Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Marion Arts Festival Half Marathon & 5K races--Marion, Iowa

Since I'm training for a marathon in September, I was scheduled to do 15 miles today. So I decided to get it out of the way before the race. I got up at 4:30a.m. and ran almost 2 miles this way when I was finished the the half marathon I'd be done with my 15!

 Then showered and dressed for the race, ate a piece of bread with peanut butter on it, drank a ton more water and at 5:30a.m. left for the race with Jason, Alyssa and my friend Marianne. We met Stephany in North Liberty and continued on to Marion to do the race. We found a parking spot behind the library and that was AWESOME, so far we get that spot every year. Pays to show up early to this race.

 Packet pickup went super fast. I expected lines however there were none. After this I body glided every part of my body that I thought might rub, like each toe and the inside of my arms and inside of my legs, put on my compression sleeves for my legs, fancy running socks and favorite Brooks Trance 9 shoes. We all got our running bibs on and had a couple pictures.

We then looked for Rhoni Jo and Tracy to get pictures with them. I never did see my friends Lisa, Brian, Kris, Meretta or Bill so that was a bummer and would have been great to get pictures with them. At 7a.m. on the dot the race began. It was great until a 1/4th mile into it we came to this SKINNY bridge and we were at a dead stop to move across it. I considered going through the creek at this point, but it was too far down. Anyway other than that the race course was nice. I had wished for more shaded areas since it turned out to be the hottest day of the entire week, however time passed quickly and I was able to finish.

My favorite things about this race are these: Chip timed so you get an accurate starting, middle and ending time. The chip was a disposable chip this year in your bib so you didn't have to give it back. Tons of food at the end of all kinds. Cookies, bagels, watermelon, bananas, oranges, candy, pop, water and then they added spaghetti. So nice of them to not only have a huge variety of food, but to have plenty of it for those of us who finish later. Great shirt that I will wear again. Massive amounts of volunteers, so many that there were sometimes two volunteers at every turn. Water stops every 2 miles. I personally would have liked them every 1.3-1.5 miles, so I brought a water bottle that I could carry on my hip and I'm so glad I did that now since I ended up sharing my water with other race participants that needed it. Low cost for this race. Most Half Marathons are $40 and above and this race started at $25 so I was impressed by that.

 Things to improve for next year: Maybe switch the race course so that we run in the shade at the end of the course and so that the skinny bridge is at the end and we don't get stopped. More water stops, NO HEED because that stuff is nasty, just stick with the good old Gatorade. Have a separate medical tent so that the massage therapists don't have to share their tables with the people needing IV's at the end. Hand out baggies of crushed ice or cold wet sponges.

 Alyssa had a great time on her 5K and she beat her personal best time by almost 4 minutes. Jason beat his time from last year by almost 3 minutes. Here are the full RESULTS if you want to check out all our times!

Below are many pictures to enjoy!
From Left to Right:  Stephany, Tracy, Rhoni Jo, me, Jason
and in front Alyssa.

Marianne and I before the race.

Right before the race.

Running in for the strong finish.  I felt really
good for as hot as it was (80's).  See running
form, I'm still upright, not bent over, toeing
off correctly!
Rhoni Jo, Tracy, Marianne, Stephany and Me.

My group of friends being silly.

My daughter Alyssa and I right our
races were done.

Looking great in our race shirts after the race.

Jason's bib is the top one and he pointed out
to me that his bib adds up to 13.  Then my bib
starts out with a 13!  Too cool.

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