My Profile

@mnjogger

Osseo, MN Raving since 2017 active 1 month ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Minnesota Distance Running Association

  • Rave race:

    Marathon du Medoc

  • Race that's calling my name:

    NYC Marathon

  • I run because:

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Holdingford, MN May 12, 2018 3:37:13

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Richmond, VA Nov 10, 2018

Past Races (5)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Holdingford, MN May 12, 2018 3:37:13
Marathon Hamilton, Canada Nov 5, 2017 3:43:35
Marathon Berlin, Germany Sep 24, 2017 4:08:51
Marathon Holdingford, MN May 13, 2017 4:02:29
Marathon Big Sur, CA Apr 30, 2017 4:46:00

My Raves

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon

This is my second time running Lake Wobegon. We had a perfect running day: overcast skies with temps starting in the 40s rising into 60s. I PR'd and BQ'd on … MORE

This is my second time running Lake Wobegon. We had a perfect running day: overcast skies with temps starting in the 40s rising into 60s. I PR’d and BQ’d on this one! This is a small town race with at most 450 runners and executed with a lot of heart. Random thoughts:
– Cost is only $60 if you register by the end of Sept. That’s a steal these days! Cost doubles after that.
– This is a point to point race. Buses take you from the race finish to the race start only before the race (and not after the race).
– The starting location is a high school where you have warm shelter in a large gym. Don’t let a cold MN spring morning scare you away!
– You might consider bringing your own drop bag. I found the one provided this year a little too small to hold my thick sweats so improvised with another bag I brought. Granted we staged in a warm gym so maybe I didn’t need all that.
– If you enjoy bucolic scenery this is the race for you! You are running along farmland, lakes, woods, and small towns. I love it!
– The asphalt trails are in very good condition.
– There aren’t a lot of spectators along the course but those who appear a few times along the course are enthusiastic (as are the cows and sheep).
– There is a timing mat at the start and at the end of the race: I don’t recall any other mats recording splits if that matters to you.
– There are mile markers along the course. My total distance (as well as many I ran with) was around 26.4. There aren’t many turns in this course per se: Mostly it’s running tangents along the trail you need to keep in mind.
– The course has a few gradual uphills and downhills. If you require courses with more variety (e.g., rolling hills, large downhill finish) this is probably not the race for you.
– Water stops are about every 3 miles. Sometimes there aren’t many volunteers at these stops so you need to help yourself to the cups on the table instead of being handed them. And don’t expect the long water stops you see at larger marathons. Here there might be just one table on one side of the trail.
– The volunteers facilitating the race are a joy to work with. Good people!
– The prerace pasta dinner at the local church is done from the heart and meets the need.
– The postrace pizza, drinks, and snacks are a nice way to wind down.
– It is worth noting this race has pacers at BQ standard time AND a few minutes UNDER BQ (this year it was 4 min due to the shifting BQ delta). In the 18 marathons I’ve run I’m hard-pressed to think of any other race that does this. I cannot give enough praise to the awesome pacer I ran with!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope

Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope

This is more of a race report. It was my 17th marathon. There were ~800 marathoners and someone estimated ~1000 half marathoners. Registration was easy, packet pickup was straightforward. Race … MORE

This is more of a race report. It was my 17th marathon. There were ~800 marathoners and someone estimated ~1000 half marathoners. Registration was easy, packet pickup was straightforward.

Race day itself was blustery with rain and ~12+ mph winds. Temps were upper 40s (F) and climbed into the 50s (F). I think it rained at least half of the race: There comes a point where you become oblivious to it. It seemed we ran into the headwind for about 7km of the first 13km, then at the end of the race along the lakefront (~10km). I don’t know how typical this weather was for this race, but this is why we train in all kinds of weather.

This was a point to point race and the mileage was well-marked at every km.
Road conditions were good. There were water/Nuun stops roughly every 3km. We were encouraged to park at the finish line and were bussed to the start. At the start location participants were able to stay sheltered in a heated gymnasium before the race. Bag drop off was also there (bring your own drop bag). Drop bags were transported to the finish line. Parking, bussing, and bag drop off was all performed efficiently and effectively by the organizers.

The course itself could be broken into 3 segments: the escarpment (~22km), the parkway (~8km), and the lakeshore (~12km). The escarpment segment contains some hills but overall I was able to average out to my goal marathon pace by the end of the segment. The parkway segment contains a highway stretch which is a moderate-and-then-some downhill and a short trail path (crushed gravel for ~1km and asphalt for ~1km). I ran
the highway stretch about 30-45 seconds/mile faster than my goal marathon pace: The downhill and wind at our backs promoted that. Despite the rain the trail path was in better condition than I expected and running on it was not a problem. The lakeshore segment was more or less flat but it seemed regardless of what direction I ran it was always into the wind! I fell off pace 30-45 seconds/mile the last 4-6 miles. I didn’t have any more to give.

My PR prior to the race was 3:56 and I trained for a 3:45 marathon using Hanson’s Method. I finished this race in 3:43 despite the weather and slow finish. I am thrilled!! Once I crossed the finish line volunteers were ready to assist me with getting into the recovery tent and refueling. Kudos for that! Once refueled I went to the tent where our drop off bags were stored and retrieved mine.

Possible Improvement – create a changing area at the finish for runners: one for men, one for women. Simply partition off a section of one of the tents.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon

Berlin is a great city to visit! For that reason alone this is a great destination marathon. I've run the Chicago marathon before and use that as my baseline to … MORE

Berlin is a great city to visit! For that reason alone this is a great destination marathon. I’ve run the Chicago marathon before and use that as my baseline to compare against since the number of runners is similar. Overall I thought the Berlin organizers could learn a lot from how things flow at the Chicago marathon. That said I don’t know the constraints the Berlin organizers are under.

I went to the Expo Friday early afternoon and it was very crowded. At the entrance to the Expo they even separated runners from non-runners at bib pick up to help alleviate the congestion. What was unique at bib pick up was that they print your bib on-the-spot. I haven’t seen that before, but it meant you could enter any (marathon) line to get your bib. To get your (finisher) shirt you needed to travel to a different part of the Expo through crowds of people. One would think this could be optimized. I felt guilty getting a finisher shirt days before running the race: It should be earned.

The Saturday shake out run to Olympic Stadium was nice and had many nationalities represented. Entering Olympic Stadium, seeing where the Olympic torch was and seeing the Olympic rings was inspirational. Partaking in the light breakfast they offered afterward wasn’t very orderly as people seemed to rush the food stands. “Crowds” was going to be the theme of this weekend.

The race was Sunday, the same day as national elections. I was a little out of sorts because the map of the starting area didn’t show the bag drop off area. Textually they described it was near the start of each corral but I would have liked the visual as well printed on the map. I don’t want to leave things to Fate on race day morning and like to have things planned out. People did bring “drop” clothes to wear in the corrals. I mention that because I saw someone’s Facebook post weeks earlier stating drop clothes weren’t allowed (not true).

There were 3 waves for approx 40,000 runners. I started among Wave 2 near the 4:30 pacers. It seemed there was always a wall of people in front of me throughout the entire race. For that reason I didn’t feel I could “race” this … it would have involved weaving in and out of people probably the entire race. I finished 4:08 which was pretty reasonable for me. Another person in my group ran with Wave 1 and finished 3:23. He commented he wasn’t as blocked in as I described and he could race it. I guess it all depends where you start. On that note, the corral you start in is based on your marathon best from the past 3 years. Corral placement is not based on what you anticipate running which is how some other marathons do it. That said there were a complement of pacers in each of the three waves, e,g, 3:45,4:00, etc hour pacers in each of the waves.

Along the course I thought there was good crowd support and cheering. The volunteers were great. Water stops seemed to creep up on me. Better visual cues that a water stop is coming would be appreciated. Water stops later in the race had tea as well, sometimes comfortably warm which was welcome on this day. The plastic cups used at the water stops were hard to work with while running: I prefer paper cups that you can fold and drink on the run.

I was perhaps too focused on my running to notice the landmarks we passed. The roads would widen and narrow at times and I wanted to anticipate how I’d merge into the crowd of runners. Road conditions were pretty good overall but you did want to watch you step. Running through the Brandenburg Gate to the finish was pretty cool.

There were several who traveled with me to run this race. We compared the distances on our running watches at the end. The mileage varied from 26.4 miles to 26.9 miles.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon

If running amid midwestern landscapes invigorates you, this is the race for you! I ran this yesterday for the first time after running 14 other marathons domestic and international. Registration … MORE

If running amid midwestern landscapes invigorates you, this is the race for you! I ran this yesterday for the first time after running 14 other marathons domestic and international. Registration was capped at 450. It’s a paved trail mostly tree-lined and partially shaded. The course is reasonably flat and passes thru four small towns. I never felt crowded on the trail. Race organizers did a nice job of putting this together. Before the race we were able to stage inside the gym of a local school (vs sitting outside). There were sufficient water stops along the way and other runners were always in view. I was pleasantly surprised at how much crowd support there was along the course given how small this race was. Weather started low 50s and climbed into the 70s towards the end, which became a challenge. (Anecdotally I heard last years race had temps start in the 20s and climb to the low 40s!) A nice race shirt and medal were our rewards. It’s very likely I’ll run this again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Big Sur International Marathon

Big Sur International Marathon

This was my 14th marathon but first time running Big Sur. What a breathtaking course this was! There are many hills on this course, but if you incorporate hill workouts … MORE

This was my 14th marathon but first time running Big Sur. What a breathtaking course this was! There are many hills on this course, but if you incorporate hill workouts into your training you will be fine. Don’t be intimidated by them. Our weather was sunny, ranging from mid 40s to low 60s. Some parts of the course had wind gusts, but they were manageable. Every mile was marked with an entertaining sign. There were several bands along the course playing a variety of music. Water stops along the way were well done. Overall a well-coordinated race. I appreciated the group entry lottery option (despite not winning). I encourage others to enter the subsequent lotteries (individual and last chance) if you don’t get in with the group lottery. The Expo was average size and functional. It wasn’t clear until we got to the Expo that the morning bus tickets to the start line are timed, so if you are with a group make sure you all get the same bus time (and bus starting location).

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?