St. Paul MN. November 27, 2014.
Some events are “A” races. Some are train thru events.
This is a shameless grab at nice bling for a short and inexpensive local event.
For a 10K and a registration fee of $30, I get me a pair of running socks, a long sleeved tech running shirt, and a nice 3″ medal (sadly, nicer then my Ironman medal…)
As usually happens this time of year, the mercury plummeted the night before the race. Race morning was -1F with a real feel of -12F. I don’t run well when I have to be bundled up, and I was just coming off a marathon 4 days earlier. I had no expectations for this event (well, I expected to freeze…and to run slower then a tortoise running thru peanut butter).
To make it even more fun, the event was also a complete train wreck! These guys send out spam emails every day. They get ignored. One came thru telling us that same day packet pick-up was canceled. I would have to drive 50+ miles (each way) to pick up a packet on the day before Thanksgiving between 12-6pm (sorry guys, I have a job). Otherwise, we had less then a week to ask for our packet to be mailed out for an extra $9.
Of course, I didn’t see that e-mail. I found out about this 3 days before the event. It was too late to have anything mailed out. I send them a message on FB and thru their site e-mail. No response. I finally found the email of the race director. He replies to show up at their truck on race morning and they would take care of me.
Somehow, my bib and socks arrive by mail the day before the race (odd, I never paid for that and I only reached the race director that morning). No shirt (that would be picked up after the race…but they had already run out of my size at packet pick up).
The race itself is an out and back on a highway in St. Paul. The 10k goes first, then the 5 K goes out in waves. The 10k and 5k merge for the final mile. I have run this road several times as it is a common course for local race directors. The road was thankfully free of ice and snow.
It was darn cold, I had multiple layers and ran slowly. I didn’t bother with the aid stations since all the beverages were frozen anyways. I just got into the zone and ran my race.
Finish Time: 1:01:41
I grabbed a few snacks and got my medal. The 10k medals were noticeably larger then the 5k medals this year (glad I did the 10k!) I went to pick up my shirt and they were out of mediums. The large was huge, so I took a small which is a little too snug. I e-mailed the race director and it looks like they will mail me a correct size (they offered this for everyone last year, but didn’t this year). A lot of participants noticed that their finish time was off by 50 seconds or so. This was corrected a day later.
Overall, I enjoy this series as training runs. They have nice gear and bling. This was more disorganized then usual and was disappointing. Looking at next year’s event, many do not offer same day packet pick-up. If this is the case, I will likely have to avoid these events in the future…
This was also my last race of 2014. It has been a successful year, but I don’t consider the season to be over quite yet. I have the Polar Dash-Yeti Challenge (10k/5k/1500m) on January 1st, and the Houston Marathon weekend on January 18 before I head into the off-season. After that, I have one off-season half-marathon in March before the 2015 campaign kicks off with the Pittsburgh Marathon during the first weekend in May.
Unfortunately, the roads remain awful, and I may have to marathon train indoors…ugh!