After the amazing speakers, it was time to get ready for the 5k on Saturday! My hotel was about 3 blocks away from the race start, so I was able to leave my hotel pretty close to the race start time.
There were about 1200 participants in the 5k. Lots of kids, families, stroller moms, and more. I was only doing this race because the bling was good. I wasn’t interested in time since I was running the half marathon the next day and I wanted to be able to tackle that as best as I could. Plus it was very hot and humid!! Temps were in the 80s and the humidity was high as well.
Since I listen to music when I run, my plan going into this race was to run at an easy pace for a song and then walk a full song. It was SO HARD to walk a full song!! I wanted to run SO BAD!! But I stuck with the plan and did the 5k in 37:18 (which was a 12:00 pace). I’ll need to keep working on slowing it down so when I do Dopey I’ll miss the balloon ladies but have time to stop for characters and have fun.
I’m glad I did the 5k at this race because the final 1.5 miles of the race was the same as the final 1.5 miles of the half marathon (so I knew what to expect when I hit that part of the course the next day). Overall the 5k was pretty flat and had one water stop for the race. At the end of the race, there were water bottles and I made my way back into the expo area for the spaghetti dinner that I had purchased.
The dinner was excellent! For only $9, I got spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert and lemonade! It was a great meal. I sat with some other people who had run the 5k. They were all really impressed that I drove from Chicago just to do this race. In my opinion, it’s only 5 hours, that’s nothing! And I love doing these trips… seriously it’s an addiction… I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t doing them.
The next morning, the race didn’t start until 7:00 am and my plan wasn’t to leave my hotel until6:30am, so I woke up at 5:45. When I got to the start line around 6:45, people were starting to line up according to pace. I really wanted to be right around 2:20, but I knew with the humidity and heat that probably wasn’t going to happen (74 degrees at the start with 94% humidity).
The first few miles, I wasn’t doing too bad and I was keeping up with the 2:20 pacers pretty well. Then mile 6 happened. I should read elevation charts before signing up for races, but I don’t study them nearly as much as I should. Mile 6 was pretty much a never ending hill. Literally one of the volunteers told us that the hill would eventually end. I had to take more walking breaks than usual during that mile. The race was pretty much held on the Rochester trails and occasional neighborhoods. It had a very small town feel to the race. With the heat, humidity and the horrible hill… I didn’t have the best time ever, 2:23:58. But as always, I finished, I wasn’t injured and I was able to get the bling.
After the race, I got a Gatorade, water bottle, chips and a banana. I got back to my hotel, took a quick shower and then hit the road for home.
Of course, I needed a Minnesota lottery ticket to remember the day :) I won $9—strange amount… but I’ll take it!
And I stopped for a Wisconsin beer brat at the Brat House Grill in Wisconsin Dells—I love post half marathon meals!
I’ve been home for a few days, so I’ve had time to think about the pros/cons of this race
-Amazing speaker series
-Colorful t-shirts (should have been race specific though)
-Pre-Race Dinner—affordable, good, and filling!
-Horrible pre-race communication—no emails, no updates on facebook for over a week—in today’s racing age, you need to have good communication
-The first few water stops were not properly equipped with volunteers—ahh
Definitely a great Minnesota race overall! The only time I want to come back to this state for a race is in 2016 for Grandma’s Marathon with Lauren (it’s the 40th anniversary of the race—why not?!). Now to state #8… I’ll tell you about it on Friday!