Shamrock Shuffle – 2017

Shiverin’ Shamrocks!

BRRR! The 2017 Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle was a cold one!. The race always takes place around mid March and usually it’s a seasonably decent temperature, but since mother nature is drunk, temps were around 20 degrees this year.

Gear: Rainbow Sparkle Athletic Skirt, XX2i France2 sunglasses, plantronics headphones, Survivor BUFF, Nike Turtleneck, Previous Shamrock Shuffle Race Shirt, Zensah Compression sleeves, Garmin Fenix 3, Brooks Ghost 9, Spi-belt. ( I changed the hat to a BOCO Louisanna Marathon stocking hat and Road Runner Sports Capris)


I mention the weather, because not only was I running the race. I was volunteering. This meant I arrived at the race location 2 hours before the event. While I was able to park close enough, to use my car to keep warm…. there is no shelter or place to stay warm.

must keep warm! BUFF and France2 frames to protect my face.


Pre-race volunteers continued to roll in, as well as trucks with race day supplies. We unloaded the trucks and set up things on the park. Tents, tables, bananas, sound system, etc.

The race takes place at College Green Park, so race day things are set up in the center of the park, while the race is start/finish is out on the street.

Before we knew it, participants were showing up to get their bibs, and my feet were freezing.


I helped out where I was needed, and ended up falling in with bib pick up. There were three of us and we had the system down! A runner gave us a name (as you could pick up anyone’s bib, no ID required), we looked up a bib number, handed them a bib, and a chip. I only ripped 2 bibs, oops!

I really needed to use the bathroom, and there were two port-o-potties near the start, but the line was long and the race was going to start, so I joined the others near the starting arch.


The race is a fun St. Patrick’s theme, including the distance of 3.17km, which is just around 2 miles. New, for this year, you could run the loop twice, for a 6.34km run. Of course, I chose this option, automatic PR!!

There were some announcements and then the race started. Gah, I was really cold, and I could feel it in my legs. The entire first loop, they just felt strange, like they were thawing out, or I could feel the muscles warming up. While the course had one big hill near the finish, they were not feeling the fatigue from that.


In that first loop, I caught up with Monty, again…. if we keep meeting at races, people are going to talk, LOL. I kid, it’s nice to see your runner friends out there!

By the second loop, my legs felt normal again, and I motored through the course again. It was all on pavement, and in typical Iowa winter fashion it’s when the potholes make their appearance, so I made sure to steer clear of them a second time. I thanked all the volunteers on the course, and climbed that hill one more time.

I crossed the finish line, and I was warm. I didn’t need my coat. Since I was signed up to then help volunteer post race, I stayed at the finish line and helped Dan take chips off shoes.

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When the majority of the runners had finished, I helped where needed, loading cars, taking down tents, the usual volunteering work. Hey guys, it’s really pretty easy…so help out if you can, nice to give back to your local running clubs… ha!

There were the bananas I mentioned earlier, and bottles of water at the center of the park, and cups of water near the finish, as it doubled as an aid station for the course.

The post race party was a few blocks away at Micky’s Irish Pub. There was an option when you registered to get a $5 brunch, or pay at the door. They would also be having beer specials, and hosting the awards ceremony here. You could also grab your pint glass, which was given instead of a t-shirt.


It is spring break in Iowa City when this race is held, but parking downtown can always be a problem, and to park close you have to pay. Lucky for me, I found a super close parking spot, swiped my card for $1.50 for one hour of time.

The party was happening. I did not pay for the brunch, as the last time I did this, the option was corned beef and cabbage, and I realized I do not care for it. I also don’t have $5 extra at this time… womp, womp, poor ol Angie… I did pack a Nugo Bar…lol.

I stuck around, watched the awards. The first person in each 10 year AG got a cool prize and the overall winners for each distance scored $50. WHOA, I need to get faster!

The morning ended chatting with some other runners, and realizing I should probably get home to let the dogs out, and oops my car was only paid to park at the meter for one hour!

I got to my car and saw the slip of paper flapping under the windshield…. but there was no fee, I owed $0.00. WEIRD! Why print the paper, what a waste!  I was happy I didn’t owe a fine.

When I got home, and got my data all loaded to Strava… you know if you don’t post a picture on Instagram and get that data loaded, I am not sure it even happened…. I realized I ran sub 9 minute miles, for 4 miles!!! WAHOOO. I am super happy about this, 2016 I spent running for endurance and distance. I did 0 speedwork, so I was happy to feel a little speed return. This is fast for me, so I’ll take it, maybe someday I will score a $50 winner’s prize!

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Race photos were posted to FB, and online album, free to download

This is a nice short race, with a nice challenging hill, and a fun post race party. If I am around next year, I will run it and volunteer again.

For my official race review, check bibrave.com

 

 

Mardi Gras Freezer

Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 10k

Chicago, IL (Montrose Harbor) – 10 am – February 25, 2017 – Cloudy, “feels like” 9 degrees


Hey guys, I ran another race!! Wahoo!!! This time I took Josh along with me. Well, I actually snagged a deal through twitter for $10 registration. I thought for that price, if the weather turned bad, we could afford to skip it, as the race is for a great charity – Back on My Feet.

So many races are for charity… but few are for a charity that is all about running! Back on My Feet Chicago uses the power of running to help change the lives of those experiencing homelessness in our city. All proceeds from the race will support Back on My Feet in providing programming to change lives one job, house, and mile at a time.

img_2952Josh and I left for Chicago the Friday before the race. We’ve been to the windy city, many times, and weren’t expecting any surprises.  We had no problems on the tollway, yay the construction is done! Then we settled into the Holiday Inn at the Merchandise Mart. We had never stayed here before, but was very nice and accessible.

To keep with tradition we made a stop at Garrett’s Popcorn to get some Chicago Mix and then ate supper at Miller’s Pub. Hey, we like what we like! Also, Miller’s Pub is awesome, it’s like stepping into an 80’s supper club and pub all in one. You want a hamburger – fine, you want grilled octopus – you can get that too.


Race Day:

Another late start… 10 am race time… ya, ya…the weather can be anything this time of year. In fact, just earlier in the week it was 70 degrees. However, the temps for this race wouldn’t get much over 20 degrees with a nasty wind chill around 9, YES 9 degrees!! So, maybe it’s the warmest time of the day for this race….

We were staying 5 miles south of Montrose Harbor, but it didn’t look like traffic was going to be too bad to get to the start.

We got to the race area at about 8:30, which is when packet pick up opened. I can’t say enough about race day packet pick up for a Chicago race!!! It wasn’t an extra cost, and I didn’t have to make an extra trip anywhere the day before to find my packet or ask a friend to do it for me. The parking was also FREE, yes free parking in Chicago, it’s possible!!! There are so many races in Chicago, and when we have to pay for a hotel, these free things make the race affordable.

Josh and I made our way to get our things…. oh I forgot to tell you about the best part of the race…. we met up with fellow Bibrave Pros, Heather, Mark and Frank!!!! We saw Mark and Heather on the way to get our packet….however, it was too cold to chit chat.

Packet pick up was super easy, we just told them our names and they gave us our bibs and 1/4 zip pullovers. We could grab a Mardi Gras mask if we wanted one. It’s nice to get a quarter zip, but this one is white, and well…. it’s white…and you can see through it…anyway, it’s still better than a cotton tee.

On our way back to the warm car, we passed Mark again, where he gave us “Hot Hands.” Spoiler Alert: these were a life saver!


Once in the car, I ate my Nugo Mint Chocolate bar for breakfast….seriously love those things. We kept warm and texted the other pros. We heard Frank was around, so we quick grabbed a group picture, then went back to sit in our warm cars. IT WAS COLD!


It was finally time to race. We all met up again… including Mark’s wife, Tina and Heather’s mom, Marge. We also noticed, Frank wearing his bib…. he is recovering from knee surgery, so this was a surprise to us all…but I think we all knew he wasn’t going to sit it out.

Gear: Purple Chevron Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Pro Compression Socks, 2Xu Hyoptik thermal tights, Nike turtleneck, Moving comfort jacket, Survivor Buff, Bibrave Boco Stocking hat, xx2i France 2 sunglasses, Plantronics head phones, spi belt, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix 3, 2 pairs of generic gloves, and Hot hands hand warmers.

The 10k was first, (there was a 5k to follow) we seeded ourselves in the corrals, which were organized by pace. I was already shaking because I was sooooo cold. The National Anthem was sung, and we all started moving.

The race was an out an back, starting on the roads near the harbor and then on the north end of the Lake Front Path / trail. It was coned off and there were volunteers guiding participants. However, it was not closed to pedestrian traffic. It started to flurry.

Photo Credit – Mark D.

My toes were numb until mile 2… have you ever ran with numb toes, it’s like rocks in your shoes… I finally warmed up, about the time I saw Mark and Josh headed back. Then I hit the turnaround where volunteers were handing out Cliff Bars. There were many stops with water and Gatorade. I then saw Heather running with Tina and then I saw Marge and Frank, while out and back courses can be annoying, it’s nice to be able to cheer on your friends.
If you want more of my official race review – check bibrave.com

I came to the finish line near 1 hour… which I was happy with… in fact, I told Josh I would finish in that time, so he knew when to greet me with more clothes. Which he did!

I was handed some Mardi Gras beads, my finisher’s medal, and then there was a buffet of post race food. There was more water and Gatorade, bananas, mini muffins (2 kinds,) chia bars, cliff bars and mini bagels. I was happy I had pockets in my jacket.


I put on my coat and another layer of pants and cheered in my friends. I stayed mostly warm, but the hot hands didn’t keep my finger tips warm, and I could barely feel them as I took pictures.


Yay, we were all finished! One of my favorite things is meeting my friends at races. We hung around for a little bit, and the the race organizers told us to take as much food as we wanted… I escaped with a bag full of mini bagels…and there was still lots of food left. I hope they were able to donate it to a shelter.

Photo Credit – Heather C.


We said goodbye to Frank, and then ran back to our cars to get warm.  The rest of us decided to go check out the post race party at the Fat Cat bar. They had a $15 buffet and a free beer for runners. However, don’t be fooled, there were 3 choices – Blue Moon, Coors Light and Leinie’s Honey Weiss. They were also having a raffle.


We waited around for a table to open up. When a table opened up, we got our buffet plates and filled up. It’s a good thing all those post race goodies were sealed to eat later. The buffet had rice and beans, yogurt, biscuits, chicken, bacon, potatoes, eggs and french toast casserole.

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Yes – I put sprinkles on my biscuits

Once we were full, it was time to say goodbye…always sad…I mean I get to talk to my friends on twitter, but always nice to get to hangout in person. I will see them again soon too.


As luck would have it, we were really close to Wrigley Field, so after Josh and I grabbed some Dunkin Donuts coffee, we drove by the baseball stadium. It was undergoing lots of construction, so even if we did get out to take a picture, we wouldn’t have been able to get too close.


Then after what felt like an hour, we were back on the tollway, headed back to Iowa… it was a quick trip to Chicago, but a fun one. Spoiler Alert: I will be headed back for the BTN B1G 10k in July, Go Hawks!

 

 

 

 

Freezefest 2017

Corridor Running Freezefest 5k

I am so excited to have something to write about. I ran and volunteered at the Freezefest 5k or should I say “Warmfest.” (More on that later.)


As most of you know, I am on the board of my local running club, Corridor Running. This is the first race of the year for the club. In addition to running, and creating the playlist for the event, I was on board to take pictures, post to social media, shoot video and anything else they needed me to do.
For my official race review – check out bibrave.com

Gear: Ice Cream Sparkle Athletic Skirt, xx2i France2 sunglasses, Garmin Fenix 3, Go Pro, Adiddas boy shorts, Lululemon shirt, Corridor Running Trucker hat, spi belt,  2xu Vectr socks, aftershokz


The event always takes place in February, and it has a later start time of 11 am. It is in Marion, IA at Squaw Creek Park. This is mostly due to the weather. It can be cold or as we saw this year, record warmth, nearing 60 degrees.

*Personally, I would rather have a race start at 7 or 8 am. I run in all weather conditions, so I would just like to get up and get it done.

This is a smaller race, and it’s capped at 350 participants due to the lack of parking.. This means that packet pickup is the day of the race, which works out well because of the late start I was whining about above. Anyway…. the lodge allows room for an easy packet pick up as well as an area to get information about upcoming Corridor events & membership. It’s also a good location to stay warm, if the weather is cold. There is also indoor plumbing, however the system seems to get overwhelmed and backs up….but don’t fear there are extra, clean port-o-potties set up outdoors.

It was time to start the race. While there were no signs encouraging people to line up according to pace, everyone did an excellent job of self seeding.  Mark – the club president said some words, and then the National Anthem was sung live, however if you were in the back of the corral, you might not have been able to hear it.

With this being a 5k, my usual goal is to run it sub 30 minutes, however I had a Go Pro in one hand and my phone in the other. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to tackle all of this.

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The race course wasn’t too difficult, it was basically flat, and on all paved surfaces. Ok, so the finish was uphill and there were some potholes….but totally manageable. The course also has out and back type sections, so you can cheer on the others.


I crossed the finish line, while watching the clock…SUB 30!!! My official results:


After I was done running, I picked the camera back up and snapped some pictures of the award winners. Then I went to check out the post race food, since it was lunch time. Volunteers called the “cookie monsters” brought a lot of baked goods, and there were 2 different types of homemade chili. There were some sandwiches and fruit too. I waited too long and there wasn’t much food left, and I don’t care for chili, so I grabbed a cookie. There was also lots of beverages – bottled water, sodas, and some Miller Lite.

I really needed to get on my way, there was Hawkeye basketball game at 1pm… I was already late.

This is a great race! The price is right and it gets you out of the winter funk. The club does a great job too, everything runs smoothly. I also like getting to socialize with everyone. I also forgot to mention, a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Boys & Girls club.


See you at the next Corridor Running event, the Shamrock Shuffle – PS registration is still open. There is a 3.17k and a 6.24k. They could also use volunteers.

Keep up with Corridor Running: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram & don’t forget to tag #corridorrunning

 

 

 

Amana 2017

The Amana Freezer 5k – 2017 Edition

This is my favorite winter race in eastern Iowa. You may have caught my previous posts about this, even calling it “January’s Hidden Gem.” Well 2017 didn’t disappoint.

In addition to the meat swag bag and the hospitality of Amana, IA, what makes this race so great is that the local running community comes out of winter hibernation.


So, it was a foggy and unseasonably warm day, temps over 40 degrees. This was a nice change from the freezing temps I have run this race in before.


Since I haven’t picked a training plan for my upcoming marathons – the IL Marathon and Grandma’s… I should probably do that….I didn’t have any goals, or a set amount of miles to run that day. After I arrived around 8:30 to pick up my packet and meat bag, I set out to run some pre-race miles, that ended up totaling 4 miles.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, Corridor Running hat, Brooks Ghost 8, Aftershokz, SpiBelt, Moving Comfort pullover, Adidas short, Procompression socks, Garmin Fenix 3.

I attached my bib to my belt, and the timing chip to my shoe and made my way to the starting line. This is where I saw running friend, Joel.  We chatted and then everyone was moving forward…ha we weren’t paying attention and someone jingled some bells and the race started.


A refresher on the course, it’s an out and back on the paved road, you run out to East Amana, circle around and come back to Amana. There is a hill when you get to East Amana, but nothing steep. The road is open to traffic, but the locals don’t seem to mind. The most scenic thing on the course is the occasional beer can in the ditch or the cow pasture. Hey, this is Iowa 🙂


I had an ok race for already logging 4 miles. My 5k goal is always sub-30 and according to my Garmin I finished in 28:05. I felt like I pushed my best, even though each mile split was slower… oh well, I had a year of distance running, it’s hard to get the speed back.


At the finish line, I saw a lot of friends from the 100 mile group and Corridor Running. I felt like a social butterfly. One of my favorite things about running is meeting the people.


The crowd moved towards the post race food and awards in the building where packet pick up took place. Usually it’s jammed packed, but since the weather was so nice, there was room to breathe.

There is always a great post race food spread, really quite a lot for a 5k. Clementines, bagels, bananas, fruit pizza, Fig Newtons, and cookies. Then there was bottled water and hot chocolate.


I chatted with more friends, including a reader of the blog, Hi Rosemary!! That was a nice surprise…as we chatted I chuckled as the lady tried to start the race awards. Every year it’s the same old problem, she has this microphone, but you still can’t hear her, and then she gets mad…I am still laughing. Someone eventually get her a bull horn, which you really can’t hear either as everyone is chatting.

We all stood around listening to the awards, then it was time for the raffle. I remember the year Laura won the bird seed and she didn’t want it… ha! I always am happy to win anything….and this year was my year, I won a bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses, and an opener!!  Joel was standing around with us too and he won a gift certificate for a bottle of wine too.  He really doesn’t drink wine, so he thought he would trade the bird seed winner….that didn’t work when the bird seed winner took her prize and immediately headed out the door. People want that bird seed!

Once all the prizes were handed out, it was time to redeem the Millstream Beer ticket that came with registration. The Brau Haus is located just across the street, and you just walk in and choose a craft beer or soda. I happily chose the Iowa Pale Ale. As I was leaving to drink my beer outdoors, someone asked “What is most similar to Coors Light or Miller Lite?” The guy pouring the beer chuckled, and said “tap water.” I laughed too.


I met Joel back outside and he was telling me how excited he was to tour Amana, and check out all the stores. The small town takes pride in their winter festival, so it is fun to check out all the shops. I couldn’t stay though, I had to get back to Iowa City and the Iowa Woman’s Basketball game. GO HAWKS!


I will always try to run this race. First, the meat bag! Second, the town rolls out the red carpet for the weekend. Third, the local running community wakes up for the year! Oh and the price is always right, around $25 (you can even get it for less if you want no meat bag or shirt)

Spring Hill Half

Spring Hill Mania – Half Marathon

As you might have read from my last post, I was in Florida for the Outback Bowl.  I had my eye on this race for quite a while…I originally thought I would run the full marathon…but I’m not even THAT crazy…also I wasn’t sure how I would be getting to this event, it was over an hour from where I was staying. In the meantime I signed up for the Hooters Last Chance 5k (which was the day before) and was content with just one race.

However…things changed… If you don’t know, I am not a frequent flyer, I really don’t care to fly anywhere……..OK if you don’t know this, you haven’t been reading my blog full of road trips.

Ok, anyway…I was talking to tailgating friend Scott, and even though it was last minute, I gave up my seat on an airplane, and drove to Florida with Scott. This meant we would have a car to get to the race. So, I signed up…. I signed up late, even with the $10 discount the race was around $90 for a half marathon – YIKES!


I was really set on doing this race, as I will be in Key West 2 weeks later for the Key West Half Marathon. I needed one last long run before that race, and I needed to train in the Florida heat . I am currently happy running in 30 degrees and shorts at home, so 60 degrees would be hot for me. This was the perfect opportunity to train.

The race was on Saturday, Jan 1……….yep I had 5 hours of sleep, and maybe a hangover, however Scott drove me to Spring Hill, FL bright and early.

After a Nugo Dark Bar for breakfast, I was at the park pavilion grabbing my race bib. There was a cotton shirt included with registration, but I was late so they didn’t have one for me. I could have had it sent to me, or I could get a $25 gift card to an online compression company. I chose the gift card.
The start was at 8 am. It was sunny and warm, the temps would rise to 80 degrees.

There were a few announcements about the course. Information about aid stations and port-o-potties, and where turnarounds would be, since it was an out and back course.

The wheel chair start went first, followed by the marathon, then it was my turn to start the half with the 10k runners.


Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, ProCompression Socks, New Balance shoes, Garmin Fenix 3, Orange Mud Hydraquiver, XX2i USA 1, Nike Hawkeye Hat, Iowa tank, Adidas boy shorts.

As mentioned above, this was a good training run for my upcoming Key West Half, so not really sure what the goal was, except to get the miles in, in the Florida sunshine.


The out and back course was on a bike path along the Florida 589 toll road. This meant the scenery was a snoozefest. Highway on one side and back yards or open land on the other. There was also no shade.

I ran 6.55 miles out and saw the sign to turn around. There were two aid stations on the way out, so I would hit them on the way back. They were near the 2 mile and 5 mile markers, so those 3 miles in between seemed to take forever. The AS only had water and lemon lime Gatorade in Dixie sized cups. Now that I think about it, I didn’t see any of the port-o-potties that were supposed to be every 3 miles, but I didn’t need one, so I wasn’t looking. I hope for those running the full marathon there was some sort of food, or the stations started to be closer together or they offered more.

I was glad I brought water with me. I was not used to running in the heat and sun. I could drink and splash water on my face. For the price I paid, I expected more support or ice or more water….or I am just not used to the heat in winter.

I moved along the entire time and finished around 2:28. Which really, not a super bad time for me…so I will take it. I was hot!


I was handed a medal at the finish line and a bottle of water. There was a station set up to type in your bib number and get official results.

After a short walk, I was at the pavilion where the “headquarters” of the race events were. There were some boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, bananas and some homemade breads to eat. It appeared someone was cooking the advertised pancakes and eggs, but none were available when I finished. It was also 23904 degrees and it was the last thing I wanted. There was also a cooler with Gatorade.

I grabbed a donut and slice of bread, filled my water bottle with some Gatorade and walked back to the car, to find Scott awake from his nap. I could hear some announcements coming from the pavilion, must have been the awards.


Scott was watching some RC airplanes, as we were in a public park area with ball fields and open areas. I was over the race, it was time to go…. I ate half the donut, refilled my water bottle with water, and we left.

I really wanted to find a produce stand and get some fresh squeezed orange juice and some oranges. We took the scenic route back to Clearwater Beach….all the stands were closed! Maybe because it was New Years Day and a Sunday.

We made it back to the hotel in time to get ready to head to Chanelside for the Hawkeye Huddle. Almost forgot we were here for a bowl game.

For the $90 I spent on this race, I expected more. I have run full marathons that cost less and have provided more. I know this race opens up a year in advance for a price around $30, which I would say is more than fair, but to pay what I did so late in the game….totally overpriced. Also, about that gift car….yeah that’s a waste… the prices for things, just don’t work so I get something for nothing… I have to pay a difference or shipping…….. I already paid $90 for half, where I got a donut and Gatorade….not worth it paying more.

I did get something out of this race. The training in the heat. I am going to be ready for Key West!

 

 

 

Hooters Last Chance 5k

LAST CHANCE RACE OF THE YEAR

Josh and I were in Florida for the Outback Bowl, and of course I was on the look out for a race in the area during the time we would be there. I stumbled upon the Hooters Last Chance Race of the Year in Clearwater Beach.


I also needed to log some miles, I have run at least 100 miles a month for over a year now, with the 2 mile run to the race and the race, I would hit that goal.

If you haven’t figured it out the race was on Dec 31st….. It was to start after the one mile swim at 10 am. The race was on the beach, it was sunny and around 65-70 degrees.

I don’t remember the last time I ran a 5k….in fact my last race was a the Artic Frog 50k at the beginning of December. Who am I? LOL

Gear: Iowa tank top, yellow Sparkle Athletic skirt, 2xu vectr socks, NB 880 shoes, Garmin Fenix, Iowa Nike hat, Adidas boy shorts

Josh and I ran to the race with plenty of time to spare, so we ran an additional mile along the beach. We watched the swimmers as we ran… that looked tough, and then they had to come out of the water and run through the sand to finish. We also had time to cheer them in, very inspiring.


The announcer was very energetic, I think she was also the RD. She knew many of the people at the event and called them out over the loud speaker that was also playing music. The race was put on by a company that does many local events.

When it was time, runners all lined up near the water, on the beach, no corrals. However, I felt everyone was smart enough to line up according to pace. The National Anthem was sung live.

The race was on. I have run on the beach a few times before, you know on that hard packed sand, just at the water’s edge. Once I even tried this barefoot, but got a nasty toe blister. I was glad I had my shoes, but don’t tell anyone, I didn’t read the race description and didn’t realize it was going to be on the beach…SHH, it’s our secret.


Ok, the goal…sub 30…. It was hot for me, so I just pushed the pace. Running 50k’s and marathons for a year, I did 0 speedwork, so this was my challenge.

I was doing fine, until I came to the part on the course where the lead pack was headed back, as this was an out and back course. We had to share the piece of sand…or I guess I could run in the dry stuff, but why?  It was difficult to share, as the going out portion was on a slant. I did see Josh, and I gave him a high 5!

We passed mile markers, and a water stop with plastic cups at the turnaround. The turnaround guy was holding the trash bag for the cups, something even more guilty feeling about leaving your cup trash on the beach.

I didn’t see many other Hawkeye fans, which was strange as this was the beach the Outback Bowl held events on. Last year I ran a half with at least 15 other Hawk fans. Oh well, I did see 2 guys pushing strollers….at least they never passed me, I call that a small victory. I also splashed in the water a few times…ok it was by accident.

I could see the finish ahead, so I pushed the pace on the packed sand, as I knew I would be running through the dry, loose sand the swimmers had to finish on. That portion was tough, but glad I had practiced by running in the snow at home.

I came across the finish line and a volunteer handed me a medal, a bottle of water, and a piece of paper for a top finisher award. (The top 25 in each gender received one.)


The race was sponsored by Hooters, which was just across the street from the race start. The post race party started on the 3rd floor at 10:30. Each participant got boneless wings and a free beer. We found out, at the party that the beer options were crap…but we did our best to sip on some Mich Ultra. Also, this was my first time at a Hooters, and I am not sure if they made these boneless wings ahead of time, but they were dried out and gross! (This does not reflect on the race at all) It was nice of Hooters to open up for the event.


We got in line to get our top finisher award, which was just a plaque that said we were a top finisher, it was cool. When we were given the award, the RD asked questions and made you feel special. Great small town feel to the event.


We milled about and talked to an old lady who wanted to see my hair cut, as she needed to shave off her hair, because she dyed it red and it didn’t take….see runners are awesome…they will talk about anything…she also whined about how cold it was…oh Florida, don’t ever change. Seriously, there were people in stocking hats and gloves, long pants and long sleeves.

I got my sub 30!


It was time to go, we had to get to Ybor City for the Hawkeye festivities of the day. We pulled up the Uber app….yep we didn’t run back…we had medals and plaques.

This was a fun event, it was only $25 before the fees, and I registered the week of the race. Doesn’t get better than that… I didn’t get a shirt, but I don’t need any more shirts! The RD made everyone feel special too. I would run this again…who knows with the Hawkeye record with the Outback Bowl, the odds are in my favor.

 

The Spicy Way

My area turkey trot, the Legend of the Fall is, in fact not really a turkey trot, but the only event happening in Iowa City, on Thanksgiving. I appreciate that this event is more of a challenge, yet everyone is encouraged to participate. I have run this many times in the past, you can see the review for last year.

The 2016 event was on Thursday, November 24. It was cloudy and around 40 degrees.


As in years past, I ran to this event, it’s just under a 2 mile jaunt to the school where it’s held. I made it to the school in plenty of time to register at the $25 price tag. I even got a long sleeved, unisex, cotton shirt.

There was a little time to just mill about. I was starting to get cold, so I stayed indoors until I had to get to the starting line on the track. It was nice to also take advantage of the real bathrooms.

I met up with fellow Corridor Running board member, John, for a quick picture.


We made our way to the starting area, which was just a clump of people. The announcements were general, consisting of trail conditions and no National Anthem. Then it seemed like the clump of people just moved forward….guess the race was on!

We did the “lap” around the track and headed off into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park. As I mentioned above, I have run this race many times before, but running in Hickory Hill feels new every time. I have had to ask a friend to accompany me on training runs through the area, as I get lost.

The days leading up to the race were rainy, but no rain during the race, like the previous year, so the trail was decent. There are areas of single track, some roots, some open spots, running through an open field – all kinds of terrain. There are also some decent hills.

I met up with, Monty some where in the race. I met Monty a few years ago when he helped with a couch to 5k program, since them he has participated in the 100 mile challenge, and we encourage each other on your many running endeavors. However, it was the first time we were actually racing together.

I enjoyed the company, it was nice to have a friend on the short course. He asked me about the “spicy way.” So, I told him… Last year the spicy way was eliminate due to the muddy conditions, however in the past, it was a short cut, through a creek and then climbing up the bank. He was curious, how much longer the mild way was, if it really was a short cut.


Of course, I always take the spicy way…and who was behind me, Monty! I live for this kind of fun. After stumbling through non marked trail, through tree branches and over fallen limbs, I came across a couple of people standing there, discussing how they were going to get across this creek. This is when I said “You only live once, see you later!” What proceeded was like a scene out of a move… I took a splash in the 3 inch deep water, hopped over to the creek bank and pulled myself up and across…. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! (someone might want to check if those people are still standing at the creek, ok I kid)

I was back out on the course, and could hear Monty behind me, yay! Spicy route fun for all!!!

The way back to the track, was all uphill, but I mustered through and made the final “lap” around the track and across the timing mat. I made sure to wait to see if Monty finished, yay!!!

I saw a few more friends and chit chatted, before I made my way back inside the school to check out the post race food and results. The parents and school staff always do a great job with the post race spread. Sure the race is only about 3.8 miles long, but you have your choice of many home made breads, cookies and bars.


I checked my results to see I finished near 40 minutes, which was a decent time. I did discover the person in my AG crushed it in 27 minutes, dang!!  The winners received a pie!

I decided to get on my way, I didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving planned, but wanted to get some more miles in and have a lazy day.


I took a little longer route home, adding about another 3 miles or so on the day, for a total of 8.4 miles. Not too bad for a “turkey trot”

I really like this race, and I plan to keep on doing it if I am available.

The rest of my Thanksgiving consisted of a nap and watching movies, it was great!!


I did end the day, enjoying a meal at the Iowa River Power Company, with the B1G reffing crew. Say what? Yep, my Thanksgiving gets shifted around due to Iowa Athletics. The Iowa / Nebraska football game is now the Friday after Thanksgiving, so this year I was invited to join the officiating crew for the game at a Thanksgiving dinner.


Hope you all had a great holiday!