Gopher to Badger 5K Race Recap

This was a new race for me to try and kind of fun since I’m originally from Wisconsin, but now live in Minnesota (go Gophers!).

Hyedi and I met up about 6:15 a.m. to head to Hudson, WI. We parked and got over to the finish area which is where we needed to hop on a shuttle to get to the start. It’s a point-to-point course since you start in MN and run to WI — hence the name of the race!

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The shuttles were kind of a hot mess. It was really confusing as far as what time we needed to get on them and it seemed like they almost didn’t have enough shuttles for the number of runners. The shuttles left maybe 20 minutes later than scheduled. I was getting frustrated and annoyed just wanting to get to the start so I could use the restroom and get prepped before the race started.

We finally got to the start and again the organization was a hot mess. The 5K was supposed to start at 7:40, but it was maybe 7:30 when we actually arrived, so I knew they were not going to start on time. We hopped in a restroom line (there were only 4 bathrooms at the start). I wasn’t sure if we’d get through before the race actually started, but we just made it and lined up semi near the front.

The other bad thing was the 5K start was right on the Ragnar Relay course that was happening at the same time. I felt so bad for the Ragnar runners trying to get through the crowd of people waiting at the start line.

So, the pre-race portion was a bit frustrating, but once we got running things got better. I had a 3 mile pace run on my training schedule and came into the race aiming for a 9:20-9:30 pace. The race starts on a downhill, so you get some good momentum going. Had to weave around some people, but didn’t feel as bad as some races. Hyedi and I ran together for the first mile (my Garmin said 9:06) and then she picked up her pace a bit. Near the end of mile 1 the course narrows on the sidewalks/path, but it had thinned out enough that I didn’t get stuck behind too many people.

Mile 2 was also primarily downhill as you go across the bridge over the St. Croix river and enter WI. I maintained the faster pace (9:04) through that mile. As I came into mile 3, I was still feeling good and the course remained flat, so I pushed it towards the finish (8:46).

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Photo credit: Hyedi

I crossed the finish line in 28:23! Definitely faster than I was planning to run, but it felt good.

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The organization at the finish line was better. I got water and a little food and walked around for a couple of minutes to cool down. We snapped a picture by Goldy before heading out.

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Overall, I’m really happy with how the run part of this race went–and I guess that’s the most important thing. I’d like to actually train for a 5K at some point and aim for a new PR.

Have you ever dealt with a poorly organized start?

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