It was a very nice morning for the River City Ramble 1/2 marathon in beautiful Red Wing.
We arrived at Bay Point Park about 45 minutes or so ahead of the start, it was very easy to find and parking was even easier. They had said we would be within 100 yards of the registration tent and they were right. Packet pick-up was quick so we had plenty of time to get ready for the start. The temp was in the low 60's as we drove into Red Wing but it was pretty obvious that it was going to be heating up so shade would be very much appreciated and they said we would have it.
The plan was to just run with Karyn as this was my final longish run before Haulin' Aspen next weekend. I was hoping to help her with a PR for the year and other than that to just enjoy the day, she has helped me many times by providing some great support so today was my day to recipricate. On to the race, first there were some nice words from the race director, then some from a local long time runner, a young lady sang the Star Spangle banner, a few comments from the River City Princesses and we were off.
We started out dead last and I had that thought that we would be last, Karyn said the same thing happened to her at M2M but she caught a few and we figured we would as well. The first mile was mostly in the shade which was nice and we caught a couple of race walkers so we were pretty sure last place was no longer a concern. The course is an out and back with the majority of the course on a paved bike trail. Turned out most of the trail was shade covered and there was a nice occaisional breeze. The first water stop was at mile 1 (then 12), the next was at mile 3 (then 10) and the last water stop was at the turnaround point at 6 1/2. We proceeded to run an even pace and got to the turnaround in a decent time. The sun was getting hotter and I was a bit concerned if it would take it's toll. As it turns out the heat didn't get us but at around mile 9, Karyn hit a fuel wall, she has been working during her long runs to figure out a system that would keep her blood sugar in control but today she had issues. She avoided a complete crash but we had to slow down from mile 9 - 12 by walking a bit more. Even with that, we passed a few more runners along the way and for the last mile she was able to run it in. Not a PR for her but she held together through a tough period and can take solace in finishing strong and for me it's a great reminder of how quickly things go can awry when the fuel/energy get out of sync. Think about and plan for your upcoming events.
A couple more random notes from the ramble, the t-shirt was nicer than I expected, it is a technical shirt so it will be useful. This was a small well supported event with friendly volunteers with a relatively flat tree lined course that is worth doing again. You can also stick around Bay Point Park for a fun filled day celebrating River City Days with the folks of Red Wing.
Now, if the trail was only dirt instead of asphalt it would have been perfect........