Scooby Doo Virtual Doo Good 5k Recap

“Disclaimer: I received entry in the Scooby Doo, Doo Good 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!”

Friday, September 29th.

It was a gloomy, misty morning with temps near 50 ish degrees. The drizzle was perfect for keeping a dog cool too!

Kona and I were ready for race day, and as luck would have it Josh was able to join us. Ace even made a sign!!

The best thing about a virtual race is you can run anywhere, anytime. Whatever fits into your schedule. The Scooby Doo Doo Good 5k had one restriction, run it in the month of September.

We lined up at the crack in the sidewalk, I counted down and the race was on!

The goal was to finish the distance, we would run by Kona’s feel. This is hard enough anyway with the potty breaks, but since she had only run 2 miles in training…. I wanted to make sure she was ok to keep moving forward.

The route was an out and back all on paved sidewalks. There were also many hills. Also, if you pay attention to any of my other reviews, I note port-o-potties – which Josh had to use, there was one on the route near a dog park, and we passed a convenience store. Only mile markers were the beeps from my watch. 

We made it to the halfway point, and made sure to post our success on Instagram stories, took a short pause, and then kept motoring back to the finish line.

Kona did a great job, there was no time she had to be pulled, or she pulled us. There were many warmer training runs where she did not want to go and I had to tug her along.

Josh and I cheered Kona to the finish, which was when I pushed my watch to say 3.10. However – stinkin Strava rounded it to 3 miles.

this is the only proof of the time, LOL

I was so happy and proud for Kona. SHE DID IT!!!! Her official Garmin time is 33:24..

So what does this mean for her? Well she will get a finisher’s medal and bandana for completing her Doo Good 5k. This also means I can take her on my shorter runs and I also need to purchase a leash for running.

Also.. I think she is ready to do this again and run a better time… more on that later.


William A Irvin 5k – 2018 recap

Great Grandma’s Challenge – William A Irvin 5k Recap

“Disclaimer: I received entry into Grandma’s 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!”

Ahh, I struggle on how to start each and every blog post… I wish I had some catchy phrase or sentence to grab your attention…. but my mind is sizzling out, so you will just have to deal with my rambling…*snickering*… and as always for a to the point review, check

Thursday, June 14

Josh and I packed up the car, to then unload it all into a rental. Then we were on the road to MPLS. We had made arrangements to stay with our friend Kate, as she would be joining the weekend fun!

We avoided I-35 as Kate told us that construction around the city was a nightmare. This allowed us to stop in Rochester for dinner at Noodles. I could eat pasta or noodles everyday.

Around 10 pm or so, we arrived at Kate’s and got settled in.

Friday, June 15 – RACE DAY

Kate had to work until noon, and then we would continue the trip to Duluth, also picking up Miguel. I just had to get my race stuff for the 5k before 5pm. (packet pickup for Saturday races was open until 11 pm.) With a 2 ish plus hour drive to Duluth, I felt we had plenty of time. However, it seems every year there is more and more road construction, making the drive a little longer.

Josh and I ventured to one of our favorite places to eat, French Meadow and had a leisurely morning as Kate and Miguel worked.

Kate was keeping in touch via text and just after noon time, we were packing up the car with her things, and then on our way to pick up Miguel. It was probably near 1 pm when we left downtown MPLS… *I just need to be there before 5… race doesn’t start until 6, I can get a little anxious.

As we chatted away, and eventually searched the radio for the perfect song, the GPS suggested we take a different route… UGH, construction was backing things up. In addition to the race goers, the city dwellers are headed north to their cabins, lots of traffic on one highway.

After all the crap, we pulled close to Duluth just before 4pm. We had about a mile to go and were stuck in traffic. This always happens. The exit ramp backs up onto the interstate. There’s also an exit you can take before the mess, but as luck had it, downtown Duluth was under construction, so it caused even more backups.

I kept thinking it’s less than a mile, I could just walk and get my bib… I also had an hour… I also knew that we would have to walk after we parked, and the bib pickup is in the back of a very crowded expo hall.

We kept moving, but I kept getting a little more anxious…. oh and I still had to change into my running clothes. When we were close, I hopped out of the car and just went to get my packet. I couldn’t take it… and told em I would meet em inside.

I made it to the expo, and it was CRAZY!! There were people everywhere, all walking in different directions. There are many entrances into the space, but they all start with the big area with the pasta dinner, then leading to the smaller expo and packet pick up.

I of course waited in the wrong line first, so after waiting in the 5k pickup, I went over to the Great Grandma’s Challenge line. Packet pick up was super simple, they just wanted my bib number, no proof of ID. I was given all the things! I also was given my 5k tech shirt, short sleeve gender specific. I received a tote full of goods, and at the time I did not have time to see what was all inside.

I left the pickup area, checking the timing chips to make sure they would register in my name, which they did and kept moving. My next deadline was to get into a starting corral by 5:30pm. I had no time to check out anything in the expo, I like to get free samples and what not, but there was no time.

I did make time to meet fellow BibRave pro Amy at the Bondi Band booth.

Then things got a little crazy, I had to find Josh with the car keys so I could change. After some texting I found them and trekked to the car. I made a quick change in the car (not my first time) and made it back to the DECC. People were still buzzing everywhere, it’s kinda crazy and I would suggest getting there early if you want to check things out and not feel rushed.

Near 5:30 I was ready to get into the corrals, but really I didn’t need too. I wasn’t going to race the 5k the night before a marathon. So instead I checked out the free Clif bar samples and some local beer samples, which were stationed right near the corral and finisher area.

I said later to Josh, Kate and Miguel and finally went to stand in the corral. There were some announcements. This was the 25th year of the 5k. We had just got into town after a lot of rain and were told the course had some puddles. Then the National Anthem was sung, and corrals were released. They were just set up by pace, nothing official on the bib or proof of time.

Just after 6 pm, I hit play on the Aftershokz, and was on my shakeout run. I saw Josh right away.

Then it was the first puddle…. I have never seen anything like it, the length people went to avoid this puddle, everyone bunched up to one side and slowed down…. I of course, ran on the edge and splashed right through…no one has time for that.

The course was thankfully a lot different from the time I ran this in 2015, while we did go down the road towards the industrial part of town, it was just a small part and we turned back towards Duluth. It was all flat, and we ended up running along the lake front, which was gorgeous.

There was a water stop in this area too, but I didn’t need to stop. There was also another puddle here and a volunteer stood guard with a flag…so we were detoured to the boardwalk along the lake, which was almost harder to navigate as we had to go through some loose rocks. Again, I have never seen so much hate for a puddle.

It was weird to route through the area where the marathon post race food is set up, but that is how we got to the finish near the William A Irvin freighter.

I came across the finish just over 30 minutes, darn, no matter what I have on the docket, I always strive for a sub 30. Oh well, a finish is a finish.

A volunteer handed me a medal – yep there was a 5k finisher medal. I got a bottle of water, chocolate milk, bag of Old Dutch chips and a Clif bar.

I spotted Josh, and he said Kate and Miguel took an Uber back to the hotel. Miguel was running his first marathon, and was getting nervous. Understandable.

We decided this year we would not be eating at the pasta party supplied by the race. The price had increased to $14, and while you get your money’s worth and it’s really easy to eat there. We thought we could get more of what we wanted for that price somewhere else. As luck would have it our hotel was having a runners dinner special.

The hotel is in neighboring Superior, WI. It may not be the fanciest of places but it caters to the runners. In addition to the dinner, there is a breakfast in the morning and a shuttle to the start.

Josh and I decided to leave the crazy DECC area and get to the hotel too. It’s nice to be well rested before a marathon.

We got back to the hotel and went to the restaurant. For $14 there was a pasta buffet with potatoes and breadsticks. I was in carb heaven!!! They also had salad and pasta sauce.

After stuffing our faces, we made it back to the room to lay out all our marathon gear. I also finally had time to check out what I got in my awesome tote. The clear race bag (doubled as a gear check bag) was full of flyers. There was a separate envelope for my 2 bibs, one for each race. There was also an insulated tumbler- which I later found out is also a coozie. Then I receive a pair of fitsoks for the 5k too. So many great surprises for the Great Grandma’s Challenge.

It was then time to call it a night – marathon #26 in the morning!

Overall 5k thoughts: This would be a tough race to run as a stand alone if you didn’t live in the area. I feel the logistics of getting your bib is tougher than most. The price is a little higher too, near $40 but you do get a medal and a great view of the lake.

If you ran the race, make sure to add your review to and claim your results on Athlinks

Keota Fun Run 2018

Keota Fun Run 2018 – A Thundering Good Time!

Saturday, June 9. Keota, IA.

I hopped in my car around 6:30 AM to make the one hour trek to Keota. The race start time was 8 AM. I left Iowa City in sunshine, but the sky looked dark, and I hit a rain shower on the trip.

For my to the point review check out

I arrived to the Keota High School parking lot, and the sky was gray. Before I went to register, I checked the radar, it didn’t look like anything was going to happen. I made it into the school, paid the $15 – 10k race day registration fee, was handed my short sleeve cotton, t-shirt, and went back to my car. No race bib, which for a small town event, is perfect! The sky was starting to look a little more dark.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Wal-Mart Tank, Road Runner Sports shorts, Brooks Ghost 10, Pro Compression socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, XX2i Glasses, Coros Global Pace Watch, Boco visor

I got all my race things ready, and then went back into the school to use the bathroom. Then I check the radar again, it was going to storm. The RD was also watching the radar.

Near 8 AM, it started raining and storming, and the race was delayed! Everyone was safe inside the school. There was no place to sit, so we all just stood around looking at our phones and chatting. This is also when I learned I was the only female running the 10k.

I actually know the RD’s – Jill and Darren, they were walking around deciding what to do. I mentioned that everything should be fine as long as there is no lightning.

With more radar watching, an announcement was made that the race would start at 8:30 AM.

Just before 8:30 we all made our way outside to the starting line, or the spray painted line on the road. 10k runners were assigned to start on the left, while the 5k and milers were told to start on the right. The local radio station was there with the music van playing tunes and music, when it was time, he played a recording of the National Anthem.

There were only 6 people running the 10k, including a guy pushing a wheelchair. A minute after the start I was already last. It was easy to tell as the course was out and back in town, then out and back on a county highway.  I passed a water stop and the main intersection and was on my way out on the long lonely highway portion. What was weird is that all the others were running down the road as if it were closed. I stuck to the side to run against traffic.

As I got further out I could also see another storm rolling in, it must have just popped up. This section is flat and surrounded by cornfields, with a view as far as the eye could see. Then there was lightning and thunder, then the rain started, followed by lots of headwind and more lightning. Where or what what was I supposed to do? crawl into a cornfield? There was no shelter? The police or fire department did not come shelter us (they were at the major crossing and turn around.) When I made it to the turn around the RD caught up with us and asked if we wanted to continue. At this point, we had run through the worst, and since I was given a choice, I wasn’t going to quit. So I carried on.

I should note, I was running with my phone in a ziploc bag, stored in a pocket in my shorts, I didn’t need my SpiBelt. I also had my headphones. All survived the soaking. I also had no blisters or any chafing. This is when training in the rain is handy, you know what gear works and how to carry it.

That was the scariest thing I have ever run through, random lightning strikes with no shelter. The RD should have got us earlier and canceled the race, however they did not have the keys to the vans to gather everyone and did the best they could with a sedan. I am also very surprised the fire department didn’t get us. The visibility was also very bad.

With all that being said, I did come in second to last, I passed one person!!! When I crossed the finish line I was handed a popsicle stick with my place of finish. I brought the stick inside, where they “tallied” the results. There were bottles of water and bagels too.

Of course, I won my division. There was an awards ceremony for age groups and overall winners. The radio station van made the announcements.

With the weather situation aside, I will always try to come back to the race. I like the price and that there are no extra logistics to worry about. Plus the event is centered around a small community that loves their town.

Oh wait, there’s more!!!

After the event, Jill and Darren wanted to know if I wanted to shower so we could all go grab a drink. Well I didn’t bring a change of clothes, so I just put on my race shirt and hopped in Jill’s truck to hit up the town.

First there was a parade. I love a good parade, and CANDY!!! We stopped at The Roost, which is the local bar. I was asked what I wanted to drink… well no craft beers on tap… and well no beers on tap, I went with a Bud Light Lime.

Then… as you do… took my beer outside to sit on the bleachers to watch the parade. It was a great parade. A nice patriotic tribute to start, lots of tractors (Darren was driving one,) lots of local businesses and of course lots of candy… all the candy! I think in the mean time I was talked into a second beer.

After the parade was an auction. They auctioned off high school students. They were auctioned for their labor, to help community members with odd jobs around their homes and the money went to the sports boosters, or back to the school.

I ventured over to get a ribeye steak sandwich and then it was time to hang out in the Roost for a while. I was thinking I had a lot to do and needed to get back home. I was convinced that I needed to check out the VFW before I left. I was also given another beer, but also at the same time I saw someone I knew from high school….all the cool people hang in Keota.

We walked a few doors down into the  VFW. It was a little less crazy, but still one of the places to be. I was now drinking water and eating parade candy. Jill and Darren saw someone they knew and they said they were only at the VFW because the beer was colder than The Roost, so they got their beer and went back to the party at the other bar.

This was almost too much fun for me, I said my goodbyes. I wish I had planned to spend more time, but I also had things to do. I guess next year I will be more prepared, and I suggest you join me!

Run Madtown 13.1

Run Madtown 13.1 – Race Recap
“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Conquer the Capitol 19.3 Challenge 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!”

If you missed the first part of the Conquer the Capitol Challenge, the 10k, you can check that recap here. For my to the point half marathon review, check out

Sunday, May 27, 2018.
Rise and shine!!! Hotel coffee and gas station bagels, breakfast of champions.

Another hot day was upon us, pre-race emails had warned us of this. We had been drinking all the water and Gatorade. The forecast had race time temps in the 80’s.

There was no race day packet pick up, to get your things you needed to attend the expo/packet pickup the day before. I will say as a challenge participant we had 2 different bibs with the same number to wear. We also got a shirt for each event, as well as a long sleeve light weight hoodie for the challenge.

We made it to the Capitol with plenty of time before the race, and again with the most awesome on street, FREE, parking spot, a block from the finisher’s party. There were port-o-potties set up in the area too.

Josh and I parked ourselves near the gear check area. We managed to meet up with Dan again as well as fellow Corridor Running board member Warren. They all were talking race strategy and what not, I just wanted to finish.

As we chit chatted, I spotted another BibRave Pro, Dye. I had met her last August at the Madison Mini. We took a photo together and she realized her bib was missing. Luckily the kind race folks got her all taken care of.

After all the pre-race pleasantries and mosquito bites, we all proceeded to take our places in the corrals. There were pacers for this event so you could self seed near them. The National Anthem was sung and we were moving.

The beginning of the half marathon course was similar to the 10k he evening before. started with the hills, including Observatory…oof! However, the reason I like this event was in the past we always ran through the arboretum. This year the course was very similar to the fall Madtown event, and took a western route, through residential neighborhoods and boring roads.


FREE race photos!

Don’t be fooled though, there were still hills! I think I am still climbing the one near mile 9. Once on top you could see the Capitol across the lake, so that was cool.

I mentioned the pre-race emails and the heat warnings. There were supposed to be 10 hydration stops with water and Gatorade. I was too lazy to count, but in 6 miles I had one Gatorade stop. Running at different paces makes for different race experiences, and when it’s hot it’s hard to staff those aid stations. I just wish if it’s advertised, it’s available. Also the water and Gatorade were different at each stop, sometimes second, sometimes Gatorade was sandwiched between water. I am happy this was available, just makes it nice when it’s all the same.

Alright…. I was just running my own race and about 3 miles from the finish when I came upon an ambulance loading up a runner. I hope the person is ok. This also got me thinking for the next mile. I looked at my bib and saw that it had a printed sticker on it with my information, but nothing if there was an emergency. When I removed my bib there were no lines on the back to write information in case of an emergency. Yes, the race has your bib number and would know who you were, but what if someone stole your bib, or you illegally transferred it? Next, just run with an ID, there are many options – for you shoes, a bracelet, or add to a watch band. Safety is this easy.

Am I done running yet? The heat was proving to be tough, but a guy speed walking had managed to pass me so I had a new goal, beat that guy!!!! It also helped as I could see Dan up ahead. They both pushed me to the finish up that last hill.

A 2:24 finish time, definitely not my best, but also not my worst. A finish is a finish!
I crossed the finish line and a volunteer placed a medal around my neck. I went straight to that bottle of water. I hate the post race headache. There were also boxes of banana pieces and orange slices – orange slices are the best! Then you could grab a bagged lunch from Panera – a sandwich, chips and cookie. From here was the post race party. Chocolate milk was back and as cold as ever!


There was a separate tent in this area for challengers to grab their third medal. clink, clink, clink.

I was with Dan and we were in search of shade, I found Josh, Warren and Dye and met a new friend, Julia. We talked about our races and whined about the heat. It was so hot I even drank a Michelob Ultra – GASP – and despite what the can says, it is not the Superior Light Beer, LOL.

We all parted ways after a brief photo shoot. It’s always nice to catch up with others. If you see me at a race, say hi!

I registered late for the challenge, so it was kinda pricey at $145, but I enjoy running in Madison and visiting when the Hawks are not playing a sport. The races I have done, while they have some hiccups, are always well managed. Hope to get back soon, perhaps again for the Mini.

Josh and I had enough time to go back to the hotel for a shower, sometimes that is rare post race with check out times. Then we made sure to hit up a local brewery. We checked out Vintage Brewing. It had an old school diner vibe.

After another stop at the Hy-Vee, with 3 new Wisconsin beers in tow, we were back on the road, and headed towards the Hawkeye state.

Don’t forget to claim your results on Athlinks!

Half Marathon #44 – New Bo

New Bo Run – Half Marathon #44 Recap

The New Bo Run was held on Sunday, September 3 in the New Bohemia area of Cedar Rapids. There is a 10k and a half marathon that are run at the same time. It was sunny, 60 ish degrees and super humid.

I am no stranger to this event, I have run the half marathon in the past. I am also a board member of the running club, Corridor Running, that helps organize the event. That being said, I did pay for my entry – if there are any questions to my thoughts. As part of the club, I help with their social media accounts, and we ran the course a week before the race.

Josh was running this year too, so we woke up early, had the usual toast with peanut butter and all the coffee, then made the 40 ish minute drive to Cedar Rapids. We were tired, but ready to run. The first Iowa football game was the day before, and the Hawks defeated Wyoming 24-3. Go Hawks!

GEAR: neon green Sparkle Athletic skirt, adidas shorts, lululemon shirt, Orange Mud hydraquiver vest pack 1, xx2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, B1G hat, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix 3, RoadID, spibelt, Zensah socks

We were able to grab our bib and shirt before the race with no issues. It seemed many others had the same idea, there was a quick moving, short line. The club also had gear available for sale.

Josh and I needed to use the restrooms, and no matter how many port-o-potties a race brings in, it’s never enough. There were 2 banks of them, with one line for each. Now, we could also get in the debate of multiple lines or one line….. but ANYWAY… Josh and I knew there was a Casey’s (convenience store) 2 blocks away. We did a warm up to the store and passed IG friend Jaclyn on the way (she was doing the same.) Ahh, in and out in minutes, great idea Josh.

We ran back to the starting line. Which for this race is not the finish line. It starts a couple blocks away, not a big deal. Runners were starting to line up as a drone buzzed overhead.  The official race photographer roamed, as the National Anthem was sung live.

I actually stood near the start line to take a picture, then went around the starting timer mat, and hopped into the race. There were no corrals, and I didn’t hear an announcement to line up according to time. However, there were about 1000 participants, and the width of a city street, I didn’t feel too congested.

I did hop into line with social media friend Chelsea and BibRave pro Mel. Hey ladies!!! They are troopers, they had just run a half marathon the day before in Madison, WI. I, of course snapped some photos…and began my race.

Going into the race, I didn’t have a huge goal, but I was going to try and push my pace. However, the humidity was tough, and I was taking photos and posting to IG stories and the Corridor Running twitter feed as I went. YEP…that’s me.

Being familiar with the course, I didn’t expect any surprises. However, my watch beeped at mile one and I didn’t see a mile marker flag. HMMM? SO – I later learned that the mile 5 flag went missing last year at the race, and this year the mile 1 and mile 4 flag went missing. SO, if you know where these are, or know anything about this…please return them. This doesn’t help keep costs down for the race, or make our race compare with others if we have to waste time creating mile marker signs because some punk thinks it’s cool to steal. OK end rant!

I will have a “to the point” review at if that is more your thing.

Ok, back to running the course. I knew there would be a couple port-o-potties near the entrance to the Prairie Park Fishery, about mile 2.5. As as noted above, there are never enough, lol. I didn’t have to use one, but there were some lines. There was also a water stop here. All the aid stations were water only stops in paper cups.

Then it was time for the 2 courses to split, the half marathon to the left and the 10k to the right. There was a sign and a guy standing there with a pool noodle directing runners.

Trotting along – there was another railroad crossing. Yep, this race has railroad tracks on the course. There are trains that will run during the event, you just need to be alert. The race does their best to work with the railroad, but it is what it is.

Just near mile 3, there is the first hill. It’s not a huge hill, but it’s a nice little climb. This takes you on the back road of the race, where there are more rolling hills. The first part of this section are a chip and seal road treatment, allowing for potholes and weird ruts from traffic, but nothing major. It eventually switches to pavement and a gravel shoulder.

There were more water stops and a few spectators out and about with some great signs. Just a nice day for a run through the back roads of Linn County.

At about the halfway point is the entrance to the Sac and Fox trail. There is a timing split mat set up here along with one port-o-potty. Also something to note is the water fountain in this parking area for the trail. The New Bo run dedicated it a few years back from race proceeds.

This trail is one of my favorite parts of the race. It’s an easy trail, really flat, gravel or packed dirt, no need for special shoes, and it’s shady. There is a water stop on the trail just after the one and only gel stop. There is no other food offered on course.

This race is pretty basic, just water and one gel stop. I knew this going in, so I had my OM pack with some orange Gatorade and a granola bar for an emergency. I am ok on some runs of half marathon with no food, and other times I need more than an electrolyte. At about mile 9 I was feeling like I needed something, so I took a bite of my granola bar.

I am not a huge watch “watcher,” meaning I rarely glance to see what pace I am going. I may check to see what mile I am at when it beeps at me. However, a race walker caught up with me, I was amazed at his form and ability to move so quick…. I also noticed that about every 10 steps he was checking his watch… I am still amazed at how he did it. (I eventually kicked it in and crossed the finish before him.)

Coming back around after mile 10, it was the part of the course that re-joins with the first few miles, so the race is an out and back with a loop in the center.

At the point, I was hot and sweaty, but I kept moving as I found my friend Monty. He is training for the Chicago marathon, and said he has since inspired his wife to run some races too. Hope he has a great training cycle, and an even better marathon.

I was approaching the last mile. I knew that there was a slight hill, more of an incline. When you run out on this part, you don’t realize you are running down hill, but you feel that climb on the way back.

I saw the club President, Mark cheering everyone on. Always nice to see friendly faces. Also, the law enforcement officials were still out protecting all the intersections, and before I could tell them thank you, they were cheering too.

I was on the home stretch to the finish line… I could hear the announcer, but he was sharing the results of the 10k, and giving out awards. I am not sure if the faster kids had their names announced as they crossed the finish line.

I crossed the finish line to see the race photographer, hopefully I was looking fly… or on fleek or whatever the kids say these days….. I was handed my handmade ceramic medal, and reusable plastic cup. I then saw Josh.

We waited by the finish line where I saw many other people – as we were waiting for more people to finish. I then had to leave as I said I would help with the apparel sales. I also wanted my post race treats.

Josh stayed at the finish to see Mel and Chelsea. I walked over to the apparel sales and was told they had things under control. So, I went to check out the post race food. No kolaches…. WHAT?!?!?!? I wasn’t that slow, I mean I did hang by the finish line a while, but what? So, did you have more than one? I did grab a veggie breakfast burrito, but it was kinda mushy from sitting in a steamer… so I did what any runner would do… I walked over to get my plastic cup filled with the Lions Bridge Brewing beer – a Workman’s Comp. There were also water coolers available to fill your cup with water too. No plastic bottles.

I finished the race around 2:12

Of course, I would run into another person I know, Matt, and we chatted for a while. Then as I was standing there, I congratulated Dan and his dog Phil as he placed in his AG, I said hi to Horacio. I also saw Lisa, she had just completed her first half marathon. Lisa was also part of a couch to 5k group I helped with a few years back, this was amazing! Congrats Lisa!

I was then getting texts from Josh… the area is not that big, but eventually he found me, as well as Chelsea and Mel, they had finished and were going to get their beers.

We all stood around and chatted some more, cuz runners like to talk about running.

However, we needed to get moving so we could get back home to let the dogs out. We made the trek back home with a pit stop at the Iowa Running Co, they had black and gold truckers for $10.

Of course, who do we see there but more runners…and Doug… one of the RD of the upcoming Pleasant Creek Trail Run…soooo I got to hear – again – why wasn’t I registered for that race. Well, here is a run down…the race is Sept 16th, which is the home football game against North Texas at 2:30. I can make one loop (15K) get to the game, and then travel to WI for the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon on Sunday, Sept 17th. I just wasn’t sure I could make it all work, and well I am broke. ok off topic – it happens.

Ok – so I accidentally registered for the 30k PCTR… we will see if that weekend goes as planned. It really was an accident.

Back to the New Bo Half Marathon. I like this race, registration tops out around $50 ish dollars, there is an option for no shirt. The running basics are covered, and no hassles. It’s a community event as it kicks of the New Bo Arts festival too. I do wish there was real food on course or electrolytes, and kolaches for all. I will continue to run this race if it fits in my schedule.





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.


Finish one the 50?

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Soldier Field 10 mile race 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!

Bibrave reviews of the Soldier Field 10

The 2016 race took place on Saturday May 28. The race started at 7 am. It was sunny and humid, starting in the 70’s – highs of 80 for the day.


Ram Racing took over the event for 2016

This was the second year I would be running the event.

GEAR – Bibrave shirt, Bibrave Technical hat, UV Full Buff, Blue Sparkle Athletic skirt, USA procompression socks, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, Moving Comfort Bra, 2 Toms, Adidas Shorts, Brooks ghost 8, Disney race belt, Aftershockz Trek Titanium

Registration: Available online, super early pricing starting around $50, increasing to $90 near race day. You could also register at various packet pick up locations, until race was sold out.   Included with registration was an Under Armor, gender specific tech tee, bib with timing chip, post race tailgate party with a beer.

The shirts were nice, but I thought a bit roomy.


Expo / Packet Pickup: No traditional expo. Many packet pick up times. A week before the race pickups were held at Fleet Feet stores in the suburbs. The week of the race you could pick up your stuff starting on Tuesday, daily through Friday at the Fleet Feet in Old Town.  A friend could also grab your things if they had the confirmation email. No race day packet pickup.

Josh (who was running this with me) and I had our packets mailed to us for a $15 fee. This was a lot easier for us who do not live near the city. 

Pre-race: As the race is centered around Soldier Field, you get all the amenities that come with the location. Gear check was inside the south end of Soldier Field, clear bags were provided when you picked up your packet. The bathroom facilities were also open, in addition to many port-o-potties lined up outside. Parking was free in the stadium too, and the nearby lot (however it was advised to arrive early)

The official race start is at 7 am, but many 3 waves with lots of corrals. The pre-race time can really stretch out. However the entrance to the corrals is near the post race tailgate area, making it easy to meet up with friends and hang out before you need to head to the corrals. The waves closed at a certain time, but you could start at a later corral.

The pre race announcements were over a loud speaker that could be heard throughout the area. A version of taps was played followed by the National Anthem.


Josh and I stayed downtown Chicago, and just ubered to the stadium. We met up with some Chicago area running friends & Bibrave pals, then proceeded to our corrals. I did not see anyone monitoring the bibs to gain entrance to the corrals. 


The pre-race announcements are very moving for this race. Lots of nice things said and reasons to remember the fallen. Great tribute to the military.


Course / Race: The race was on the streets (south Lake Shore Drive) and lake front path, heading south, then turning back around into the city.

  • Flat, some bridges, but nothing steep
  • paved, potholes
  • section through McCormick place, dark and lots of potholes, had to be alert
  • crowded start, even though started on street, didn’t thin out til Lake Shore Dr
  • miles marked with signs and a time clock
  • Hydration stations with Nuun and water, in paper cups
  • no food or gel on course
  • street portions were closed to traffic, lake from path had recreational use (bikes, walkers, runners)
  • lake front path had trail / gravel to run on in sections
  • Free race photos
  • Not many spectators, but TNT coaches were along the course
  • Lots of volunteers
  • course well marked, even the turn around on the grass.
  • Finish on the 50 yard line of Soldier Field

This year they switched to Nuun hydration, I personally don’t care for it, but it’s not as mainstream, so at the first water stop I heard volunteers yelling “Gatorade” -I just shook my head…there were also some stations where the Nuun and water were in different cups, but some in the same cups.

I will never be a fan of the McCormick Tunnel, and with it being the main artery to many races in Chicago, I have yet to figure out why they can’t add more lights, it’s too dark and not safe. At least the potholes, for the most part were filled in. I just need to come to terms that this tunnel will always suck.

My Race: I just wanted to finish, I was coming off a crazy weekend of running for the United Relay, and this was going to be my first race of the weekend. Josh and I were headed to Madison, WI for a 10k that night and a half the next day. It was also warm and humid.  I didn’t push it, but kept a nice steady pace, finished in a time of 1:41:55. I wish I had brought some Gatorade along, as I was starting to get a headache after this race.

Post Race / Finish: The big draw for this race is running into the bellows of Soldier Field, then crossing the north end zone to finish on the 50 yard line. This year Beyonce was in town, and had a concert the Friday night before the race, and then again Saturday night. The concert staging was set up, and the entire field was covered with concert protection.


Instead of running into the north end of the Stadium, to then cross the 50 yard line, once you entered the stadium this year, you ran alongside the field under the stands, then entered the field to zig zag to the finish, which you would assume was on the 50 yard line.

When you cross the finish, a member of the military places a medal around your neck.


The finisher’s chute and overall area is in the south end zone, while it’s encouraged you move along to the tailgate party, it is ok to snap a few photos as you collect a bottle of water.  Most spectators of the race can observe the finish in the stands.


Once you proceed off off the field and through a tunnel, you are given the option to chose a cup of Nuun.  There is no re-entry into the stadium, must decide if you want to watch finishers or go to post race party. There were service members available for a photo. Also on the way out was gear check, to pick up your bags.

Once outside the stadium, finishers were handed a plastic bag, pre-filled with chips, a mini Clif bar and a banana, easy to carry all the things. Volunteers were also handing out a cold wet towel. There were a few vendors with samples on the walk to the tailgate party, and the BTN was there with a slip N slide.

I was not impressed with the finish this year, it seemed like we were running forever inside Soldier Field, and once we were on the field, there was no field, all concert stage, and you were not headed towards the jumbo tron, until you crossed the actual finish line. Hopefully next year the place wont be over booked.

Josh found me at the finish line, and because it was hot, made sure to grab some bottled water. We took a few pictures and exited the field We were excited to get the post race bag, but were disappointed when it lacked in items and it wasn’t re-usable.


Tailgate Party: The party had a lot to offer, there was a live band. Clif bar, picture opportunities, post race massage, spin to win, skin cancer screenings. You could also redeem your beer ticket on your bib for a 312 in a can. There were no chairs, but you could sit in the grass, shade was available.


Josh and I found fellow Pro Kim and Hawkeye fan Jake, as we waited for Heather and Marge to finish. It was nice to listen to the band. I really wish races had actual places to sit afterwards, but we found shade, so that was good.

FullSizeRender (8)

Overall: The price is a bit steep, but a flat course and scenes along the lake make it a fun race to start summer. Finishing on the 50 yard line of Solider Field is cool, but only if nothing else is going on inside.