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May 29, 2018

Grand Prix 5000 race review

Grand Prix 5000 (no race shirt for logo so I used the bib)
Short Version
Finished in 27:21 (official time); no new PR
Overall Place:  82/356
Men 40-49:  22/51
Men Overall:  64/167
Master:  36/105

Timed race #126

It's been about 10 months since my last race!!!!!  Holy cow I miss racing.  For those of you that didn't know, I was injured (hurt my back).  I started running back in December again but I didn't really feel like pushing myself in races so this is why it took so long to get back.

Anyway, overall I had a great time at the Grand Prix 5000 put on by RunDetroit.  The race was well organized, as I would expect from any race they put on.  The weather was warm but at least it was sunny.  The course was very unique - running on the Detroit Grand Prix race track.  The theme was fun and the amenities were unique.  Overall, a great race that I recommend people try out.
Long Version
Registration/Packet Pickup/Start Area
Registration was online and very simple.  Five minutes and I was ready to go.  As with most races, the earlier you register, the better the price.  I registered in February so it was $35 plus registration fee.  Well worth it!
Alia registering runners who didn't pick up their packet early
Port-o-potties were spread around the area, not just the start but that was because they were setting up for the race which is the first weekend in June.  Parking was about 1/2 mile from the start.  The race had a shuttle to take runners if you wanted to get a ride but I decided to walk there and back which was a nice warm up and cool down.
Plenty of port-o-potties
It was fun to walk/run on the course.  You don't get an opportunity to do this so it was very unique.  I've actually never been to the actual Detroit Grand Prix but it would be fun to see the cars driving on it after running this race.  The race had discount codes for tickets too if you chose to also go to the race.
On the course on my walk to the start
If you have been to Belle Isle before, it was quite different with all the race course and stands set up.
On the red bridge
We were right at the checkered flag start/finish.  Very cool to be right there!
start line
It was already very hot that morning since it was going to be in the high 90's.  Greg Everal was working hard getting things set up.
Greg setting up
They had a pace car there too.  This car took us out on the course and the runners followed it along the course to the finish.  So fun and I really love the Corvette!
Pace car (used in the 5k too!)
Race results could be seen immediately following the race from a computer.
Race results
Registration tables were set up with food tables.  Bathrooms write at the start.  Given this is a smaller race, no lines!
Packet pickup
They even had a race car you could get a picture with.  So awesome!  I'm surprise the car was not roped off.  You could get right up to it.
Race car!
Before the 5k, they also put on a kids race where the kids got capes and sunglasses too.  The kids (and parents) seemed to love it!
Kids race before the 5k
Soon it was our turn to take to the course.
People head of me
People behind me
The course is pancake flat.  You can see the elevation grayed out below.  You can't get a much flatter course.  The course was an out and back so you needed to remain on the right side so you wouldn't run into faster runners.  My only plan was to beat 30 minutes.  Not a huge goal but then I have not been running fast at all so I'll take these results.  Also, note 3.11 on my Garmin.  Can't get better than that distance for a 3.10 race.  Perfection!
Map and Pace

Everal Race Management has a great new website too.  It had race results as seen below, your free race pictures (which literally came within hours after the race) and finisher certificates.  Really nice website with all the important information on one page and easy to download anything for your information to keep.

Official results by Everal Race Management
With a horn to get us started, we were off.  Actually the start was very nice and you could feel a slight breeze but that sure didn't last long.
And we were off
Note that everything is caged in for the race
 The curves of the course for the race cars were my favorite parts.  I loved the blue and white stripes.
Lots of curves
As we go further, the course had orange cones to keep you on your right side given the out and back nature of the course.
It was a beautiful and hot day
The course had lots of ads for car related companies.
Lots of signs/ads
It was one of the more unique courses I've run in a race and a really fun theme especially if you are a car nut!
I liked the corner were painted

Soon enough, we were already at Mile 1 and the mile marker was about perfect with my Garmin.
Mile 1
Before we knew it, the pace car was passing which meant the first runner was already coming back towards us.  Holy cow, he was super fast and the heat didn't seem to bother him.
Pace car coming up

Cones to keep runners on correct side
I noticed just about the 2 mile marker, there were several runners who needed to stop running because they were not feeling well due to the heat.  I tried to keep my pace but definitely slowed.

Mile 2
At about the 2.5 mile mark, I had to stop and walk for just a bit.  The heat was starting to get to me.  I took a short walk and then started running again.

More curves made for a nice course.  I would have loved to be able to drive my car on the course.  Haha!

The trees in parts of the course also helped shade us from the sun but only for short periods.

The race course had these awesome We Love Detroit signs.  I think I saw 3 of these on the course itself.
Great Detroit sign!
Mile 3 could not come soon enough.  I was so hot!!!!
Mile 3

Finally, I was at the finish where the photographer was taking pictures of us.
Aid Stations
The race had one aid station at about the half way mark.  Pretty much all that was needed for a 5k.  I also carried water primarily because it was so hot and didn't want to wait that long.  Many 5k's I never stop for water but I knew personally I'd never make the full course without my water given the heat.
Aid Station
Finish Area
After the race, the course had Granola Bars and Bananas ready for the runners as well as water.  I would have like to see the waters in ice given the heat but at that point I was just happy to have anything liquid in me.
Bananas and Granola Bars
 You could also check your race results immediately with your bib number.  A nice touch.
Water and immediate results
For your registration fee, you received a chip timed measured course. 

You also received a pair of Tifosi sunglasses which is essentially in place of a tech shirt.  I loved this idea mainly because, if you run a lot of races, you have a ton of shirts - many that you don't ever wear so this was a great change.  I'm partial to Tifosi since it's all I wear when I'm running or doing races.  I love their glasses.  They are great quality and inexpensive.  While I opted for a pair, for $7 less, you could have opted out of the sunglasses if you didn't want them.  They are completely worth the extra money though.
Tifosi Sunglasses
You also received a RunDetroit sunglasses case.  I didn't even know we were getting this when I registered.  I love it!
RunDetroit sunglasses case
The medal itself was very nice and had a race car on the front.  It's hard to tell in the picture but it's about the size of the palm of your hand and quite heavy.  It's a super nice medal for a 5k race.
Race Medal with ribbon
Look at the detail in this medal......for a 5k.  Amazing.
Close up
The race even had the Grand Prix course (complete with the turn numbers) etched into the back of the medal.  What a great idea!
Back of medal
The race also offered free race photos for download.  I had numerous pictures to choose from.  Here's the one at the finish.  (I have to shut my Garmin off now!  haha)  You could also buy discounted Grand Prix tickets if you wanted to see the race.
Free race photos!

The organization was fantastic for the race.  Well planned website with all information noted.  All questions answers.  RunDetroit posted about the race on Facebook too and answered runners questions too.  The parking was very clear.  They had a shuttle going back and forth from the parking to the start.  The packet pickup was well organized and you could get it at RunDetroit with plenty of times to get it early.  There was gear check if you wanted it.  The start and finish were well organized with plenty of room for runners to wait to start.  The course distance was perfect according to my Garmin.  The follow up for results was amazing and within hours we had result AND pictures.  I've never seem them come this fast in any race I've done.  There was even a follow up thank you email.  The only thing that could have been better was cooler weather.  Ha!

Overall a really fun race car theme 5k.  It's one that if you are going to be in town for Memorial Day, a great way to finish your Holiday weekend.  The unique course is what got me to sign up for it along with the outstanding amenities for a fair price.  RunDetroit has always done an awesome job at races and I always look forward to running any race they organize.  For a unique course, this is one to put on your list to run.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  I paid for my full registration fee and all opinions are my own.


  1. Great recap! I was curious about this one and it looks like it was unique and a lot of fun. I'll definitely have to keep it in mind in the future. It was a hot day so I'm sure it was tough, but it's great to hear that you raced again after the long layoff.

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