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Last weekend The Hubbo and I hit the road and traveled about an hour north to run a small race in my hometown, Pawhuska (Paw-husk-ah) Oklahoma. I haven't ran in my hometown since I was in High School but it felt great to go back and run on some familiar roads and see some familiar faces! 

The Medal

PictureRun For The Health of It 5K Medal 2014
I always start my race recaps off by showing you all a picture of the medal. (If there is a medal to show.) I figure you might get board and if you only stick around for half the blog, I want you to see my bling! I'm a total blink junkee and I'm proud of it.

I'm super proud of this medal! 

Why?

Because I got it with a new 5K PR and my first ever 1st Place Age Group Win!

Disclaimer - This race was tiny! So before you get really proud of me and check to see if Nike wants to sign a deal with me, they probably won't. Besides, I'm more of a Saucony girl anyways. But you never know! ;) 

The Course

The course was 100% flat! There wasn't even a noticeable incline or bridge or anything that we had to climb. Don't get me wrong, Pawhuska has it's fair share of hills, but the race directors were kind enough to avoid them! 
The course is USATF certified for the 5K. 

Parking was not an issue at all. The race started at the Cultural Park and we got there early enough my parents parked the car and were facing the finish line directly so they could watch us finish from the car if they wanted to. 

The Swag

PictureRun For The Health of It Shirt and Bottle 2014
The swag was actually really good for such a cheap 5K. I think I paid $22 for the 5k and fees. 
We got a nice water bottle, a shirt, and our bib and the race was professionally timed, plus there were awards for age groups.

Is bib considered swag? I know it's required to race, but I keep all mine so I like to think it's a swag-ish. Also, all bibs are not created equal. Some are fancier than others. 

Side note! - I need to really work on my photography skills for my blog. I'll take a pic on my phone and think it looks good and as soon as I upload it, I realize that I am NOT a good photographer. #SorryNotSorry


My Experience

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This race was the toughest 5K I've ever done! Here's why:
  • We ran 3 Half Marathons in April and this race was one week after our last HM. 
  • I had bronchitis before, during, and after the race.
  • I started a low carb diet the week before the race.
  • It's getting hot in Oklahoma and I'm not a hot weather runner! 
You can see how exhausted I was by my causal stroll after I crossed the finish line.  I felt fine for the first two miles and was on pace to SMASH my PR but then I totally tanked from 2-3. I also started coughing from my bronchitis and had to take a quick walk break just so I could breath! 
This race was my toughest but it is also my favorite race of all time now. My Mom and Dad got to see me finish! My Dad was also my own personal race photographer, Thanks Dad! 

My Stats:
27:47 (6 second PR)
4th Female Overall
1st in My Age Group.

You can check out my April races HERE, HERE, and HERE. You can also check out my recaps on Bibrave.com

The Hubbo

PictureThe Hubbo with the Top 3 Males Overall
You guys!! The Hubbo had a great race! Not only did he get a new 5K PR of 24:14, he got first in his Age Group, and finished in the Top 3 Males overall! 
So proud of him and especially after he ran his second fastest half marathon in Garmin one week before! 

More Pics!

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Just me, getting my medal!
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This just shows you HOW tired I really was. I can barely wave!

Ok! I've bragged enough! It's YOUR turn. What race accomplishment are you MOST proud of?

 
 
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Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran in a once in a lifetime race, The Mustang 50th Half Marathon. I know what you are thinking? 50th and one time only? Doesn't make sense, right? It's the name the race used to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The race was on Saturday April 19th, 2014 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. My Twitter buddy, George, is the one who first told me about the race a few months back and as soon as I heard it was a one time only event and we had a chance to win a custom Shelby Mustang, I was in! 

Now for the details of the race...

The Medal

PictureMustang 50th Half Marathon Medal 2014
You guys! I love this medal! It ranks up there in my top 5 seriously! It's a nice size, a little bigger than my palm, and even though it represents a brand, Ford Mustang, it doesn't just scream ADVERTISING! Like some medals I've seen. We've already established that I'm a total bling junkie and this one made this junkie really excited! 

The Course

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To look at the course map and really try to follow along it looks really confusing. Luckily for us it was really simple to follow along because the course was marked really clearly. And I certainly didn't have to worry about navigating the course alone because I was definitely not the leader of the pack! Ha!

Also this course was mostly flat. There was one hill and I remember looking over at George and Clarinda and asking them where this hill came from, but in reality, it wasn't bad at all.

We did run on some gravel for a short bit, but also not too bad. Being able to look out at the mountains in the distance was amazing! It was a nice distraction from the heat. 

The Swag/Expo

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Clearly I need to work on my photography skills because this picture isn't centered at all. But anyways, back to the race recap. The swag consisted of this pretty nice race shirt. They had men's sizes and women's sizes which is a plus! 

The Expo didn't really exist. I think other than the packet pick-up table there was only one additional table. I'm not even sure if they were selling anything.

If you look at my bib, the upper left hand corner there is a QR Code. All races can learn a thing or two from the Mustang 50th Half marathon because we could instantly retrieve our results with our smart phones and a QR Code reader! So cool! 
Also - when I went to look at my race photos from the event, they had a video of the finish line and showed me the 30 seconds where I crossed the line! Even more amazing! 

Parking/Shuttle

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The Hubbo and I stayed at the Luxor hotel because it was right next door to the hotel where packet pick up was and it was where the shuttle was picking up runners to drive them about 20 minutes out to the speedway for the race. So parking wasn't an issue for us but we had a little trouble finding the place where the shuttle was meeting to pick everyone up. Luckily while walking through our hotel at 5:00 am it's really easy to distinguish the runners from the drunken Vegas goers who were just coming home from a night out on the strip and we followed a group of runners out to the shuttle stop. The shuttle and the parking lot was about a 10 minute walk from the starting line so not a big deal at all. 

The People!

PictureHubbo, Me, Marvin, Diane, George, Clarinda
This race was an absolute blast because of the wonderful people I met up with! 
George organized a Tweet up at packet pick up and we met up with Marvin and Diane there.

At the race we met up with Katie and Clarinda as well! 

If you are on Twitter you should follow these awesome runners!

George: @GeorgeOkinaka 
Clarinda: @EnjoytheCourse
Diane: @Runninrocker
Marvin: @MarathonPitStop
Katie: @Itsjustkatie

Hopefully this fall we'll get to have a reunion at the Ventura Marathon! The Hubbo and I plan on going to do the Half and so far I think the others are considering it! 
This race is supposed to be set up for PRs and has a post-race beach party! I'm sold and ready to head west RIGHT NOW!
Let me know if you are doing this race and we could arrange a Tweet up!

My Race Experience

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First I need to Thank George for 1. taking lots of awesome pics! and 2. Being my running buddy for the last 10 miles of the race! It was nice to run with someone and have a distraction from the heat!

This race was Half Marathon #2 for the month of April for The Hubbo and I. I had already achieved my goal of a HM PR at the Aquarium run here in Tulsa so going into this race I didn't set a lot of goals for myself. I was worried about the heat because I know I'm not a hot weather runner at all! And you know, Vegas is like, in the desert and all. So there's that.

My goal was to come in around 2:15-2:30 if possible. I started our the first two miles on pace for a 2:15 finish but quickly found out that I wasn't going to be able to hang for 11 more miles. I stopped to go to the bathroom at mile 3 and shortly after that met up with George and we finished the race together. 

I've been having trouble lately with  my blood sugar again and right before the race started my blood sugar dropped. Not Awesome. I felt it drop even though I had my typical pre-race nutrition and had my typical breakfast. Luckily The Hubbo takes a Gu Gel right before the race and he shared part of it with me so help stabilize my blood sugar. It worked to relieve the worst of it, but running 13 miles with low blood sugar to start isn't fun in the desert heat of Las Vegas. Just saying...

This is the first race I've been a part of where the status of the race was changed. We went from a Green Flag (normal racing conditions) to a Yellow Flag, meaning that it was getting really hot and runners should be cautious and be sure to hydrate. The temps started in the mid 60s around 7:00am when the race started and climbed to the 70's by the end of the race with little to no wind and no cloud cover or shade on the course. Humidity was around 43%. 

I finished in 2:37:03. 
I've very sad to report that The Hubbo and I didn't win the car. In fact, no one in our group won it despite the fact that Marvin was SURE he was going to win. Sorry Marvin!

More Pictures!

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George, Me, and The Hubbo rocking our back bibs!
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My typical race dummy photo!
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My bibs always look like they went through Hell after a race!

Question! What would you do if you won a new car in Vegas?

 
 
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Yesterday my favorite Ginger Kids and I ran the Sweetheart Run here in Tulsa. Since we are training for a marathon we ran the Double. Which just means we participated in the 5k and the 10k. If my math is still good, that means we did a 15k. If I'm wrong, please don't tell me. I like to think I can add 5 and 10 together.
I participated in this race last year but I only did the 10k. To participate in the double you started with the 5k participants and then 45 minutes later the 10k participants started. So depending on how quickly you ran the 5k, you could have a little break in between. I actually didn't mind the break. I needed to stretch my legs because they were pretty tight. So the 5k felt like a warm up.
I didn't get a PR this race, I was 15 seconds shy of beating my 15k PR. But maybe next time!

Time for the recap!

Course: 4 Ginger Points! The course was good for the 5K,  no big hills. Just a quick out and back. The course for the 10k was a little more tough. It followed the same path as the 5k but just went out farther and we encountered a decent hill on the way back. Boo hills! 

Entry Fee: 5 Ginger Points! Since the Hubbo and I entered as a team (Team Run Ginger Run, of course) and we participated in the double the fees were a little more expensive than if you just did the 5k or 10k but it was about $80 or so for us so that's not too bad.

Participation: 5 Ginger Points! This race typically has a pretty good turn out and this year was no different. The 10k has more runners so that was good.

Shirt: 4 Ginger Points! Well not really shirt. If you saw on my Facebook page earlier this week, we were talking about races giving shirts versus other goodies in your race packet. This year this race gave out beanies. I gave the beanie 4 points because it's something new so that's fun, but this thing is a little big. But it is reversible! See pic below.

Medal: N/a

Expo: N/a

Temperature: 3 Ginger Points! It was a little on the chilly side. The temps were in the low 30's. And there was some wind on the back half of the 10k that wasn't fun. But this is wayyyy better than last year's Sweetheart run when we had a wind chill of -6! 

Overall Organization: 5 Ginger Points!  


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One side is fleece the other side is a tech material similar to a tech shirt.

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My favorite Ginger-in-Crime, Amber, and I sporting our Run Ginger Run back bibs before the race. Amber got a PR during the 5K! I think it was the extra bib that made her run faster.
You can Tweet Amber here and tell her congrats! 
@Amber_125 

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Amber and I ready to run. Amber is sporting the race beanie!

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The Hubbo and I before the race. He got a PR in the 15k too! Must be the bib.

 
 
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We did it! We finished our first 50K! We were excited about the race but we were even more excited about the finish line. Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran the Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long 50K right here in Tulsa. I'm very proud of us for finishing considering our longest run for this training season was the weekend before and it was only 16 miles.  See below for my recap of the race.



Course - 5 Ginger Points. The course was really great for my first 50K. It was almost completely flat with only 1 hill. Unfortunately the 50K participants had to run 2 laps around the course so we saw that hill twice, but overall it was good. 

Entry Fee - 5 Ginger Points. The entry fee was minimal. For this race and all the extras that came with it, this was the perfect cost. We got a full meal at the Blue Rose Cafe after the race, 2 beers, a long sleeve tech shirt, and a finisher medal for around $50.

Participation - 3 Ginger Points. The 50K was limited to 50 entries. That made it for a lonely second lap after all the 25K racers were finished. But this is only the second year for the race so next year may be bigger.

Parking - 3 Ginger Points. There is a small parking lot at the start line which is great if you can get there early enough to find a spot, but if you don't you are left to find a spot in the residential area next to the river. We got there 45 minutes early and the parking lot was full. We had to park up a hill. Not fun to walk to after a 31 mile race.

Shirt - 4 Ginger Points. For the cost of the race we got a pretty nice shirt in our packet. It was a white long sleeve tech shirt. The only problem and reason for the point deduction is that it was a unisex men's tech shirt, so it runs a little big on the ladies.

Medal - 2 Ginger Points. Insert sad music here. For my first 50K, I was kind of sad when I saw the medal in person. It was much smaller than I was expecting. But for the price of the race I have to keep things in perspective. 

Expo - N/A 

Temperature - 4 Ginger Points. For January in Oklahoma, you never know what you are going to get. We got lucky. It started out around 40 degrees at the start of the race and warmed up to the mid 50's. The wind was light and we didn't get rained on. 

Overall Organization - 5 Ginger Points. The race was well put together. My only complaint was the bathroom situation. It was almost 9 miles into the race before the first bathroom was available. Then once you got to the bathroom there was a long line. Other than that I think the race was very well put together. I'd do it again, well maybe the 25K next time. 

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I wasn't kidding when I said I was excited to see the finish line. Here is a race volunteer giving us a high-five as we finished.

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We were lucky to have our very own support team come out to cheer us on. My Mother-in-Law, Father-in-Law, Brother-in-Law, his Wife, and their dog, Sherman, all came out to cheer us on. They even made some really funny signs! 
We even saw our good friends Beth and Tyler come out to cheer us on during the run. 

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My awesome Hubbo made a bib for me to wear on my back to remind me of my mantra for this race. All I had to do was Keep Going. I got a lot of compliments and kudos for this. Good job Hubbo! 

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Now we are recovering this week. The only thing I really need to do, is to decide if we are going to buy 50k stickers or Ultra stickers for our cars. Decisions. Decisions. 

 
 
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Yesterday I ran my very first marathon. I still can't believe I did it. I ran an entire 26.5 miles! I know, I know. I can just hear you all saying "Silly Ginger, Marathons are 26.2 Miles!" I do know that normal marathons are 26.2 miles. But the Williams Route 66 Marathon has something special to offer those who chose to participate in the Center of the Universe Detour. It added a little hill, and additional .3 miles, and a pretty awesome participant coin. You can see it in the photo to the left. 



Here are my stats:
Time: 5:16:54
Division Place: 83 out of 128
Overall Place: 1343 out of 1891
Place Gender: 502 out of 822

Race Breakdown! 
Overall, yesterday was a good day for me. The weather was great! The energy was high! My body was cooperating really well and the support from my family and friends was amazing! 
My In-Laws drove down from Bartlesville just to watch my husband and I run out first marathon. That was great! Some of our best friends, Cat, Beth and Tyler also came out, cheered us on, made us signs, let me drop off things with them, and were overall really really great support at each check point. Knowing I would get to see them at different spots on the course was my motivation to keep running. I even had an awesome co-worker, Briggite, come out and make a sign to cheer us on! 

Race Grading Scale!

Course - I gave it 4 Ginger Points out of 5. I didn't realize even living here in Tulsa how hilly the first half would be!

Entry Fee - I also gave it 4 Ginger Points. If I had signed up earlier it would have been cheaper but the main reason for the lost point was due to the finisher shirt. See the Shirt grade below for details.


Participation - 5 Ginger Points! This race was the perfect size for me. Not too big, not too small. Loved it! There were 1891 Marathon Finishers, 3795 Half Marathon Finishers, and 151 Marathon Relay Finishers. 

Parking - 5 Ginger Points. Parking was fine if you were familiar with downtown Tulsa.

Shirt - 3 Ginger Points. I had a hard time grading this one. I read some of the comments from people on Facebook and the overall consensus is that people are disappointed that the finisher shirt had to be purchased after the race for $20. Now the race shirt itself that we received in our packet is great, it is even a tech material.

Medal - 5 Ginger Points! This race is known for it's medals. The Route 66 Marathon Medal is an award winning medal and I hope it continues with it's originality and focus on Americana and Good Old Route 66 themes!

Expo - 4 Ginger Points. The expo was good. Easy to get to, easy to navigate, not too crowded. I did expect it to be bigger or have more race representation there for future races.

Temperature - 5 Ginger Points! If you live in Oklahoma you've heard the saying "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, stick around 30 minutes, It'll change." by Will Rogers. We got really lucky for a November race in Oklahoma. The temps ranged from 48-62 degrees during the course. Perfect!   

Overall Organization - 5 Ginger Points! I can't think of a thing that could have been better!
 
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Route 66 Marathon Grading Chart www.rungingerrunblog.com
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Sarah and Donovan after finishing the Route 66 Marathon.
 
 
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Recently I participated in the Lederhosen Lauf, the 35th Annual Tulsa Run, the Nightmare on 2nd Street Fun Run, and the McNellie's Pub Run . I am running in so many races I thought it would be a good idea to "grade" them to help my fellow runners find out more from a runner's perspective. Hopefully it will encourage others to compete in these races and prepare them for what to expect.

Here is what I plan to accomplish.
1. To recap my race experience.
2. To inform my fellow runners about various races in and around the Tulsa area.                                                                   

Here is how it works. 
I'll create a grading scale which will include the a handful of topics applicable to a race.
The scale will consist of areas being rated anywhere from 1 - 5. 1 being the lowest score possible. 5 will be the highest score possible.

1 = Boo! 
2 = Eh, Ok. Kinda Lame...
3 = Average or RedHairDon'tCare
4 = Pretty Darn Good
5 = Awesome! 

Here are the topics.
  • Entry Fees
  • Medal
  • Shirt
  • Parking
  • Course
  • Temperature
  • Participation
  • Expo

Here is the Grading Scale.

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