By Jess in Minneapolis
Last Saturday, I ran the Securian Winter Run Half Marathon, formerly known as the Frozen Half Marathon. There is also a 5k and a 10k option on race day.
I ran this race as part of a bachelorette party (read all about it HERE). The bride-to-be had said we should all run it together as a “fun run.” Now, I should mention that the bride-to-be’s marathon PR is somewhere around 3:15, and she regularly throws down half marathons in the 1:30’s…so I was a little worried that her “fun run” pace could be my hardest run ever! But fortunately, she was content as long as we kept it under two hours. She just wanted us all to have a good time!
And a good time, we had! It was nice to not be too stressed about a race ahead of time. We didn’t do a warm-up before the race, and we just treated the 13.1 miles as a long run with good company. I think my official time was 1:56, which was about right for the effort for the day. Well…the “effort” did feel harder than the time showed, as the footing was a challenge, and the wind and cold made things a little tougher! I was sore afterwards, but I think that was because of my fall and the change in my running form due to the icy roads.
The race started at 9 am, and we were able to stay warm within the Securian building until right before the gun went off. We headed to the start line around 8:55, and before we knew it, we were off. There were pacers available, and I think there were some really competitive runners out there as well. I believe the official cutoff time on the other end for the half marathon was three hours. That would be long time to be out in those types of conditions!
The course first curves around the ice sculptures in Rice Park, before heading out and back on Shepherd road, which is a busy thoroughfare in St. Paul. There is a killer hill right at mile 12 or so, where plenty of people actually decided to walk (I was very tempted to join them!) The rest of the course is rolling hills on a concrete road. Its not very scenic, but it was a change of scenery from the rest of my long runs, and there were plenty of water stops (though the water was frozen at some stops!) There was no Gatorade though, only water in small bottles at 3-4 points along the course.
I am so grateful for those volunteers who stood out there in the freezing cold to give us water- THANK YOU!
The Securian Winter Run is a “runner’s” race. There’s no swag, no medals, no fanfare. There were some shirts available for purchase, and the first 1,000 registrants did receive a pair of fit-socks, which was nice, but none of the swag of a Team Ortho race. Instead, its a cold winter run for tough runners who are willing to brave the elements without all the “glory.”
|shirts available for purchase
I did the race last year (read that recap HERE). It was cold then as well, but the difference this year was that the roads were really, really slippery. I actually wiped out once around mile 10, and became really paranoid after that about falling again. I backed off a bit and ended up getting separated from the rest of the girls, though we all finished within minutes of each other.
After the race, there was chili and hot coffee available as well as your standard post-race goodies like bananas, chips, bread, and salted nut rolls (or maybe that’s only standard in Minnesota?) We were all freezing, so there wasn’t a lot of stretching before we headed to the free showers at the St. Paul YMCA to warm up and change into dry clothes for the rest of the bachelorette festivities.
Even though the weather is guaranteed to be cold, I still like this race. It keeps you in shape over the winter, and I enjoy running in St. Paul for a change. Parking is free for the race. Its just an easy and affordable half marathon option that I recommend for anyone wiling to run outside in the winter. It probably isn’t a PR course, nor PR weather, but for $35, you can’t beat it.
….I just had to get a picture of this guy. You know I love a bright outfit, but this guy made my running gear look dull. Nice work buddy!