Scoobtober Virtual Run

Scoobtober 5k Virtual Run – 2018 Recap

“Disclaimer: I received entry in the Scooby Doo, Scoobtober 10k/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!”

The time had come for Kona to try and PR her 5k, with the Scoobtober 10k/5k as part of the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series.

I was not sure if I would be able to help her get to this goal. The race had to be completed by the end of October. In addition to being out of town in this time, I had just set a new marathon PR and completed my 6th ultra distance race. I was not feeling super speedy!

What did I do? I recruited my husband, Josh to earn Kona a new 5k PR!

Josh was kind enough to share his thoughts as he ran with her:

Kona and I went on our run the morning of Sunday, October 28th, on what was a gorgeous mid-fall day. After harnessing her, we took a brief walk to warm up before starting our virtual race. Not even a quarter-mile into the run, we encountered not only a family ahead of us on the sidewalk who had a dog of their own, there was a father and daughter that came up from behind on bicycles. Kona is very scared of anything with two wheels, so we pulled to the side and allowed the bicycles to pass before continuing. This would be our last real trouble through the run.
Kona plowed through the first mile into a strong head wind of about 20-25 miles per hour, but I could tell she was exerting a lot of energy. We stopped briefly so she could catch her breath before continuing. While she took it slow, she got through the first half, and finally we could turn around for the back half of the virtual race. With the wind now behind us, and a now-mostly downhill course, Kona flew through most of the back half. We passed the two-mile mark, and Kona was going strong.
We made it through our last uphill, and turned the corner to begin heading for home. We had a bit of a cross wind in this short stretch, but Kona knew where she was and kept on trucking. Meanwhile, I had a brief work emergency phone call to deal with, but with my AfterShokz headphones, we kept on going as I took care of the issue at hand.
As we turned off the main road to come to our neighborhood, we passed the three-mile mark and Kona was still chugging along very well. Soon, my watch hit 3.1 miles, and our virtual 5K was in the books. For hoping to see Kona through one 5K, to now have been with her for two 5Ks was definitely a treat, and I was so happy for her and her accomplishment! And to celebrate, of course she got a tasty Milk Bone.

Josh and Kona with their medals

Did she set a new PR? Kona’s time for her Scoobtober 5k was 34:50 and her Doo Good 5k time was was 33:24. She did not set a new PR, However sounds like she had some serious conditions to battle. Kona is 10 years old, she did a great job, no matter her time!

I usually do not participate in many virtual runs, mostly because I don’t have to funds to get a medal for running my usual routes. However, this one was different as I really enjoyed getting to run with Kona. It’s something I have always considered, but never made it happen. From all the swag and awesome medals, this event was a lot of fun.


Fallout 50k – Race Recap

Hawkeye Fallout 50k 2018 – Race Recap

EEEK! My 6th attempt at an ultra, and just 6 days from my most recent marathon.

Ok, blah blah blah….I feel as a runner the more crazy the better, ALSO this is not the first time I have done this combo. Way back when I ran the Chicago Marathon, I ran my first 50k the week before.

I won this entry at a running club appreciation event.

The Friday before the race, I helped with packet pick up at the local running store. I gave out bibs and the quarter zip pullover that was included with registration. The ankle bracelet timing chip was distributed with the reusable cups before the race.

The Des Moines marathon was my last long training for this event, and well that was about it. I did not pick a training plan. I didn’t have any expectations but to finish before the 8 hour cutoff time. My super ambitious goal was to finish before the Iowa football game started at 2:30pm.

Gear: Adidas boy shorts, Zensah sports bra and socks, Orange Mud Endurance Pack and pullover, Rabbit tank, Rudy Rydon glasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Hawkeye Hat, Brooks Ghost 10, Garmin Forerunner 935, Gatorade Endurance, BUFF

This was the inaugural event, it was to be the “sister” race to the spring event. The race is run around Lake MacBride, with a spillway crossing. In the spring it is 2 loops, run in one direction and in the fall it was to be run in the reverse direction. HOWEVER, we have had too much rain, causing the spillway to be unsafe for crossing. The RD -Brian – created a route that would take us out and back along the south side, with some loops, then back to the start and finish where we would then head out and back on the north side. This route made it impossible to drop at the halfway point to the 25k, as the first half of course was longer than 25k. If you wanted to drop you had to do so before the event, or get a 50k DNF.

Saturday, October 27

My favorite part about this race is that I can sleep in my own bed and it takes like 15 minutes to drive to the starting line.

The race started at 8 AM, I arrived around 7:30 to grab my timing chip and cup. I talked to the other runners and just like that it was time to start. There was no National Anthem. It was the perfect day for a run, sunny and about 50 degrees.

The 50k and 25k runners began at the same time. The 25k runners would split and run the north side of the lake only.

Well, right from the start, I was almost the last person. There were only 35 ish runners in this distance, and it didn’t bother me as I know people start too fast. The first section is 3 ish miles along side a highway. However, I joined up with another runner and we began chatting. It started by observing the beer cans in the ditch. It appears that Solon prefers Bud Light.

We ended up running the entire first out and back together.  We walked the uphills, navigated the leaf covered tree roots and he took all the selfies!! Even after a bathroom stop, I caught back up. It was nice to have someone to run this part of the course, even though it was all marked with pink flags and ribbons, I didn’t know where I was. There was a section with a ravine we had to loop twice. We passed runners going in the wrong direction.

Photo Cred: Rob

There were two aid stations on this part of the course. I didn’t grab anything at the first stop, I was also carrying Gatorade Endurance and candy. We passed the second stop twice and I filled my reusable cup with some water and grabbed some pretzels.

We came back to the start and finish and my runner friend, Rob ( I learned his name by then) noticed the course was going to be long.  I had accidentally paused my watch and my mileage was different than his, I had lost about a mile and a half.  The parking lot is also the start/finish and he disappeared to his car.

We were in and out of that start/finish aid station quickly. I grabbed a few more snacks including a clementine. I think that is one of my favorite fruits for running.

We started walking the second half and Rob told me to hook my phone up to his bluetooth speaker, which is what he stopped at his car for. I told him I had been listening to music the entire time on my Aftershokz. He said that was cheating, lol. I had been chatting with him and listening to tunes and he had no idea. I transferred the connection to the speaker and we started running again.

We noticed all the fuzzy caterpillars out on the trails that day.

That is when I pulled away from him and the speaker would’t work anymore. It was lonely, but I just kept trucking along. I also knew I wasn’t going to be back before the start of the game.

I made it to the aid station on this section of the course. This is when I noticed the older gentleman that was behind us on the first 6 miles of the course, was way ahead of us and he was headed back to the start. I was confused as he never passed me, ever! I came to the conclusion that he must have never completed the second loop on the first section. I wonder how many people didn’t run the entire course?

I left the aid station and headed to the spillway. I would say this was one of the most scenic parts of the course. At the spillway turnaround, the view was spectacular!! The sun hitting the lake and the trees made for a picturesque trot back to the finish.

I passed the aid station again, this time looking for a pre-packaged snack as I thought I might need something in the last 5 miles. I grabbed an oatmeal pie. The last few miles are also the ones I am most familiar with as I run this section a few times during the year.

I was struggling, but forward is a pace. I passed the sag runner, he was on his way to the spillway, so at least a good 5 miles behind me. I knew I would finish before the cutoff.

At the start of the Hawkeye game – 2:30 PM, I called my husband and checked in with the score. We had already scored a safety. The Hawks were off to a good start. I also told him to meet me when I got to the finish and get my car key, I needed my OOFOS, I had a toe issue developing.

I walked and ran towards the finish line, consuming the oatmeal pie I snatched from the last aid station. When I came back to the lodge, I spotted Josh and he grabbed my car key. There was one last loop on the asphalt, yeah that was a joy!

My watch was way off, so my Strava stats are off too. When I came to the finish line, the clock was at 7:40 or something. It also had to be a distance PR for me as my Garmin had 31 miles. I felt good, except for that toe issue – a random blister that had formed under a toenail. Relive

A volunteer snagged the timing chip from my ankle and another placed a medal around my neck. Josh was there with my flip flops and a phone to his ear with the Iowa game, the Hawks were winning. Josh untied my shoe and it was off!

I went inside the Timber Dome (the lodge) to see what food I might want to eat. The race is a potluck, but since I was close to last, food was all consolidated to a couple tables, picked over and people took home their crockpots. I really wasn’t too hungry either. I used the bathroom and decided I better eat something, so I snagged an apple.

I went back outside to wait for Rob to finish. He was coming down the home stretch with the last finisher. They both finished under the 8 hour cutoff. He said his watch had over 32 miles. The last place finisher also got a special prize.

We sat there, and chatted, and Rob asked “Is that your husband?” Apparently everyone knows Josh, small world.

We didn’t stick around too much longer. I thanked the RD for a great race, hopped in my car and headed home.

I didn’t have my best race time, but I don’t know what else I would have preferred to do on a beautiful fall day….ok so I did come home to watch the rest of the Hawkeye game, which was not good.

Everyone boasts about the marathon majors, but this kind of race is my favorite. Low key, close to home, attention to detail, small, and with friends. I am glad I have the opportunity to run it.

I am looking forward to the spring event, the Hawkeye 50k. Registration is open!! Also instead of a shirt you get an Orange Mud transition towel, how cool is that?!!!? This race is also a prize for my 100 Miles in November, hope to see you in April!

Check out my thoughts or add your own at


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.