2018 Run CRANDIC – Race Review
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Where do I begin? I guess I will state the obvious, this is gonna be long, so grab your favorite snack and beverage and get cozy. If you are looking for a no nonsense, factual review, you can find that at bibrave.com.
Saturday, April 28th, the day before the race. The official expo took place at the NewBo City Market. (There was a packet pick up only event in Iowa City on April 27th) The expo was smaller, but was perfect for the race. There was even live music and a sign making station.
At 1:30 there was a race course talk at the nearby running store. I was involved in many aspects of this race, it was nice to help out and answer questions. I even met pro Christine (again.)
After the talk, I went back to the expo and hung around the Corridor Running booth, until it closed, then called it a day.
Sunday, April 29th – the day I had talked about for so long was finally here!!! I had put in the miles and ate all the pasta. I even purchased a new Sparkle Athletic skirt for the event.
Gear: Sparkle Athletic Unicorn skirt, Brooks Running Ghost 10, Amphipod Vest, BUFF, Zensah socks (brand new from the box), Zensah bra, Rabbit Bibrave Tank, Road Runner Sports shorts, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Garmin Forerunner 935, Hawkeye hat.
At 4:21 AM, my friend Kevin and I were on our way to the shuttle bus. The race is point to point, you could park your car for FREE at the finish area and take a school bus to the start. As luck would have it, I saw Josh helping load the buses. He was in charge of race day University operations.
We made it to the NewBo Market, it was open! It was a little chilly out – perfect running weather, but it was nice to have an indoor place to wait around. The bathrooms were also open – in addition to the port-o-potties outside.
While I waited I caught up with many running friends. I wished “Chin” good luck on his first marathon. I finally met twitter friend Jim in real life. I said hi to Mark, Dan, Horacio, and Micheal who were all gearing up to pace the race.
There was a gear check set up outside, you could use the clear bag your packet came in, to check your gear. I was not checking anything as I decided to run with my Amphipod Vest.
The actual race start was a few blocks away. I was part of a group that ran the course, in reverse to measure it. If we started at NewBo it would have been really long.
The walk over was nice to stretch the legs and shakeout all pre-race jitters. There were some coffee vendors set up along the walk too.
I saw the cool starting arch, so I went over and took a picture. I ran into Wendy, who was running her first marathon. I saw Darcy, who was part of the planning committee too. The starting time was getting closer, so I made my way to the back of the pack. When I found my spot, it was time to listen to the National Anthem.
The race was on! Kevin and I started together and within the first few 100 feet, I saw my friend Jen, who was attempting her first marathon, injured.
Going into this race, I had no goals – well besides finishing. I really wasn’t sure if I would have to do a last minute job and not be able to run. It was a really long, cold winter of training, so when the sun came up on race day, I was going to enjoy it. I knew where the hills were, where the aid stations were; there shouldn’t be any surprises.
Well there were already a few surprises within the first mile, the course was different than what I thought, it didn’t have an issue with anything, and I am not sure anyone noticed, but I knew.
Then came the first aid station, there were no cups. There was a port-o-potty, and Kevin needed to use it as I powered on. I did hear a volunteer shouting she was going to run across the street to get something at the convenience store. *I mean I was carrying a bottle with me, but I was alarmed, what went wrong, why no cups?
There was nothing I could do, but to keep moving forward. The course had one lane of traffic closed off, but there were no cones separating runners from the cars. The drivers were courteous. There were police at the major intersections. I powered through the hills, I knew they were there and then I saw Molly and said hi!
I came upon the second aid station, guess what, no cups! At this point I was not happy, so I got out my phone and called Josh, I had to tell someone. I then did what you do next, I sent a message to Tanya at the Corridor aid station, stop #4. I was hoping they at least had Gatorade. I knew I would need it.
I carried on, and Molly passed me, she was a well needed distraction. She was soo chatty and invited me to come over to some gathering. Since she shouted my name, the runner just up ahead turned around and said, “you’re Angie?”
I was like, yep, that’s me. That is when I met twitter friend Robin, in real life. We chit chatted some, and she told me how she wasn’t feeling well the night before, but she made it to the starting line. This….this is just one of the many reason I love running and the community.
At this point I had just turned onto the long stretch of Hwy 965. The first portion was closed as the road was just resurfaced. Then came time to cross one of the biggest intersections, and it went by smoothly, as it was also the portion where we would cross from running against traffic to running as the same direction of traffic. That lane would be closed until we got to North Liberty.
I then came across the third aid station, they had cups! However, they were using 32 ounce cups the nearby gas station donated at the last minute as they too ran out. It was quite interesting drinking out of a plastic cup that big.
Why do I keep on with the cups? Well a group of University of Iowa students approached us about a sustainability effort with the race. We had ordered thousands and thousands of paper, compostable cups.
*UPDATE* 80% of the waste from this event was diverted from the landfill. 400 lbs were compostable, 50 lbs were clothing, and 47 pounds were recyclable. The University students were very diligent in their efforts, THANK YOU!
Ahh, well at least I had some Gatorade. I kept on moving… and up in the distance I could see Jen. She was not in a good place, she had an injury coming into the race and due to transfers closing really early, she had a choice of not running or showing up and pulling herself when she was done. I tried chatting with her, but I could see the pain on her face, I knew she was smart enough to stop if needed, and informed her the next aid station was just ahead. Kevin joined back up too.
We came to the Corridor aid station, and of course the first thing I noticed was they were not using the compostable paper cups. They had cups I know the club had in storage. They did have more Gatorade for me, and were a nice friendly face to see!
We came to the county line. I noticed there were now cones separating runners from the traffic. I knew Johnson County was the best!! These were a nice thing to see, even though there was to be no traffic in the south bound lane, there were plenty of cars going the wrong way. I did run on the gravel shoulder when I could, it’s a lot nicer on the legs/joints.
Swisher was the next milestone, there were small cheer spots as we ran up the hill, some with music. Then the next aid station, they had cups and orange slices!!! I also stopped to use the port-o-potty, where I had to wait because someone without out a bib (this person passed us running the course,) needed to use it. Seriously…🙄
We were back on the course. The sun was shining and there was a slight head wind, but the temperature was ideal. There were a few people out here and there, but there were also a lot of lonely spots. Kevin and I came upon Jen again… she was still moving.
We next came upon Ara. He was also not feeling very well and asked us if we had Bio Freeze, which we did not. We wished him well, and said we would ask for Bio Freeze up ahead and for anyone to have it prepared.
We were almost at the halfway point, and when I kept turning around to talk with Ara, I could see someone waving to me. I thought I knew who it was, but wasn’t sure until she caught up with us – after a photo with a T-Rex.
It was LIZ! She was running with her friend Buffy, who was running her first marathon. Kevin and I ran a few miles with these ladies, it was a lot of fun, those miles flew by. At the next aid station, where they were announcing they were recycling cups, Liz and Buffy stopped to use the bathroom and Kevin and I went on.
We were now running the flattest part of the course, miles north of North Liberty. We came upon an unofficial aid station. First we saw this piece of plywood, there were three flattened boxes of Cap’N Crunch posted to the wood, and each had a number next to it. Next there was a man filling cups with water. Then there were 3 stations with Cap’N Cruch cereal that matched the sign – he had regular, crunch berries, and peanut butter. There was one last bucket with skittles.
Heck, Kevin and I welcomed the surprise and just stuck our hands in and grabbed some, I believe we made a remark that we would all be sick the next week. I am happy to report I am healthy, community Crunch for all!
Kevin was feeling good and said he was gonna run faster, I said go for it!! I was also feeling fine, I wasn’t in my head or anything, and thanks to all the friendly faces on the course I was over the cup drama.
I do remember coming upon Darren, who had just run the Hawkeye 50k two weeks ago, and I remember remarking to an aid station person that North Liberty seemed to have moved further away.
Finally, I was in North Liberty. I was surprised to see my friend Jen K. I knew she had volunteered at the half marathon start, but it was nice to see her out there on the course. Then just after I saw her, I knew there was a busy crossing on Penn St. I made sure to double check for traffic.
Just after this was an aid station, a well needed vaseline stop. I had my pack with me, but up until this day, I had not run with it in hot weather or in a tank top. With my necklace and newly cut hair, I was having issues, vaseline to the rescue. I also remember removing my arm sleeves, and applying some sunscreen. There was also a couple on a bike cheering me on by name here too, I must have had marathon brain, I still don’t recall who they were.
I also know we all run different paces, which means we all have different races, different experiences. Next part of the course was on a paved trail through North Liberty. This was also where the city organized cheer zone was. It appeared that most people had left by the time I came through. I didn’t stop me and I kept on.
The shade on this trail was nice. There was a couple more aid stops on it too. I came across a guy yelling my name, I had no clue who it was, but his enthusiasm was awesome!!
Are you tired of reading yet? I am almost to mile 20, hang with me.
Just before mile 20, Kris and Brian had set up an unofficial aid station. It was a party. They had water and Tailwind. I stopped to chat, I made sure to ask if they had Bio Freeze, and out of no where Kris appeared with a bottle, I told them Ara was in need and to make sure he got some when he passed.
Just before the end of the path/trail portion was the Medirev aid station, they had bananas and Jolly Ranchers!!! I hate gels so I was very excited and grabbed my favorite, cherry. From here we were done on the trail and took a turn on Oakdale Blvd.
There was another unofficial aid station, the National Driving Simulator had gummy bears!!!! YES!!! Thank you again! I knew there was a big hill coming up and the last 2 stops had me feeling good.
That hill, I walked, but no big deal. I checked in with my IG stories and then I heard “GO ANGIE!” It was that guy that was enthusiastic on the North Liberty trail. I kept thinking, who is that? Then he said he was waiting for his brother that was just behind me. It was Darren’s family…ahh yes! His cheer squad was awesome! They also put on a race in Keota – it’s June 9th this year, see you there!
I made it to the top of the hill, where I would cross onto 12th Ave to take into Coralville. There were 0, none, nada volunteers at this intersection. This is a busy 4 way stop. There was an aid station just after you crossed, but no one aiding runners safely across. Ugh, I was back in a mood again…
There are hills that roll into Coralville, and this portion has some narrow sidewalks, but it was just me, so I could safely navigate. There were a few unofficial aid stations along this stretch, I remember one with bubbles.
Then as I was trying to pass some walkers, a woman stopped and pointed at me. She asked “are you Angie?” Puzzled, I said “Yes.”
I was about at mile 22, it was hot, but I was moving. The woman stepped in with my stride and introduced herself. It was Mindy W from Instagram. I am still in shock as I write this. What was she doing, why was she running with me, didn’t she just run an ultra? Again, the running community is THE BEST!
She was telling me about her friend that was running so she came over from central Iowa to support them, she then remembered I was going to be there and came and found me. She is awesome!! It was the perfect time for some pep in my step. We parted ways just after mile 23, when she shouted the 5:30 pacer (Robin) was coming, so I kicked into gear.
I knew the course, however I was running with some half marathoners at this time, and there was some confusion as to where people should be running. I was the lone person running 5th street on the north side (the actual course) while others were on the south side. this is also confusing because if you were on the north side, there was no arrow to cross the street.
Oh well, I knew where I was and wanted to gain time on that 5:30 pacer. I stopped for a drink at the second to last aid station, and powered through. I passed people walking the opposite direction, I assumed 5k runners getting back to their cars. Otherwise not many people out cheering, it was disappointing to see only one person left at the Lululemon cheer spot.
I turned onto the sidewalk along Hwy 6, and just kept pushing because I knew the Hawkins hill would be a spot I would walk, and Robin was not going to pass me. Then came the Guild Wurst Tavern. They had beer! I shouted, what kind? They had a wheat, so I stopped and drank some beer, it was cold! I regret nothing…
I thanked the cop at the busy intersection as I crossed Highway 6 and made my way to the top of the Hawkins hill. There were some members of the Iowa Cheer Squad at the top… not sure if they were tired, but I would have liked a little more pep.. I am picky!
I was in the home stretch. I had to run passed the baseball field and Kinnick was in reach. However, I got to the baseball field and the course was all different, we didn’t run to Lot 43 drive, and there really weren’t any volunteers telling anyone where to go, and the road was open to traffic. I safely made my way and finally saw a cop telling us to run along Kinnick.
I came to Gate B with some spectators still lining the entrance into the concourse. There was a sign for runners to wave to the Children’s Hospital. From here there was a short run through the south concourse to the finish at the Nile Kinnick statue. My name was announced as “local running phenom, Angie.”
I had a medal placed around my neck and I was on the search for some Gatorade and water. While I didn’t find those things, I did see Kevin, Mindy and Josh!!! I needed something, I found a cup of chocolate milk – it was really good! I noticed there was no water left, no food and no Gatorade.
I knew there was a fountain inside Kinnick and I would fill my water bottle on my way down to the field. *Side note, the north end zone of the stadium is undergoing a HUGE renovation project, so there was no access to run onto the field. However, the University made it possible for participants to gain access to the field after climbing 72 steps down and back up.
I took some photos and ran into my friend Michael. He was telling me a crazy story about a guy who set a PR with his pace group today, and this is when I remembered why I run.
I had a lot of thoughts and was in a mood for many parts of the race. Every time I came across a friend who cheered me up, or had something positive to say. My favorite races are those I get to spend with friends, the best memories are made experiencing the run with them. The running community is the BEST!!
Oh, how did I do? I finished with a time near 5:20, not my best and not my worst. The 5:30 pacer did not pass me! I ran from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City, who does that?
I stood around the finish line to wait for Mark to finish, he was the 6 hour pacer and he came in at 5:59:14. I caught up with Wendy. Then I saw Jen, she looked rough, but I was sooo proud of her!! I gave her a hug. I hope she can also be proud of what she has done. I next knew Sheryl was out there, if she could finish she would finally be a marathon maniac…next thing I knew, she was at the finish line. Then I had one more person I knew was out there and the cutoff time was getting close. So a few of us made our way back out on the course and we saw Nikki, she was going to do it, complete her first marathon!
Ahhh, it was time for a beer! My car seemed too far away, so I might have pulled some strings and Josh gave us a golf cart ride and we grabbed things from my car, and then he took us to Mindy’s car where she would drive us to the post race party at the Big Grove Brewery.
We arrived at the same time awards were going on. We redeemed the bib ticket for a free beer – we had choice of 5-6 beers on tap – including a race specific Crandic 26.2. After some more chit chat with friends, Mindy, Kevin and I sat down at a picnic table, while some live music played.
The music ended and Mindy needed to be on her way. I am very thankful she decided to spend her afternoon in Iowa City. Kevin and I moved and joined another friend, “Chin.”
Ok his real name is Matt, and I really wanted to know how his first marathon went. He was happy to report it was a success, so we celebrated with some more beers! Sours all day!
Hey, it’s Lois and Tim.
The day was winding down, and I was tired. Kevin needed to get back home too. Matt gave Kevin a ride, while I waited for my ride. Josh showed up and we stayed for another beer. Ahhh soo good…however it was a long day in the unshaded beer patio, and I was ready to be home.
I am waiting for the results to be available on Athlinks.com. If you ran the race you can claim your results too.
I had a final blurb wrote, I deleted it. I reviewed the race I ran.
*UPDATE* The race proceeds benefited the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City School districts. Presentations will be made soon.