Finished in 48:57(official); no new PR(PR is 45:55)
Overall place: 109/1533
Overall Pace: 7:52/mile
Finished in 23:47(official); no new PR(PR is 22:18)
Overall place: 62/1611
Overall Pace: 7:38/mile
Dublin Double -
Finished in 1:12:44(official) A new PR I guess since I've never done a double.
Overall place: 31/378
Race #66!!!!(and #67 technically but I'm counting it as one race total)
Another successful Kona Running Company event. Great communication, excellent organization, cool race swag, well organized. This is the theme of Kona events. If you have not run one, you are missing out.
Registration is very easy with the Kona races. Just go onto their website, click register and it will take you to their registration site to get signed up. Very easy as most races handle registration this way now. You also had the option to register the day of the race too at the expo or mail in as well. I actually mail in my registration.
There was a couple options for packet pickup. You could come on the Saturday before the race or you could pick up that morning. I think all races should offer two days to pickup packets and Kona has always offered it. The packet pickup is at the local school and, once again, I was able to volunteer for the race so I got my packet early too. I love volunteering for packet pickup because you get to talk with all the runners and it's always a fun time. If you have not volunteered for a race, try it, it's fun!
|Packet pickup on Saturday|
As you came into the gym, the race had a small expo set up for the runners. Well, yes it was small but it was larger than it's been in past years and it's larger than some half/full marathons I've raced so it's a nice venue. I love expos as it's fun to see what the sponsors are offering to the runners.
|Volunteer check-in and Race Day Registration|
|Entry forms for race day registration|
The next day it was a very early start. I'm used to an early start with Kona since Plymouth is about an hour away from my home but it was an even earlier start since I was running the Dublin Double. The first race was at 7:30am. The Dublin Double is running the 10k first and then running the 5k next. It was the first time that Kona has offered a double race and I thought it was a great idea. It was also the first time I've ever run the 5k course since I always opt for the longer race.
Parking for the race was very easy as we decided to pay the $5 the City of Plymouth was charging to park in their lots. Half went to the City and half went to the Lions Club and they had Lions members there collecting the fee. The race also offered a free shuttle to a lot a couple miles away. We didn't use it, but I've already heard from several runners that used it that it was easy and worked well. Personally, I thought it was worth the $5 to be right next to the start area. We waited in the car for about half hour until it was time to race and parked right next to the finish line.
The start area had a band playing by the farmers market as well as a warming tent right behind it. It was a life saver this year since it was so cold out. Behind that was the tent with the food. All of it was well organized. The band playing was great too. They were very talented and had a great variety of music.
|Plenty of port-o-potties!|
|Runners in front of us at the start|
|Runners behind us at the start|
The plan for me was to run the 10k but not as full speed so I could save some energy for the 5k. Since I have not done a double race before, I didn't know what to expect but it was great to try a new challenge. We started off a little slow in the beginning but once past some of the slower runners, we were able to pick things up. My buddy Rich and I ran together. I kept telling him I was just trying to keep up with him but he said he was trying to keep up with me. As you can see, we had a nice negative split and while it was not a PR for either of us, we had a great time pushing each other.
I was also pleasantly surprised with my results with the 5k. Again, not a PR but it was nice to see my pace picked up faster than the 10k. I was surprised considering running 10k plus the downtime between races. Also, look at those splits! I don't think I've ever been so even!
|Rich and his good running form|
|10k race course, elevation and splits|
|5k race course, elevation and splits|
As you can see, it was pretty crowded at the start, like many races. It was also still dark out so please excuse the poor pictures on the 10k course. Pictures come out better with good lighting when you are running at the same time.
Before I knew it, we were already at the one mile marker. It was freaking freezing out! I think this had to be one of the coldest Kona races that I've ever run with the temperature at 18 degrees to start. It was windy too! Lots of people were dressed up for the race. I'm not a guy that gets too festive but I did have my "Shamrock It" Headsweats beanie!
|Police helping with traffic|
Because we were doing the Dublin Double and with a finish under 50 minutes, we had about 40 minutes to wait until the next race. Frankly, I was really concerned about this because of how cold it was. I was worried my muscles would start to tighten up, I would cool down and my sweat would freeze and get too cold waiting for the 5k. I even brought extra shirts and a hat to change into after the 10k but I didn't need them.
I really had nothing to worry about. First, Kona had the warming tent to keep the runners warm not only after you were finished with the 10k but also for those running the double. Without this, it would have been crazy cold so this was a life saver. Second, while I didn't get any, there was water and coffee for the runners so we could have warmed up with that but I didn't want to drink it then do another race. I also had the option to go back to the car if needed but the warming tent was warm enough and I didn't even have to change. We listened to the great band as we were waiting for the 5k start.
Next up was the 5k race. A group of kids did a song before the National Anthem. They also did this before the 10k too but since it was dark, I could not get a good picture of it.
|National Anthem #2 - ha!|
|Runners ahead of me!|
|Here were go!|
|Little bit of crowd at the beginning|
|A nice sunny day!|
At this point, we started coming up on 10k walkers. Fortunately, all the walkers were staying to the right so us runners could get by with no issues at all.
|Once again the end was near!|
|Finish - race #2, the 5k!|
The race had more port-o-potties out there at the aid stations. Frankly, I'm impressed they have any on course at all for a short race. The volunteers did an excellent job handing out water and Powerade. It was so cold so it's very appreciated that they stood out there to help us. One of the runners even yelled, "Free slushes" Yes, it was so cold the water was turning to slush!
|Actually turned around to take this picture|
Kona had their typical race results board by the finish area. New this year was instant timing results for the race through XACT. You could get results sent to your Facebook or Twitter page or to an e-mail or text. I signed up to receive all for both races. I received my 10k results but never received my 5k results(and neither did my buddy) for some reason. I've used this system in other races and it works well. The only explanation I can see that I didn't get 5k results sent was that I ran a double race.
Fortunately, Everal Race Management is so efficient with results, by the time I got home, results were already posted on their website and through RunMichigan. Also, I noticed that Everal updated the way they report races on their site and it's much easier to find your information.
|Water after the race|
|Bananas, Granola Bar, Cookies, Coffee|
On the way back to the car, we actually stopped by into the food tent for the race as they were packing up and the volunteers were nice enough to give us some cookies and bananas for the road. It was nice to see because this meant that everyone received food at the finish line since there was leftovers.
For your race entry fee of $63(if registered for the Dublin Double before 1/14/14), you received a safe, certified course for the 10k and the 5k. They also offered instant race results through XACT. They had entertainment at the expo and at the race. You received a short sleeve tech shirt, a great design I might add. You also received some good finish line food as well as two medals, one for the 10k finish and one for doing both races. The medals are great quality and an awesome design. I would have liked to see the double medal be something other than a similar design as the 10k medal but they were still awesome! I do love that Kona changes their medals each year for each race so you don't get the same medal year after year. Kona also gave runners a Kona Running Company beanie which was a nice touch. My daughter pretty much took that as soon as I brought it home. Haha! A great value for what you get for a double race.
|Front of Shirt - Nice design|
|Back of Shirt|
|Race medals - 10k and Double|
|Medals - close up - great design|
I always hold Kona on a pedestal when it comes to race organization. The Kona staff really cares how runners view their races. Once again, in my opinion, the company did an excellent job with organization. They always keep the runners well informed for the races. I think there needs to be a little more literature on the website about the double races as I think there were some runners confused what to do, being the first year offered, but we explained how it worked at the packet pickup. The start area was again excellent as well as the finish area. The food line ran smoothly. There are always volunteers helping and directing people where to go and Alan Whitehead, the race director, is always around both days working the area to keep things running smoothly.
Overall, in my opinion, another successful Kona race in the books. This was my third St. Patrick's Day run with them. From the start of the weekend, Kona did an excellent job. They keep the runners informed, they keep the volunteers informed, they keep people happy and the listen to what the runners want and improve each year. I know I say this a lot with their races, but every year, I wonder how they will top themselves from the previous year. For me, it was clear this year it was the Dublin Double and the race beanies. I'm looking forward to their next race, the inaugural Novi Half Marathon in Novi. It should be a great time...and warmer! LOL.
|Me, Rich, Kevin at the finish|
Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry in exchange for this race review. All opinions are my own and I'm not required to give any opinion other than an honest one.