May 31, 2015.
Well, it can’t be any worse then last year.
Standing at the starting line, the race was canceled. Severe storms were coming. While waiting at the starting area for them to distribute the “Finishers Medal” to all DNS runners, the sun came out. Several foolhardy runners ran the marathon course anyways. They got what they deserved. At around mile 20, the skies opened and it sprinkled…briefly. The runners shirts got slightly damp. I stayed for my half-marathon finishers medal, drove home and ran 13.1 miles around my neighborhood. The medal given to the half marathon runners have the words “Minneapolis Marathon” printed on them….even though it is a different medal then the one given to the marathon finishers. I love getting a marathon finishers medal for NOT running 13.1 miles due to…clouds.
The next day, Grandmas Marathon reopened registration for their race to give the opportunity to runners who trained for a marathon to actually run a marathon a couple of weeks later.
Typical Team Otho Trainwreck.
Fast forward one year…
As always, Team Ortho will not allow same day packet pickup unless you pay a $30 convenience fee (or a $25 mail out fee). They also have a $12 parking fee. This (and the train wrecks) are some of the reasons why I will not be running anymore Team Ortho events again after this season.
This is a smaller event…not to be confused with the excellent Twin Cities Marathon.The expo is tiny. They usually have early packet pickup for the rest of the year’s events at this expo. But not this year. There are a few vendors, but nothing very exciting. I am in and out pretty quickly.
I am up early the next day. Coffee, banana, granola bar, and I am ready to go. The weather turned perfect this year. The hot and muggy weather vanished a couple of days ago (the accompanying storms are ancient history as well). Instead, it is rather cool (mid 40’s to start, mid 50’s for the finish). No clouds or humidity. The wind is fairly light.
Team Ortho made a good call, and started the marathoners and the half marathoners an hour apart. Access to the parking area, and congestion at some early race bottlenecks were much improved by separating us (despite us having the same course for the first 12.5 miles).
I had no idea what kind of race to run. I have an ultra marathon coming next week, so this should be a taper run (and should have been a shorter run). I have done little speed work of late, so a run a PR pace (sub 1:44) was not be an option. I decided to start with the 2:00 pace team and see what would happen.
The course is quite scenic and runs through some historic neighborhoods, parkland, and the University Campus. There are a few hills along the way, but not too many.
I end up following the pace team for awhile, then I started to speed up. The (very crowded) group was running 9:10 and I found myself at 8:45 for the first half of the race. I eventually started to slow, but not enough for the group to catch me. I kept an eye on the Garmin and hoped to hang on to my sub 2 hour time.
Finish Time: 1:58:27.
The after race party wasn’t much of one. I got a banana, a cup of Gatorade, and a mini candy bar. The chips were not tempting, and I should have had the granola bar. The route to the shuttle buses back to the starting area was unmarked…but that was the only complaint I had of the event. Overall, perfect weather for a taper run.
Next up: my one (and ONLY) attempt at an ultramarathon.