Dam Backpocket 7 Miler
My last post alluded to this race, it was my second race of the day.
I am no stranger to this event, it would be my 4th time participating… and I have questioned doing this race ever again, but here I am… writing the review.
I had picked up my bib, shirt and pint glass the night before at the Brewery. I did have to re-sign a participation wavier, which seemed strange. However, it was easy peasy. In and out in like 2 minutes.
For an official race review, check bibrave.com
The 2017 race was on Saturday, August 19th at 5pm. There are 2 events, a 7 miler and a 5k. Both are point to point, and require you take a shuttle to get to the start – at 4pm. It was a hot day (not as hot as past events) about 80 ish degrees and sunny.
I arrived with enough time to park in the UIHC ramp, about a block or so away. It was the advertised place to park, and it was FREE. I grabbed my things and was on my way to a shuttle bus.
Gear: Donut Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Bibrave Tech hat, Adidas shorts, Danskin tank, Zensah Traction socks, spi belt, xx2i France Sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, New Balance Shoes
I stepped onto the first shuttle bus, and found a seat. It was hot inside there…but it was nice to sit and not have to hustle anywhere. The bust loaded with runners, and I saw Joel – from Springville Quarry fame. It was his first time at the race.
When the bus was full, the driver was given instructions to leave. It was only a 10-15 minute ride to the start, & it was nice to have some wind coming through the windows.
As one of the first to depart the bus, I was also one of the first to use one of the three port-o-potties that were supplied. These were located at the bus drop of location, which was not the starting line. There was also a spot with water, fill your own cups. A rental type moving van was there working on setting up some music, but I feel we heard 3 songs and he packed up.
Also since I was on the first bus, there was a lot of time to stand around in the direct sunlight before the race started. I could have went to seek shade, but shade was a short walk. I was also just tired and cranky.
I did run into some more running friends, Wendy – she has run all 4 prior years of the race. I also chatted with Tim from the 100 Miles in November group.
5 pm was finally getting closer…so I made my way up the hill to the starting line on top of the dam. The road was still open to traffic, so we all stood to the side and waited for the official time to line up. I said “Hi” to Dan and Horacio of the Run319 group.
As soon as some cars wanted to get across the dam, the starting line timing mat was rolled across the road, so those cars had to wait. I am not sure if there were any announcements made, I heard nothing. I also chose to start in the back, I knew the course, and the first hill would be slow for me.
The race was on… UGH…. it took a while for me to find my groove… and the chafe… all the chafe… I thought I had put on enough crap before this one… but I did not. It wasn’t until after the top of that first hill, I was finally feeling like me.
After that & because I started in the back… I was finally passing people… that was fun, an ego boost. I then pushed the pace and was rolling….
It wasn’t until about mile 4.5 -5 that I hit the wall. There is another hill in the Peninsula area, it’s right after a water stop and a right turn… I had to walk… UGH… once at the top, I tried to get rolling again, but it wasn’t as fast.
The course is all on pavement, and there is not much shade. There are many water stops, some with Gatorade. I always had to ask which they were serving to me, always in a paper cup. There were mile markers and I saw some photographers on the course. (I have yet to receive any notice of where these are posted)
I rolled to the finish area, heard some GO ANGIE’s, but I didn’t slow or turn to look, I don’t want to trip and fall at the finish line.
My time of 1:11 was good enough for 6th in my AG, I had a sub 10 minute pace, which I was very happy about, considering a solid half marathon in the morning, and being away for over 16 hours.
Once at the finish, I was handed a bottle of water. There was nothing else here, to claim a Kashi bar, banana and your free beer, you had to go to the beer garden. Oh yeah… this race ends at the Backpocket Brewery.
Now, you might be wondering where was Josh during this whole day… well he was busy with work…but he came to the finish party at the brewery. WAHOO!!! We stood around waiting for the results, drinking beer and chatting with Dan and Wendy. The interesting part was they were not checking off your bib, or you didn’t have to turn in a ticket for your beer… so Josh got a beer too! Wendy was able to get a soda instead, but she had to hunt down the RD for this to happen.
It was time for the awards, congrats to Wendy, her husband John and Dan as they all placed in their age groups.
After the awards it was time for the stein holding contest. Not only does the winner get bragging rights, but they also win free beer for a year.
Josh was ready to call it a day, but I had to watch this. It wasn’t the first year they had done this, but I had never had time to watch before. It was a good time, the facial expressions on some of the contestants – priceless.
Ok, it was time to leave… so Josh and I walked up to Fuzzy Tacos for supper, and then called it a day and went home. I was exhausted!!!
So, my overall thoughts on this race… it wasn’t as bad as years past… or did I already know what I was getting myself into? It’s a fine race, people want to run it as it ends at the brewery. It is pricey close to the race day, so register early. The race shirt was a boxy unflattering gray, I miss the first year, fitted Nike shirts. I would also like some shade at the starting line.
So what’s next on the race schedule? Well.. I might run the New Bo Half Marathon, then I should sign up for the Pleasant Creek trail run on Sept 16 – I would have time for one loop and still make it to the 2:30 football game, maybe? Then run the North Face Endurance Challenge 13.1 the next day- after a 2 am wake up call, that sounds like a fun weekend…. Then there is always the Quad Cities Marathon – not signed up…. Rolling into October, I signed up to volunteer at the Chicago Marathon, then it’s the Detroit Marathon…. then it’s the Urban Bourbon Half… and then in November back to Madison for the IA/WI followed by a marathon….. ok whew.. I think that’s enough…