Sunday, November 3, 2013

Race Recap: Team Ortho Monster Dash 10 Miler

When I signed up to be part of the Team Ortho Race Series last December, I already knew that I would be running a 1/2 marathon just 6 days before the last race of the series: The Monster Dash. Because of this, I signed up for the 10 miler instead of the 1/2 marathon, thinking that I probably couldn't handle two 1/2's in less than a week!

I was surprisingly wrong!! I felt great after the Mankato 1/2 marathon, and was pumped to switch my bib from the 10 mile to the 1/2.

Then I got sick. Boo!

So, I decided to just stick with the 10 miler (which I later regretted for many reasons!).

Due to not feeling well, I decided against a costume, even though about 90% of all of the runners were going to be dressed up, I just wasn't feeling it. I think I was pretty much in denial that I was even running this race!

I stayed at my sister's house on Friday night, and we got up SUPER early to make it to the start of the race. At the time, I was pretty ticked off that Anne thought we needed to leave over 2 hours early, but after hearing about the traffic jams, lines for parking and the amount of people who missed the race, I was happy that Anne planned ahead and the extra hour and a half spent rocking out in the parking ramp wasn't bad!! lol!

The race started by the Minnesota State Capital building in St. Paul, more precisely put, it started about a 1/2 a mile away at the St. Paul Cathedral. We had about a 1/2 a mile walk from the parking ramp to the starting line. It was all up hill and my calfs were killing me just walking!! Grrrr!

We passed through the racer's "village" and admired all of the cleaver costume ideas! It was so much fun seeing all of the runners dressed up, it made me feel bad that I hadn't put more effort into a costume. :(

It was FREEZING!!!! There was a strong wind blowing and I was pretty uncomfortable waiting for the starting gun. Anne and I huddled together, to try and stay warm, and we waited, and waited and waited!!!!

An announcement was made stating that the race would start in 7 to 8 minutes, looking at my Garmin, I noticed that the race was supposed to have started 5 minutes ago!!! I was getting angry. And Anne was getting really nervous! -- It was her very first 1/2!!

One more race delay announcement, and we FINALLY started the race!! I think we started about 20 minutes late, but I didn't bother looking, I was just happy to finally get moving!

Anne, of course took off at her speedy pace, and I settled into a 10min/mile pace. The first 3 miles were rolling hills, heading down the beautiful Summit Ave. in St. Paul. I love driving down this street, the homes are HUGE and all from the 1920's. It is so beautiful. It was a real treat running, because the trees were at peak color!!

While the sights were great, my legs were acting up, cramping calves had me stop and stretch multiple times. I was actually pretty miserable, and if it had been a training run, I probably would have just walked home. But I pushed through. One bathroom stop (which is becoming a norm that I am NOT happy about!) made me loose about 10 minutes (the line was HUGE!!)

I got frustrated multiple times during this run, mainly because the water stops were poorly manned, and at one point I had to even wait in line for someone to pour water into my cup!! But overall the race went well, especially with 17, 000 runners!! The course was crowded the entire way, but that added to the fun of the race, and most runners were great about race etiquette, which isn't always the case with Team Ortho races!

Around mile 4 I started feeling stretched out and happy again, the sun was out and even though it was still chilly, I was having a good time! The course of this run was just gorgeous, as it turned to follow the Mississippi river valley. My nose was running like crazy, and my throat was burning, but I was still having fun!

By mile 7, I was wishing that I would have just sucked it up and switched to the 1/2. I was feeling great, and having a blast!

I finished the 10 miler in just under 2 hours. I felt pretty good about that, but was really upset with myself that I had not pushed to do the 1/2!

At the 10 mile point, the 1/2 marathoners break off and head towards the race finish line. The 10 milers then get on a bus and are shuttled to the end. This was awful for a few reasons:

1. I had to wait over 40 minutes to get on a bus (I could have finished the last 3 miles in that time!!!) Plus, who likes to stand in line after running? And it was FREEZING!!

2. The bus followed the 1/2 course, and I was kicking myself the entire time thinking I should just be running!

3. My sister finished her 1/2 in 2:16 and had to wait for me to arrive, she was not a happy camper! Cold and tired!

Series completed!! All 5 races!! :)
But I didn't have it as bad as the 1/2 marathoners, they ran out of food and were not given more than cups of water at the finish. Boo! There wasn't even a banana in sight, my sister says. And she finished before a great majority of the runners!! It was freezing and windy and there were no space blankets. It was kind of a mess!

When I finally reached my sister, we promptly headed to the warmth of the car, and headed home. There is an After Party, but we were both just too cold to even think about it.

Over all I give this race a B-. Would I run it again? Yes, I would! But I will be running the 1/2 next year!!!!!


Anonymous said...

The monster dash half was my 3rd team ortho event. (get lucky 7k and minneapolis half were the first 2). I cannot stress enough that their events have to be used as a "fun run" because their focus is on the number of people participating, they do not care about the basics of race maintenance. I stayed at the holiday inn downtown st. paul so I didn't have parking issues, but It was an expensive the decision. I think I saw you around mile 7, I said your name but I don't think you heard me. I wish I had done the 10 miler because I was under trained, I didn't realize there were transportation issues, but it seemed like they were going as fast as they could with the busses, they just didn't have enough. Personally, I won't do team ortho races unless friends invite me. Then they know I want to make it a party!

Kristine Barnes said...

I totally agree! Team Ortho events have to be run mainly for fun!! We were going to stay at the Holiday Inn too, but decided against it last minute. Sorry I didn't hear you, I had my headphones in and was probably tuned out. :(
It would have been fun to meet you!!