We started out walking and really only ran for very short segments a few times. It was extremely backed up AND lots of walkers hogging the available space (kinda annoying...). But I went into this with zero time expectations. The course weaves through the Living History Farms property, which is essentially a very small farm. We "ran" first on roads, then through a field. We made our way through mud, down steep embankments, across the creek several times (getting out is the hardest part), through mown corn fields (ran down the rows), up hills, down hills so slippery with mud and leaves... You have to see it to believe it. Navigating it, and the crowd, just took a lot of time. The part I cannot figure out is that it's a certified 7 mile run, but we passed the 7 mile mark well before we could even see the finish line. We did take a shortcut at two points, just for fun because it was more challenging, so maybe it all worked out to 7 :)
I am going to upload a picture of how dirty my leg was. I'll add a picture from the race web site, too, to show what the creek crossings were like as an example.
What would you do differently?:
Just start further up. I would like to have ran more, because it feels good to run out in nature like that. But it was otherwise a very fun race and totally worth the trip.
There are no drink stations, but there are volunteers available to drag you up the hill. Pretty cool! Would definitely recommend this race.
Last updated: 2009-10-08 12:00 AM
40F / 4C
Overall Rank = 1521/3180
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 190/434
Drove to Des Moines after leaving work a little bit early on Friday and made it just in time for packet pickup. This was nice so we were ready to go on race morning. When there are 7000 registrants, you wan't to simplify as much as possible. We drove from the hotel on race morning and parked on the grounds. That was nice, but turned out difficult to leave after the race. I think in the future I will either stay at the hotels on the property, or park a little bit away. We hit the portapotties, which went surprisingly fast, and then made our way into the huge crowd...
By the time we reached the sea of people at the start, we were very far back. Monica had done this race before and she tried to work us up closer, but we were further back than she'd started before. Next year we will definitely make sure we get further up towards the front - this makes a HUGE difference. Eventually we heard people say we'd started and it took us about 5 minutes to reach the starting line. Unfortunately no timing mats.