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Almost two weeks ago the Hubbo, George and I “ran” the Route 66 Half Marathon. I say “ran” because really we walked a lot and ran some. I only cussed a little so I’m calling it a good day! But really, the 10th Anniversary of the Route 66 Marathon was a great weekend for me despite my lack of training. We volunteered at the Expo, Ran the 5k, took shots during the 5k and half, and made some great memories!




Here’s a quick and condensed version of contents this blog.
Medal = Awesome!
Course = Hilly!
Swag = Awesome 10 Year Anniversary Jacket!
Expo = Great!
Volunteering = Tiring, Rewarding, Fun
Blogger’s panel = Fun
5K on Saturday = Most Fun 5k I’ve Ever Ran
Weather on Sat = Cold and WINDY as F!
Weather on Sun = Cold but warmed up to be nice

And now, a more complete review. 

The Medal

PictureRoute 66 2015 Half Marathon Medal
As always, I start my recap with the medal. I'm definitely a "I'm-Doing-This-For-the-Bling" kind of runner and Route 66 Marathon never disappoints!
This year was the 10th anniversary of the race so they did a throw back to an earlier medal and added a slight remix. I lucked out that this is one of the styles that we didn't already have. 
The yellow coin in the middle is a double-sided spinner which I think it the remix part. 
This year volunteers also got a medal. (See pic below with purple ribbon.) When I volunteered last year, I got a nice coin, but it was fun to get an actual medal this year.
5K runners also got a medal. (See pic below with red ribbon.) Since the race is obviously Route 66 themed, the medals are always themed after classic cars that would have traveled the open road. This medal was from the 2011 event and called the Flying Goddess. Rout 66 took a vote on which medal should get a come back and this one won loud and clear! 

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Volunteer Medal
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5K Medal and Bib

The Course & Swag

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The course was hilly. I knew it would be hilly. I didn't train for this race so I'm sure I felt the hills even more than I normally would have. The hills aren't huge, but there are a lot of them and it's a constant rolling/going upward feeling the entire race.

My friend George from came in from Las Vegas and took this photo on the course. It's definitely a favorite photo-op on the course!   

The swag was nice this year. For participating in the 5k I got a medal and a tech shirt. For participating in the half I got a jacket, a medal, and tons of free shots and beer on the course! More on that later. 

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The Hubbo and co-workers modeling the jackets.
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I, on the other hand, made some questionable modeling choices on race day...

The Expo & Blogger's Panel

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We volunteered at the Expo on Friday afternoon at the packet pickup booth. That was a crazy, busy, fun, fast few hours! 
After my shift was over I participated in the Blogger's Panel for the second time. It was really cool to meet the other bloggers and get to discuss one of my hobbies. This year they had two panels. A Friday night panel and a Saturday afternoon panel. 

Overall, the expo is a good size. You have your typical vendors there. One cool thing about the Route 66 Expo is that the Marathon Maniacs set up a booth. So you can buy your gear in person and try it on. Very helpful! If you'v ever tried to buy a MM or HF singlet, you know the struggle! 

I also go to take a spin on an Alter-G treadmill! It was so crazy feeling! 
When you try this thing out, they put you in these crazy space pants that are made of a neoprene like fabric that zips into the air bag like portion of the treadmill. Then the machine calibrates to your weight and then you tell it what percentage of your body weight you want to run with. I took it down to 60% of my body weight and I felt like I could run forever!

5k Race Day!

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Saturday was the 5k and it was cold and windy! We knew we were just going to do the 5k for fun so we joined up with some friends. Before we even hit the first kilometer, we decided to take a detour. 
For shots!
That's right, we hoped into a local diner/bar and took a shot of whisky! 
That's definitely a first for me to go to a bar and order a shot. 
Route 66 is known as a party course and we did our part to contribute to the reputation! Nothing says party like messy hair, shots at 8:15am, and all before we even hit the first mile! #RockStarStatus
Even though we ran/walked the entire way, stopped in and ordered 6 shots, and had to tab out, we managed to finish the 5k in under 50 minutes. Not bad. 

Half Marathon Race Day!

PictureBasic Corral Selfie!
Sunday was the half marathon. It started our super cold, but eventually warmed up to be nice. 
We ran/walked the entire way but somehow I managed to take very few pics. I'm slacking on my blogging duties!
Route 66 is known as a party race and it's no joke! We had beer, shots, donuts, and various other goodies on the race to help us keep our spirits up. I had fruit loop vodka y'all! 
Quick shout out to the citizens of Tulsa for getting the party started early on a Sunday morning! 

Back to the race. The course was hilly! Being as I was vastly under trained, it didn't long before my body was over it. But we got it done, had fun along the way, and eventually crossed the finish line. It was a personal worst for the Hubbo and I but we were just happy to be out there and complete another race. 

Overall, the weekend was great! We had great company, lots of fun, lots of drinks, and made some fun memories! This is exactly why Route 66 is my favorite race ever! 

Question! What's your PR and PW?

 
 
PictureNicholas Norfolk and I before the Blogger's Panel
I already know exactly what you are thinking. That is the most random mash-up of a blog title that you've ever laid your pretty little eyes on, huh? Well it's too bad that "Meeting Bart Yasso, Blogger's Panel, Volunteering at the Expo, and Random Pics from Route 66" didn't fit in the title line. Weird. 
Well what can you do? I have a few topics to talk about but I don't think any of them are single-post worthy on their own. So blog mash-up it is! 

Now before you send me hate mail, I know, I know Bart Yasso is DEFINITELY worthy of his own post! But what can ya do? 

Meeting Bart Yasso

PictureSassy #Bartie
A few days before the Route 66 Marathon I sent a tweet to Bart Yasso that I was excited to see him at the Expo and hoped we could get a pic together. Stalker Pro Tip #1. Tweet in advance that you are looking to meet and get a pic! 

I was actually just putting evidence out there in case any stalking charges would be filed against me later, but it turns out, I didn't need to! Bart replied to my tweet and said we could get a pic! Whew! Stalker Pro Tip #2. Don't be shy! When I first got to the Expo Bart was alone and setting up for his upcoming talk he was about to give. But I got too shy to approach him. Just when I was about to walk up to him, he walked over and started talking to the guys at the Marathon Maniacs booth! Fail! Then when I finally went up to him after he spoke he said he remembered me and we were able to get our Bartie! That's what selfies with Bart Yasso are called apparently. I was lucky enough that we got to take two together. A normal one and a sassy one. The sassy one is my favorite and I'm totally taking suggestion for the best caption for this pic! 

The Route 66 Marathon Blogger's Panel

PictureT-Rex, RunGingerRun, Running Jacksons, and Angie
A couple weeks before the Expo at Route 66 I got a message from one of the Race Directors asking me if I was running in the race and if I was available to be a part of the Blogger's Panel on Saturday. I immediately agreed and was super excited. I had actually attended the panel as an audience member the previous two years and really enjoyed it. 
I had the honor to join these fellow runners and bloggers for a 45 minute Q&A about blogging and running. It was a ton of fun and I can't wait for Route 66 next year! The Hubbo and I are already planning to run the half and the 5k.  

The other fab bloggers:
Danielle Hastings http://trexrunner.com/ 
Becky Jackson http://runningjacksons.blogspot.com/
Angie Whitworth Pace http://www.angiepaceruns50.blogspot.com/

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Blogger's Panel Live Action Shot!

Volunteering at the Expo

PictureBlinky bling and handing out bibs, like a boss!
I've been running in races since 2010 and before last weekend had never actually volunteered at a race. It's been on my mind for a year that I need to volunteer as a way to give back to the running community, but never made it a priority. Until the Route 66 Marathon Weekend. RT66 makes it very enticing to be a volunteer. Here's why:

1.  You get a coin for volunteering. You all know I'm a sucker for bling!
2. There is a post-race volunteer party! Umm hello?! I like to party! 
3. They make it very easy to sign up and have a long list of areas you can help. Everything from packet pickup to course marshal to expo tear down.
4. It let's you see some behind the scenes aspect of the race.  I now have a whole new respect for race directors, volunteers, and outlook on being a participant of a large scale race. 

I volunteered for 2 shifts on Friday before the race on Sunday. From 10-1:00 I worked the packet pickup table. It was crazy busy from 11-1! We could literally tell when they opened the doors. From 1:30-4:30 I worked the shirt table where it was much more chill but I had a run in with a VERY RUDE and somewhat well known racer from Oklahoma. I will say that for the most part, the running community held true to their reputation of being awesome! So overall, it was a great experience! 

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One of the cool things about being at the Expo all day on Friday was that it was super easy to pick up my shirt from Okies Rock that I won on Instagram! I met Adam before the Expo really got started and when I went back to the Okies Rock booth to claim my prize he totally hooked a ginger up! 

Check them out on Instagram to see some of their awesome line if you are an Okie or fan of us Okies! They have their merchandise in stores in Tulsa, OKC, Harrah, Sapulpa, and Bixby. 
And just in case you didn't already know...#OkiesRock!

More Pics from Route 66 Weekend

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Random Silliness before the Route 66 5k!
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Got to meet my Twitter buddy Luis G. at the Blogger's Panel!
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Bumped into another Twitter pal Laura before the marathon!

Questions! Have you ever volunteered at your hometown race? Are you coming to Route 66 next year?

 
 
PictureWe're not in Oklahoma anymore...
This weekend the RunGingerRun crew loaded up, hit the road, and headed north to Olathe, Kansas where There's No Place Like Home! 

We ran the Garmin Land of Oz Half Marathon on Saturday. 
I really liked this race and plan to go back next year!

The Medal/Shirt

PictureGarmin Half Marathon Medal 2014
You all know I'm a total bling junkie and I really really like this medal!

You guys! IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! I'm not even kidding! The orange part glows in the dark.

Ah-mazing!

I understand that the medals for the Half are always the Wicked Witch, but the medals for the full change from year to year based on different characters from The Wizard of Oz. Last year it was the Tin Man and this year it was the Cowardly Lyon.

The shirt reminds me of a football jersey for some reason. I wish they would have used a different color other than dark blue but what can you do? Also, the shirt is themed after the Full Marathon theme, the Cowardly Lyon. 

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Garmin Race Shirt 2014

The Course

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First of all, whoever said that this course was 100% flat is a big fat liar! 
It's Kansas, they said, it will be flat, they said! 
Liars! All of you!

Ok, it wasn't the hilliest course I've ever been on. That award still goes to the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco but c'mon, you expect hills in San Fran! The course at this race in Kansas had one hill between 4-5 that was pretty daunting to run up on. The course even started going up a slight incline. 

I still really liked this course, I just should have gone into it with a better mental expectation that usually courses aren't 100% flat. Now I know and next year I'll be better prepared. 

The Half Marathoners and Full Marathoners broke off from each other shortly after mile 3 and as soon as we made the turn we had a hill to go up. Also, when I was coming in for the finish, it was a little difficult because the the rain had made the road slick and I was trying to run up an incline to cross the line.

The course was slightly confusing with the mile markers. Because the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners broke off from each other and then reunited later in the course, we had random mile markers that didn't apply to us sprinkled in around the course. I remember thinking it was a sick joke that when I hit mile 4ish and saw a mile 12 mile marker that some poor delirious runner who wasn't paying attention would get pretty excited to already be at mile 12 so quickly. It wasn't true. Then I got to the end of the half and my watch said I had 1.2 miles left but I came across a mile marker that said 2 miles? WTF! I didn't know if they were telling me 2 more miles for me to go or what. I thought surely my watch wasn't that far off. Turns out, it was for the 6K race they were also hosting at the same time as the Half. Whew! 

My best advice if you do this course next year is to ignore the mile markers and just enjoy the view! You'll know when you get to the finish line. I promise! 

The Expo

PictureThe Hubbo and I at the Garmin Expo 2014.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 3 miles away from the starting line but the expo was in the hotel next door to ours so it worked out. We got to the Expo a little before 5:00 and quickly picked up our packet and our shirts. At 5:00 the small expo started to break down the tables and clear out to make room for the pasta dinner that was taking place in that same area. I didn't go to the pasta dinner but I really wish I would have because Meb was there! One of my coaches even got to take a picture with him! So cool! 

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was a little more difficult than I like. If you do this race, you need to have PLENTY of time to get there. We left our hotel at 6:05 and the race started at 7:00. We had a goal of meeting up with our running club at 6:30 for a picture but we didn't make it. It took us over 30 minutes to drive 3 miles and park. There are plenty of places to park, it's just a one lane entrance to the parking garage they were telling everyone to go into. We ended up parking at a nearby business and walking a littler farther to avoid the parking garage. 

The hotel that hosted the Expo also had two shuttles to take runners to the starting line. I didn't use the shuttles but wanted to list it as an option for those who plan to run this race next year and fly in. 

My Stats and Experience

PictureMid-race selfie!
I didn't set any official goals going into this race either. I had already achieved my spring half marathon PR goal at the Aquarium Run. My only notion of a goal going into this race was to finish between 2:15 and 2:30 and to get that medal! 
Boom! Done!

I had blood sugar issues right before this race too. I knew it was going to be a rough race when I woke up hungry and with low blood sugar before I even got out of bed. I think I've learned my lesson and figured out that I can't carb load the night before a race! Ugh! That sounds so terrible to be a runner and not be able to carb load pre-race, but I've done it twice this month and paid for it both times. Luckily, the Hubbo came to the rescue again and shared his Gu with me. I hate the texture of Gu but it sure beats the feeling of low blood sugar!

I ran the first 4 miles on pace to be around a 2:10 - 2:15 pace but I got a horrible side stitch right before the big hill at mile 4.5. I was already having to push myself at that pace and after the side stitch I knew I couldn't hang on. So I decided to back off and have fun. That's when I took out my phone and starting taking pictures, Tweeting, Instagraming, and SnapChatting. I got some weird looks from runners who were passing me, but #RedHairDontCare.
It was my race and #IDoWhatIWant! 

I took this photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram. It's really hard to hashtag while running. Just FYI!

My Stats:
Finish: 2:23:25
I placed 1500th overall
780th in my Gender
165th in my Age Group (242 Total)

Number of Half Marathon Finishers: 2,199
Number of Females: 1,318
Number of Males: 877

Number of Full Marathon Finishers: 678

The Weather

PictureWell it was the Land of Oz Half Marathon...
The weather forecast for this race was different depending on the weather app you use. According to Weather Bug we had a significant chance of rain and thunderstorms during the race and it turns out it was right. The Weather Channel App was wrong. It said the rain wouldn't come into the area until mid afternoon. 
It was a little sunny at the start but not too warm but that quickly turned to overcast skies. I don't remember exactly when I took my sunglasses off but I didn't even need them for the majority of the race. It started sprinkling very lightly at mile 3. Then at mile 5.5 it started to come down a little more. It rained lightly just before mile 8 and then after mile 8 it started pouring buckets of rain! Some runners were lucky enough to get to run through hail. I never saw it but the reports are that it was very small. More like sleet. 

I wore a visor to this race and I'm glad I did. It would have been very difficult to run in the rain without it. I didn't mind the rain at all actually. It helped keep me cool from miles 8-11 where I tried to pick up my pace again. I was a little worried that my phone would get too wet but it survived. There was even a guy handing out plastic baggies for phones somewhere on the course by I didn't take one. That was dumb of me. 

We did have some lightening far off in the distance from this race. I'm glad they didn't call the race off. Also, a big part of the Half Marathon course was on a paved trail in the woods. If they did call it off, I'm not sure where we would have gone and how they would have gotten us out of the woods. Glad it all worked out ok!

If you like reading race recaps like this one you should totally check out Bibrave.com where you can find and write race reviews! 

More Race Weekend Pics!

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My typical race dummy!
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Typical Race Corral Selfie with The Hubbo!
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The Hubbo made me a Ginger Runner sticker for my car!
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Somewhere in Kansas I tried to take an Oscar-style selfie and failed!
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Pre-race carb loading with the crew!
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We may have stopped at Trader Joe's for some $2 Buck Chuck!
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The typical pre-race group pic!

Question! What's your next race?

 
 
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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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Route 66 Marathon Medals
It's really hard to believe that Route 66 Marathon weekend has come and gone already. It went so fast and even though it's Tuesday night now, I'm still tired and sore and THAT'S how you know you had a good weekend! I probably took about 1 million pictures this weekend, most of which you'll get to see here, to help me remember this awesome race weekend. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? I still can't feel my feet..

Last Friday Night 

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Route 66 5K Medal 2013
The Hubbo and I heard that the Route 66 5k was taking place on the Saturday before the big race and this year would be the first year that all 5k finishers would get a medal. OMG! You all know that we'll pretty much do anything for a medal because we are ridiculously addicted to bling. Seriously, is there a 12-Step program for this? We may need it someday. 
On Friday night we had to go to the Expo to pick up our race packet. We weren't able to get there until about 6:45 but we picked up our stuff and checked out the expo. It wasn't very busy but there was a lot of cool stuff to check out. I was most interested in getting to meet the T-Rex Runner who had a booth at the expo promoting her new company. When we got there, this happened...

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This is my sad face because TRex wasn't there!
Of course I failed to pay attention to her Expo schedule because I was entirely too lazy to read it, so she wasn't there when we showed up. 
::Insert Sad Music Here::
But I decided to tweet her this picture with "Oh no! No @thetrexrunner here! #WheresTrex" and she replied! A few tweets later and this happened....
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Me aka RunGingerRun, Steven Yee aka The Prez, and Danielle aka T-Rex Runner
Yup! That is me, T-Rex runner and Steven Yee aka the Prez of Marathon Maniacs hanging outside of a local bar just after we all had a beer! Totally made my weekend! 

Saturday 5K and Mascot Dash

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Excuse me, Red coat guy, can you move? I'm trying to take a picture for my blog!
Some people told us we were crazy for doing the 5K the day before we ran a Half and Full marathon, but we played it smart. We basically just used this as a warm up or shake out run and didn't even try to race. I think we finished it in just over 34 minutes. It was a good practice run actually because we've had such nice weather here in Tulsa I haven't even had to run in the bitter cold yet! 
The Mascot Dash took place after the 5K and was fun! It was short and sweet which was nice because it was so cold out there. I still can't feel my feet! We had about a dozen or so mascots lined up for the dash, a hot dog, a banana, a cowboy, T-Rex Runner, The ORU Eagle and more that I was too cold to remember. 
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Oh #NBD just two Gingers and one is in a banana costume. Totally normal.
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The space blanket sarong! Keeps you warm and fashionable during the Mascot Dash!

Sunday! The BIG day! 

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On Sunday morning, 9,000 of my running buddies and I braved the frigid temperature to run in the Route 66 Marathon here in Tulsa. This was the coldest run I've been a part of which was horrible and awesome at the same time. The temp was in the low 20's with a wind chill in the mid teens. Cold! At least the sunrise was beautiful! I still can't feel my feet...


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More awesome runner fashion in plastic bags!
About an hour before the race we met up with these crazy cats and hung out in Lesley's office which wasn't too far from the starting line. We bundled up in our super high fashion trash bags and ponchos and walked our way down to the freezing cold corral where we took this picture. The Hubbo and I both had a goal to get a PR in this race so we said goodbye to our buddies and found our spot next to a pace group. 
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Route 66 Half Marathon Medal and Bib 2013
Since this was Half Marathon number 6, I was super serious about this PR business. I decided to start out with the 2:20 pace group knowing that at some point I was going to have to ditch them to finish under 2:18. And that is exactly what I did. At mile 6 I noticed that I kept holding myself back to make sure I was sticking with the 2:20 pacer, and then about a half mile later, I thought to myself that it was crazy I was holding myself back when I was half way done with the race. So I took off and finished the race in 2:16:56 with a 2 minute and 11 second PR! 

                 So what about the course? What was it like? Was it hilly?

The course did have a few hills, but still, nothing compared to the two I faced in San Fran last month. So to me, this course felt easier, but to a lot of people this was a pretty hilly course, so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. 
Also, the course had a few ice patches on it because of the cold temps! The race did a great job of marking the areas and even putting sand on it to help the runners avoid injury. I did like the fact that we had a shorter out-and-back on the river. Mentally it was easier to do 3 miles this year versus the 6 miles last year. 

Sunday was a day for PRs for the RunGingerRun house!
The Hubbo got a PR in the Full with a time of 4:27:58! He took over 20 minutes off his previous Full Marathon PR! Great job Hubbo! 

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Here's the Hubbo, not wearing a lot of clothes on a super cold day just finishing a marathon!
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My Garmin Time for the Route 66 Half
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The Hubbo's Garmin Time for the Route 66 Full

Race Highlights

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Steve and The Ginger
I never thought that when I started this blog that people would...
1. Read it.
2. Recognize me from it.
3. Want to take a picture with me.
But this weekend proved I was wrong and this happened!
About half a mile into the race a Twitter follower of mine tapped me on the shoulder and said hi and that he follows me on Twitter! Hi Tom!
That totally made my day. Then I had just crossed the finish line and Steve yelled out to me and wanted to take a pic with me so he could tell his wife he met someone "famous" today! LOL I don't feel famous but it was super fun to meet both of these guys and to take a pic with Steve. Thanks for the awesome pic! Totally made my day!

Race Complaints

I know that when you organize a race as big as this, not everything is going to go 100% perfect. I'm still very happy and satisfied with everything and will be doing this race again next year. There were a few things that just didn't work out perfectly though.
  • The race medal and ribbon have the wrong dates on them. The medal has Saturday's date not Sunday's date and the ribbon as 2012 instead of 2013. Weird.
  • The Tracking App didn't work for everyone. It worked OK for me, but some had trouble with it.
  • Some things like the website, tracking app, and others still said 2012 on it.
  • Probably the biggest problem was that some people had thought they had registered for either the half or full, traveled all the way to Tulsa only to find out their registrations were no where to be found. So sad and frustrating being as registration was already closed. Please keep your race registration confirmation emails so this won't happen to you!

One last picture for good measure. You can't have too many pics, right?

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Race Bibs from the Route 66 2013 5k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon 2013
 
 
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A couple weekends ago, the girls and I packed up and headed west to run a little race... Well maybe not so little! We ran the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, California with 30,783 of our closest running buddies. This was the biggest race I've participated in yet and I can't even imagine what it would be like to run the New York marathon with 40,000 runners! (Good luck to everyone about to run the NYC Marathon!) We had a lot of fun, saw a lot of cool things, ran some miles, walked some miles, and made some awesome memories!

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Day 1:
We flew out of Tulsa on Friday and had to up get REAL early. Like so early I'm pretty sure it should be illegal to set your alarm for that time! But we managed and we made it to the airport in plenty of time.

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Some of us were on different flights and we all had seats randomly sprinkled in the cabin of the airplane so I had to entertain myself for both legs of the trip out to San Fran. 

So what does any Ginger do who has to sit next to a stranger on a long flight? I took a lot of selfies and pictures out of the window. Duh! I'll save you the selfie's and just show you my favorite picture of the clouds.

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So. Many. People.
We got to the hotel and we were lucky enough that they let us check in super early! Thanks Hotel! So we dropped off our stuff and headed out to find food and the expo. We went to a cute little place called Honey Honey and ordered mimosas and breakfast. Alcohol makes you run faster, right? When we got to the expo it was CROWDED! Did I mention there were over 30,000 of us trying to go to Niketown and Union Square to pick up our stuff? This picture is the checkout line at Niketown. Which is where they had all the official race gear for purchase. The Expo was small in space and in vendors. I get it, the race is put on by Nike so of course other shoe and clothing vendors aren't going to be allowed to come in, but it was still small in physical size. 

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The Expo had this cool little photo op right outside the tent so we stood in line and asked a random stranger to take our picture. There are actually 5 of us in this picture, but Darla is hiding behind the "R".
Hi Darla!

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Another cool thing about the Nike Women's Marathon is that every race participant's name is printed and listed on the window of Niketown. Mine is somewhere in there. I'll give a internet High-Five to anyone who can find it! And Go!

It's like a fun little game of where's Waldo. Only Waldo is actually your name printed on a wall with 30,000 other names and you have to elbow your way to the window to try to find it and somehow get a picture of it, because that's what all the cool kids were doing. 

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We all managed to get our race packets and do some shopping for race gear that first day. I love the fact that our race bibs were round. I don't think I've ever had a round one. This bib was also cool because the timing chip was attached to it on the back. So you didn't have to put the little yellow DTAG on your shoe. 

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After our long day of  traveling, getting checked in at the hotel and the expo, and even a little shopping we decided to sit down and rest our legs and hydrate. Of course that means beer. Again, alcohol makes you run faster right? 

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Day 2:
Saturday, or the day before the race, we all swore we didn't want to do a lot of walking but what happens when 5 girls are turned loose in a new town? Shopping. That's what happens. Lots of shopping. And shopping = walking. Oh well. #RedHairDontCare. We had fun. And we picked up some cool stuff from the Farmer's Market. 

We made our way down to the Ferry Building were I got this awesome shot. I was trying to make it look like I was holding up the Bay Bridge but whatever. We'll work on my modeling skills another time. 

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Running a half marathon wouldn't be legit without some carb-loading. We managed to get the earliest reservations possible at a pretty nice restaurant. When I say early, I mean EARLY! We got there at 4:30 and I'm pretty sure we were the only ones in the place and we were finished before the others really started to show up! It worked out OK, because we were tired and wanted to go back to the hotel to rest, foam roll, etc. 

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I always try to make a race dummy the night before the race so I won't forget anything or won't find myself scrambling the morning of the race. Well even though I made this snazzy Ginger Race Dummy, I still forgot to wear my back-bib. Oh well.

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The typical corral race day photo.
Day 3:
Race Day!

We got up around 4:30 AM and started slowly getting around. We were all in different corrals so we didn't worry about meeting up before the race. At the Expo one of the volunteers told me we should get to the corral no later than 5:00 AM. Um, what? The race starts at 6:30! Plus we heard that since we were in the last corral that last year runners had to wait an hour after the starting gun went off just to cross the start line. No Thanks! 

We dropped our bags at the gear check and made our way to the front of our corral. Turns out we only had to wait about 35 minutes from the starting gun going off until we actually got to start our race. The race was so crowded! If you want to run a race and try for a PR, this is not the race for that. We spent so much time and energy just weaving in and out of people and it never really opened up. 
There were people at the front of every corral keeping the crowds pumped and ready to run so that was entertaining. We also had some guys hanging out of the window to their hotel room giving us a fun little dance show as well. We started running and my watch was totally off while we were still downtown. It said we were running like a 13 minute/mile pace which was not true because I was breathing way too hard for that! 

The first 5 miles were pretty flat.  Luckily, I had stopped at a port-a-potty around mile 3 and took care of business. The lines at the bathroom stops were pretty long for the rest of the race.
But then we hit a pretty big hill from mile 5-6. Ugh! Why didn't I do more hill training? 
We survived the hill and somewhere after mile 6 they were handing out face wipes. That's nice and all, but I still have a good 5 miles to go and I'm going to keep sweating. 
Around mile 8-9 we hit our second big hill which about killed me. Again, why didn't I do more hill training? After that hill they were handing out chocolate on the course. I love chocolate but didn't think it would be a good mid-race fuel option so I just tucked it in my race belt for later. 
Anyways, back to the talk about hills...
Going up hill and having to dodge and weave in and out of people is really tiring and frustrating. If you are going to suddenly stop and walk in a race, please move over to the side so I don't have to dodge you last minute to avoid injuring both of us. Ok, running rant over. 

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The ocean is out there somewhere.
I was told there was a perfect photo op where I could take a picture and the Golden Gate Bridge would be behind me. Unfortunately, the weather was super foggy all morning and we couldn't see more than a quarter mile away. So I didn't take many photos on the course, because they all would have looked like this!

On the positive side, I'm grateful that the weather was cool. If this had been a warm race, I wouldn't have met my goal. 

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We were finally able to finish and as soon as you cross the finish line you are wall-to-wall people and you get in line to get your finisher's "medal" which is actually a Tiffany necklace handed to you by a volunteer. Well not just any volunteer...   A San Francisco Firefighter in a Tuxedo! Nice!
The wall-to-wall people made it hard to stay warm and your body and your muscles cooled down fast! We made our way to the bag check area but didn't realize that once you crossed over from the finishers area to the bag check area you couldn't go back and get a picture with a Firefighter. Bummer!

This race ends several miles away from where it started in downtown San Fran so if you need to get back to your car or hotel in that area, you had to have purchased a bus pass at the Expo. About the time we got on the bus, the sun came out. Figures. Overall, I had a great race and even beat my goal time. I wanted to finish in under 2:30 and I managed to finish in 2:27. Not a PR for me, but not the worst half I've ever done.


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Here is our finisher necklace! I love it and have been wearing it ever since I got it. After the race we went back to the hotel, met up with all the girls, showered and then went out to dinner. Once we got back to the hotel we had a wine happy hour by the fireplace. Such a nice way to wind down after race day. 

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World's Biggest Carousel. I think...
Day 4:
Monday was our completely free day. We all finished the race and didn't have to worry about how much we walked, what we ate, or had to drink. Watch out San Fran! These Okie girls are young, wild, and free!
Ok, maybe not, but you get the idea.

We tried several times to book a trip to Alcatraz, but with the Government shut-down the trips booked up pretty fast. We had also planned on going on a winery tour but that didn't happen either. We did see this GIANT carousel. 

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I'm on a trolley y'all!
We went on a Trolley down to Fisherman's Wharf where we saw the Sea Lions sleeping on the docs, ate at a really good restaurant called the Franciscan or something and of course, did more shopping. After we were all done walking/shopping took the trolley back to our hotel to get packed and ready to go home. We had to leave our hotel at 4:00 AM (Yes ANOTHER super early day on this trip!) because of the BART Strike and our flight that left at 6:50. So. Early. 
Overall, the race was good, I had a lot of fun with the girls, got a Tiffany necklace, and I got to cross this race off my bucket list. 

What races are on your bucket list?

 
 
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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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Photo from Little Rock Marathon's FB Page.
I like socks. I like monkeys. I really like sock monkeys. But I'm even more excited about this huge medal we will be racing for on March 3, 2013 at the Little Rock Marathon! The picture doesn't do the size of the medal justice. This thing is huge!
 
At the Route 66 Marathon expo, I had the opportunity to meet one of the CICs (Chicks in Charge) from the Little Rock Marathon and we talked about the medal for a bit. 

Fun facts about the Little Rock Marathon:
  • There is no time limit. They have the clock on for everyone.
  • Every finisher gets a medal. Even the 5K & 10K participants.
  • I hear they have an awesome after party later that night. 
  • The medal is bigger every year.
  • The Little Rock Half Marathon medal is bigger than the Boston Marathon Finisher Medal! 
Now if that doesn't make you add this race to your bucket list, I don't know what will!

There is not much that can beat having a huge medal for a race. Unless a race offers 2 medals! In December the Hubbo and I finished our second marathon, the Double Half Marathon aka the Half & Half Marathon here in Tulsa. A lot of times people ask why we run. Well let's be honest, medals are cool! We enjoy the running, and training for the races, we enjoy the races themselves, but we really like collecting something that we feel we really earned every step of the way. Today our second medal finally came in from the marathon we did in December. See the picture below. If you want to read more about how the race went click HERE

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The Hubbo has done a great job of finding cool ways to display our medals. This is what he did for our first marathon. 
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And here is what he did for our first three half marathons.
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What do you do with your medals after a race?
 
 
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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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