Monday, October 1, 2018

Kickoff to Kinnick 5K Recap


The 5th annual  Kickoff to Kinnick 5K took place on Saturday, September 29th, and I was happy and eager to participate.

It was exactly one year ago that I pinned on a race bib and ran this very race...welcoming me back to the world of racing. After being sidelined for three months, there was a lot to love about being back in my running shoes on that special day, and the Kickoff to Kinnick 5K did not disappoint.

Seriously, what's not to love? This event is 3.1 miles of excitement, there's plenty of runners dressed in Iowa Hawkeye attire, and the race ends on the famous Kinnick Stadium field?  If that's not enough, the main benefactor is the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, who do phenomenal work with childhood cancer patients and their families.



Image may contain: 4 people, including Kimberly Busse-Hatting and Ramona Mitchell, people smiling, outdoor
Ready for the start line
With a 9:00 race start, and an hour-long drive to get there, we rolled out of town around 7:15 a.m. The hubby and I, along with Barb (my long-time running/racing partner in crime) and Ramona (a fairly new runner), were dressed in warm (but not too warm) gear. The temps were in the upper 40F range and the air was damp, but the forecasted rain was a no-show.

Being a proud Iowa Hawkeye, I wanted to sport the black and gold colors. Fortunately, the event shirt was a perfect option, and I layered a fleece-lined tech shirt underneath. A bit too cold for shorts, I opted for lined leggings (complete with a Hawkeye logo on the ankle, by the way).
Image may contain: Kimberly Busse-Hatting, smiling, standing
Hawkeye proud

We had plenty of time to find parking, use the porta-pots and warm up before making our way to the start line. This was a very crowded venue....there were lots of people crowding onto Hawkins Drive for the race start, which was right outside of the Carver Hawkeye Arena.

I didn't really have any specific goals for this race, but I did hope to treat it as a final "speedwork session" as I wade through the taper of my marathon training. That said, I didn't have any grandiose plans of an all-out run-it-to win endeavor, but perhaps a tempo-paced run at best. Yeah, maybe.

Anyways, groups of runners/racers were released in waves. Our group finally crossed the start line maybe 15 minutes after the official start. Immediately, there were numerous walkers to weave around.

Granted, we were talking with some others and had not lined up according to our "true" pace, but we weren't lined up all the way back where the walkers usually were instructed to be.  I remember this being an issue at last year's race as well.

There is a short downhill segment, right past the start line, making it a challenge from the get-go. Not only was I fighting gravity (and trying to not go too fast), but the constant dodging of groups of walkers was tough. Also, remember those fleece-lined leggings (with the cute Hawkeye logo)? Well, they actually aren't true running tights, so their compression isn't too strong...and I could already feel them inching their way downward. Nice. Only 2,9 miles to go, and I didn't know if my leggings would hold up (literally) or not.

I made it down the hill, and the route turned left, going west, onto the Coralville Strip. There was a sidewalk, as well as the grassy area between that and the street. For me, it was just easier to stay on the grass instead of weaving around so many others on the street itself or the crowded sidewalk. Of course, that meant my shoes got wet (and stayed wet).

Eventually, the route turned left again, this time heading south along MormanTrek...a long and gently inclined stretch, with a slight curve. It was about halfway up the Morman Trek hill that there was a water station (which was just past the first mile mark).

Overall, I was feeling good and could tell my pacing was steady. My hamstrings (on both legs) felt pretty tight for the first mile or so, but had gradually loosened up. I was still passing numerous walkers at the water station, which goes to show how close to the front of the pack they had started.

The course turned left, at the top of the Morman Trek hill, and leveled off for a short ways on Melrose. This is where the journey back to the finish line, at Kinnick Stadium, began. There was another water stand, near the 2-mile mark. Melrose has a slight incline, then the remaining course is pretty level.

It wasn't until the final mile that the crowd of runners had thinned out and the walkers were no longer an issue. Although I didn't have the energy to run a true sprint, I could feel my body running with ease.

The last stretch of the course has us running under the stadium, and then coming out onto the field with the finish line near the 30-yard line. It is a pretty cool finish chute, lined with numerous onlookers and seeing yourself on the jumbo-tron.

I finished feeling satisfied with my effort. I guess all the long training runs have skewed my speed perception, though, because I felt like I ran a lot faster than what my splits indicate. Also, there's a discrepancy with my Garmin's pace and what the official stats show...I think it's due to all the weaving I had to do, which added some extra distance to my "actual" running distance (vs. the actual distance of the course itself).

Mile 1 - 8:22
Mile 2 - 8:36
Mile 3 - 8:39
   (.25) - 1:55 --> 27:31 (8:28 pace, 3.25 miles via Garmin)

Official stats --> 27:28 (8:52 pace, 3.1 miles)
                           11th out of 180 (AG)
                           203rd out of 2249 (females)
                           591st out of 3704 (overall)
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This huge medal is actually a belt buckle!
Herky, the University of Iowa mascot, was at the finish line. Isn't he cute?
Image may contain: 6 people, including Kimberly Busse-Hatting, people smiling, people standing and outdoor
I got to do a quick wave to the Stead Family Children's Hospital...
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The hospital that made the Iowa Wave famous
And, the hubby got to get his pic with the football...
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All in all, this really is a great event. Although it's marketed as a race, I would consider it more of a family-friendly run/walk. As I said, this event benefits the University of Iowa Dance Marathon and their work with childhood cancer patients. Ultimately, this race is all about them and not me or my finish time. That said, it is frustrating to have so many walkers crowding the front of the pack at the line-up. While I am so glad they are there, it really is a safety hazard, especially on that downhill right after the start line.
Image may contain: 2 people, including Kimberly Busse-Hatting, people smiling, outdoor

On a side note....my running "gear" came through for me. Although the leggings sagged on me, they never worked their way too far down. And Karma be damned, wearing the event shirt was a non-issue (not that I plan to do that routinely at future races).

***For more information on the Kickoff to Kinnick event, click HERE. If you're interested in learning more about the UofI Dance Marathon, click HERE.

Have you done any races that benefit charities? Your thoughts...finisher medals for 5K's? Ever worn the event shirt to the actual race?

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Marc and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner
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35 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun race! I wouldn't be completely opposed to wearing a race shirt to a race, if there was a reason and if I knew it would be comfortable. It's really frustrating when walkers line up at the front of a race. Congrats!

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    1. The walkers were definite hazards....the course was crazy crowded, and it was tough to get a good pace (and keep it). A fun event, none the less.

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  2. I've worn a race shirt for a race before. Sometimes it's all about fashion. Looks like fun. Congrats!

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    1. Well, I am a strong believer in "fashion before function." Priorities ;-)

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  3. Congrats on the great 5k! You are gonna rock your marathon! Looks like a fun race.

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    1. Thanks ;-) I hope the marathon goes well... 11 days and counting...

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  4. I'm typically not a fan of medals for 5ks but it seems to be the trend, and that's a great one. Looks like they got some good pics of you too. Congrats!

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    1. I agree...a finisher medal for a mere 3.1 miles is really not necessary...unless I'm PR'ing ;-)

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  5. I have never -- so far -- run the race shirt for the race. People were Sunday. It was hot. And it was a long sleeve tee! What were they thinking?

    Very few races here have medals for 5ks, and quite frankly, I don't care about it, but if it's more of a fun run than a race, I can see that the people who don't race a lot would be happy with that.

    Sounds like it was the perfect race for a taper! I have such trouble running by feel. Sometimes I think I'm running so fast, and am not, others the opposite. I envy those that can tell.

    Great job, Kim, and WTG supporting a worthy cause.

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    1. I have worn the event shirt only a few times....I'm not superstitious, so for me it's not a big deal.

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  6. Herky is adorable. There's just something about mascots
    And I just had the conversation about walkers with Darlene. I love walkers, I walked a lot before running but common courtesy isn't so common anymore.
    Congrats on the race - sounds like it ws perfect for you for many reasons especially as an annual treat to remember how far you've come back.
    If I hadn't worn it already I'd have mailed you the Manhattan 7M shirt. Yellow and black!

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    1. I agree...common courtesy is (unfortunately) not so common. I'm glad there were so many walkers supporting the cause, but they really ought to be towards the back of the herd LOL

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  7. This sounds like a great event! I thought for sure you were going to say you felt "over dressed" with the leggings and fleece shirt under the t-shirt. I would have been WAY too warm in that. But the race shirt is really cute and I bet you will get a lot of use out of that since you are a Hawkeyes fan! great medal too. Are you going to wear it on your belt?...lol -M

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    1. Ironically, I never felt over-dressed at all. I was warm when I finished, but it was cold that morning!

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  8. I get kind of annoyed at walkers who seed themselves ahead of runners. Really? Why? At least stay to the side if you must do that. Nice effort for you, in spite of having to weave around those pesky walkers.

    When I first started running, the only thing you got a medal for was finishing a marathon. Not even a half marathon! So getting one for a 5k is nice, but not necessary. I do like earning a place medal though. :-) Tough in a big race like that, though. Nice job!

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    1. I agree...a medal for a 5K (unless it's for placing) is really NOT necessary (even if it has the Iowa Hawkeye on it LOL).

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  9. Looks like you all such such a fun day together! Love the festive outfits and great job on keeping your pacing so even

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    1. Thanks! I didn't check my watch at all while running, it was only afterwards that I saw my splits. Ironically, the last mile felt so much faster than the other two...I was surprised it wasn't my fastest LOL

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  10. Congratulations, awesome job on your race especially since you had to dodge so many walkers! I find it to be so frustrating! Glad you had no wardrobe malfunctions either, lol, and your husband looks like he had a great time too! :)

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    1. I was worried about the leggings...I almost reached down to hike them up in that first 1/4 mile, but thought that would stretch them out even more...so I left "well enough" alone and all was well ;-)

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  11. This sounds like such a fun race! I love when a race has a theme. There's a race in Central Park that takes place on Super Bowl Sunday and it's always a lot of fun!

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    1. I bet the Superbowl race would be a blast! I can only imagine the costumes and team apparel;-)

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  12. I don't care about finisher medals all that much. I mostly end up giving them to my kids unless they are placing medals. Especially for 5ks.

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    1. I think 5K finisher medals are really unnecessary, unless it's an AG award, etc. Thankfully, not many 5K's in my area give out finisher medals, so it's more of a novelty than anything when I do get one.

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  13. What a fabulous event and for such a great cause. You did awesome and I know it meant a lot to you to run for such a wonderful organization and a school you love!

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  14. Looks like a fun event! It seems like more and more 5Ks are doing medals these days. Congrats on a great run :)

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  15. I think I've worn the race shirt on race day a few times. However, now I don't keep any of them and sometimes give them back or just not get it.

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    1. I'm pretty selective on the race shirts, too...a lot of them get left at the registration/check-in table or donated.

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  16. Congrats on a great race! How fun to get a pic with Herky after the race. :-)

    As I'm sure you remember, last year when ESPN GameDay was in Blackburg before one of our Virginia Tech games, they played the clip of the Iowa Hawkeye fans waving at the children in the hospital. Since you had an away game, they had us wave at the children. There weren't very many dry eyes in the crowd.

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    1. I do remember you talking about doing the Wave...it is a very touching moment. Even if I'm not in the stands, I cry whenever they show it on tv.

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  17. Your outfit is on point!! Love it! I also love the cause this race went to benefit! Great job!

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    1. Thanks! I'm not usually a fan of anything yellow or gold, but this shirt has grown on me.

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  18. Congratulations!!
    It's even better to run for a great cause.
    Keep it up!

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