Last time I posted about how Go! St. Louis changed their location and route. They hadn’t put out the map at that point but on February 9th I got an email showing the new course. I was excited to see what the changes would be.
Here’s a look at the map for 2016:
and here’s what the map for 2017 looks like:
I’m going to be doing the half so I’ll be following the green route. It is different but not completely. It’s more of a loop then an out and back. I was hoping to avoid boring, long 7th street/Broadway but no. There better be some Clydesdale out! I’m pretty sure they include it because it takes you past the brewery and that’s something St. Louis is known for.
I have been wanting to see what the metal looks like but I would also kind of like to be surprised. 🙂
I haven’t written anything since my review of the Hot Chocolate 15k. This thing has been pushed even further then the back burner. The fact of the matter is there hasn’t really been anything worth writing about. I’ve still been consistently running each morning (and factoring in a cross training day once a week). I’ve also been participating in this 30 Day Burpee Challenge on Facebook.
On the schedule for today was 100 and even though it took the better part of the day to find a spare moment, I did all 100. Honestly, I’ll be glad when this month is over although I think I have been getting better at burpees. They seem easier. Easier NOT easy.
Now, to the main reason why I’m here.
A few weeks ago Go! St. Louis posted a sort of scavenger hunt on their Facebook page. They announced that the race start and course were going to be new this year and posted pictures of the new location.
? I have no idea.
I still don’t know.
I think I’ve seen these flags somewhere.
These stairs look kind of familiar.
The main problem with this is they did it on a Monday when most people (I) have to work. So even if I did know where they were I wouldn’t have been able to get there. If you were one of the people who were able to find them they had 30 race entries, VIP packages and some GO! St. Louis Swag to give away.
I’ve already registered but a VIP package or some swag would have been nice! Oh well. I am pretty excited for this new start area. If you (like me) didn’t know where they were it’s the riverfront by the arch. They haven’t put the new course out and I’ve curious to see what that’s going to be like. I’m also hoping for better metals this year. Every year it seems like I think they could do better. We shall see!
On Sunday I ran one of my favorite races, the Hot Chocolate 15/5K.
Of course I had been watching the weather and it was looking pretty gloomy with a high chance of rain. I don’t mind running in the rain when it’s warm out but it definitely wasn’t going to be warm.
I went to the expo on Saturday.
One of the reasons this is one of my favorite races is because packet pickup is so easy. They also let you try on and swap the hoodie you get so you make sure to get one that fits. Awesome.
I parked at a meter but didn’t pay so I didn’t want to spend too much time away from my car.
Once I got my packet and hoodie I got a little cup of hot coco and some cookies with chocolate drizzled on them. I was headed to my car when I saw a guy at one of the booths demonstrating those race bib magnets. So I walked over. The magnets are really strong and I like the idea of not poking holes into the clothes I spend so much money on so I thought for $20 I’d give them a try.
Race morning I woke up at 5:45 and got ready. As I was attaching my bib to my shirt I realized something. Although the magnets are really strong, the material the bib is made of is so smooth that I was afraid it would just slide out between the magnets. I slid the magnets closer to the middle of the bib instead of the corners and used one safety pin in the top middle of my bib just in case.
Breakfast! It was only fitting to have the Hot Chocolate Clif Bar. I had the Mexican hot chocolate Clif Bar a few weeks ago and no. Just no.
I got downtown a little before 7:00 and the parking situation was nuts. Lucky for me Kelly works at the post office I was able to use her badge and park in the employee lot. On my way to the start area I got a text from one of my friends that was also doing the race. I haven’t seen her since the last Hot Chocolate run. We talked for awhile and then since she was in a corral further down she headed there.
Did I mention my corral assignment was B? B?!? The fast people are in B! I know they look at last years time to determine your placement but I did not expect to be this close to the front!
One of the other reasons this is one of my favorite races is because (obviously) the chocolate! Last year when I got a treat I ate it. Me running while eating candy is not fun for my tummy so this time I brought something to put it in!
Along the way we got chocolate chips, m&ms and marshmallows. The caramel and vanilla Swirl are DELICIOUS by the way!
I started the race rather cold but after a couple miles I warmed up. The weather was overcast but it never did rain. I was feeling pretty good the whole time. I made a mental note not to look at my watch except at each mile marker. There was one point were I was thinking to myself how tired I was and decided to take a look. I was moving FAST! No wonder I was tired!
I didn’t bring any water with me and didn’t really feel like I needed any until about mile 7. I picked up a cup but didn’t stop running which just made me choke on the water and feel a weird tickle in my throat for the rest of the race.
I forgot how many hills are around St. Louis but I told myself if I needed to I could slow down on the them but I couldn’t stop and there would be no walking. Not only did the last mile felt the longest it felt like it was all up hill.
After I crossed the finish line I looked at my watch and saw 9.41. How ridiculous is it that I wanted to keep running until 9.50?
I got my metal and made my way to finisher mugs. The lines were crazy long and even though there were signs up saying “no standing or sitting” people were doing just that. I texted my friend to let her know I had finished and met her so we could do some more catching up. Since I wasn’t running anymore I was freezing. I dipped my banana in the warm chocolate and had my hot coco but I was still cold. When some of her other friends showed up I made my exit and hiked back to my car.
Just like last year I crawled under the Polar Express train because that thing goes on FOREVER and there was no way I was walking all the way around it when I could just go under.
Oh! and I’m pleased to report that my bib magnets stayed put the entire time!
The metal had a removable magnetic piece that is pretty cool.
I am so happy with my pace! It’s a 15k PR!
One other thing….I didn’t take a lot of pictures but I did see these guys. They MUST have been cold!
The Skippo Trail Race was on the same morning as the end of daylight savings time. I was sure I would be late. I know, I know, fall back equals an extra hour. An extra hour to sleep or mess around at home and forget what time it is!
Skippo is in Ballwin Missouri which is about 30 minutes away from home (unlike the Quivering Quads which is about an hour) so I like it better already.
I did this race last year and it was pretty much the same so this recap won’t be too detailed. I took the shuttle. Also known as Crazy Drivers. I don’t know where they find these people. Not that I’m complaining.Go Speed Racer!
I got to the start in plenty of time so just walked around. I was next to the registration table and noticed they were marking something on the bibs. My bib didn’t have a mark on it! I found out there was two days to pick up your packet and on Saturday (the day I went) they forgot to write which wave you were assigned to. No matter. The whole wave system never seems to work out at this race anyway.
This is Meramac River but this picture does not do it justice. It’s really every pretty.
I took this picture on the second go around because even with the “wave” start we were still clumped together and I didn’t want to get it anyone’s way. I was wondering how the fast people tackle these stairs and I got my answer. They have long legs and take them two at a time!
I didn’t even bother to avoid stepping in the water. It wasn’t so bad the first time but I can’t say the same for the second go around.
It was a really nice day for November and the trail was open to the public. That added an extra challenge. This guy with his dog were not part of the race and he wasn’t the only one out on the trail. There were couples, people with babies and toddlers. Photographers… I didn’t mind exactly but I don’t remember this many people last year and they did slow me down a bit.
This is the same hill as before. It seems to go on FOREVER! At the top there is a bench and I was going to take a picture but the girls in front of me stopped there and I didn’t want them to think I was taking pictures of them.
This is one of my favorite spots. I took a picture of the same area last year and will each time I do this race.
At the end of the race I was given my mug and was waiting for the volunteer to untangle the “medals”. I was standing there for a while and then she finally said “your medal is in your mug.” Well thanks for letting me stand there like an idiot. Maybe I should have looked but come on.
At the finish there was bbq pulled pork (no) and veggie burgers. After the awful one I had at QQ I just grabbed some trail mix and headed to the shuttle pick up.
Check out that elevation!
I was a little slower this time but I really love this race (that is in no way a race for me) and will definitely be back next year!
This morning I ran the Quivering Quads II which is a 13.1k. To save you the trouble, a 13.1k is around 8 miles. The race is in Troy Missouri and starts at 9:00am.I don’t know why they have such a late start. They have a wave start and I was to start at 9:22am but because of the restrooms shortage (5 for no less then 550 people….WHAT!?!?) I didn’t start until 10:00am.
I really like trail races because I used to spend a lot of time in the woods when I was younger and it brings that back for me.
I really wanted to take some pictures but we were literally right next to the water and if you weren’t paying very close attention you could fall in or trip on something. A root, a rock or something like that. I did the best I could and some are blurry because the lens on my phone was sweaty.
There are a lot of ups and downs and at one point they tied a rope to a tree to help you get down into this dry creek area which looped back around and when you got back to that area, you had to use the rope to climb back out. A volunteer tried offering his hand to help me up but I didn’t trust him so I used the rope. It was all slippery with sweat but I managed!
Right after I took this picture of mile marker 5 I stepped in a one of the only muddy spots during the whole route. Way. To. Go.
I didn’t get a picture of the lake but trust me, it was beautiful.
One of the first things they tell you is not to expect to run at your normal pace. That is no joke. Even though they send you out in waves you will meet up with other people and if you want to pass them it’s not easy.
I wanted to finish in under two hours so I’m happy with my time
At the finish there is a little BBQ with hamburgers, hotdogs, Gus pretzels, Gatorade, Power Bars and Sun Chips.
I got a veggie burger just to see how it was. I didn’t really like it. I’ve wanted to try the garden salsa Sun Chips for a while so I was glad to see them. They are good.
I had a great time!
Next weekend is The Skippo! That will be four races in the last four weekends. I’m SO ready for a break. Thankfully I don’t have another race until December which will be the Hot Chocolate.
On Sunday I did my third Halloween race. It was at 7:30 so I woke at 5:45. I had breakfast but at this point I don’t remember what. It doesn’t matter really.
I did the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon last weekend and had no problems parking. This time however, Market Street was closed and I had to park further away. Boo number 1.
Once I got to the start area I headed for the restrooms. For some reason there was only one line and it was realllly long. That was a first.
For some reason they had to make a route change and there would be a 15 minute delay. I had some time to look around the area and made a new friend!
As you can see, I dressed as a kitty again.
I’m really curious as to why the changed the route. Anyway, we got started at 7:45 and I was feeling pretty good really.
I really wanted to try to take some pictures because I love all the costumes! One of my favorites was this one I saw at the beginning.
I really enjoyed going along the riverfront and seeing the arch.
This is the Lewis and Clark statue and although it’s hard to see there is also a dog and I wonder who that is. It is a really pretty area and I wanted to take more pictures.
When I saw this sign I came to a complete stop to take a picture.I was really excited to see some zombies! Sadly, I didn’t see a single zombie. Boo number 2.
There was also supposed to be candy along the route and I didn’t get a single piece. Boo number 3. At first I was upset about that but after giving it some thought I wasn’t. If I had gotten some I would have just saved it for later and 1) I have no place to really put it and 2) I don’t really need it anyway. I was most upset because you should come thru with what you advertise.
I didn’t bring any water and at one point there was a table of water and grabbed a cup only to find that it was EMPTY! What? I had to go back and find a cup that had water in it. That’s never happened at a race before.
There were no GU or anything like that given out (they didn’t advertise that there would be) so it’s good that I brought some with me. I had it around mile 8 water stop.
I did slow down more then I wanted to but I’m still really happy with my finish time especially after just doing a half last weekend. 🙂
Another thing they really talked up was Trick-or-Treat Village. It was more like vendors and some happened to have candy. I felt weird taking any.
My finish line buddy!
Even though there were a few disappointments, it’s nothing that will keep me from coming back next year.
Last Sunday I ran my third Rock ‘n’ Roll race and I broke one of the first rules in running before I even crossed the start line.
After finding a parking spot I walked to the start area chomping on some (pumpkin spice) BelVita breakfast biscuits. I’ve had these before but never before a run and once we got started my tummy felt off for the first few miles.
Oh well. Lesson learned…maybe.
I really like the RnR race because of the bands and the music. I do wish there were a few more bands along the way but It is a nice change from other races. I would have taken some pictures but since this was the same course as last year I decided to focus more on running.
Last year it was around 30 degrees for the race. This year I got an email saying to prepare for “unusually warm weather”. It was around 70 and cloudy when we got started. It looked like it could rain at any second. I felt a few drops but nothing really happened. I don’t mind 70 really but for me, 45/ 50 is about perfect running temp.
Since it was warmer than usual I ended up stopping at more water aid stations then I had planned on. There was one that had these GLUKOS packets that looked just like GU only a little bigger. I grabbed one, opened it and squeezed and this water like stuff gushed all over my hand.
It’s not like GU at all which is nice because I have never really been a fan of the texture of GU I just wish I’d known. Oh well. I like the RnR course but I forgot how many hills there are! I am happy to say that I didn’t stop to walk during the whole thing though! Once of my goals was to stay under 11 miles per minute for each mile.
I got pretty close!
Tummy troubles aside I felt pretty good during this race and I end saw a someone I know along the way. I didn’t know she was doing this race so that was a nice surprise.
One of the things I hate to hear is “You’re almost there!” I know these people mean well but I just want to smack them in the face when I hear that!
Once I knew I actually was close to the finish line I tried to pick up the pace as much as I could. As you can see from above I finished in 2:20 and all things considered I’m pretty happy with that.
At the finish line after receiving my metal they had cool towels ready which was REALLY nice. There was also the usual things you’d find like bananas, chocolate milk, Power Bars and pretzels. There was also bottles of water, Gatorade and plain unflavored Propel water. You need a small wagon to haul around the stuff they offer! I chugged the choco milk and sipped the Gatorade as I walked around to cool down and take in everything.
The only real reason I took this picture was because I wanted the arch in the background and you can’t even see it!
Before we got started someone was flying a drone! Can you see it?