Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Hawkeye 50K & 25K Wrap Up

 Hi Runners!

Do you have an hour to kill? I hope so, because this is a new PR in random-ramble-mania.

1. People to thank(!!), also in random order:

  • Brian Fitzpatrick, our Medical Director. He was all over the place all day helping folks. If you need a chiropractor, check him out at Fitzpatrick Family Chiropractic.
  • We Run running store of North Liberty. They manned an aid station, MADE all the awards(!), provided our packet pickup site, and helped in other ways. Get your running stuff there.
  • Panera. They gave us bagels!
  • Gifts cards or cash from: Scheels, Casey's, Walmart, HyVee.
  • Bibs from Road ID.
  • Hammer Nutrition gave us goodies.
  • Relay Iowa helped at the start/finish and elsewhere.
  • Team RWB took an aid station.
  • Susan and Emily from the Lupus Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter, came to help and provided some prizes.
  • Race medals were made by Running Awards, based out of Illinois. If you need awards, you'll deal with Pat Gleason. She's great to work with.
  • Kam Koncepts, makers of the shirts. A start-up company. Give them some more work.
  • Road ID for the bibs.
  • A WHOLE bunch of individual volunteers including Sharron McElmeel, our volunteer coordinator.
  • Runners and others who brought food.
  • Family/friends of runners who jumped in to help. 
  • I've probably forgotten others. I apologize, and thank you!
Thank you all!

2. I want to apologize for the course marking problem. When I finally saw what happened, I was sick to my stomach. I still am a little bit. People have gone off course before. That happens no matter how well you mark it. But this was my fault, entirely. Two turn signs within 20 yards of each other fell. The first flag that fell manage to twist in just a way so as to point the wrong way. The odds of this - ugh. In any case, I should have had more flags/ribbons there. (That spot has never been a problem before.) I'm so very sorry so those who went off course and had to add extra distance or got totally confused. Even worse, had I understood where this was happening, I could have fixed it in 60 seconds. I couldn't fathom where this problem was at. Furthermore it was confusing since for every person who seemed to have a problem, three or four others indicated the course was marked just fine. But now I think those who said that already knew the course fairly well. Or were just lucky enough to spot the way to go. Sometimes it's your own fault when you go off course. This one was NOT your fault so don't beat yourself up over it, please.

If you're newer to trail running, rest assured that "going off course" is actually fairly common. In January 2013 I did an ultra whereby a number of folks got off course about mile 28 and ran something like 2-4 miles more than they were supposed to. I was a lucky one who went the right way and thus "beat" a number of faster runners. And just recently there was a 100K race in New Zealand that was shortened to 69K due to weather (it's not just the Hawkeye this happens to), and the woman's 10th place finisher accidentally cut the course short by 1.5 km and was disqualified. This isn't to excuse my screw up, but to say that this is, to some extent, a part of trail running.

In any case, if this particular problem caused you a DNF, please contact me. Or if it meant you would have placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, and then didn't, let me know. I would like to make it up to you a tiny bit with a small gift of some sort. If this just caused you to finish 8th instead of 7th, that's not quite as big of a deal, but I still apologize.

Also, if you ran extra and know about how much extra you ran, feel free to let me know and I can include it as a note in the results.

The stupid offending sign:

I have sacrificed this sign in a really bizarre ritual. Don't ask.

3. Speaking of DNF's. If you're bummed about getting a DNF, un-bum yourself. First, a bunch of people DNF'd, including some great runners. Second, a bunch did not START. A DNF is a learning experience and you can do better next time. I know at least one runner finally got a 50K finisher's medal after at least three tries to get one. We all aren't natural superstars who easily accomplish these feats. I know because that's me. In fact, in three weeks I'll be going to back to a race I DNF'd at last year. Crossing that finish line, probably in the very back of the pack, is going to be sweet, about as fine as it will be for the winner who will finish many hours ahead of me!

4. Speaking also of poor course marking, are you thinking that you won't come back to this race because the silly RD can't mark a course right? Well, forget that noise, because next year we'll have NEW folks in charge of this thing. Yes, folks who actually know HOW to run a race. Real organized people! People who love running people! (If you've seen Spamalot you get that.) I'm happy to announce that We Run of North Liberty will be carrying this race into the future! This is very good news. There may be changes, but if so they will all be good. Hey, maybe they'll bring better course conditions/weather! (Although, we WERE pretty lucky this year with the temps, eh?)

Maybe I can RUN the race next year. If so, I'll see you there!

5. Now don't shed a tear, and if you are nostalgic for my RD'ing "style," never fear. I have ideas for a new race. A little more on that below.

6. No Coast Trail Series. Remember there is an informal trail series going on. You've already earned points. Check out the other races: Red Shamrock Trail Run (Apr 5), Sunderbruch B&B Trail Races (May 17), Booneville Backroads Ultras (May 24), Blockhouse Trail Runs (Jun 14), Mines of Spain 5K/10K/Half Marathon (Aug 9), Running Village 50K (Oct), Wildcat 50K (Nov). Go run them!

And, the current points for the series have been tabulated. The point system is explained in the "No Coast Trail Series" Info link at the right. The current points are just below that. Check 'em out.

7. Speaking of races, We Run has a 5K/10K coming up on March 29, the We Run Lucky Run.

8. Many pics have been posted on the FB page. But here are links to them:

Becca FetterKirstin CorriganCrystal Cardon Eskelsen.  Christine Norquist Salinas.  (Let me know if I missed any collections. I'll link to all these on the right, eventually.) Thank you photographers!

9. RESULTS! They are posted on the right. They should be accurate now, but let me know if not.

Some thoughts: Mark Thompson three-peated as 50K champ. Steph Whitmore was our 50K champ, which is impressive since she's really a newbie at all this. (Second place finisher Brittany McConnell may have ended up closer but was a victim of my fallen course flags and ran an extra mile.) And Steph was only about 11 minutes off the course record. I'm thinking maybe she can knock that record down next year if she wants. Our 25K champ Nate Canton was only two minutes off the course record. And our other 25K champ was Anne Brophy, a full seven minutes ahead of the next finisher. Congrats to our Champs! And to all age group winners, and to everyone who was out there running!

Note: If you failed to pick up your 1st-3rd age group award, they are at We Run of North Liberty. Or contact me.

Another note: If you failed to pick up your medal, let me know. Even if you got an DNF you earned one. I have plenty left over anyway.

Look for results eventually to show up at Ultrasignup. And I'll also submit a short race write up to Ultrarunning magazine.

10. Speaking of course records, for the second year in a row no new course records were set. So the current records stand as follows:

50K Nancy Foxen 4:21:41
50K Scott Gall 3:34:21
25K Lynn Dobyns 2:03:16
25K Nathan Hopp 1:45:09

2012 (new course records set)
25K Sarah Gall 2:01:28 (Yes, wife of Scott)
25K Austin Williamson 1:39:33

And that's how they stand today.  So, I finally did something I always wanted to do, which was to make awards for those who hold the course records. Check 'em out!

I know I know, I'm so original and crafty. Now I just gotta find these people to get these to them.

11. I have some old shirts for sale. If you donate $2-5 each for them you can have them. (Plus pay any shipping costs if I send them to you. If you're nearby we can just meet up.) The money will go to Lupus. Here's what I have:

2010 tech shirt 2XL (long sleeve, unisex)

 2010 cotton volunteer shirt XL and 2XL (long sleeve, unisex)

(There was no race in 2011.)

2012 tech shirt M, XL, 2XL (short sleeve, unisex)

2013 tech shirt women's specific S, M and men's S, M. (short sleeve)

2013 cotton volunteer shirt S, M, L, XL, 2XL (short sleeve, unisex)

2014 tech shirt women's specific S, M, L and men's M, L.
2014 cotton volunteer shirt XL only

Of course I only have so many of each size, so first come first serve.

By the way, if you liked our shirts this year and you need shirts printed, you might check out Kam Koncepts. These guys work out of Blue Grass. Give them a try!

Would you like a cap? In the past I've made a few of these. If enough want some, I can make some more. I'm guessing they would be about $9 each (plus shipping if necessary). Let me know if you want one and then I can check on the exact price for the order.

12. Speaking of money, I can announce this much. I'm sure I'll be donating at least $1000 to the Lupus Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter! True! That little race fee adds up. (It helps that I run the race on the cheap.) Thanks again to Susan and Emily from LFA Iowa for coming to help. I'm sure they'll appreciate all YOUR efforts, runners and volunteers, for contributing to the cause. And don't forget the cause. Continue to support it any way you can.

13. And HERE is a way you CAN: Sign up for a new race, here in Iowa, that supports the same cause! It's the LiveFit with Lupus Half Marathon, 5K, and 1 mile Kids Fun Run on May 17 in LeClaire Iowa. This is really amazing to have two Lupus races in one state! Early bird price ends Thursday March 20 (like about now!), so sign up! Now!

14. Did you write up anything about the race? Let me know and I'll link to it on the right eventually. I know of two so far:

Mike McElmeel
Amy Oberbroeckling

15. Almost done.... Hey I mentioned a new race. I gots ideas. Actually this is a simpler race than the Hawkeye 50K & 25K, but it's something that doesn't exist yet in Iowa. And yes it involves trails and running long. Interested in being a co-race director and you're in the area? Contact me!

16. Finally, why does this race exist? Well, because Iowa needed ultras, for one. (Now we have a few!) But the inspiration for this race is my wonderful girlfriend, Deb. She has also been the most dedicated super volunteer for all four years. And this race is dedicated to her.

17. And with that, I leave you with the immortal words of Carol Burnett:

Your Friendly RD,


PS. Don't be surprised if I've forgotten something and contact you yet again...

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