By Jess in Minneapolis
Goodbye, Metrodome running. You’ve been good to us. You’ve been keeping runners warm for thirty years- long before I moved to Minneapolis and long before I ever would have dreamed of running on a Metrodome concourse in the winter.
But the time has come to say goodbye. Tonight was the LAST night of dome running. The dome will soon be torn down to make room for a new Viking stadium.
You may remember previous posts about dome running (HERE and HERE). Dome running is (was?) organized by MDRA (Minnesota Distance Running Association), and this biweekly event was open to the public. Admission was just $1, for up to three hours of balmy 75 degree running. Yes, you could run in shorts in the dead of winter!
Throughout my four years with the CBRC, I have done my fair share of speed workouts in the dome. We usually head there when its too icy or too cold to run outside (or at least, too icy and cold for workouts). For me, I went to the dome a few times in the past when training for a spring marathon. Its about 2.5 laps to a mile, so its really not so bad. You can listen to your headphones if you want, and there are plenty of bathrooms and water fountains available.
I know that some runners prefer the treadmill to the dry air and hard concrete of the Metrodome concourse. Sure, the Metrodome is a little monotonous, but to me, it has always offered a fun alternative to the biting cold and slippery ice or the awfulness of the “dreadmill.” It also allowed for more of a “running community” vibe with all of the club members together. The support of our running club can be maintained at the dome, which isn’t really possible on the treadmill.
The weather wasn’t actually that bad today, but the CBRC wanted to hold the workout at the dome so everyone had a chance to say their goodbyes.
|Eric explains the workout|
I am still easing back into harder running after my stress “reaction” so I didn’t push it too hard. I did about seven miles total (eighteen laps) and I was certain to do plenty of stretching and foam rolling when I returned home afterwards.
Another thing I always loved about dome running was that you got to see some of our local “elites” (such as Jenna Boren, when she still lived here. Read my interview with her HERE) You also would see a lot of familiar faces from other local running clubs and people you recognized from races.
Don’t worry, they were doing it as a relay. They even had a baton to pass as each runner ran a lap. I believe there were between 15-20 people there, and their goal was to run it under three hours (as the dome running is only from 5-8 pm) Apparently, they were on pace to finish around 2:30. Pretty impressive!
The above chart has probably been around for many, many years. Its pretty helpful in figuring out your goal pace, as your Garmin doesn’t work inside the Dome.
Wow! I must have been running fast, camera couldn’t catch me, hehe…not quite. However, I did say my goodbyes to the dome the best way I knew how, pounding out some miles on that hard concrete and sweating off all that Christmas “joy” from yesterday.
Thanks to MDRA for organizing the dome running for so many years! I hope the new stadium will offer something similar to keep runners warm during the long Minnesota winter.