First Time for Everything

“When Was The Last Time, You Did Something For The First Time?” – Darius Rucker

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

I have run A LOT of races, including 28 marathons, and yet I have never run the IMT Des Moines Marathon…. and it’s right down the road. This year, that’s going to change, I will be at the starting line.

The event is part of a whole weekend of festivities. It takes place October 20 & 21, including multiple challenge events or virtual runs. I will only have time for the marathon on Sunday the 21st.

Saturday, October 20

  •  5 Mile Run or 1 Mile walk
  • Kansas City Marathon / Half Marathon

Sunday, October 21

  • Des Moines Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k, Relay

ChallengesI-35 Challenge, Marathon 5 Mile loop challenge

Virtual Run – Complete the Marathon or Half Marathon on race day anywhere

If you are considering the Des Moines Marathon or Half Marathon, Use code “dmmbibravediscount18” for $10 off the Marathon or Half Marathon!

I also have a code to share for the Kansas City Marathon, not sure how it works with the challenge.  Code “BIBRAVE2018KCM” to save 15% on race entry.

Now, to figure out the logistics of getting my packet as there is a home Iowa Football game. Happy training, hope to see you in Des Moines!




A Marathon in the Corridor

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews!”

Have you heard?

There is a marathon coming to the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, IA area. Run CRandIC will be held Sunday, April 29th. There will be a marathon that starts near the NewBo area of Cedar Rapids and finishes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. In addition there will be a half marathon that starts at the UICCU (University of Iowa Community Credit Union) in North Liberty and finishes at Kinnick Stadium, and a 5k starting at NW Junior High in Coralville.

To say that I am excited, is an understatement. A MARATHON IN MY TOWN!!! I have traveled a lot of places, just to run a marathon. There is a 50k about 10 miles away ( I need to register for that)…but the closest marathon is one hour away.

Crandic – if you noticed, those are the letters that make up “C”edar “R”apids and “I”owa “C”ity. You also see this train image, what does that all mean? Well, here is some information from an article in the local newspaper:

“There’s so much history in the name CRANDIC, and for a good chunk of this run you’re running immediately adjacent to the tracks,” he said.

According to the CRANDIC website, the first electric cars began carrying passengers between the two cities in August 1904 over what was known as the “interurban.” Ridership began declining in the early 1950s as cars became more affordable, it said, and the last passengers were carried on the rails in May 1953.

Its freight business continued, the website said, and now operates “60 miles of mail line track and nearly 40 miles of industry track and switching gears,” carrying over 90,000 carloads every year. “

The Crandic railroad was the link between to the 2 cities, and so the name was born. However, and if you read the article…. (please ignore the 26.6 mile comment – we all love Josh S…but he is not a runner, lol) this race has been years in the making. There was always the obstacle of getting from point A to point B.

Enter – all the parties involved. This is a HUGE event, so in addition to the economic development groups and the CVB (and everyone I am missing) – Corridor Running was asked to help with the inaugural event.

You already know I was excited, but now my running club was asked to help.  After I stopped doing cartwheels, I stepped up to be one of the club members to be part of the planning process. Squeeee!!!

I will not bore you with planning details and all the meetings… so many meetings… seriously… there are a few meetings involved… oh and some emails. I am kidding, I am loving it. I have already felt the pressure to make sure this is a great event, getting the route planned was a feat, but it’s something I know we will make great!


The website has more specific details provided, I just felt the need to share my excitement!

If you have been perusing the website you might have noticed the first price increase is Dec 16th. If you want the best race, I encourage you to sign up before December 15th, 2017 at midnight.

My current plan is to run this as my 25th marathon (we’ll see if that happens,) so if you are in the area and want to “train,” look me up. I may not be as familiar with the Cedar Rapids area, but I have run the half marathon course, and there are some hills!



“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 to review find and write race reviews!”


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.


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.

Am I ready for Grandma’s?

It’s time for Grandma’s Marathon, am I ready?

“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 to review find and write race reviews!”

To say I am ready to get back to Duluth is an understatement, you might have caught the post about all the reasons Grandma’s is the best. However, looking back – am I ready to run a marathon?

I rarely talk about the training for races, it’s all posted on Strava, Instagram or facebook…. it’s available if you really must know. I am just not sure I did enough this cycle.

If you remember, I ran the Illinois Marathon in April, it was my 22nd marathon on the 22nd of the month. Then, there were some smaller races in between including a few half marathons… then I was supposed to be training for Grandma’s. Here is the problem…. was I training?

I was really lazy, instead of picking a plan for this race and just counting the weeks backwards, I resorted to my husband, who is also training for Grandma’s. It first started out as, “Hey Josh, how many miles are you running today?” I would then attempt to run that workout or mileage.

Then I realized he was using some super advanced Brooks-Hansen method of training, and it was really tough! I admitted to him that I was trying to run what he was doing, and he was like, nah just cut it down.

I mean, I shouldn’t be worried, right? I ran 14 marathons last year, I know I can complete this race, but at no point do I, or will I ever take running a marathon as a joke. I need to feel like I trained.

I think the most confusing thing to the plan is that you never run longer than 16 miles, but you are always running longer mileage on tired legs. During the week there are 8 milers, 6 milers, nothing shorter really. I have done a version of this training plan before and I know it works, so why do I continue to doubt myself?

Well, my longest run I had to split into 2 runs, it was a crappy run. Thankfully my 2 best running friends talked me back down, and encouraged me to continue my training. They made me realize everyone has these thoughts, and you just do your best, and I know they have my back!

So, now the race is in 5 days (thank you Garmin countdown watch face.)

I am feeling some what confident. However, it’s mostly because I really do love this race, it will be my third time. I also get to meet up with many BibRave Pros, hope they keep the beer cold at the finish.

Madison Marathon


My 21st marathon…I just had a Facebook memory pop up from 2011, it said something about running my first marathon, which I did in the fall of 2012. Here we are now, and I can say they don’t get any easier.

The 2016 Madison Marathon was held on Sunday, November 13. The middle of Hawkeye football season. Why mention this? Well I have season tickets to all Iowa home football games…Saturday, Nov 12, was a home game, against #3 Michigan.

  • Madison is a 3 hour drive from Iowa City
  • Hawkeye game times are usually 11 am or 2:30 pm
  • I needed to finish the Conquer the Capital Challenge for an additional medal

Ok, driving to Madison after the football game was totally doable, however football game times are usually determined by TV. Last year the Hawkeyes went 12-0 in the regular season, so TV thought ahead of our season that this game should be a 7pm start. This was after I registered for the marathon. AHHHHH. I was not going to drive to Madtown at midnight, and I wasn’t going to wake up at 2 am to drive there, so this meant I had to miss a home Iowa football game….stop making fun of me, I haven’t missed a home game in over 10 years. Iowa has no pro sports, this is our team, my team.

Now you have some background on the weekend. Next, If you recall, I ran the Conquer the Capital 19.3 in the spring, at the time I wasn’t able to register for the 45.5 challenge, as I ran the spring race for Bibrave and it wasn’t an option for me. When I registered for the fall race, I assumed I was just added to the challenge. It was a good thing I checked as I wasn’t in for the challenge.  I was in panic mode, I was missing a football game to run a marathon, a week after I just ran a marathon…stupid!

I reached out to the race, and they said that they don’t offer the 45.5 challenge with the fall registration because you have to complete the spring challenge. I told them my situation and they were able to add me to the challenge, with no problem. I hope they change this in the future, sometimes in the spring you aren’t sure if you would be able to run a fall marathon, but maybe you have a great summer and want to finish the challenge with the marathon.

Alright all drama aside…well the drama leading up to the race…lol…

I couldn’t miss all parts of gameday, so I met with my tailgating crew and headed over to Kinnick Stadium for a couple hours of fun. I left the crew at noon, and ran home as my shakeout.

I was on the road to Madison before 2pm. The plan was to meet fellow Bibrave Pro Gina at 5, and then get to the expo before it closed at 6pm. The drive to Madison is usually easy, and this time was no exception. In fact, gas in Dubuque was just under $2. (Seriously, Iowa City, what’s the deal?)

I met Gina, grabbed a cookie from the hotel lobby, and we were on our way to the expo. We were only about a mile away, but we drove, and opted to park in the attached parking ramp, for $5. (Which is reasonable, but coming from small town USA, I am not a huge fan of this, we could have parked downtown and walked over, but that was across a busy highway)

We walked into the busy Monona Terrace, which is host to many other events, and we met Bibrave Pro – Andrey (and his girlfriend, Emily.)

The expo was very similar to the spring, not very big, but easy to navigate and get what you need. We did show up near closing time and some vendors were already gone, or they were starting to pack up. It wasn’t a huge deal, I don’t need anything more…..

All of us decided to get supper together, and using google maps, found a place called Angelo’s. This was appealing to me as there were TV’s on the bar side…you know the football game would be starting soon.

We sat down to a round of drinks and placed our orders. They all made fun of me asking for pasta with no sauce. I asked for a pile of noodles, I just don’t care for marinara sauce, it’s gross! Now put some fresh tomatoes on top and I am all good. They probably wouldn’t be laughing if they knew I was charged the same amount too…seriously there were like 5 noodles with some chicken and it was $14…UGH! Anyway the company was good and the game was off to slow start, which was good.

We said, see ya in the morning…and Gina and I took off for our hotel so I could finish watching the football game. WHAT A GAME!!!! The Hawks won with a last second field goal, people stormed the field…. I jumped up and down in the hotel room, Gina was not impressed (she might have been asleep)… LOL

Oh yeah, I was some how supposed to sleep after that. Marathon #21 in the morning, or #13 for marathon a month. I had all my gear ready to go….

Gear: Hawkeye tank, Orange Mud Hydraquiver VP1, xx2i USA1 sunglasses, Aftershockz headphones, Adidas boyshorts, Sparkle Athletic donut skirt, Nike Element pullover, Nathan race belt, Brooks Ghost 9, ProCompression socks, Nike Cubs hat, Garmin Fenix 3

It was a early morning, the hotel had breakfast starting at 5:30am. I popped an english muffin into the toaster, topped it off with peanut butter when it was done. Had some coffee….you know the drill.

The marathon started at 7 am, with the half marathon to follow. Gina and I left our hotel with enough time to meet Andrey and pro, Casey. We carpooled as the race advertised on street parking (first come, first serve) or in ramps. We pulled right up, 2 blocks from the start, parked for free!!!

It was cool, about 36 degrees and wind! We met the guys in a nearby Starbucks, it was warm in there, so it was full of lots of runners…many who were just using the bathroom. Even though there were a bajillion port-o-potties available near the race start.

We met up for a group picture, and then made our way to the starting area. Andrey and I were running the marathon, while Casey and Gina were going to run the half. You can check out all the official reviews at

It was time to tackle this race. I really didn’t have a goal, but to finish and get that extra medal. In the back of my mind, I was wondering if I could run the second half faster again, and qualify for another pair of shoes.

I lined up in the back, the course was open for 6 hours, and there was a 5:30 pacer. I started with them, I figured this would get me the slow start I would need. It was a nice group of women. They were doing 4:1 intervals, which is fine with me, but I am not used the stopping and starting again, but I rolled with it. I learned their names, and listened to their goals and stories. No need for my tunes.


I stopped to use the bathroom at an aid station, it was playing the chicken dance song, HELP ME!  I caught back up with the group., they were still chatty. I still felt good. I was eating fruit snacks, a granola bar and fruit twists this time around, and there were 2 banana stops on the route. There was also Gatorade and water, however you needed to be on top of things, they were randomly placed at each stop.


At the half way point, I thought, ok it’s time to give this a shot, so I left the group behind. I was feeling alright, and just kept movin along. Then for whatever reason, I am assuming running a marathon the week before, I was just tired, my legs were tired. I started doing some more walking. I did see Andrey’s girlfriend, Emily on course, so that was nice.


I just kept plugging away. I knew Madison had hills from the many races I had run before. I enjoyed the scenery, however the miles that were in the residential parts were boring, and there weren’t any spectators, unless your family was out, so it was boring and lonely, well except for passing back and forth with Steve…he finally left me in his dust.


After walking the last mile or so, I think I was walking faster than I could run, I climbed the last hill, and crossed the finish line. You may notice in the picture, I am the only one in it, and that is how it felt. I crossed around 5:45 or something, within the limits, but most everyone had left.


I did get my medal, then I grabbed a bottle of water off of a table, and then a volunteer handed me my challenge medal. I stopped to look for a mylar blanket, there were none available, however I could see people walking around in them. I had my picture taken, and proceeded to walk the finisher’s chute. The last stop was the food table, there were bag lunches from Panera, and while they had turkey at one time, only ham and veggie remained. There were also halved bananas. (Inside the bag lunch was half a sandwich, bag of chips and cookie.) While it’s nice to have the food in a bag, I could have used a chocolate milk and something easy and quick to eat.


When I exited, I had my results printed up on a paper, then you walk by the beer area. You could get a Michelob Ultra with the ticket on your bib. No thanks! Wisconsin is like the beer capital of the world…I wish they would have better options. There were tables here to sit down, but they were already taking them down. I sat on a bench and took a break. Strange lonely feeling. I did finish the race, guess I need to get faster.

*I found out there was a post race band, but even though I finished within the time limits, there was no band performing when I finished.

It was time to drive back home….it was just like all the build up and then it was over. I feel bad for anyone that finished after me. Hope they at least got a bagged lunch. I am not a super slow runner either, I just wish that the last runner would experience the race just as the first runner. This is what keeps people coming back.

I think one of my favorite things, was being able to park so close to the start/finish. Well the free race pictures are nice too. I was back to my car, did a quick change-a-roo, and was back on the road again. I made sure to make a stop for some cheese curds, because Wisconsin…hey these would be excellent post race, note to self: need to find a cheese curd race.

Anyway….I am ahead on my marathon per month goal, but I will cap it off with a 50k in December (Arctic frog 50k), so wish me luck. The weather has already changed for colder too. Which will make the next race after that a fun challenge, the Key West Half. Training for a Florida race in Iowa in the winter…should be fun.



Marathon #20

Milwaukee Running Festival

Disclaimer: I received entry into the MKE Running Festival Marathon 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!

…On the road again….With my Orange Mud Hydraquiver VP1 hang drying near a car window and my 9 toe nails, I was on my way to Milwaukee to run marathon #20. It was also one of my November marathons, for my marathon a month goal.

I took off on the Saturday before the race. MKE is about a 4 hour drive from my home, so not too bad. I think the worst part is the toll road with road construction and a 45 mph speed limit. I even have a favorite place to stop about half way, it has the largest popcorn for only $1.

I made it to the expo around 3pm or so, it was open until 5pm, so I had plenty of time. It was held at the Harley Davidson Museum. While this was a cool place to host the expo, it seemed very cramped and the parking, while free, was jam packed.

I made it to the back of the building and grabbed my reusable grocery bag with goodies. I saw a stocking cap laying on the table, it was part of the VIP package I didn’t pay for. However, since I needed to add to my collection of stocking hats with poms on the top, I paid the $10 to get the hat only.

I perused the area, signed up to win a pair of shoes, chatted with some area races. The usual expo stuff. I did notice that the bag I received was full of flyers, the same flyers the expo vendors were passing out. I guess it would have been nice to select the ones we wanted, seems like such a waste.

I left the expo to meet up with fellow pro, Laura. She ran the NFECSWI half marathon with me back in September. I was also reunited with Arthur, her dog.

We took advantage of the coupon in one of the pre-race emails for a free bowl at Noodles and Co. I got the buttered noodles and a side of mac and cheese, all the carbs!

In the meantime, my beloved Hawkeyes were playing at PSU. I was able to log onto the Noodles wifi and watch the game through an app. It was not off to a good start. UGH. Instead, I enjoyed Laura’s company as we chatted the night away.

OK, so I continued to pay attention to the stupid game, it just kept getting worse! So instead, I prepared all my things for my 20th marathon. I was also freaking out about the time change. I knew my phone would change, but would the alarm work? I sleep with my watch on, so when I wake up 2309 times I would know what time it was, but will it change?

Thankfully, my alarm woke me at the correct time. I know, I even googled it, lol. I enjoyed some toast with Justin’s nut butter and some coffee. It was time to get to the start.

Gear: Orange Mud Hydraquiver, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, ProCompression Socks, Adidas shorts, Champion Bra, Garmin Fenix, Brooks Ghost 9, BR trucker hat, BR short sleeve tech shirt, Nathan bib belt, XX2i USA 1 Sunglasses, Buff(r), Aftershockz.

Find my official race detailed review at

It was a gorgeous day, especially for the first weekend in November along Lake Michigan.

After parking in a ramp, a short walk away, I made it to the start. I met up with fellow pros Laura and Eric for a quick picture, they were running the half and 5k respectively.

I was on time, however due to making sure the course was ready to go, there was a delay in the start, but only a few minutes.

I really wasn’t sure what my goal was going to be going into this. I did feel pretty good and the temps were perfect (45 at the start), so I thought I would give the half back challenge a try. This is a challenge put on by Strava, (fitness app) if you can run the second half of a marathon faster than the first, you are eligible to get a pair of New Balance shoes.

There were pacers available, and even though the course was open for 7 hours, the last pacer was for 5 hours. I made sure to line up behind this group.

I really tried hard to start slow…the plan was to run 12 minutes miles the first half. I really hate keeping an eye on my watch every few minutes to make sure I was on pace. However, this is what I needed to do to accomplish my goal. There was also not a lot of spectators on the course, so besides my tunes, it kept me going.


I was doing a good job of keep my miles near 12 minutes. I would get defeated when someone would pass me, but I kept repeating “run your race.”

Finally, the half way point, I felt I could do this. I was carrying a granola bar and some orange Glukos gummis with me. I had been eating the chews, but  it was time to open up the bar. I then started to make up a plan, me and Coach Garmin, we were going to do this!

I decided next I needed a 11:30 mile, while also trying to catch the 5 hour pace group.They weren’t that far ahead, I had seen them on an out and back. Mile 14 came and I was running a bit faster and feeling great, in fact I couldn’t keep the pace slow…I think I was sub 11 minutes, and I kept going with that. I thought, ok, try to slow it down to 11 min miles, and then at mile 20, push it to 10 min miles.

It was then I ran into a social media friend, Ali. She was not having a good race, she has run a 50 miler a couple of weeks before. However in all her pain, she shared lots of encouraging words with me. That was nice.


Whoa….things got tough at mile 21, my watch was logging miles at .6 tenths longer than the actual mile markers, and it was starting to heat up a bit, I also could have eaten a banana or some real food, so I tried to eat some more of my granola bar. I really wish road races would provide something other than gels.


Some where in these miles we had to run around a turf football field too. Otherwise the course was nice, a great tour of MKE. Wish there were more spectators. There were also some good hills to keep all leg muscles feeling fresh.

Those last few miles were tough, but I knew I had a small cushion. I crossed the finish line in 5:09. I ran the first half in 2:38, and the second in 2:31. I was proud of myself and coach Garmin, for accomplishing this. I also ran the entire time. I know this is slow, but I will take it! My Garmin did have an overall distance of 27 miles, I am ok with being off a couple tenths, but this felt that long. I would have been close to a PR too.

*The race sent a follow up email addressing the long course. They said they know GPS can be off, but went on to say “Our event team has undertaken a careful examination of the route that was used in Sunday’s race, and it appears that it was approximately 0.4 miles too long. There were two errors when the course was set. The first was in the 17th mile and the second was in the 20th mile. Each error resulted in approximately .2 being added to the course.” There was another problem on course too, at the mile 19/20 out and back section some cones were removed, and the lead female ran 28 miles.


I felt accomplished when I came across the finish line. I also felt lonely, no one I knew was there….. However, I happily let the volunteer place the medal around my neck. I was given an armful of finisher food and drink, luckily they handed us a plastic bag to put it all in. I really wanted that post race banana too, so I stopped and asked a volunteer to peel it open. Why is this so hard post run?

I passed by the results tent on my way to the beer. The results were very sad to me at the time, I was the last in my AG, and was 493 out of 506 finishers. I was confused as the course was still open for about another 2 hours.  Updated results.

Anyway, I needed that post race beer. There was a tag on our bib to redeem a Coors Light, a Blue Moon, a Wisconsin Red Ale, and another kind I don’t remember. However if you got your ID checked, they gave you a wrist band to get another beer and a craft soda.

I found a spot at an empty picnic table and listened to the DJ while watching people play the tailgating style games, there was even tug-o-war. In the background there were food trucks set up with items to purchase.

Out of nowhere, I hear “Hi! Angie?” It was twitter follower, Rob from Boston. It was so nice to sit and chit chat with someone. He is on a quest to run all 50 states. We discussed the long course, but also that we enjoyed the course. We both finished our beers and moved along.

When I got up I reunited with Laura…I had been texting her and wondered what the heck happened to her, but her phone died. ( I am always fearful of this too, I run with my music, but I switch my phone to airplane mode)

On the way back to our cars, we cheered on more finishers. It was warm by now, pushing 70 degrees, but they all were smiling.

It was time to say “see ya later” and get back on the road. I secured the Spotted Cow, and began the trek back to the Hawkeye State (yep, even though they can’t win at football, it will always be called that)

I really liked this race, and I really enjoyed Milwaukee. I am already thinking about returning for a baseball game. (Cubs vs Brewers anyone?)

People think I am crazy driving around the country to run all these races. It’s not crazy, it’s living.

*I’ll let you know when I get my free shoes 🙂

26.2 mile Journey From MPLS to ST. Paul

2016 TC Marathon

For race specific facts check out my review at Bibrave.  – 

Alright, when you last checked in with the blog I had wrote about my super hot September marathon. Well, that is in the past…by only 2 weeks, and it was time to conquer my October Marathon – The Twin Cities Marathon!!!

This was my first ever marathon in 2012. I can still remember making the decision to run my first ever marathon in the fall of 2011, after I completed by first half marathon. I was soo excited that I registered on the first day it opened!!! This was not the case this year, I waited too long and registration was over $150, yikes, lol!

For this trip to MPLS, Josh was in tow and he would be running the full marathon too. It did take some discussion, as he was considering running the Chicago marathon the same day. I really don’t care to run that one again, but I would have volunteered. Also as luck would have it, the Iowa Hawkeyes football team was playing the Minnesota Gophers the day before the marathon in MPLS, so there was the answer, run TCM!

We took off early from Iowa City on the Friday before the race. We thought we would just hit the expo so we didn’t have to worry about cramming it in after the football game.  We got to the expo and had no problem grabbing our bibs and checking out all the vendors, we even got free coffee!! Josh participated in a gait analysis and got a cooler, it was a fun expo with just the right amount of things.

Also we ran into a fellow Bibrave Pro – Andrey.  He was working the expo for a reflective sticker company. It was nice to meet him in person!

We departed the expo and met up with Kate, she would be our hostess with the mostess for the weekend. You may remember her from my adventure to the One City Marathon in March. She had suggested we dine at the French Meadow… they have great food!! After that we called it a night.

GAME DAY! On Saturday, Josh and I woke up early to get in a short shake out run by the Lake. We stopped by a neighborhood coffee shop on our way back to Kate’s and dined on some pastries for breakfast.

We traveled to the game, and paid to park in a nearby ramp, and made the short walk to the game. This walk was on the same street as all the campus Greek houses. They were all having a great time!!

We had to get our tickets at the will call gate once we got to the stadium. So, Josh got them all, and we were then led through a back tunnel of the stadium and then we were inside. Strange! We didn’t have anyone scan our tickets or wand us through security, oops!

We found our seats, and were ready to cheer on the Hawkeyes! During this time there were multiple trips to the bathroom, the most puke I have ever seen, and the most saltiest bottmless bag of popcorn.

Ugh, it was not a great game, in fact I am not sure how we won, but we did. The game is a “trophy game” and we took Floyd of Rosedale back home to Iowa City.

With a win in the books, Josh and I decided to take a nap, while Kate met up with some friends. It was then time to get our pre-marathon eating on!!! We went to a favorite, local pizza place – the Leaning Tower of Pizza. I, of course got a bowl of plain spaghetti noodles, and we had all the garlic bread! Hey, it’s what I like! After all the carbs, we called it a night.

It was another early wake up call. The race was at 8, but we wanted to make sure we had a chance for coffee. The plan was to go the nearby Bruegger’s bagels, to get a PB bagel and coffee, however it was closed!! Which is weird, because looking back at the pics when I ran this the first time, it’s where we ate. Oh well, we quickly adapted to the new plan of grabbing coffee at the Caribou across the street in the grocery store and buying some Justin’s single serves and bagels. (Pro tip, this is why you figure out what you need on race day, so you can adapt, if there is a problem)

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Pro Compression Socks, Brooks Ghost9, GarminFenix, Hawkeye Pullover, Hawkeye Tank, BR tech hat, XX2i USA1 Sunglasses, Addidas 7″ boyshorts.

Kate was our own personal chauffeur, she then took us to the race start. The roads were closed in the area (it started at the new Metrodome, yes it will always be that to me) and she just pulled over and let us out of the car. There was parking in the area too. If you parked here, you could get the light rail back to your car.

Josh and I milled about near the first corral gear check and actually ran into a couple people we knew. One of them being another Bibrave Pro – Casey! We said a quick hello, and I head to my corral, which was the last one.

Photo cred 📸 Casey

It was a cool start, maybe 35 degrees, a huge change from my last marathon. I was huddled in a few layers of running clothes and a disposable Tyvek jacket. The wait wasn’t long in my corral, maybe 15 minutes after the first corral was off. I am not sure if there was a singing of the National Anthem as I couldn’t hear, but as my corral moved forward, I could hear upbeat music.

I really like this race course. It starts in downtown MPLS and you end up at the state capital in St. Paul. There is a church in the first mile that is ringing the bells like crazy, sounds amazing! The course is never super crowded either, it starts using the full width of the road, which are all closed to traffic. The course is all paved with minimal hills, the biggest being around mile 20. Which is great, too much flat and my legs get bored working the same muscles, they need some hills.

The scenery is great too, it’s tagged the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon on America.” You don’t get the stuffy city feeling, especially running by the lakes as the leaves are changing.

The spectators on the course are great! So many fun signs, high fives, cheering from random strangers. It’s also not so crowded you have a hard time picking out your friends. There are also some bands along the way too.

Josh and I run super different paces. He actually set a new PR in the marathon at this race. I on the other hand got my moneys worth. 🙂 I did see Kate many times along the course, and was surprised to see another MPLS friend, Anna at a couple spots on the route. At one time Miguel, met up with Kate and there were more people cheering for me!!!

I was having a good race, but I needed to use the bathroom early on, however every port-o-pottie I passed had a line at least 5 deep. I was even searching off in the distance at all the parks we passed. I didn’t want to lose minutes waiting to pee. Finally at mile 18, I found a bathroom with no line and only lost one minute.

I carried on, and made sure to hit the Aid Stations, randomly choosing blue Powerade or water. My biggest dislike of road marathons is the lack of actual food on course, gels are so gross!! However this race had bananas, orange slices and some candy – ok so they weren’t advertised on the race website.

I was having fun running in my Hawkeye gear, since the Hawks won the football the day before. However , I got a some boos and a go Iowa State…really? I think I did yell “scoreboard”at one point.

The weather was a non factor this day too, while it was a cool start, it warmed maybe into the 50’s and was always sunny. Perfect day for running!

Then at about mile 22, after a random shout out, by name from a stranger…I was done…in other words, it was time to walk. The main issue was my lingering cold… my throat would dry out, so I would walk to the next aid station to wet it down, and it would continue…blah blah… I knew I would finish, but just done, lol.

I did finish in a time of 5:18, which was a lot faster than the last race, and actually a decent time considering. I was happy.

I crossed the finish line to get my cool shiny medal, and was also handed a bottle of water, a bottle of chocolate milk, and could grab a cup of blue Powerade. Then there was all the food choices – fruit cups, chips, nut rolls, bread, broth….many things that had to be opened to consume, or things I had to all try to carry in my hands. At some point we were given heat sheets too.


The finishers chute is large, and closed off to everyone but runners. It loops around to the gear check pick up and the finisher shirts. That’s right you earn your shirt! They tore off a ticket on the bottom of your bib to get the shirt (long sleeve, gender specific, tech shirt.)

I told Kate I would meet them at the beer area. However, since I run with my phone on airplane mode, apparently that message wasn’t passed along. I had messages of “where are you” “we are at the reunion area” I just responded with “beer!”

In what seemed like another mile walk, I did make it to the beer area, where I got a Summit in a can. I was reunited with Josh, Kate, and Miguel. Yay, friends!!

I really enjoyed this race!! It’s just nice to run a big city race, without the big city hassle. I will definitely be back! Also as Josh proved, you can PR!

Then it was time to go home…boo! We really didn’t hustle back home, as we made sure to grab some Sebastian Joe’s ice cream & Five Guys on the way out of town. Always sad to leave Kate too, she is such a great friend.

So what’s next? Oh, I am sooo glad you asked….Well there is a little event called the Runner’s World Half and Festival, some more Iowa football, then the Tulsa Run 15k — and then in November I get all crazy… Milwaukee Run Fest 26.2 and the Madison Marathon. I am still on the lookout for a good December race to fit my schedule, so let me know if you have an idea! I am looking forward to capping off this crazy with a winter trip to the Key West Half Marathon in January… who knows maybe Disney?