Finished in 1:29:59(official); no new PR(actually a personal worst)
Overall place: 192/536
Overall Men: 125/253
Kona uses Hughesware to allow runners to register online which is so simple. I sent my registration in via mail since my entry is comped. Also very easy and a great way to do it if you want to save a few dollars on online fees. You also have the ability online to make sure you are shown as registered too after you mail it in so there's no question if they received the entry. Of course, the race also has their own website with all the information you need to decide if you want to do the race. I always suggest that everyone read the website closely as it has 99% of answers on there.
Another very early morning as I was up at 4:30am to get to my buddies place by 5:30am so we could get there by 6:30am. Our race started at 7:30am but parking fills up quickly with a 10k start of 7:15am. My running buddy, Kevin, picked up our packets on Friday afternoon so I had not planned to go to packet pickup this time around. His wife wanted to exchange out a different shirt size so we made our way there before the race. I took advantage of this and went in to get some pictures of the packet pickup area. This year it was in a new location at the Northville Community Center gym which is a better location in my opinion and not far from the race start.
|Volunteer check in/race day registration|
|Name/bib # board|
After pickup we drove over to Northville Downs and parked in their lot. This is a great venue since there is so much parking here and makes it worry free. It's also an awesome starting line as well. We had about 45 minutes until our start so we got in line for the bathrooms.
|Parking at Northville Downs|
The 10k race started 15 minutes before the 10 mile race and also had the most registered runners. It's always fun to see the top runners run around the track so fast. The race did a great job this year clearing out the 10 mile runners so the 10k runners were able to get through to the parking lot and streets.
|On the track|
|Waiting to run|
|Elite runners in the 10k|
|Greg from Everal Race Management|
|Runners in front of me|
|Runners behind me|
Today's race for me was all about finishing without feeling hurt and I succeeded. I've been struggling with my hamstring the last several weeks so timing was not an issue at all. I'm getting better each week and starting to build my mile back up slowly. While it's not uncommon for me to forget to turn off my Garmin at the end of the race, I left it going for 15 minutes after I finished. Oops. I've never done that before.
|Map per Garmin|
The theme for the courses is hilly and hot. Check out the elevation below. Personally while the first hill that the race calls the "Kona Hill" is long and steep, overall I don't think it's that bad of elevation and anyone that has not run this before should not worry about it that much. The elevation looks worse than it really feels. While I'm not saying it's easy either, it's a fun challenge and you can see that it sure kept my heart race up there in the 140-160 range depending on the elevation.
|Pace/elevation/heart rate per garmin|
|Splits - oops, forgot to turn off the Garmin at the finish.|
The first half mile is on the Northville Downs race track. It really is a fun and unique place to start especially if you have never run on it before. It was a little crowded to start but overall a very enjoyable start.
|And we're off!|
|One lap around the track|
|coming off the track|
|Heading to Kona Hill|
|Through the parking area|
|Onto the roads|
|Mile 1 - Kona Hill|
|Kona Hill continues!|
|Heading into the subdivision|
|Catching up to some 10kers|
|Well marked split between 10 mile and 10k|
|Great police support|
|Crossing six mile|
|Lots of volunteer support|
|Back in the subdivision|
|Megan in the orange shirt|
|More great course markings|
|Neighbors had bubble machine|
|Mile 9(you can see it behind the aid station)|
|Steel Band at end of course|
|In the park finish(I see Shawn on the left, a Detroit Runner reader)|
|Lots of cheers|
|Timing Mat to announce names|
The aid stations were awesome again this year. There were tons of volunteers and they were doing a great job. They had various aid stations including only water, water and Gatorade, as well as a GU station around the six mile mark. The aid stations were well stocked and there were plenty of stops. Some of the most I've seen in a race this distance.
|Marked for water/Gatorade|
|Bathroom on course too|
After you crossed the finish, a volunteer handed you your medal. More than three volunteers said thank you for running our race. Wow - that was a nice touch to the finish line and sure made you feel appreciated. After the medals, the race has a mini expo right there. It's the only time I've seen that for all the races I've run and it's fun to visit with the companies there. Many also are giving out things such as popsicles and ice cream.
|Lost and Found|
|Bagels, granola bars and bananas|
Of course, the race also offered water and Gatorade at the finish. Some of the results were posted on their traditional board, however, the race offered XAct instant timing as well so all you had to do was scan your bib. I actually didn't think about it until I got home and looked online but it's a great feature and I wish all races would use that technology.
|Guernsey Ice Cream|
|Overall park view|
For your race entry, you received a timed, USATF certified course. While it's open to traffic, most of the course is through subdivisions and is very safe. The police support and volunteers make sure that you are safe. You received timing through the Xact program so you could check via a QR code on your bib or have it emailed, posted on Faceboor or Twitter, or sent as a text. I sent mine both to Facebook and Twitter.
|Medal with custom ribbon|
|Medal close up|
The organization for the race this year was excellent. Constant communication from when you registered. A well organized website. A very organized packet pickup area that is convenient to the start. The start was well organized. The course management was one of the best of the five years I've run the Kona Run and very well marked. The finish line is one of the most fun finish lines of all races I've done as the expo is a real treat afterwords. The addition of ice cream was great. The Xact system is really nice to have to check results quickly. A very well run race.
Overall I would absolutely run this race again. In fact, it's the only race that I've run five years in a row. It's really been my favorite race that I've run and why I keep coming back to it each year. If you have not run it, you really are missing out on a really fun event.
|Another successful Kona Run(the river behind me in the park)|
Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a particular opinion except for an honest one.