I signed up for this race essentially for the purpose of doing a race. Last year at this time I had already done two races. This year I told myself I would be a little more selective in the races I choose. So I had really been itching to do a race, and this came along for a really good price, on a weekend I was planning to go home. It worked.
This race also capped off my 100 miles by Vday – a day lated but I still did 100 miles.
I love small
cheap races- most times, as long as I position myself well, I can still run a fantastic race, for a really good price.
So this race was in Lansing (Michigan), in the Old Town Area, which has been getting a little face lift. I was pleasantly surprised when my mom drove me to packet pick up the day before the race, to see how much that area has been zazzed up. There are a lot of cute shops there, condos, bakeries etc. It’s really an attractive little area!
The packet pick up was at local bar: Zoobies, which – on the outside it doesn’t look like much. But on the inside, it is SUPER cute. Like I was in legitimate awe.
So back to the race. The ONLY issue I had with this race that upset me a little bit was on the day of packet pickup, I specifically asked about the condition the Riverfront Trail was in (ice, snow, both, dry etc). I grew up in the Midwest – I’m not afraid of snow. I do not like ice. I brought my Yaktrax with me too should I need them.
I was told the trail was clear- “only a couple of problem spots”.
I took this individual at their word, and left the Yaktrax at home, I layered up (it was 18 degrees….BUT sunny), and my dad (yes, I am 25, and yes when I go home my parents still drive me everywhere- I like it this way) drove me to the start line.
Based on the condition of the trail near the start line – I was immediately uneasy- there was snow, and slush… and there were more than a few problem areas. I would say combined throughout the course at least 1/3 was snow/slush, and it really impacted my pace, and made me nervous.
Also this was a run/walk event- and well there were a lot of walkers. I really appreciate it at events like this when course marshalls, and event staff line up runners, and line up walkers behind. I think that makes both groups happy – it’s a win-win for everyone.
Overall I performed well considering the condition of the trail. I knew right away it would not be a PR race based on the amount of snow. My final time was 29:35, with a ppm of 9:27- I was happy with that all things considered (snow + walkers + iPod dying).
I would do this race again, and here is why:
1) It was $25- I live in Chicago, I would say the average price for a 5k here is $35-40, so $25 to me is fantastic
2) I got a tech shirt
3) Their post-race party included chocolate
Things that could make this event more successful:
1) Knowing with certainty the condition of the course, if it’s snowy – tell me- so I can put on my flipping Yaktrax-and mentally prepare myself to run in snow.
2) Have volunteers organize runners by pace (make homemade signs and stick them in the snow)- and walkers behind. It doesn’t need to be fancy. But this little step goes a long way- again I really feel both runners (serious and non-serious), and walkers benefit from this.
The best part about running races when I’m home in Michigan? Getting Biggby Coffee when I’m done. Biggby = Michigan’s version of Starbucks, only it’s better, because it isn’t Starbucks. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Sorry that I don’t have pictures as I said – it was only 18 degrees out, so the phone stayed in the car – my iPhone seems to dislike (as in die quickly) when I run with it in below freezing temps. Get on this Apple I live in the midwest.