December: Stuff the Sled 5k
Eau Claire, WI – On a lark, my sister-in-law and I raced this 5k while on a family vacation at Metropolis Waterpark & Resort in Eau Claire. It was a windy day and an uninteresting course – mostly through residential neighborhoods – but a good cause. Plus it was a great way to escape the arcade & water park for the two of us!
November: Great Pumpkin Chase 5k
Lake Elmo, MN – This 5k was ridiculously fun. First age group win EVER. Gorgeous weather and great trail course with a few hills. Every Front Runner race is so well done. I find them to be the perfect mix of professional (age group awards, post-race treats, race director Randy) and a laid back vibe.
October: Bear Water Run 20 mi
White Bear Lake, MN – So so so many hills. I knew that a lot of people use this race as a tune up for Twin City Marathon, so I figured I could too. Nope. Too many hills. It was not a good choice. I guess if you are a veteran marathoner than running this 20 mile race before TCM could be valuable. I am far far far too susceptible to the spirit of competition. If I could have run in a bubble and had been committed to running a slower pace than maybe it could have been good. Instead I think it was one more nail in my marathon coffin.
Pros: heavily attended, pretty course, good crowd support.
Cons: hilly course, maybe too close to Twin City Marathon to be useful for training.
September: Lululemon twin K 14k
St. Paul, MN – Lululemon puts on this race and this year it was held on a new course following Summit Ave and then turning around just shy of the capital. I expected to be running in a sea of luon covered devotees and was pleasantly surprised! It was a fun race and I ran well, getting back home just in time for the 1st hockey event of the season (for my kids – what an epically long season hockey can be!).
August: Superior Man Triathlon 41.3 (shortened swim)
August: Urban Wildland 13.1
If you love steamy races then you’ll love this race. I was looking for the kind of confidence boost that the Get in Gear gave me and didn’t find it. My summers are busy with the boys home from school and an adventurous husband. I ran this race the morning after a week’s long vacation to Lutsen Resort. I was in great shape for the distance and felt great for the first nine miles and then somehow I let my brain go negative and everything became difficult. I couldn’t talk myself back into positivity and fell slightly off my pace. In the end I had a great finishing time but the turns and the heat soured my heart. I finished feeling full of doubt instead of pride. Big lesson learned.
July: Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon Olympic
June: Grandma’s Marathon
June: Buffalo Triathlon Olympic distance
I signed up for this race purely for fun. I love the course and it’s so fun to to an early (cold) open water swim. Met up with my friend Sally from Holy Angels and worried about Betsy’s first marathon being cancelled due to lightening back in Minneapolis.
I highly recommend this race! There is a good crowd of people between the Olympic & sprint courses. The swim is very straight forward with lots of big yellow ducks lining the route. I love the bike course because it is a perfect mix of flats and hills. And it’s just about all country miles which is fun for this city girl. The run is an out & back along the lake plus a few challenging hills right in the middle.
April: Get in Gear 13.1
I was in the thick of Grandma’s Marathon training and very curious to see how well I would hold up for a half marathon. I remember being very nervous that my knee injuries would make an appearance. Getting to mile 8 was a huge mental victory on that day. And then the race just ticked by mile by mile. I was just a few seconds off of a personal best. Overall a gigantic confidence booster for Grandma’s Marathon.