So we drove out to Davenport this morning to run a short 5K across the Mississippi River. It was a chilly beginning with Frost and Fog as we raced out for the early packet pickup. Since Davenport was so close, we decided to pick it up in the morning rather than last night. The Race was mapped out to cross the river twice.
All was good, Cheryl dressed appropriately for this one, knowing that the temps would climb to around 40 when the race eventually started. We have been here before, and finding parking at 7:30 AM on a Saturday was surprisingly easy. With Packet in hand, Cheryl spent the next half hour struggling to get her “chip” on her shoe. Why was she having such a difficult time? Because this race had zip ties instead of the usual twisties. I guess twisties are a female thing and zip ties are more “Guy Friendly” . Don’t believe me? Ask any married man if he ever puts the twist ties back on the bread package. However, when they are assembling the audio visual equipment, they always have a handful of zip ties in their back pocket. I didn’t make the rules…I just follow them.
Eventually, Cheryl managed to figure out the complicated Zip Ties and attach the chip to her shoe. Even with the delay, we still had an hour and a half to kill before the race. We decided to check out the water and find the start point.
The water was easy…it is difficult to miss the Mississippi. It even has “miss” in it’s name! (Grin!) The strange birds that are currently migrating through are the very cool White Freshwater Pelican. ( Ok, Freshwater may not be in their name…I just added that as a descriptor.) I managed to take several dozen pictures of some, but ended up selecting the closest one flying. Notice the black wing tips, white plumage, and bright yellow bill with the top protrusion. The Brown Pelican in from Florida is very different. ( Google it! They have pictures.)
Eventually we found the start as they were inflating the large balloon. This is a mark of a “good” race according to Cheryl’s new standards. The last several races were lacking in this department. It took them mere moments to fill it up and put it in place. It is one of those “special” touches that help the runner find the start point…I guess.
I decided to head out in front and try to capture a mid race picture rather than fight to find Cheryl in the crowd. Usually she disappears behind some cluster of “racing buddies”, and I lose sight of her.
I walked up on the bridge. Rather tall might I add. I was able to get a cool bird’s eye view of the area. I might have missed the National Anthem,
but I was able to get the first cluster of people as they climbed up the bridge. I was impressed when Cheryl was near the front of the first group. I rapidly snapped several pics at close range, capturing the runner in front of her. Eventually she ran in front of my lens again and I was able to see her as she ran away.
I then raced back to the finish line in the stadium. I could see Cheryl approaching from the top rail and snapped a couple distance shots. I was paying close attention to the female finishers in front of her and I noted that she was making pretty good time. I quickly raced down to the finish just before Home Plate.
This race was a little different in that they did not hand out finishers medals to everyone. Instead you needed to finish within the top three of your age group. Second place still gets a place on the podium!
After that, we headed to the party section. Free beer, burgers, hot dogs, and Pizza along with the usual bananas and granola bars. Even Cheryl liked the breakfast pizza. I can’t believe we were drinking Beer before 10 AM!
It was too bad we did not win with the raffle. I guess there was a stuffed toy Cheryl wanted in the “kids basket. She thought that our odds were better because there were not as many kids. I personally wanted to try for the beer or wine romance packet, but Cheryl won out. The top three runners received autographed baseball bats.
Overall, it was a great day. Cheryl actually complained that the race was over too quickly. I guess when you set another personal best time, 5K might seem like it is beneath you. Her official time for the 5K was 23:47 with an average pace of 7:41 per mile. She got 2nd place for females ages 40-44 ( out of 36) and 7th place out of 340 women over all. 57th place out of 562 finishers. Her previous PR was 24:11 in a training run. Her Previous OFFICIAL 5 K (at the Polar Dash on Jan 1st) was 27:25. This last section was put in here at Cheryl's request so she can access the information without digging through the files.
We had to wait to get home before Cheryl could model the shirt. And there is a chance that we might revisit that stadium to watch the ball club play. We received a free ticket with our race packet, and the tickets are affordable anyway. I personally am not into baseball all that much, but the food and beer has its appeal. We shall see. Check out all the remaining photos in the album below.