Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get in Gear Race Review & A Track Workout

The Get in Gear race has been around for a while- 36 years, I believe! The race scedule includes a 2k, 5k, 10k, and half marathon. The 2k is supposed to be for kids but I swear I've seen adults running it! The 5k and half marathon are traditionally less competitive than the 10k, which attracts a lot of top local and regional talent (the men's course record is 28:45, women's is 32:52). It is a pretty fun day. 

I ran the 10k a couple years ago and my friend Meg and I decided to run it again this year. I've never done a race recap/review before....so bear with me! Also- I checked my bag and phone right away so I don't have many pictures!
This is from 2010. The weather was 100 % nicer this year.  
Like most races, this one offers a price break if you sign up early. We didn't take advantage of this, and instead signed up at Marathon Sports, a local running store. The in-store registration was advertised as including the following perks:

- Bib Number with BibTag (no need to go to packet pick-up Friday)
- Information Sheet
- Get in Gear exclusive running hat – for the first 125 registered
- $15.00 certificate off same day shoe purchase

Meg and I got to the store at noon right when it opened, and only got our bibs (and a random bumper sticker). No hat, no shoe price break certificate. The people working at the store really didn't seem to know what was going on. Now I know I could have/should have brought it up while I was there but...I didn't. So no new hat for me. 

I was forced to wear my old hat instead.
The race starts and finishes on Minnehaha Parkway in Minneapolis. Parking is pretty scare around there since traffic is blocked off, so Meg and I met about a mile away and ran to the start as our warm up. There are a lot of people at these races- I think 6400 finishers for all three "adult" races. The start/finish area is right by a park so there is room to spread out, but it still felt super congested. I checked my bag right away and then we got in line for the porta potty. Since the three big races all started within 20 minutes of each other the lines were crazy long. I think we stood in line for over 15 minutes waiting! I know that isn't terrible but having good bathroom access can be such a nice treat at road races!

Meg and I ran for a few more minutes, and then I had one last bathroom stop (coffee the morning of, plus beer, fries, and lot of baby carrots the day before means tummy trouble). We made it to the start corral with two minutes to spare, but had to go all the way to the back of the corral to get in. Unlike other big races, the start line doesn't separate by pace. We didn't cross the start line until at least three minutes after the start of race. This made things interesting. We wanted to run an easy first mile, which we did (7:30) but with all the weaving through runners it still felt tough.

The course.

The first two miles are nice and flat. No problems here. My second mile was 7ish? and I think I lost Meg here too. The third mile is a little annoying- you have to run up the Lake Street bridge to cross the river. The race was still pretty crowded at this point too. The fourth mile is a pain in the ass. There is a long, steady climb that just kind of hurts. At least you are rewarded with a nice long steady downhill after it! Mile five is flat, and mile six includes another hill to get up to the Ford Bridge to cross the river back to the start/finish area. The race has a pretty great finish- you take a hard left down a hill and then have a nice flat .2 in.

I ended up finishing in 42:26 (chip time), which is 6:50 pace. I am okay with this result, but in reality, I did not set myself up for a good race. I didn't get into a good starting spot, I ate (or drank) something that caused some GI issues, and since my starting spot sucked I was dodging runners/walkers for two miles. Live and learn, right?

Things I like about this race: the course is really fun, a nice mix of flats and hills. There are a lot of people out cheering and it is always nice to have that encouragement. There is good competition (the winners ran 34:31 for women and 29:27 for men). It is organized well and the volunteers and staff are clearly identified.

Areas for improvement/things I didn't like: More porta-potties! If I were a race director, I'd estimate the number I thougth I needed and then add ten. Designating "goal pace" sections in the start corral so that faster runners start closer to the front (I like picking people off but I don't like weaving through throngs to do so). 
Moving on. The next race on my agenda is the TC One Mile on May 9. I LOVE this race!!! It is so much fun- yes, it is a mile so my legs will feel like they're on fire, but still...so much fun. There will be some awesome runners there too- Nick Willis, Boaz LaLang , Phoebe Wright, and Heather Kampf just to name a few...so I will hopefully see some great races after mine is done.

To prepare, my friend Meg and I are going to be running a track workout tonight! Mr. B suggested that we run a ladder workout- so we'll do 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, and back down. It is 5k total of hard running, and I think we are going to run 5:40 pace for the intervals.

*What are you road-race pet peeves? Favorite aspects?
*Do you follow professional running at all? Do you have favorite runner?
- I like Jenny Simpson, Chris Solinsky, and Kara Goucher

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh, not enough porta-poties is cray-cray...before the start of a race i have the phobia that i won't get every single bit of...well, u kno, out! lol. i'm sorry u had GI issues during the race too. :(

    ya, i'm a team goucher all the way too! :)