Finished in 50:05(official time); no new PR
Overall place: 95/871
Men Overall: 69/306
Men 45-49: 10/31
This was the last of the three race series for the Thirsty three, the first two being Hightail to Ale and Running Between the Vines. I chose to run the 10k. It was a fun race and fun series. The theme is awesome. Given this was a new race, I will give the race management a little slack however there are improvements that need to be done to make this better and I feel that Running Fit events should have known about some of this issues ahead. While I enjoyed each of the races, it's probably not a series I'll do again. Well, at least not right away. If you did not run the races this year though, it's worth doing the series.
Registration was very easy as I signed up online through Running Fit. I signed up for the entire series at one time with a discount code so total cost was $132.56 - very fair price for all three races including a 5k, half marathon and 10k.
Packet pickup for this race was also excellent. You had three options to pickup your packet on Thursday, Friday and race morning. Since both packet pickup were in Novi and Ann Arbor, I opted to just pick up race morning given the far drive to these locations.
I got there race morning around 8:45am with plenty of time to get my packet and put my shirt back in the car. While I do prefer an earlier start, this race started at 10:30am which was nice given the distance it is from me. I actually waited around in my car for awhile waiting for race time to start.
The race had bib numbers out for everyone but they also emailed you your number as well so I didn't need to look it up that morning. I was in and out of registration with my packet within minutes and things were very organized.
As things got closer to race time, I went back to the start area to check things out. The orchard store was open and you could buy things if you wanted except for alcohol. I actually ended up staying in the store to stay warm as there were others in there waiting for the race to start and keep warm as well. Before that though, I wanted to get in line for the bathroom.
|Al Mar Orchards|
|Runners waiting to race|
|Hard cider in bottles|
|Hard cider on tap|
|Ready to roll!|
I guess they had a last minute change to the course due to a bridge being out on the course. Not sure why the race management didn't know about that sooner. Regardless, I liked that the course was mostly dirt roads and orchards. It made for a nice soft terrain which I liked. The turns though - on my, the turns! I'm not sure I've seen a course with so many turns. It didn't seem that well laid out but then again I'd still take this over running more roads.
I had no goal for the race other than to enjoy it since I was not supposed to be racing given I have my 50k this weekend. Of course, I ran way faster than I should have.
|Map per Garmin|
|Elevation per Garmin|
|Splits/weather per Garmin|
Note: When I take pictures during the race, I typically don't change my pace or stop in the interest of safety. I just keep running and I 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.
Before we got started, the race did a few announcements. They were telling people what to follow in regards to the course. I was fairly close to the start line and could barely hear what they were saying even with their PA system. The race did the National Anthem and we were off. I didn't feel like it was extremely crowded and I went into the first wave so I'm not sure there were other waves. The course started with a small portion on the roads. It was a great fall day out for running. Check out the color on those trees!
|And we are off|
|Short road section|
The police had the road blocked to help keep traffic off the course.
|Getting off the roads|
|Into the orchard|
|10k followed the blue|
You can see some white boxes below, and this was a first for me again, running by bees. We were right next to them but they were not active when we past them.
Look at those trees! Just awesome running on the orchard. Fall was definitely in the air!
|Fall colors ahead|
Before I knew it, we were at the 3 mile marker.
|Beautiful day for a run|
|Cool place to run|
Below was my favorite picture of the course where we were running right next to the orchard.
|Catching up to 5k walkers|
|A little mud|
|Back on Roads|
|One more turn|
|Finish - Steve in front kicking my butt at the finish|
There were two aid stations on the 10k course and they were well manned with volunteers offering water. I didn't hear anyone calling out Gatorade so I'm not sure if they had it or not but it was only a 10k and really not needed anyway. The stations were about two miles apart and was plenty for this distance.
|First aid station|
When you crossed the finish line, a volunteer gave you your medal. You then received your finishers glass with the race name on it. After this, they had apples for everyone. I already ate mine and it was delicious. Then I got in line for the pancake breakfast. This part was an awesome thought. Who doesn't love pancakes after a race, however, it takes WAY too much time to make fresh pancakes for everyone and it backed up the line. I wasn't even that far back in line and it took some time to get in there but the people at the back of the pack must have waited at least an hour!
|Brewing some cider - on tap|
|Line for food|
|Band playing for after party|
|Line for Pancakes and cider - wow that's long!|
For your entry, you received a chip timed race with a QR bib. The course was pretty much a closed course as the police were out there directing traffic. Much of the course was on orchard roads so there was no traffic on there. This was not a certified course.
|Shirt front - nice design|
|Medal with custom ribbon|
|Medal close up|
|Thirsty 3 medal holder|
|Medals on the hanger|
|Thirsty Three medals and buttons|
|Thirsty 3 finish glasses|
I have high regard for Running Fit and their organization, however, it seemed to me that this venue was much too small for the amount of people. The lines were just too long. They needed more port-o-johns. It's clear that while pancakes are awesome after a race, they are not the right choice. I felt a couple donuts would have been a better way to go with cider. The race could have got people out of there much faster. The course was well marked. The race started on time. The registration process was easy. The parking was fairly easy especially if you got there early.
Overall, I had a really good time with not only this race but the series as a whole. Running Fit does do a good job with events and given these were all new races, I'm sure they learned some things for each race so they can improve on them next year. The idea was a unique one and a fun theme that was very popular. I loved the beer, wine, cider theme and for the most part, Running Fit did a great job with the Scrumpy Skedaddle as well as the other two races.
I'll likely not do the race series again but mostly because two of the races are so far away from me. Running Between the Vines and Scrumpy Skedaddle are both over an hour which I can live with for a half but it's pretty far for a 10k. It was a really fun theme but I just don't feel the need to do them again. Given that, if you did not run these this year, they are worth doing especially if you sign up early for all three races like I did.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: I paid for these races with my own funds. All opinions are my own.