If you were to ask me what my favorite race of the year was, my answer would be Women Run the Cities! I look forward to the race all year long!
First, I love women only races! Second, it is so well organized! Third, the swag is pretty awesome! Fourth, it is an awesome course. And finally, it is just an awesome race!
The starting area for the race is in Minnehaha Park, so I drive to Downtown Minneapolis and take the lightrail to the race. It is so much easier than trying to find a parking spot near the race start (it is all street parking) and the light race stop right across from the park. The first year I did this, I really screwed up. I got on the lightrail rode it to the stop before the one I had to get off and realized I forgot my bib in the car. There was 30 minutes before the race stated but I needed my bib so I had to go back to the car and get it and then head back to the race. I ended up starting that race about 10 minutes late. So now I make sure I have my bib before I get on the lightrail.
This year, I remembered my bib so that was the right started. I got to the race with enough time to check my bag and get to the start line. Since Women Run the Cities, is the weekend before TC 10 Mile it was a nice slow run, no racing for me. I had a hard time with that but knew it was the best for the upcoming TC 10. However, since I started running WRTC I have gotten a PR each year so there was a part of me who would have like to seen if I could do it again.
But I took it nice and easy, and it was pretty easy to do since it was a beautiful morning. The course runs along the Mississippi River so there is a lot to take in which makes the time fly by. Typically, I hate out and back courses but this one is the one exception to that. I like the out and back in this one because I am always in awe of the leaders of the 5K. I typically meet them as I am finishing mile one or just into mile two. What I find great about this race is that typically the leaders are women in or over 40! I love it, it gives me so much to look forward to!
I stuck to plan and ran my 14:24 per mile pace until about mile 2.8 and then I really pushed it. I hate to admit this but there were a few women really irritating my because they would run real fast then walk real slow and this went on for about a mile and I couldn’t take it any longer (obviously they were at a consistent pace since they always ended up being around me). I had to get around them! So I figured since I was close to the finish, I would just see how fast I could push it. At one point I was 9:20 on my watch, now I didn’t maintain that for long but even seeing made me realize that all these long slow miles were paying off. I had never seen anything on my watch under 10:15!
I finished the race got my beautiful medal (sorry, I totally forgot to get a picture) and headed to the bag check to get my stuff. After getting, my bag I watched the finishers for a while. By the time I got back to watch the finishers the 10 milers were starting to come in. I would like to believe that someday I could run 10 miles and finish in a hour and 30 minutes. I was caught a little off guard because usually they do prizes and awards after the race but this year that wasn’t the case.
Still without that, it was (as always) a great morning and race. There is a part of me that wonders if I would have PR’d again this year but I guess I will never know (I think I would have based on how TC 10 went the next weekend, check out the recap). There is always next year! Because, I can tell you that as soon as registration opens I will be signing up for Women Run the Cities!