By: Cool J
My sister and I both purchased some sparkly orange headbands to wear for the race. They were not BIC brand, but similar style with velvet on the underneath. (This was E’s first time wearing one, and she is a fan!)
The race started right on time at 8:30. There were pacers for the 1/2 marathon (no separate pacers for the 10 miler). I stuck with the 1:50 pace group (8:24 min/mile) for most of the race, and finished with them, feeling strong, and right on pace.
And the BEST part of this race? Definitely the costumes!
After the race, we were chilly and decided to use our free beer coupon indoors at the Liffey, a local pub, instead of the official post-race party. Unfortunately, the Liffey would not serve us the post-race beer without our ID’s, which we didn’t bring since we had waited in line at the expo for the bracelets! That was a little frustrating- the green bracelets were a waste! We decided to skip the free beer altogether, and headed to the Bulldog NE for some lunch.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this race, and I will definitely do it again next year. The water stops were manned with friendly volunteers, and were appropriately spaced. However, they used a type of plastic cup that you could not squeeze to drink from. D-man and I both complained that we had to actually walk through the stops in order to drink without spilling on ourselves.
The 10 mile finish seemed a little anticlimactic, and it was unfortunate to have to run PAST the finish line for the 1/2 marathon. As I mentioned, I think the 10 mile should just be eliminated, and the focus should be on the 1/2. The gear check pickup was also not secured or monitored. This worried me a little since we had put our iPhones in the gear bag.
The course was very pretty and showed off the fall foliage in St. Paul very well.
The medals were also quite nice:
The finish line party was also well done, even though we didn’t participate. Team Ortho posted a lot of pictures right away on Facebook, which was fun to review right away.
E also had a positive experience, and plans to come back next year! So, even though the price was high, I also plan to return next year for this event.
On a scale of 1-10, I give this race an overall rating of 8.
Happy Halloween everyone!