Latest reviews by Angel

"Capital Pursuit "
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management

Here's a little blurb about Capital Pursuit from the Capital Striders website:

"Capital Pursuit is a premier late summer race that takes participants through the vibrant East Village, down the beautifully tree lined streets near Drake University campus and ending at the amazing Western Gateway Park downtown."

My thoughts:

Packet Pick-Up and Swag: It's a fairly decent-sized race with a long-standing place in the Des Moines running community (about 500-750 participants), so packet pick-up was held at the local Fleet Feet store in the East Village. Grabbing my bib, chip, and long-sleeved Brooks technical shirt (which was extremely nice, by the way - you just might want to order a size down if you aren't a man! Don't make my mistake) was hassle-free. My packet also came with Gatorade energy chews. I didn't actually try them on race day (out of fear they would upset my stomach), but I plan to test them out on a longer training run.

The Course: Flat and fast! The Des Moines Capital Striders Running Club is not exaggerating when they say it's a fast 10-miler. It went by extremely quickly for me and I don't remember really struggling to climb hills at any point. I also believe there is typically a two-hour course limit (12-minute/mile pace) for this race. Although the weather is outside of our control, racing conditions were truly perfect, which made the mostly tree-lined course more memorable.

Volunteer/spectator support: The volunteer support for this race was phenomenal - there was water being provided promptly at miles 2, 4.5, 6, and 8. There was also Gatorade and energy chews available, if you needed those items. Volunteers were extremely encouraging - one even said, "Keep going - you're gonna PR!" That is seriously the best thing you can say to someone at about mile 7 out of 10 mies. There were no signs, but the words of encouragement, claps, cheers, and bells from people hanging around in the Drake neighborhood and volunteering really contributed to the community feel of the race. I really loved this most.

The Finish: The finish was downtown after a nice downhill stride and corner turn, which made me want to give an all-out effort and get to the finish line faster. If the course is anything like this in years to come, you might want to curb your enthusiasm ever so slightly and save your sprint for after that corner turn :-) The Capital Striders board members were cheering participants on as they crossed the finish line, which really made for a pretty sweet ending to a great race.

The Medal: The medal was a great size. The distance wasn't listed (there was also a 5k), but the shirts were different for 5k and 10 mile participants.

Post-race events: Finishers had a great spread: breakfast burritos, bagel bites, and bananas. There was also an after-party at a local bar (Johnny's Hall of Fame), and the race packet included a ticket for a free beer at the post-race event.

Pricing: Perfect. I've paid more for 5ks and 10ks, so receiving a nice running shirt for cooler temps, entry to a downtown event following the race, and a medal for less than $40 (sign up early!) was a treat.

Final thoughts: This was my first foray into longer-distance running while training for my first half-marathon, and I had a very positive experience. It was also very well-organized (this was the race's 32nd anniversary!). I'd definitely run this race again.

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