I don’t think it’s any secret that I am from Michigan, and while I did not grow up in Lansing, I went to Michigan State, and did not grow up that far outside Lansing, so in a way, it has always been “home” for me.
The River Run, or “Cap City” is Lansing’s “hometown race”, and held every year in September. Until this year there was a Marathon, Marathon relay, Half, and 5k. In 2017 things got changed up a bit – with the Marathon being done away with, and the Half Marathon course being improved upon – in my opinion.
The course starts and finishes right downtown, the start line is right in front of the Lansing Center, and ends in the Cooley Law Stadium, these were both new features in 2017 – both of which I enjoyed. Also the course itself changed quite a bit from 2016, cutting out parts of campus, and parts of the course that Lansing runners see quite a bit of during summer training. Being an avid running on the Lansing River Trail, I personally liked the changes they made to the course, the only thing I was a tad sad about was you didn’t see as much of Michigan State University, nor did we go through REO Town. However, despite the heat, the course did prove to be a pretty fast course.
Speaking of fast, the race does have pacers, I personally like it when courses offer the use of pacers, it at least gives people an option to go out at a specific pace for either a few miles, half of the race, or the entire thing. Another perk for the locals, is there are a lot of familiar faces in the pace groups, I experienced that firsthand, and also appreciate that.
Packet pickup was (as always) organized, and at Playmakers (our local running store), this year our swag was a really nice cotton zip up hoodie. It was made with that cotton that feels very soft and worn in – this was a really nice change – I wear this all of the time.
I’m pretty sure that our bibs got us a free beer, but I didn’t stay – there was a big group of us that moved over to the Nuthouse for libations and snacks afterwards, so I didn’t hang around long in the stadium.
Another cool perk: I did the 25k, and this- I didn’t realize it at the time I signed up but if you say you ran the 25k when you sign up for Cap City, you get a 3rd medal saying “I ran the Grand” for doing both races. Even though I didn’t sign up appropriately, a few quick emails and a trip to Old Town, and I had my third medal.
I admit that I am probably biased a bit, because as I said before – Lansing is my hometown, but I love this race. It also genuinely seems like the race directors are truly trying to make this be an enjoyable, well executed race.
Personally, I had a really great day, this race fell on my 20 miler weekend to get ready for Chicago, last year I did 5 miles beforehand and then ran the 13.1, but this year I really wanted to try and run well the day of, so I did 10 miles Saturday and the half on Sunday.
My legs were still tired, but I did run a 2 minute pr, my strategy was simple, go out with the 9 minute pace group, settle in, speed up, and don’t look back. The BEST part about finishing in the stadium was you run down a really steep ramp to get to the field, so you get one last major boost of speed – no matter how tired you are! Also, it seems like I always have decent luck getting good pictures during the race while doing Cap City.
Since I’ve said so many great things about this race, I should probably add a gentle reminder that these are in fact all of my own thoughts and opinions.