So funny story, I initially signed up for the RBC Race for the Kids Minnesota Half Marathon as part of a race series so I could get a sweet half-zip for doing the series. Said by no runner ever, right? 😉
I think I even registered before I knew I was doing The Golden Ultra, so at one point, I was gunning for a half marathon PR but I changed that once I got into ultramarathon training and decided to use it as a training run. I usually am terrible at using races as training runs because I am immediately like ooh, maybe I can PR? which is a terrible idea when you aren’t in PR shape.
Anyways! Back to the RBC Race for the Kids Minnesota Half Marathon (definitely a mouthful!). The race is on the smaller side, there was no expo — just a packet pick up at a local running store. My friend Neha was in town and decided to stay an extra day to run this race, so we hit up packet pick up together + grabbed dinner.
I was struggling with allergies all last week (seriously, they are THE WORST) and so all I really wanted to do after dinner was chill at home and go to bed early, and that was a success! I think I was in bed by 10 p.m. (I never thought I would be happy about that bedtime on a Friday night… oh how things change after you get out of your teens and 20s… ;))
The next morning, I was up at 5:30, picked up Neha and we headed over to St. Paul.
The race started with the inline racers (fun fact, Rollerblade was invented in Minnesota!) and then we kicked off just 15 minutes later at 7:15 a.m. (on time, I like it!).
The race started with a slight uphill and that ended up being the theme of the race, some lazy rolling hills that weren’t too terrible — I actually kinda liked them.
The thing I didn’t like about the course was that you went out 4 miles, turned around, went on the other side of the road and ran to mile 8 or 9, which is where the finish was (on the other side), continued down to mile 10.5ish, turned around, and ran on the other side of the road to the finish. I really don’t like these type of courses because I hate staring at the runners going the opposite direction AND seeing the finish line when you still have a good chunk left? Not my favorite.
However, there were some good views along the way (that’s St. Paul in the distance!):
And this sign gave me some things to ponder for a mile or so:
Why in the world would you need to rent a goat? Still don’t know.
So, I was targeting a two-hour finish time… but I was feeling good, so I pushed the pace a little bit. When I hit mile 11, I saw the 1:50 pacer just ahead and was like hmm maybe I could pass him? I ended up doing so right before I hit 13 miles and it was such a good feeling.
It’s such a difference not feeling like death at the finish line! I hope that this is how I feel after next weekend’s training run, aka marathon.
To be honest, I am not sure if this will be on my list to run again. I do like that it is one of the only summer half marathons and that it starts really early in the morning. I didn’t mind the course from an elevation perspective, but I hated the going back and forth part like I said before. It just felt like the race organizers got lazy.
It’s a super little thing, but something else that bothered me was the hard plastic cups they used for water + electrolytes along the course. It made it really hard to drink out of without having the ability to fold like you can with the paper cups. Again, a super minor thing, but it did get annoying.
That being said, I think this was a relatively cheap race for a half marathon, and we did get a pretty sweet finisher medal + tee.
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