Finished in 3:12:46 (official time); new PR since this was my first 30k race
Overall Place: 43/91
Men 40-49: 18/37
Men Overall: 32/50
Timed race #121
It was a long day for me. I drove the longest I've ever driven race morning - over 3 hours! Ran the race and then drove home. The course was super muddy and made it challenging. The park is pretty nice although I didn't bring my camera with me for this race. It's probably not a race I'd run again. Not that it wasn't organized but there wasn't anything special about it to bring me back. If you have not run it before, it's one to run though and I'm happy that I did it.
Registration/Packet Pickup/Start Area
My day started by leaving my home at 3am to get there in time for packet pickup and the race. It took me three hours to get to the race. I could have left at 4am and had plenty of time to get there but the weather was looking iffy so I decided to leave extra early. I didn't need to since I ended up being the first one there (ha, figures!). Registration was on Ultrasignup and very easy and I registered for the lowest price of $65 on New Years Day.
|Delaware State Park, Delaware, Ohio|
Packet pickup was right at the start area so I was ready to go after picking up my packet. I literally sat in my car until 5 minutes before the start which was nice since it was a little chilly out but otherwise a perfect morning for a trail race. The race gives their money to the Special Olympics, a great cause, and they had a local athlete get us started.
This was a 30k race that was mostly on trails. The trails were not extremely technical but there were technical parts on the course. The first 10 miles were all on trails with the out and back. It was interesting because there was a place where you needed to tear out a page from a book to prove you had been there. The race never asked for it but it fun to do that. There should have been a volunteer there though to tell us what to do. I asked some runners that had run it before. At least have a sign that says turn around and go back. There were some volunteers before heading to this portion and they also helped you get back on track to head back to the starting area too.
Overall the course was not extremely hilly. There were lots of little rollers but nothing really that steep except where you run by the dam wall and had to run up it and down it but it was nothing really. The course was extremely muddy and there were bits of snow but overall the course was clear. As we ran more, the course become more muddy. There was no avoiding it and my shoes were wet after about 3 miles for the duration of the race.
|Map - out and back for 10 then out and back for 8|
|Dam at the State Park|
While it was cool to run along the dam wall, it was freaking cold in this section. It was really windy and next to the freeway so I was happy that I decided to keep my jacket and gloves with me. I also put them in the car and would have been freezing had I done so.
After I finished the race, and it showed me at 17.5 miles, I figured either I missed part of the course at that second turn around or the course was short. In reviewing other runners results on Strava, it appears that I was in line for distance with all the other runners so I don't think I missed any part of it.
The theme for the race was definitely mud! This is the muddiest race I've ever run. For those of you in Michigan, I would compare it to The Legend half marathon when it's really muddy but much more muddy. It seemed we were constantly running through thick pasty mud that was wet and slippery. I actually really enjoyed it.
The aid stations were fantastic. The volunteers were awesome and asked us what we wanted as we ran up to them. They were friendly and helpful. The aid stations were stocked similar to an ultra race with lots of regular food and not just gatorade and water and GU. In fact, I didn't see any GU which is fine by me. I'd rather have regular food like an ultra. I only took some pretzels but they also had cookies, candy, pickles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Really well done!
The finish area was the start area. In addition, it was also an aid station so for those that ran the 30k, you started there, hit it at about mile 10 then finished there. The finish was perfect since it was right next to the parking lot as well so you were nice and close to your car. There was an after race party at Stass' brewery with chili and beer but I missed it since I opted to head home after the race, given my three hour drive.
The race did a great job with amenities. For your registration (which the race sold out by the way), you received a well marked course except for the part I mentioned at the dam. They had great aid stations. You received a Winter hat, a car sticker with the race logo on it, a custom bib (the M below was for sweatshirt size)
|Car sticker, Winter Hat, Custom Bib|
|Race tech shirt|
The sweatshirt appears to be made quite well and is very comfortable. I'm wearing it now as I right this race review. While the logo is large on this too, it's not a big deal given you won't be running in it and the logo is really cool looking too!
|Sweatshirt as finisher's gift|
Outside of the portion of the course that was confusing, the race was well organized. The website has any answers you had, the start was easy to find, the course overall was marked well, the volunteers did a great job and knew what to do.
Overall, it was a nice race. The course was overall a fun run and you could really run it fast as it was not extremely technical. I'm not sure I'd drive the same day there and back. It would have been more fun had I been able to stay for the after party that was at Stass' brewery rather then heading on the road home.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: I paid for this race with my own funds. All opinions are my own.