Finished in 2:22:14 (official time); first 25k on roads!
Overall Place: 2,132 out of 4,687
Overall Men: 1,464 out of 2,412
Men 45-49: 177 out of 288
Timed Race #107
I have been wanting to run the River Bank 25k since I started running. Unfortunately, it's always been on Mother's Day weekend so it was never a good time especially since my wife is NOT a runner. This year they changed the weekend so I had my chance to run it! Overall, a fun race with a nice course. I like running downtown and by the river in Grand Rapids. The last time I was there was 2012 when I ran the marathon. If you have not run this race before, I highly recommend it. It's one to put on your bucket list. It's the largest 25k in the Country!!!!
Registration was very easy as it was all done online. The race had their own website with all information about the race and things were very organized. All your questions were clearly answered on the website and it was easy to use. I actually ended up staying at Yankee Springs State Recreation area for a night of camping. It was only about a 30 minute drive to downtown so not a big issue. If you like to gamble, the Gun Lake Casino is only about 6 miles from the campground too.
|Yankee Springs entrance|
|My site on the canal|
|My view on my campsite|
The next morning, after a pretty eventful evening (since it rained literally all night), I got to gear check and decided to check my sweatshirt. There was possibility of rain during the race and I thought it might be useful if I were cold and wet. Turns out it was a good idea since it was cold for most of the race and wet at the end. As you can see, gear check was also very easy.
|People behind me as far as the eye can see!|
|People in front of me - can barely see the start line!|
The course is a nice loop along the river, hence, River Bank run. It starts in downtown Grand Rapids and goes along the park on both sides of the river. It's a really nice run. I also really enjoy running in the downtown area too. I was able to just barely squeak by with a sub 2 hour half marathon but was not able to keep that pace for the addition miles. As you can see there are a few hills, but overall, still fairly flat.
|And we are off!|
|Founders Brewing Co|
|Port-o-potties on course|
|River next to us|
|Big aid stations|
|Good crowd support|
|Crossing over the river|
|Still fairly crowded|
Finally we were at the half-way point in the race! Yeah!
|A couple smaller hills|
|Not so small hill - looks worse than it is though|
|Entrance to Millenium Park|
|Ran past a nice lake|
|Good crowds here|
|A few bands on course|
|More timing mats|
|Half marathon mark - are we done yet?|
|I can see downtown!|
|Thankful to be almost done|
|Near Grand Valley|
|Nice area in College|
|Bridge over water|
|And then it started|
Unfortunately, it rained all the way up to the end of the race. I was completely drenched and so cold that I forgot to take pictures of the finish area. I was able to grab a water, chocolate milk and bagel. Had I missed the rain, I would have stayed for my free beer by Perrin Brewing Company but I couldn't stand being out there and just went to get my gear and get changed.
The aid stations were plentiful and awesome. As mentioned, they were well stocked with water and gatorade. There was no chance you would have been dehydrated. They also had ice in a few of the locations too. I'm sure given the cooler weather, they didn't go through as much as what they planned for.
The finish also had barriers to help with crowd control. Volunteers were giving out water, then medals, then there was a food line. The beer tent was also very close to the finish area as well as the DeVos Place to get your gear.
For my race entry, (I paid about $89 which included, an additional shirt, since I donated at least $30 extra dollars to charity), I received two shirts, a cotton and tech shirt, a custom race bib, a race medal, a fully supported measured course. The bibs had QR codes so you could get immediate results on your phone.
|Bib with QR code|
|Craft beer with entry|
|Tech shirt - not included with entry|
|Back of tech shirt|
|Cotton shirt - front|
|Cotton shirt - back|
|Medal close up|
The organization of the race was excellent. The website was well planned and answered all questions. The start area was well planned. The expo was easy to get into and around. The finish line was also well planned. The post race party, while I didn't stay, was close and easy to find. Everything was downtown and would have been very easy to just stay at a hotel there.
Overall, I felt this was a really nice, fun race. I really enjoyed the course. I think it's the perfect race to enjoy for a weekend getaway. While I like the campground at Yankee Springs, I would definitely recommend just staying at a hotel downtown, enjoying the down, and stay the entire weekend to enjoy the entire day on Saturday there. It's the largest 25k in the Country so it's one that should be on your bucket list. I'm glad I was finally able to run it.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: This race was paid for with my own funds. All opinions are my own.