There aren't a lot of races in South Dakota once the calendar flips to November so I found myself driving to Sioux City early Saturday morning to take a stab at the Coca-Cola Classic 5K/10K. The race was very well organized and I was able to get my bib number and race sweatshirt within a couple of minutes. I was stuck with a size medium sweatshirt, but with raceday registration you take what you can get. The 5K and 10K were supposed to start at 10 a.m., but the kiddie race took a bit longer than expected and it was about 10:15 before the gun went off and there were a lot of cold people jumping up and down. The race was nice and flat as advertised and I settled in just behind the lead pack. The wind was howling at a 20-25 mile per hour clip so it was obviously not going to be a PR day. I covered the first mile in 7:02 and was in third place among the ladies (I thought; it isn't always easy to tell when everyone is wearing a beanie or stocking hat). I knew that I'd finish second at best because there was a lady that just blazed through the first mile and I had no shot of catching her. The race started at the Four Seasons health club and was an out and back loop on the Floyd River Trail. The loop took us right past the rendering plants: the registration form called it "an unobstructed view of the industrial side of Sioux City" but what was obstructed was my ability to breathe for a good four or five minutes. It smelled terrible and I couldn't get past that stretch fast enough. I moved into second place around the 1.5 mile mark and managed to hold her off on the back loop. The overall make winner finished in 18:38 and the overall female won in 21:38. I came in at 22:24, not bad for my first race since the Maryville Marathon in June but I had hoped for something in the 20-21 range. It took almost an hour before the awards ceremony got going but that wasn't as annoying as it usually would have been because Four Seasons was nice enough to let the runners use their shower facilities. It was so nice to drive home in clean clothes. The post race food spread was top notch: Coca-Cola products, bagels, fruit, applesauce, yogurt, Veggie straws, pretzels and three sheet cakes. I let with a good-looking medal and a full stomach. Great overall presentation by the Missouri River Runners. I'd run the race again (even with the stinky stretch).
Race results: http://www.allsportcentral.com/results/results.cfm?EventID=56517