Race Recaps

This page will grow and grow and grow. Here you can find brief race recaps and my times from them. I’ll have full Race Recaps posted on the main page within a week after running the race. Here you can also find the link to the race websites. These are in order of most recent to oldest.

6/17/2017 – Grandma’s Marathon – 3:24:32 – In case you couldn’t tell, I ran a lot of races in May and June. This left my legs a little tired for the 41st running of Grandma’s Marathon. Someday I’ll get redemption on this course, but it wasn’t this year. Didn’t have the energy in my legs, and mostly just slogged through the middle miles of this race.

6/9-6/11/2017 – Relay Iowa – The World’s Longest Relay takes you 339 miles across Iowa. As Bill, the Race Director, stresses, this is a relay not a race. It might seem crazy to run across the state on minimal sleep and fuel, but it’s totally worth it. Grab some friends, and start running!

6/3/2017 – Dam to Dam – 1:35:32 – Went into this one with the goal of getting two friends to a 1:35. So I was their pacer. Unfortunately, they only hung onto the pace for about 6.5 miles, but I kept on it the whole way. This was a hot one, but I felt pretty good considering the slower than normal pace.

5/21/2017 – Head for the Cure 5k – 18:57 – Third Overall – Got talked in to this 5k by the Event Coordinator for the race. Excellent event with an excellent cause. If you get the chance to run one of the Head for the Cure events (they’re all around the country) sign yourself up. This course was a 3.1 mile loop around a lake all on crushed gravel.

5/13/2017 – Market to Market Relay – I don’t even know what our team time was this year. It was slow. But this day is more about fun than anything else. Perfect weather helped to deliver an excellent day running from Jefferson to Des Moines.

5/7/2017 – Lincoln Marathon – 3:19:45 – A hot day in Lincoln, and a sub par week of sleeping the week of made this race a little unpleasant. The course is a loop followed by an out and back. If you’re in the full, prepare for a lot of alone time on the last 13 miles.

4/23/2017 – La Jolla Half Marathon – 1:32:23 – Still the hilliest and most challenging Half I’ve run. Love this race though! Who knew that knowing what to expect would pay so many dividends in this race. Didn’t put the hammer down until about mile 11 in this one, but ran a tactically smarter ran this time around.

4/9/2017 – First Call Half – 1:33:20 – A Half Marathon the day after running 24 miles? That was dumb. Still, to run this time, after that, will a low heart rate was excellent. Definitely a confidence boost heading into the final stretch of training.

3/18/2017 – Music City Trail Ultra 50k – 5:54:26 (PR) – This was a tough race. I didn’t think anything could be harder than climbing over the 15 foot wall at the HEAT in Maryland. I was wrong. Steep, long climbs in mud was harder. But a PR at the distance, and being one of 6 to run under 6 hours made this a great day.

3/11/2017 – Leprechaun Chase 5k – 19:10 – A surprise 5k! Originally the race was a 10k, but ice shortened us to a 5k. I decided to go out hard and see what happens. I paid for that 5:54 first mile, yikes! S=In a way, I enjoyed it much more this year, since all runners started at once.

2/12/2017 – Frozen Feet Half – 1:34:37 – A race run almost entirely on iced over bike paths. It was not the same hard packed single track from last year. Let me just say that ice was way more challenging. Also, due to the altered course, we only ran 12.2 miles.

1/27/2017 – IceBreaker 5k – 19:33 – Got 2017 started at an indoor 5k on a 440 meter track. So throw away everything you thought you knew about pacing. Coming off the flu, I was really under trained for having a good race out here.

11/24/2016 – Milwaukee Turkey Trot – 32:12 (PR) – Ended the racing year back in Milwaukee at the Turkey Trot. Tabbed a PR in the 8k, but it probably should have been faster. A little windy, but cool temps made for a good race morning.

11/19/2016 – Living History Farms – 54:37 (PR) – Again, getting a PR by default is always fun. The seven mile LHF race is a must run in the state of Iowa. Billed as a cross country race, the even lives up to it. Gravel roads, fields, single track, river crossings, and steep hills. Get ready to get wet, muddy, and have fun!

10/16/2016 – Mount Desert Island Marathon – 3:36:56 – Back to back marathon weekends is no joke. I started with the 3:30 pace group, got ahead of them, then passed by them. What can you do? My legs had nothing and my goal was really just to not run my slowest race ever (mission accomplished). But what an absolutely stunning course! If you get the chance to run this, then run this.

10/8/2016 – Twin Cities Marathon – 3:08:52 (PR) – Perfect weather. That isn’t a joke. Cool temps, sun, and minimal wind. Actually perfect. I was finally able to start a race slow and ease into it, obviously playing into my PR. The huge hill at the end wound up getting me. Not the fact that we had to go up, but that we still had 3 to go after ascending the hill.

9/16/2016 – 5 Star Run – 19:18 – First Overall – When you’re back for Homecoming, need a tuneup, and your high school offers a 5k, you don’t say no. I ran this as a tempo workout; albeit poorly executed. Still, first overall in the last race going into a Marathon is never a bad thing.

9/3/2016 – Madrid Labor Day Runs – 1:58:53 (PR) – First Place Age Group – A 15 miler isn’t something you come across every day. But a friend asked me to run, so I did. We ran most of the race at a steady 8 minute pace before I took off the last two miles. This is a course made for a negative split if you can handle the early hills.

8/27/2016 – Maryland HEAT 50k – 6:23:03 (PR) – My first adventure into the 50k was an interesting one. It was 81 degrees when I woke up at 4:30 am, and it only went up from there. Slow and steady was the goal, and that goal as accomplished. You can’t see it in my paces, but I was dead the last 4 miles. A great experience and a great training run, though!

8/13/2016 – Gopher to Badger – 1:28:55 – I ran exactly one second slower than the year before. The course was a bit longer, and the weather far from perfect. So not a bad day at the office. This year, the course overlapped with the Ragnar Relay, so we got to see some of those competitors out there as well.

7/16/2016 – Midnight Madness – 19:11 (5k) and 43:43 (10k) – Third Age Group 15k – No, this isn’t a typo. I ran these two races the same day as the River Falls Days run. It was brutal As you can see, I had nothing left in the 10k. Still managed to squeeze out a top 3 age group finish in the combined 15k. New course in 2016 as well.

7/16/2016 – River Falls Days 10k – 39:25 (PR) – 5th overall, First Age Group – A couple weeks after dropping sub 40 in the 10k for the first time, I lowered that time again in River Falls. Beautiful weather and a beautiful morning on a course I could run with my eyes close. Made my move a little too early and faded near the end, but overall a great day.

7/2/2016 – Afton Trail Run 25k – 2:05:26 (PR) – Always nice to get a PR by default. But this race was tough. For the first 11 miles or so I was in good shape. Then the hills ground me up over the last three and change. Tough course, but I think I learned a lot about trail racing out here.

6/18/2016 – Run to Exile 10K – 39:45 – Second Overall – Finally got under 40 in an official 10k. The weather was a bit on the warm side, but I was able to control my pace and gradually pick off runners in the top five. Had I gone out this pace in Rock N’ Sole, I likely could have held on, oh well.

6/11/2016 – Rock N’ Sole Half – 1:36:53 – What happens when you get out way too fast on a hot day? You get crushed by the course. That’s what happened to me in my worst Half Marathon to date. Lesson learned: Don’t get out in a 6:15 pace when you can’t handle that.

5/7/2016 – Market to Market Relay – Team time: 10 hours 39 minutes – My second running of Market to Market Iowa. This year I was able to put in about 20 miles, most of them coming in the morning of the race. Again the race featured impeccable organization even with the heat, smoke, and rain all of which were weather problems at some point.

5/1/2016 – Pony Express Marathon – 3:41:26 – Second Place Age Group – This was a spur of the moment marathon for me (I signed up the Tuesday before). Running the race in the midst of traveling across the country work isn’t the best plan. Running the race the day after a 13 miler through the San Francisco hills wasn’t the best plan. Running the race the week after a 10 mile race in Colorado wasn’t the best plan. Yet I ran. Oh and it was 80 degrees. Needless to say, it wasn’t my day.

As for the race itself, I thought it was very well organized. It was the first year for the Pony Express Marathon, and it went by great. Aid stations were stocked and there were plenty of stops; important for the heat we had that day. The course seemed a bit long, but that’s nitpicking. I think this race will definitely grow in coming years.

4/24/2016 – Cherry Creek Sneak 10 Mile – 1:12 (PR)- I landed in Colorado on Friday and ran the race on Sunday. Fortunately, I’ve been to the state enough that my lungs seem to adjust to the air quickly. Still, this was a tough race. I got out a bit quick, and the hills in the middle of the course zapped my air and my strength. I figured in altitude a 7 minute pace would be a good goal over 10 miles, so I wasn’t far off.

The race was one of the better organized races I ran. Plenty of aid stations and directions for runners. The race offers a 5k and 5 mile in addition to the 10 mile run. These all get off at different times and all go smoothly. If I’m ever in the area again, I would run this bad boy again.

4/9/2016 – Beer and Bagel Iowa – 26:41 (PR) – First Overall – I really enjoy the Beer and Bagel Trail Race series, and this was the second time I ran the race. The field was a bit smaller this year, due to falling on the same weekend as a couple other races. This 4 miler didn’t disappoint though. I was able to spring into the lead just after the halfway point, and worked some hills to put the race away.

Free beer, bagels, and chili is always a good thing. This race has all the things. The course runs through Jester Park, just north of Des Moines. It’s a somewhat challenging course, but the 2016 version only had two steep challenging climbs. The race is organized well and does a good job balancing a race and party atmosphere.

3/20/2016 – Shamrock Marathon – 3:14:10 – This was my “A” race for the spring. A flat course during a moderate temperature part of the year. Seemed like a perfect race. And I’m sure it would have been not for the Nor’easter that hit that day. 30 mph headwinds coming off the Atlantic did not make for fun running conditions. I ended up expending too much energy between miles 6 and 17 fighting the wind trying to catch a pack in front of me to draft off of them. It could have gone better, but I wouldn’t change my approach or race strategy.

3/19/2016 – Townebank 8k – 39:06 – I used this purely as a morning shakeout run the day before Shamrock. A nice easy 5 miler gave me a preview of the course, and got those legs moving a bit after a long flight from Wisconsin.

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You can’t take yourself too seriously. Especially in a shakeout race. TowneBank 8k

2/14/2016 – Frozen Feet Half – 1:41:42 – Third Overall – A trail race in the middle of winter? In Minnesota? Yep. This was a challenging race mainly because my strap on spikes (didn’t use YakTrax) flew off in the first two miles, so I didn’t have much traction. Still, managed a third place finish as the first three of us all finished within two second of each other. Crazy!

The race originated as a huge bike race on the day before, and the director added a run for the second day. 2017 will be the second year for the Half, and the race is capped at 50 runners. I’ve already signed up for round two.

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A trail race in Minnesota? In the winter? Yes please.

2/6/2016 – Rosy Cheeks 5k – 18:45 (PR) – Second Place Age Group – The Rosy Cheeks is a winter staple in Story City, IA. A road race on usually snow and ice covered roads. This year, the roads were in decent shape as I looked to defend my age group title. I was unable to defend my title, but going sub 19 for the first time since high school was a nice treat.

1/1/2016 – Polar Dash Half – 1:26:12 (PR) – Third Overall – What better way to kick off the year than with a half marathon? As you could guess, this one was a bit chilly. I was actually surprised by my performance as this was my first race back from injury. Needless to say, it went well.

2015

12/12/2015 – Jingle Bell 5k – 18:04 (short course) – Third Overall – The Jingle Bell was a nice return to action after an injury plagued fall. A surprisingly hilly course down in Des Moines was a surprise. Fortunately, the balmy December weather was also a pleasant surprise. A smaller, but very well organized race.

11/26/2015 – Milwaukee Turkey Trot 8k – 33:49 – Ok, so this was actually my return to action. But this race I was mostly hoping to finish without pain in my right hamstring, IT Band, or knee. It was a success, and I got out way faster than planned. Faded more than I would have liked for a 5 mile race (since the pace wasn’t blistering), but after a few weeks off, I won’t complain.

This was the first year for this particular Turkey Trot along the lake. The start line was a bit disorganized, but other than that everything went smoothly. Again, we runners were the beneficiary of balmy late fall weather.

11/1/2015 – Milwaukee Marathon – DNF – This race was probably my running low point. After dealing with some injuries since September, I opted to give the marathon a shot. Not smart. The first two miles went great, but it all went downhill from there, and I dropped at Mile 10. I’ll be back.

For a first time Marathon, I thought that the race organization was very impressive. Sure, having dropped, it didn’t seem the race was prepared for that to happen. But it was overall very smooth. Other than, you know, the actual running part.

10//11/2015 – Louisville Trail Half – 1:35:53 (short course) – Ok, so this was another adventure to a run while injured. Actually, injury wise, this was the best of the races I tried to power through. This course was mostly on gravel and consisted of a double out and back. Oh and over 400 feet of elevation gain on the way back. And (it’s always the case when I run in CO it seems) we had record heat.

The race was a bit short, but that was due to flooding on a part of the course. This was a small race with lots of friendly folks. As trail races typically are.

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Pain face and mountains. I just like the mountains

9/26/2015 – Brewers Mini Marathon – 1:33:28 – Ah yes, the race where my injury problems took off. After firing through the first four miles at a cruising speed of 6:28, and feeling good about it, my hamstring wouldn’t let that continue. I ran, walked, and limped my way around the city to get to the finish. Still not a bad finishing time, but a huge “what if” for me.

Another very organized race, and for a Brewers fan it doesn’t get much better than running in and around Miller Park. I’ll definitely be back in 2016 if for no other reason than to get some revenge on this race. Oh and we got a bobblehead at packet pickup!

8/8/2015 – Gopher to Badger – 1:28:54 – My first long race post Grandma’s Marathon. I got out faster than normal to see what would happen. I struggled a bit in the middle of the race as a result. Still, I wasn’t too disappointed by shaving a substantial amount of time off of my race from a year prior.

7/11/2015 – Midnight Madness – 19:32 (5k) and 42:27 (10k) – Oh Midnight Madness. The staple run in Ames, Iowa. The race kicks off at night, and the 10k is run mostly when the sun is down. This year we saw some substantial heat, even late at night. The race was a struggle for me, as I was still recovering from the battering of Grandma’s Marathon.

6/20/2015 – Grandma’s Marathon – 3:14:30 – Marathon number one. This one left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Mainly because I believe I could have run this faster had I been a bit more patient. But that will happen with a first marathon I guess. I couldn’t make the 2016 race happen with my schedule, but I’ll return to this one in the future.

5/30/2015 – Dam to Dam – 1:27:30 – The staple race in the state of Iowa (other than Living History Farms). This Half was a perfect tune up going into Grandma’s Marathon. While the start was a bit congested, the rest of the race was great. A couple hills, and perfect weather made for a fun one this year. A PR (at the time) was a nice plus too.

4/26/2015 – La Jolla Half – 1:33:08 – Another case of me taking advantage of being in sunny San Diego for work. One of my friends residing in the area told me I “didn’t understand” what the hills were like out there. She was right. The Torrey Pines hill ruined me in this race, and I was holding on for dear life the rest of the way. This was a painful race…mostly because of that hill.

For a race of this size, though (the biggest in terms of entrants that I have run) the organization is simply impeccable. I would go so far as to say this race probably had my (at this point) all time favorite race shirt.

4/19/2015 – Gambler Half Marathon – 1:22:09 (short course) – First place age group – Let’s start by saying this, the course was not short. I was in fifth overall, right behind third and fourth place. The runner in fourth was the first overall female, which meant at this race, she had a lead bike. And the bike made a wrong turn. The wrong turn slashed about .7 miles off the course and took places 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 off course. Fortunately, we all finished in the correct order.

Other than the hiccup with the course, and with the awards, this was a mostly enjoyable race. However, the 2015 edition was the final for the Gambler. It has since been bought, and the course has changed names and changes routes.

4/11/2015 – Beer and Bagel Iowa – 27:23 – First place Age Group – The first running of the Beer and Bagel race in Iowa was great. My first real trail race (post cross country career) was interesting. I had forgotten the challenge trail races present with ever changing landscapes. I got out too fast and paid for it here.

3/14/2015 – Leprechaun Chase 10k – 42:25 (PR) – I’m honestly not sure how this is my PR in the 10k. The Chase saw me coming off of a week where I was pretty sick, but I ran anyway. The concept for the race is unique in that the women runners start 5 minutes before the men. This makes for a run race, but a surprisingly congested start for the men. I wanted to run this again, but my schedule has not since allowed me to.

2/7/2015 – Rosy Cheeks 5k – 19:22 – First Place Age Group – My first running of the Rosy Cheeks saw moderate temperatures, but plenty of snow and ice. I got sucked into the pace of the first overall runner, which saw me fade just a bit at the end. As long as I live in Iowa, I’ll run this race. Plus, pancakes at the finish.

11/8/2014 – Hillbilly Hike Half – 1:32:46 (short course) – First Place Age Group – Thirteen miles into the wind. This was rough. It was also the first year for the Hike, and it was not organized the best. The Hike was also a smaller race, which meant I spent nearly the entire race with no one in sight, and no one in sight of me.

10/25/2014 – Halloween Hustle 5k – 19:25 – First Place Age Group – My first, and only, costume themed race. I broke out the American flag gear for this 5k. I loved the course that wound through neighborhoods in the Chicago suburbs. The first place in my age group was a nice surprise in a down year (for speed) in the race.

10/5/2014 – Run for the Roses – 21:10 (5k) and 44:57 (10k) – I always forget about this one. I decided to run the Roses the night before, and was basically using this as a casual 9 mile training run. So no, I didn’t race it per se. I just made sure I beat everyone who I knew.

8/9/2014 – Gopher to Badger – 1:35:07 – My first Half Marathon. I knew nothing about the distance other than that I could cover 13.1 miles without dying. Which is a good start. I flamed out around mile 10, and it was a struggle the rest of the way. Obviously it was a mostly good experience, though, since I kept it up.