Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rainbow Run 5K 2017 (7 Year Itch)

Rainbow Run 5K (3.15 miles) *short course, time below per chip
Average Pace 10:32/mile

Every year at the beginning of the Rainbow Run race recap I say this, so might as well repeat it again and officially make it a tradition: you may recall that I'm a founding racer for the Minneapolis Rainbow Run 5K.  Since the very first year it existed, I have run this race.


After participating in the Rainbow Run from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and up through 2016 ... my sister and I are finally on lucky #7, AKA the 7 year itch.  Maybe that's why I thought this year's race was so uneventful?

Yeah, sorry to break it to you, but this is going to be a pretty lame race recap.  To make things better, at least I got a cool pre-race shot:

If you didn't know, the above photo is actually in downtown Minneapolis.  There is a super cool trail and bridge that leads into Boom Island Park.  I know I sing the praises of this trail every year but ... seriously, if you haven't been to this park, go check it out some time.

Anyway, on to race day.

For 2017, my sister and I broke tradition for this race and decided to park at the ABC ramps in downtown Minneapolis.  Typically, in year's past, we would park in a ramp at the end of the race course and then try to drive away from the parade route after the race.  But also typically, in years past, metro transit didn't close down Hennepin bus service pre-parade until closer to 9am. 

For some reason in 2017, Metro Transit decided to close Hennepin bus service at 8am.  Boo.  That meant for 2017, instead getting downtown butt early, or instead of walking almost 2 miles from our preferred parking ramp to the race start, my sister and I decided to split the difference by parking mid course at the ABC ramps.  This change required about 1 mile of walking to the race start, and then about 1 mile of walking post race back to the car.  The extra walking was no big deal either way, but we figured having 1 mile beats having 2 miles to travel pre-race when you're on a tight schedule and don't want to miss gun time.

The nice thing about this change is that we could delay our arrival time to downtown Minneapolis by about 30-45 minutes.  So we "slept in" (BAH!  6:30 on a Sunday morning -we are lush!), got dressed for the race, and arrived at check in with about 15 minutes to spare pre-gun.

Perfect timing.  We had just enough time to utilize the on site, flushing facilities ... grab our bibs ... and do a wee bit of people watching prior to the gun.

By the way, it seems like each year this check in process gets worse rather than better.  They never hang a sign at check in tables indicating which line is pre-registered and which is day of registration, and runners end up milling around in confusion debating which line to queue up in for check-in.  It kind of annoys me, since Pride uses Anderson Races to organize this event, and you'd think Anderson Races would have a little more sense on how to do these kinds of things.  (I do have to say, generally speaking, I'm not really impressed with Anderson Races.  Not that they're bad, but ... they aren't exactly top quality when it comes to race hosting.  In particular, I get a general feeling at the Rainbow Run that it's somewhat of a low priority, slightly unorganized mess each year.  And there is very little promotion from one year to the next that this race even exists, which is Anderson Races' job to do ... so ... I just dunno what to say.  Obviously it's not bad enough to make me stop coming to the event.  But I do think it's bad enough that the event won't ever grow beyond what it is now, which is a field of maybe 150 or so runners).

Regardless of the event organizer's quality of work ...

Thanks to the general confusion at check in, many runners were still milling around bib-less near to gun time.  That means come and go 9:30, we are still not even being directed to line up at the start. 

Slowly, just after 9:30, people begin to creep over to the start line.  Maybe an announcement was made to line up, but if it was, I couldn't hear the announcer from where I stood.

9:35 ... social media people are filming us with iPads to put up on Anderson Race's Facebook page.  Well, they are organized to promote POST event ... smh.

Waiting ...

Waiting ...

Per my watch, it looks like they finally staged us to get ready to start at 9:38.  Ok, only 8-10 minutes late ... I guess.  But considering the small field of runners and the literally 20' feet from check in to race start, there is really no reason for that.  Good thing my sister and I weren't worried about clearing the course within the time limit.

Bang - we run.

For 2017, we followed the same route as 2016, which has been generally the same route for the last three years (2014-2016):


Overall, the course is fairly flat and fast.  And typically, it's also ungodly hot.  Thankfully in 2017, the weather gods smiled on us and it was slightly overcast and cool.  (You'll notice, btw, that I finally got to wear my capris of choice for this race ... I ordered those rainbow lizard printed capris with this race in mind, not thinking about how smoking hot this course always is, and I never got to use them until this year!)
Though we ran the majority of the course, my sister's stress fracture ghost pains were rising from the dead just around the 1.75-2 mile mark, so we did take a brief walk break - as you can see in our splits:

What you may also notice, aside from our splits, is that my watch measured this course short once again this year.  While in years past this hasn't really bugged me, since this has always been billed as a "fun run", this year I did take some issue in the shortage.  That's because Anderson Races offered chip timing, which obviously leads to false time results since this is not a true 5K route (my previous GPS watch measured 2.9 in 2016 and my iWatch measured 2.8 in 2017).

I mean, compare my watch stats above (average 11:32 per mile) to the official chip results per Anderson Races (10:32 per mile).  While yes, it makes me feel good to "feel" faster ... it's not reality unfortunately:


Oh well.  Not that I'm exactly in tip-top shape this year anyway.  Imagine that, one year post childbirth and trying to take care of a soon to be toddler.  I'm not in shape.  How could that be?  (*sarcasm*)

In a tangent to that comment, I would like to say that overall I am pleased with my result on this year's course because, regardless of Anderson Races' chip time or my watch time, I was significantly faster than last year's pace.  Which yeah ... that isn't saying much being that I was barely 6-8 weeks post partum last race, but then again I haven't followed a running training plan in over a year either, so ... hey, I'm faster, I'll take it!

Of course, my sister is likely much less thrilled with our finish time, being that I drill sergeant-ed the hell out of her the last quarter of a mile.  But I mean ... when your original goal was to finish sub 35, and you can see the race clock is just barely 31 ... might as well get a 32 and change on your results, right?!



As per the last few years, once at the finish line we were greeted with water, assorted snacks and finisher's Ts.  The last two years I have passed on everything food wise, aside from water, knowing that we were headed to Brit's.  But this year I saw bacon chips and said ... wth?  Why not?

The finisher's T this year was a nice fabric, though I wasn't really a fan of the overall design ... I guess it's a little too retro for my taste maybe?  That and, I just keep secretly wishing they'd do more with the name of this race and hand out some sort of super sweet rainbow design.

Actual shirt (ignore my 5- head ... sheesh it looks huge in that photo for some reason):

My dream shirt (AKA super rainbow fun time happy spectacular, which I'd gladly pay a higher registration fee for if it meant I would get it):

Oh - not shown in the above, we also got a free pair of socks again this year.  They were a less than attractive grey and blaze orange color combo.  Good thing no one can see the socks inside your shoes, eh?

After chowing (the less than delicious) bacon chips and slamming two bottles of water, my sister and I continued on to another race day tradition:

And after a few scotch eggs and some chicken pot pie, we happily headed back to the ABC ramps and took off for home.


That's the story of how race bib #79 joined my collection - wow, I'm getting mighty close to 100 races!  (Though I doubt I'll hit 100 this year given my reduced training capacity after spending my days chasing a 1 year old around the house).  Regardless, here's to another race soon ... which will be reported on shortly, as I've already completed it, lol! 

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