Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Race Recap – Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Saturday, March 10, Iowa City, IA. Sunny and a cool 30 ish degrees.

This is the only race Corridor Running hosts in Iowa City, so if I am around I always try to participate, whether it’s running or volunteering.

I arrived at College Green park just after 6:30 AM as I signed up to help with race day set up. Brrr, it was cold, but not as cold as last year. I checked in an asked where I was needed to help.

I am not sure I ever had an official job, but I set up tables, answered some questions, directed people where to go, and I took photos and updated the club’s social media accounts. (which you should follow: Instagram / twitter) A box of donuts magically appeared and I might have ate one.

In addition to the normal bib pick up, there were tables set up to buy club gear and a table for a new running store in the area, Heartland Soles.

Around 8:30 I ditched my coat and made it to the starting line. It was weird, I ran in my volunteer shirt and no sparkle skirt. Maybe it’s because I was out of practice… I hadn’t ran a race in over a month!

After some brief announcements the race started. There were 2 distances to run – a 3.17 km and a 6.34 km (which was an additional loop.) I was in for the double loop. The course is a tour of the north side neighborhood, complete with old brick streets. There is one major hill near the end of the loop… this of course is where the official race photographer was stationed. The last stretch of this course is also on a busy street.


I had a good first loop, and then the wheels came off and I slowed down for my second loop. So.. I got my phone out and started doing some IG stories and taking pictures. I got called out talking to my phone by some guy on his cool down lap, HA!

Before I knew it, I was at the finish line and a volunteer was removing the timing chip from my shoe. I had a Garmin time of  38:10. There were bananas and water set up near the finish line, but the post race party was at a bar a short walk away.

I stuck around the finish and race area for a while as I also volunteered to help tear down the event. Hey, a race doesn’t happen without the volunteers, so I am happy to give back! It really isn’t difficult either, just do the task your are assigned.

The clean up duties were simple and easy as most of them were already done by the time I got back to race headquarters. I did move some tables and put some boxes in my car.

I got the ok to head to the bar. The awards had already been given out and people had started to leave – it wasn’t as crowded as years past. I had pre-paid for the brunch and ordered a beer and sat down at the bar.

Fellow club member, Warren joined me as I ate my corned beef and egg stew and we solved all the world’s problems.

I will continue to support my club with this event. I also like that the race distance is something different. I have struggled in the past to fit in at the post race party, but I enjoyed having a moment to sit down and reflect – I need to be ok with that too.

If you ran don’t forget to add your review to and claim your results on Athlinks.


Trail Trot

Legend of the Fall 2017 – Race Recap

I think I have been running this race for the last 5 years ish. Nothing much changes, but if I don’t add it to my blog, did it happen?

I have added another review to as well. I am the only one with a review, but really it’s one of my faves in Iowa City.

This race is always the morning of Thanksgiving. It’s our area “Turkey Trot,” yet it’s a difficult event, covering the trails through Hickory Hill Park. This year the weather was probably the best it’s been in years. It was about 40 or so degrees at the start, and there had been no precipitation leading up to race day, leaving the trails dry.

I registered online a few weeks before the event, so on race day I just needed to grab my bib. I am just about 2 miles from this race, so I always run to and from Regina High School, where it starts.

Gear: Black Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Zensah Compression socks, Chicago Marathon hat, Grandma’s 5k tech shirt, Orange Mud Pullover, Spi belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Under Armor Horizon shoes, Garmin Forerunner 935, Road ID, Buff(R), Pearl Izumi gloves

I arrived to discover they had moved the packet pick up and race day registration to the outside of the lunch room area. This was slightly congested. I had to wait in a line. I also think there were more participants than normal because the weather was so nice. I didn’t have to wait too long, and I receive a bib, timing chip to attach to my shoe and my long sleeve, cotton, unisex shirt.

I put my bib on my Spi Belt, attached my timing chip and looked for a place to stash my shirt – since I didn’t drive. I was then out the door, and waited near the starting line.

The start is on the track. Everyone waited around, and then was encouraged to move to the starting line, which was just a cone on the track I believe. People just jumbled up together. There were some announcements and then it was time to race.

The race went about 3/4 away around the track, allowing people to thin out before heading down the hill, into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park.

The area to run is narrow, so it’s hard to first get a position, so you just wait patiently for a place to pass. There is a hill within the first mile and people start walking, so if you wait it out, this is a good time to pass.

The trail twists and turns and goes up and down, over roots and leaves – your typical trail surface.

There are no mile markers out there, but you follow small yellow flags, which are easy to navigate. Close to the end there is always the short cut, or as they call it in this race – “the spicy way.”

I always take this cut, it’s on unmarked trail, through some trees and then a small creek crossing, with a steep climb out of the ravine. I always laugh at everyone hesitant to cross the water, and I always dash right though.

Once past this area, it’s not much further to the finish. With another 3/4 lap of the track, there is a blue timing mat to cross and you are done! A volunteer was clipping chips here, I just bent over and pulled mine off.

As I was running, I noticed a 6 pack of La Croix was running the race – ok so it was 6 people in costume. I had to get my photo with them. The one lady was like, oh yes – all costumed runners take a picture – um I was not in costume…but I guess plaid pants and a sparkly skirt will do that. They said they also used their costumes for a race the week before.

I walked back up to the school, browsed the post race cookie and dessert bar, grabbing a cookie bar and filling a cup with water. I sat down and ate, and listened while some awards were given out. Winners received pumpkin pie!

It was time to run home, I found my stashed shirt and left the building. I carried it in my hands and enjoyed the nice weather on the way home. I had just over 7 miles total for the day. It was time to get ready for my Thanksgiving plans at my sister’s house.

I really like this race – you can search my blog for past experiences. I will continue to run this event if I am in town, and you should too!

PCTR 30k – 2017

Race Review – Pleasant Creek Trail Run 30k – 2017

This was the 3rd year of the event. It was held on Saturday, September 16th. There were 3 race distances – 15k (one loop), 30k (2 loops) or 45k (3 loops.) The 45k started at 8:30 and the other 2 started together at 9.  It was a cool, cloudy morning, but would eventually reach to about 90 degrees and sun.

I ran the inaugural event, and at the time the longest distance offered was the 30k, so I ran that as a training run for a 50k. The race is always during Hawkeye football season, that first year the game was later in the day, last year the game was at 11 am…. and this year the game started at 2:30….

I thought this was perfect, I would be able to run a loop and get to the game…. well, I went through the registration process, and thought I started by clicking on 15k… after going through the registration process, and never seeing the distance confirmation until I had paid…. I was now in for the 30k.

See, more people would panic…. not me, while I know the race directors of the event and knew I could drop down to the 15k, I welcomed the challenge…. and now my biggest problem was making it to my seat in Kinnick Stadium by kickoff.

Thankfully, they let me start my race with the longer 45k distance, this gave me an additional half hour. I needed that time, I have almost an hour drive home and had to walk the dogs. I could have also started even earlier – as I showed up very early, but I wouldn’t have been timed.

I’ll write my famous to the point, fact based bibrave review too.

Alright, so after some chatter with the locals, I was lined up with the 45k runners, ready to get the show on the road.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, 2Xu tank, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, BibRave Boco Gear Visor, AfterShokz Trekz Air, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Zensah compression socks, Road Runner Sports shorts, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix, Road ID

Oh…. trail running, I love it and hate it…this course is a mixture of everything – rock, sand, grass, ruts, dirt, road crossings, very few spots with even footing.

I took off very slowly… I think I overheard a spectator say “this is the slowest race start ever!” Not long, we were off in the woods, and I was in the back of the pack… all I could think was, dang I am slow… and I am with the people that are running an extra loop. So, the mental part of the race was off to a rough start.

There were also some hills, and I started off walking up all of those too. The sun was coming out too and it was heating up.

I did have my music, so I just kept moving forward. I passed through the first aid station around mile 2, and since I was running with my pack, I didn’t stop.

When I came to the second aid station, I was looking for some gummi bears, as I was too lazy to dig out the fruit snacks I had with me. The stop did not have any…but there was a lot of other choices – cookies, pretzels, M & M’s, Gatorade, water, Cola and Mt. Dew. I took some pretzels and chatted with the volunteers, and took off back into the woods.

Really nothing exciting or out of the norm happened at the race.

I looked at my watch when someone speedy passed me, mile 5.6… this must have been a 15k runner… and shortly after there were others that started passing me. Oh well, I just kept moving forward.

I came up on the third aid station to a cheerful group of volunteers, I knew them, so it was nice to say hi! I didn’t spend too much time and moved along. It was now really starting to feel warm. There were parts of the course in the woods and parts with no shade.

I finally came in to finish my first loop, and I looked at my watch 1:51. I still thought I could PR this course. My time from 2 years ago was a 4:04, so I was well ahead of that, it was also the reason why I didn’t stop any longer than to grab a banana at the start/finish aid station.

I was now out on my second loop, it was definitely hot! Even though I was moving forward, it was a lot slower … and it just kept getting worse…. I was also in my head, was I going to make kick off? Keep moving, it’s hot, get to the football game, it’s hot, keep moving…. yeah running is fun!

Welp, I made it to the first aid station on the loop and made sure to drink more liquids…. all the drinking…..OH – what I didn’t tell you… I was running a half marathon the next day… so when does hydrating for that take place?

Back on course. At this time, there really weren’t too many other people out there, once in a while someone would pass me, which just made me feel slow…but I just kept moving.

I stopped at the 2nd aid station of the loop, drank some more and dug out my fruit snacks to eat them.

It really wasn’t that bad… but I had given up on getting to Kinnick before the game… I could still make kickoff.

I rolled into the third aid station, and there was a volunteer shift change. However, I knew the new volunteers, she even took my picture. I was hot, but nothing out of the ordinary, I didn’t have the chills, nothing…however a radio/medic guy that was at this aid station kept insisting I sit down in the shade of the tent. I was like, do I look that bad? Luckily, Nikki, who took my photo, knew I was fine, and said so…. and I grabbed a cup of ice to finish the last 2 miles.


Those last 2 miles, were the longest 2 miles ever! I think I felt every uneven footfall, I just wanted a straight, flat section to run…but such is trail running.

I saw the last turn out of the woods, and I trotted into the finish. There were people cheering for me, so I was making sure not to fall. It was nice to have the area set up so that finishers were enjoying their post run fair along the route.

I finished in a time near 4:09…dang that second loop ate me up… I am sure it was a combination of the heat and maybe being under trained? Oh well, 18 miles banked – which keeps me inline for Detroit Marathon training.  At the finish I was handed a cool, hand made medal and a bottle of water.

The plan was to grab some food to go, and get on the road. Instead, I milled around, talked to the race director, took a photo…. I finally grabbed a plate – threw in a burger, chips and slice of cake…and took my food to go.  I was still close to making the game by kick off, but I would have to hustle.

I rolled into my house just before 2 pm… I needed to walk the dogs, shower and then find a parking spot and get to the game. Kick off was at 2:30….and then….

UGH – the new neighbor wanted to talk…. talk about removing a tree… there is nothing wrong with this tree… I was like I need to get moving, and just said “it’s your tree, if you want to take it down, I can’t stop you.” Why is it when you need to be somewhere, you just can’t get there?

I got the dogs walked, and through the shower…. but the time was close to kick off…. now it was time to find parking. Which I did, over a mile away…which was just awesome after running 18 miles in 90 degree heat.

I made it to the game with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. It was a rough start for the Hawks, so I guess that’s ok. Then of course, it clouded up, even sprinkled a little, and finally I was sitting in the shade…. I enjoyed the rest of the game, and cheered the Hawks on to a victory.

I didn’t stay much longer, as I had to trek back to my car, to drive to Wisconsin for the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon the next day – more on this race in my next post.

Overall thoughts: While I did not have a great race…. it is a well organized race, a great price, awesome medals, and it’s actual trail with some hills. Also, I have mentioned this before… where I live – Iowa City – there are 2 half marathons… I am 25 minutes from a 50k… and this is 45 minutes for a 45k… I love having longer distance race options closer to home.

A Labor day tradition


The 2017 event was on Monday, September 4th in Bettendorf, IA. It was sunny with temps in the mid 60s, a little breezy.

I have run this race many times, for the bare bone to the fact pointers, check out my review.

Josh and I woke up early – for the 3rd straight day in a row – had the usual race day fare, hopped in the car and headed east for Bettendorf.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic ice cream skirt, Spi belt, Bibrave BOCO visor, 2xu tank, xx2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trek Titanium, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, New Balance Shoes, Zensah flamingo socks

We parked, where we always do, in the nearby middle school parking lot, for free. There was also a little bathroom house here.

Next, we had to grab our race bibs and shirt. The packet pickup area is in a parking lot near the start/finish area. Easy to find, just wait in line at the tent. Race day registration was also available. I think the long sleeve, unisex, tech shirt was new this year, so we both made sure to get one.

The kids races went on before the longer distance races. Then there were some announcements, mostly about Carl, who the race is named for. The National Anthem was performed and then it was time to line up for the 5 miler at 8:15. The 5k would follow 15 minutes later.

I had just run the New Bo Half Marathon the day before, I was just gonna run the race to finish. I even lined up as the second to last person to start.

The gun went off…er it did not… the lady operating the starting gun had some mishap, so the announcer stepped in and told us to go. OOPS!

The course winds through the town, on paved streets and the asphalt bike path. There are hills, nothing steep, but training hills are a good idea.

There are at least 3 water only stops on the course, all in paper cups. The miles are marked and there are a lot of volunteers and law enforcement directing participants. There are a few spectators out in their driveways too.

Ok, so I may have started in the back… but of course… I started to pass people as I ran, it was fun. Then I was pushing my pace… yep I couldn’t just run, I had to see what I had. The last half mile or so I caught up with this younger girl, she was not going to let me pass, so I pushed her and we raced down the hill to the finish, whoa that was tough!

I had a finishing time of like 47:30 which was about the same as last year, when I set out to actually race it. So who knows…. I did feel good when I was done.

The finish area was happening! Once the announcer welcomed runners in, there was a live cover band, rocking some tunes. There was bottled water, sparkling water, bagels and bananas. If you were fast you could have got an apple too. There was a photo booth and a tent to get your results printed.

The awards were announced, and if winners were around they were encouraged to take a picture.

This race is a great event, good price, well run. The non traditional 5 mile distance is also something I appreciate. I will always try to make this race and continue to have it as my Labor Day Tradition.

The other component of why this event is so great…meeting with my friends. This year in addition to Josh, there was Kevin and Kelly. I am pretty sure we all try to make this race a must do.

When we were finished we went over to the nearby Dunkin Donuts for coffee, donuts and shenanigans. I have mentioned this many times before, but one of my favorite things about doing all the races is the people I meet.

As Kevin says… Labor Day? It’s Run With Carl Day

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.





Places to Run – Scott Blvd


Scott Blvd – Iowa City, IA

Location: Scott Boulevard is an arterial road that runs from north to south on the east side of Iowa City. The southern edge intersects with Highway 6 and the north intersects with Highway one. The total length is near 5 miles, or 4.87 miles to be exact.

Segments: Highway 1 to Rochester Ave – remote area, not as busy. Rochester Ave to Muscatine – really busy. Muscatine to Highway 6 – active segment, but not as busy.

Mileage: The total length is near 5 miles, or 4.87 miles to be exact.

Terrain: This is all paved cement, wide sidewalk.

Elevation: Rolling hills. Nothing steep, but a great workout.

Scenery: Residential, business and cow pasture (the Hwy 1 to Rochester Segment.)

Maintenance: The sidwalks are inspected for cracks and kept in great condition. In the winter the snow is removed by the owner of the sidewalk, sometimes non city portions take a while to get cleared.

Markings: There are no mile markings or signs.

Features: There are no public bathrooms on the route, however you can stop at the Gas Station near the intersection with Court St. There are also port-o-potties across the road in the Iowa City Dog Park, near the Muscatine intersection. No water fountains.

Warnings: There are busy intersections on this route, including 4-way stops. IMO no one is paying attention and is always in a hurry to take their turn, often never stopping. There are also some side streets, where cars speed thru the cross walk to the street, no paying attention to pedestrians. PLEASE be alert! Bikes will use this sidewalk instead of the road too.

Personal Notes: I frequently run the portion of Scott Blvd between Muscatine and Rochester. From where I live it’s easy for me to run a 5k with an out and back. My favorite thing is the wide sidewalk and the hills.

Other: There are usually many people out and about using this sidewalk too.


Relive – or

Places to Run – West Branch, IA


West Branch, IA

This is a small town in eastern Iowa, I grew up north of this community and went to school here. I work here during the day, where I run on the Hoover Nature Trail, so I thought I would also add a post about running in the town.

This is a general overview of the town, so there wont be a mileage topic, but getting adventurous you might be able to log double digits without repeating an area. The town hosts a few races which I have run – Bear Stampede & Fergalicious 5k.

Terrain: There is every surface to run. Pavement, asphalt, chip and seal, crushed limestone, grass. Overall the surfaces are all well kept, no need to avoid sidewalks for safety of footing.

Elevation: This town is not flat, it is also not in the mountains. That being said, there are many hills, unless you run the Hoover Nature Trail you will be climbing somewhere.

Scenery: West Branch is the home of Herbert Hoover, there is a National Park here which you can loop through on a run & includes a prairie. There is a small historic downtown area. Interstate I-80 travels through the town splitting the industrial portions from the residential.

Maintainence: As mentioned in the terrain segment, the town is maintained pretty well, there is no need to worry about footing on sidewalks or streets.

Markings: The town does not have any dedicated running or cycling paths with mile markers, however there are signs around town directing you to the National Park or library.

Features: The town has one stoplight which was installed for pedestrians to cross a busier street. You can safely run on the sides of the streets. The Nature Trail offers a peaceful place to run.

Warnings: This is a small town, if you are out and about, you might run into someone that wants to chit chat, stalling your run. Also you have to work hard to get in a long run, or head out to country roads. There are also many street crossings and cars are always looking for pedestrians.

Personal Notes: I really don’t do much running in town unless it’s a race. I sometimes feel the glaring eyes of people and I would rather stick to the trail. However, to me that’s just small town life.

Other: In the warmer months there are drinking fountains on the National Park grounds. You can use the bathroom at the Town Hall or Police department. The gas stations or convenience stores for water/bathrooms are on the other side of the interstate. Parking is FREE.


If you have anything to contribute, let me know!