Finished 10k in 54:28(official time); no new PR
Overall place: 342/1643
Overall men: 226/588
Men 45-49: 32/83
Finished 5k in 26:34(official time); no new PR
Overall place: 209/1858
Overall men: 135/623
Men 45-49: 18/86
Overall another great Kona run. I ran the double in their St. Patrick's Day run and it was cold! Lol. The weather was perfect for running for this race and I didn't feel it was as hard as it felt in March. Probably because I ran this one much slower. If you are looking for a Halloween run, this is a good one.
Registration is very easy. Kona has Hughesware for race registration and it's very easy to use. You register directly through their race website which is also very informative. Because I'm an ambassador for their race, I mail my entry into the company. I've never had an issue with mailing so feel free to do that if you want. Normally for races I sign up online though so that I know I'm registered right then.
There was two options for packet pickup. The first is to pickup your packet the day before or you could pick up race morning. Since my daughter and I were volunteering for packet pickup, we headed over for the afternoon shift working from 1-4pm on Saturday. We also helped with medal set up after that for another hour and we had fun doing it.
|Central Middle School|
Packet pickup is at Central Middle school next to downtown Plymouth. It's a great venue for packet pickup since its inside and the race has a small expo too. I was able to pickup a BOGO coupon from Noodles. There were numerous other vendors there selling their product or service too.
|Volunteer checking and Race Day Registration|
|Sorting race medals with my daughter|
The next day I headed back to run the double. I ended up getting there around 6:40am and was able to park really close to the finish area. I was running the 10k and the 5k races - the Wicked Double! The race had a steel band playing who was really good and made for a fun atmosphere. Most of the start area pictures were taken between races because it was too dark when I got there.
Team RWB also had their tent set up near the finish line as well. A great organization benefitting veterans.
|Runners ahead of me|
|Runners behind me|
|Getting ready to start|
Because I'm still recovering from longer races, I didn't really have any goals except to have fun and finish faster than I've been running on the trails. I also had a goal to run faster for the 5k than the 10k which I ended up doing. I've run the course many, many times and probably could run it without any course markings. Haha. The elevation looks worse than it is. This is a really flat course and a great place to attempt a PR. I had a nice negative split for the 10k and happily ran the 5k even faster than the 10k.
|10k course per Garmin|
|5k course per Garmin|
Note: When I take pictures during the race, I typically don't change my pace or stop in the interest of safety. If I do stop, I always move to the side. I just keep running and get what I can get from the pictures. Some come out better than others but they give you a great idea of what the course is like.
As I said, this started out in the dark and you can see how the flash showed off all the reflective gear runners were wearing. It was a little slower start as the crowd needed to thin out a little bit first. I did a little weaving around but overall I was in a decent spot from the start.
|A little dark to start|
|Lots of costumes|
|Port-o-john half way|
|Another scare station|
|Sun coming up|
|Some great costumes|
|People ahead of me for 5k|
|People behind me in the 5k|
|Little crowd to start|
|Running downtown again|
|Lots of runners wore the shirt|
|Beautiful Fall Day|
|More scare stations|
|Nice colorful trees|
|More scare stations|
|Another scare station|
As has been the case for Kona races, the aid stations were well stocked with water and they have bene trying Nuun for electrolytes. For those of you not familiar with Nuun, you should try it as it's a very light flavor and not all sugary. It's something I've used in training many times. The volunteers were awesome and always cheering for the runners. Take the aid stations in addition to the scare stations and you had people cheering for you much of the race.
|Nuun 1/2 way on the 10k|
The finish is right back at downtown Plymouth. I saw Larry with the race team helping direct runners through the race shoot to get their medals.
|Larry working hard|
|Lots of food!|
|Alan Whitehead, race director|
For your registration fee(which I received a complimentary entry for this review), you received a Kona Running Store sticker. Yes, they are opening in early November.
|Kona opening soon|
When I signed up for the Xact, I only received results for the 10k race and not the 5k race. This also happened to me for the Kona St. Patrick's Day race as well. Results are up typically by the time I get home and look online so you always get them quickly.
The race also gave out reusable grocery bags for everyone. These are really nice and have many great uses.
Those that ran the double also received an extra medal for doing two races. I like this medal even better with the purple color but I'd really like to see the race come up with something completely different. They are still basically the same medal with the lettering in different spots with different colors. There is so much more potential especially for a Halloween themed race.
|Medal for 10k|
|Medal close up|
|Medal for Double 10k and 5k!|
The organization for the race was good. The race expo was well organized. The start had plenty of room for runners. The race course was well marked and had plenty of course marshals out to direct runners. There were even some unmanned streets with cones just to alert traffic. The finish line was extremely well organized and is much better than even past Kona races that I've been too. The finish line food tents were organized and volunteers were helping out everywhere.
The only exception is the shirts not being at the race timely, however, I talked directly with the race director, Alan Whitehead, about it and shirts were ordered over 12 weeks ago which is plenty of time to get them out to the race. It appears the manufacturer sent the orders timely, however, having a strike in Paris at the airlines(according to the manufacturer) didn't help things and caused them to now show timely. How the race responded by having all shirt mailed is really what I want to point out. This was the best possible way to handle this issue and I expect that shirts(including mine) will get out to the runners shortly. I'm happy that the race didn't make runners come back to pick them up.
Overall, another excellent race for Kona Running Company. I love the City of Plymouth as it's such a nice area to run. Kona has done an excellent job over the years to keep it's runners happy and is always trying to improve their races. Alan Whitehead does a great job listening to what the runners have to say whether it's good or bad and thinks of ways to improve. He is always asking for criticism on his races. To me it's a sign of a good race director and I always have a smile at the end of my Kona races.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary entry into the race in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a particular opinion other than an honest one.