great things for me, this means I am happy to share a 20% discount (referral link) with you! If you are not familiar with this company, check out their website. I love their compression socks, the foot bed is soooo soft!!


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Aftershokz – Do you remember when I told you about the Trekz Titanium bluetooth headphones? The head phones that do not go in your ear, and allow you to hear your surroundings by using bone conduction? This is the great company that makes them! I am what is called a Shokz Star, and I will a collection of their headphones if you would like to demo them. YEP – that’s right, want to try out this crazy awesome technology? Well look me up!  I also have an awesome 15% savings code if you shop at aftershokz.com – use ANGIE1 (U.S. & Canada only)


I will be at the Corridor Running Fifth Season Race Expo, at the Cedar Rapids Double Tree, on July 3rd from 11 am – 7pm if you want to try the products, learn about BibRave or buy some headbands.

 

Grandma’s 2017

Grandma’s 2017 – RACE RECAP


“Disclaimer: I received entry into Grandma’s Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I LOVE GRANDMA’S MARATHON!!! I was so happy when Bibrave partnered with this race, I couldn’t wait to get back to Duluth. In fact, my group of friends already had a hotel reservation. I would be returning for a 4th year at the event…. in fact I think my first Bibrave race was the Garry Bjorklund half marathon in 2014.

Duluth is about 7-8 hours from Iowa City, and as per usual, this is a road trip for me. Josh and I got a head start by staying in Rochester, MN on Thursday evening. We woke early, to pick up Miguel at the French Meadow in MPLS – hello delicious breakfast!

From MPLS we made good time to Duluth. That drive on I-35 can be tough as there always seems to be construction and everyone is leaving the city to get to their lake cottages.

We called ahead to our hotel in Superior, WI (just across the canal) and we were able to check in early. This allowed for some down time, even a nap before we would go to the expo, packet pick up and pasta dinner. The hotel had a welcome bag with Clif Bars and bottled water in our rooms.

At the expo, Kara Goucher would be speaking at 3pm, followed by Dick Beardsley. The 3 of us left our hotel around 2pm so we would be able to hear Kara speak, and meet up with the Bibrave gang that was also running the race.


Once we got near the DECC, where the expo and festivities were being held, traffic was backed up due to parking limitations. There was parking available for $5 near the area, but everyone was arriving at the same time. We should have left earlier or parked across the way and walked over. After some cussing, we talked our way into a bar’s parking area – they begged us to have a beer, but instead we gave them $5 and were given a parking pass.

It was a short walk to the expo building, but we were able to make it before 3pm. We met up with the gang and listened to Kara speak.


It was time to get our packets and then check out the expo. The vendors are set up until about 8pm, while packet pick up stays open late – 11pm. When we were there, around 4 ish, it seemed very busy.


There were the typical vendors, and a few free samples including pork, beer and wine. Grabbing our packets was easy, just needed the bib number, and didn’t have to show an ID, when you left this area they double checked that your timing chip scanned.


It was time to eat! I had won a Grandma’s prize pack on facebook which included 2 shirts, a hat and 2 pasta tickets.


Gina (Bibrave pro) had an extra pasta ticket which she shared with Miguel. You might have heard me boast about this dinner. It’s my fave because I can get a plate of plain noodles… um I might have have 3 plates of noodles…in addition to some bread, wafer cookies and a tiny Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. We took our time here and conversed with Gina’s friends, who happened to be from Iowa.


Before we left to get back to our hotel, we stopped to check out of the finishers of the 5k. (you could run this as part of the Great Grandma’s Challenge, 5k Friday and half or full Saturday) Even saw a joggler amongst the many people.


Back at the hotel, after laying out all the race day essentials, we called it a night at 9pm, it was going to be an early wake up call.

Gear: Bibrave tank, Sparkle Athletic Galaxy skirt, Zensah USA compression socks, adidas boy shorts, moving comfort bra, Hawkeye hat, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, aftershokz Trekz Titanium, Welch’s fruit snacks, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID. *planned on a Half Buff & my XX2i France 2 shades


RACE DAY

4:00 am – Rise and shine!  The half marathon started at 6:15 am and the full marathon started at 7:45. The race starts at Two Harbors and ends in Duluth,  we had to take a shuttle to the start. The hotel offers a bus for the marathon, but there was no option for Miguel (running his first half marathon,) except to catch a shuttle in Duluth.

This hotel caters to the runners and put out a breakfast starting at 4 am. Coffee, toast, bagels, fruit, juice, yogurt; all the simple basic foods that are perfect before a race. I toasted some bread and slathered some peanut butter on it, and grabbed a granola bar for the shuttle to the race.

We all piled into the giant rental truck, and barreled down the highway… ok not really, but we left around 4:30 for the boarding that was happening between 4:45 and 5:15 for the half.

UGH! Traffic was backed up onto I-35 from the exit ramp, as they could’t move cars fast enough into the parking lots. We pulled an “audible” and took some other random exit, with some twists and turns, we had cut the line from the interstate, and were close to getting a parking spot. *Ok, so I don’t do well in these situations, in fact I think this is the only thing I worried about on race day. I wanted to make sure we all got to the starting line. This caused major anxiety, as I am spoiled by Hawkeye events with parking passes and traffic control.

Whew! We were able to get close enough to have Miguel get in the line for his shuttle. We had options to get to the start line, and had time to then park the truck. We paid the attendant $5 and went to go find Miguel in line for some final good lucks and a picture.

Josh and I now had time to get to our shuttle… ok so the marathon buses started loading after the half and did so until 6:15am. However, Grandma’s is the only marathon that has a train that will take you to the start. I really wanted to do this, but it was first come first serve to 1000 people. With the timing, it worked out, we made the train!!!


The train goes up the shore, following some of the course. It is also sold as having bathrooms. I did not use a train bathroom, but Josh who had to wait a long time to use one, said they were “well used.” That aside, I really thought the train was a unique way to get to the start. There is also a spectator’s train.


We arrived to the start with plenty of time to check our bags, and wait in the super long port-o-potty lines. There has to be about 200 or so bathrooms, but never seem like enough. It was cloudy and there were some rain sprinkles falling.


We ran into Gina in the bathroom lines… just like last year, lol. I wanted to snap a pre-race pic with her. I took off my hat to put on my BUFF, in this process, my sunglasses which were resting on top of the brim of my hat, snapped in 2. GASP! *update XX2i has a lifetime warranty*


I wear a visor/hat and glasses to run in, as it’s great and easy way to protect me from the elements. So there I was, about to run my 23rd marathon, and I had no sunglasses… however I got my picture with Gina.


Josh and I walked to the starting corrals, we slapped high fives and wished each other luck. He went to the faster area, and I pushed towards the back. There really weren’t corrals, but there were pace signs and pacers to line up with.

The National Anthem was sung live and the race was underway. I knew it would be a few minutes before I would cross the start line, so I finally went to push the buttons on my Garmin to get it ready to use. That is when I discovered it was at 35% charge. UM? I had it plugged in all night…. oh wait, did I? Obviously not. Then I realized my error, I plugged in my headphones, and was like, they don’t take long.. I’ll just unplug after a bit and plug my watch in….that never happened.

Here I was, ready to start another marathon, no sunglasses and a watch with minimal charge… but you know what… I was not worried, not anxious…. nothing – I was ready to tackle the trek to Duluth.

I didn’t have a race goal… I blogged about my training for this race, including the crappy 16 miler that was my one and only long run. I knew I would be able to finish, and I knew I would do my best. It was also my third time at the event.

I don’t have too much to say about the marathon this year that’s any different in years past. The event is very well organized and any ability is welcome, course is open for 7 hours. Great spectators, great volunteers. The sun eventually came out, and it warmed to 77 degrees – according to the marquee when I was near mile 23. This is also when I switched my phone off airplane mode and called Josh just to tell him where I was.. and he was with Miguel and they were tracking me *blushing* This is is when I noticed my watch had officially died – so it lasted 22 miles, and like 4 ish hours? Guess I need to run faster.

I felt great this race, I walked the aid stations, like every 2 miles….and never wanted to walk – until mile 25. I never felt defeated. I did feel hungry at mile 15, and I had been eating my fruit snacks, I took bananas and oranges from the official aid stations. I had also been drinking the blue Powerade on course, but had to stop as it was way too sweet. (I was ready for a toothbrush.) I am thankful to the bacon stop and the people who had strawberries.

When I got to the last .2 miles the sky had clouded up and there was a downpour, the sound system even went out, and my name was not announced when I crossed the finish line at 5:26.  I didn’t have any clue how far I was back from the official time, so when I first saw my finishing time, I was a little disappointed. Oh well, I am slow and most importantly I felt good, not tired or sore.

I am not sure there is anything I dislike about this event, maybe they could add some food choices in the beer/music area AND consider something other than marathonfoto for pictures.

This is a race where you get your shirt at the finish line, so after collecting that, my medal, heat sheet, and bottle of water…the sun was already back out. I met up with Josh and Miguel, then saw Gina in the runners only food area. I made sure to grab some more strawberries.

CONGRATS MIGUEL!! Finished his first half marathon!!!


We then all met up with the Bibrave gang and enjoyed the post race music and beer.


(this area is open forever too, so everyone gets a chance at beer and music.) There were soda choices in addition to Odell brews.


Everyone then departed, and that is when Josh ran into a guy he knew from Iowa, and I saw Darin (hope I spelled that right) I keep running into this guy at races. So we chit chatted some more. If you see me say hi!

Then it was time for the traditional post race Little Angie’s. Tacos for the win! It was tough to eat all my food… I wasn’t super hungry then and I was tired!


Some how it was nearing 4:30… we trucked back to the hotel for a much needed shower and nap. However, I thought if I napped at this hour I wouldn’t get up, or I wouldn’t sleep the night.

Around 7:15 pm, I convinced Josh to drive some where so I could put my legs in Lake Superior. We found a pull out along the course, just north of Duluth. The air temp was in the 50’s and the lake was sooo cold but it felt sooo good! We skipped some rocks too.


Of course I was now hungry, so we drove a little further to a restaurant you pass along the course. We both got the walleye and tried the wild rice – which is a “thing” in the area. After dinner, it was finally time to close the chapter on the day…. I was ready to crash… and I did that.


Sunday

Time for breakfast, and the trek back to the Hawkeye State. We did some googling and thought we would try this cafe that served the famous Betty’s Pies. When we arrived the line was out the door, so we found this other place in downtown Duluth, the Lark. Welp, while the food was tasty, the service was slower than my marathon time.  We were happy to leave and go get some more coffee at the Duluth Coffee Co.


The trip back to MPLS to drop Miguel was uneventful, no traffic back ups. We were back in the cities around noon time, said good bye to Miguel… and crawled back into the truck.


After a traffic back up in southern MN (seriously that area has been under construction for years.) We made it all the way back to the Clear Lake exit before we needed to eat again. Luckily we did not need any gas, all the pumps were full. We discovered that Casey’s would put their chicken strips into a wrap, that was a delicious discovery!

Then really… it was a boring road trip, the radio was boring, the scenery..boring… maybe because we have traveled it a lot. Oh well, we made it home.

As stated at the beginning of this super long post, I love Grandma’s and Duluth, can’t wait to get back… of course we have the hotel reserved already.


You can follow Grandma’s on twitter, Facebook, Instagram or their website to keep up to date with the 2018 event, and you can check out my bare boned review at bibrave.com 

To answer the question, when my watch was recharged, I could see it had worked for 21.2 miles and 4 hours 15 minutes.