St. Paul, Minnesota
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Start time: 7:30am
Temperature: 65 degrees
Age Group place: 168/372
Finish time: 2:11:41
|State #45 and #26. It's nice to be on the back half...|
LJ and I stayed at one of the host hotels, the Crowne Plaza, in downtown St. Paul. We were able to walk to the expo and the shuttle pick up area for the race. Thanks to Jess, who picked us up at the airport, we didn't even rent a car this time.
Race morning, we met everyone at the shuttle buses at 6:20. The buses were pulling out 4 or 5 at a time. They took us 7 miles to the race start, at the being demolished Ford plant.
|The start line, see the Ford sign up to the right?|
On our walk from the bus to the start line, we saw wild turkeys fighting. And, more importantly, plenty of port o potties. The Women Rock Minnesota race organizers seemed to have everything dialed in. LJ even mentioned their were lady products available. Classy.
|Pre race, I'm in the front mermaid dancing.|
We had a mini bloggy meetup. Without too much planning, we all looked coordinated in our black, white and pink. Not everyone I met has a blog, but you might want to check out LJ, and Jess and my new local Minnesota buddy Lindsay from Glitter Girl on the Run. Lindsay even added sticky pink bling to her race bib.
Pre race a few of us discussed running together. I decided that I was going to do my darndest to keep a 10:00/mile average pace. If my Garmin went over or under the magic number, I was going to dial it back or pick it up. The weather surprised us with only 65 degrees at the start. I knew the temps would be going up as we raced. And, I believed not being too aggressive at the start, I would be able to run the whole race (except the water stops) and finish like a rock star instead of limping it in and walking most of the last few miles.
Most of our crew started ahead of me out of the gates. That was fine. I had my plan. For a change, I was respecting the distance and the heat. We ran 3 miles out, then came back past the starting line. I love an out and back, and was able to high five LJ and Jess (and cheer for Lindsay).
The race organizers had promised an additional 2 water stops (for a total of 9) due to the heat. I took a Vanilla Gu at the second stop (4.5 miles). When we passed the start at mile 6, and it was only the 3rd water stop, I began to doubt their revised plan.
Our course paralleled the Mississippi River, but we didn't see much of it until the last 3 miles of the race. That's when the shade ran out as well. I did grab a raspberry gel at the 8.5 mile water stop. I appreciated the guy handing out ice at the 10.5 mile water stop. As MCM Mama advised me, I poured water down my back and put ice in the front and back of my bra to help keep my body temperature down.
I never did catch up to my friends, but I held my 10 minute per mile pace for the whole race. Goal achieved and course respected.
A friend from work happened to be in Minnesota for vacation. He videoed my finish. Sadly, the video won't upload. Yes, I run like a girl. And, yes, he called me Khaleesi (remember, in my office we all have GoT names).
Post race we received our necklaces (not medals) from topless hot guys. I quickly found the other ladies and we made our way to the champagne.
|Patty, Jess, Lindsay, LJ and me.|
Sadly, our hotel didn't grant us the late checkout I had requested (not cool host hotel, not cool). We didn't linger very long at the post race party. Non running friends could get in and get champagne too, for $15.
|In front of the Mississippi River and a neat steamboat.|
LJ and I found a killer shortcut back to our hotel.
|Killer. I carried LJ the whole way.|
My favorite part of this race was the swag. We received the pretty pendant and a JACKET! And, the jacket is awesome.
I'll have some pre and post race thoughts/pictures for you tomorrow.