Last Saturday, March 18th, I ran the Hot Dash 10 mile race. This race is put on by the good people at Twin Cities in Motion (the same organization who puts on the Twin Cities Marathon, the TC 1 mile, and so many more!) Their races are always fantastic and this one didn’t disappoint.
Packet Pickup was held on Thursday and Friday at Fleet Feet. You could also pick up your packet on race day.
There was also a 5k related to this event; it started at 9 am and on a somewhat similar course (see below map.) The 10 mile race started at 9:15 am.
The 10 mile race started on Boom Island, did a little out and back and then crossed the Plymouth Ave bridge, running along the West River Parkway, past Gold Medal Park, past the University’s West Bank, before turning around at mile 5 to come back along the river and cross the Stone Arch bridge before finishing on Boom Island again.
If you’re familiar with the West River Parkway, you know the hills over there. They definitely made this a challenging 10 mile course, but it was still beautiful and showed off some really cool areas of Minneapolis. What goes up must come down- we did get some helpful downhill too.
The Start Line:
Backing up to the beginning of the race, Dustin and I arrived early enough to run 2 miles to warm-up and do some strides for about 2.5 miles beforehand. We did 3.5 miles after the race to cool down and get to our scheduled 16 miles on the day. It worked out well to incorporate the race into our long run.
There was a gear check, but unfortunately they ran out of bags. I am really surprised that happened as Twin Cities in Motion generally doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes. The line was really long for dropping off your bag in addition to the bag shortage- so long that people were still in line when the race was supposed to start- YIKES! We handed off our bag to a volunteer just in time and were in the starting chutes with about 5 minutes to spare before the starting horn went off.
I wore my London/’pretend Boston’ jacket for my warm-up, but put it in the gear check bag for the race.
For Fitness Fashion, I wore Lululemon capris, a lululemon swiftly tech long sleeve, a Nike ear warmer, my trust Brooks Ravennas, Nike gloves (under the free mittens), and this Nike vest for the actual race. The temperature was in the upper 20’s and very windy; the wind was a challenge!
Friday night, I ate my regular pre-long run meal of 1/2 of a Punch Pizza. On Saturday morning, I had an english muffin with peanut butter, water, and some coffee. About 30 minutes before the race started, I took a GU. I thought about taking one during the race, but 10 miles is probably just short enough that I didn’t need one.
There were plenty of aid stations serving up water and Gatorade along the course. Twin Cities in Motion never skimps on the aid stations! They understand how important they are, even for a cold race.
Goodies and Post-Race Party:
All participants received a full-zip technical fleece jacket- pretty fancy!
Since we registered early, we also received Hot Dash mittens. I ended up wearing mine over the gloves I had worn as my hands were really cold at the race.
They are a little big- one size fits most 🙂
All finishers also received a medal (see opening photo above.)
There was quite a post-race party- runners received a serving of some Minnesota hot dish (with tots!)
At the post-race party, there were fire pits and a free Finnegan’s beer for runners. I grabbed my free beer just because, but it was too cold to drink. Dustin drank his, but I actually ended up dumping mine. Not quite as refreshing on a cold, windy day as perhaps on a warmer one!
There were also complimentary Opal Apples (the apple that naturally doesn’t brown?? How is that possible?) There was also free coffee, hot cocoa, and hot apple cider.
I lined up around the 1:20 pacer, even though I knew I wanted to run faster than that. There were some incredibly fast people at this race, so I didn’t want to start too fast. By fast, I mean that the winning men’s time was a 49:59 (a 5 min/mile even pace) and the winning women’s time was a 57:24 (a 5:45 pace). Amazing! It was cool to see the winners come through on the out-and-back portion of the course.
(Thanks to Klara and Michaela, who were out there cheering for the runners! So fun to see you guys.)
The first 5 miles of this race were definitely easier and more downhill than the second 5 miles. My splits were pretty uneven, as I slowed quite a bit on the uphills (mile 5 and mile 8) but overall my average was 7:40 (1:16:48) which is what my coach wanted me to run.
I generally felt in control during the race- it was a good steady effort- “comfortably hard” but I was holding back and could have pushed harder. There will be a time for that in the future…for now, it’s nice to have a new benchmark for a 10 mile race to try to beat next time!
I posted this picture on Instagram and some people commented that I had such good form…
…but then there’s a picture like this, where my arms are all over the place- definitely NOT good form!
Dustin ran a 1:03:28. He had hoped to hit 1 hour even, but the hills were tough on him. Still, his time predicts that he should comfortably be able to break 3 hours in Boston.
I don’t talk about his training that much on here, but he works with the same coach as me. He ran a 3:03 at the London Marathon last year and wasn’t training very hard, so I think breaking 3 hours is very doable this time around. Since London, there was Grandma’s Marathon, which was a bust due to the heat, and then the only other one he ran last year was Cottonwood when he paced me.
This time around for Boston, he’s been training really hard and putting in all the miles and workouts with the goal of that elusive 2:xx time. I have confidence that he can do it at Boston and am excited for him to hit his goal! (Fingers crossed for NOT hot weather like Grandma’s, please!)
Finally, a shout-out to our friend Scott who ran the 10 mile. Though he didn’t wear the overalls for the race, he rocked them at the post-race party!
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. Despite the minor gear check glitch, it was a very well-executed fun race. Twin Cities in Motion puts on a fantastic event. I will be back next year!