Latest reviews by Sarah Beth
he Pi-Day River Rotation Half-Marathon is held at my very favorite river trails in Lawrence, KS. The race is put on by the Lawrence Trail Hawks, and is the only race I have ever run that serves pie at the end!
I was putting in heavy mileage because I was training for the Free State Trail Marathon at the Clinton Lake trails. This race should have been a piece of cake…. But… Circumstances meant I had not eaten or slept well in two weeks. I got up and got ready for the race. I made it to the parking lot. And I sat in the car and cried. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to race. I was pretty convinced I was going to walk over and tell my friends that I was going to go home.
I found my friends shivering around a heater, and hinted around that I didn’t know if I wanted to race. No one really said much, so I just kind of lingered. They called for runners to line up, and for whatever reason, I followed the pack over to the start line. I stood nearly in the very back of the pack, probably not a great plan for a gun-time event. The gun went off and I followed the pack down the road that runs to the trail head parking lots, and around to the trail head to start the race loop.
Note: The Lawrence river trails have many turnbacks so you can nearly run any distance there. The most common is a 4.75 loop that most runners call the “race loop.” Runners run this counter-clockwise while mountain bikers go clockwise. The River Rotational calls for a counterclock-wise race loop, a slightly shorter clockwise loop, then a final counter-clockwise race loop.
The pace was a little slow, so I started passing when I could and working my way up the conga line of runners. Eventually, I found myself in line behind my friend Trudi, and her friend (now Oiselle Volee teammate, Jordan).
I mindlessly ran, staring at the back of Trudi’s head. At first, she wasn’t even aware I was behind her. I struck up a conversation with a guy running behind me. His daughter’s had made his playlist so he was complaining a bit about the pop music he was listening to. (I guess you should always make your own playlists!!)
e finished the first loop and hit the aid station set up at the trail head. My friend Vickie was volunteering there and offered to take my jacket. I was warmed up and needed to shed a layer. A quick drink (I regret not taking a handheld!) and we were back out for the clockwise loop. Again, I was trotting along behind Trudi and Jordan. I noticed Jordan was wearing Oiselle, so we talked a bit about that. I was wearing a pink Oiselle long-sleeve so we had something to talk about!
The second loop seemed to go much quicker since we were running down the billy goats instead of up them. The makes a bit of a difference J We waved at friends who we met still running the first loop and gave some cheers and shouts of encouragement.
he third loop is when I started to notice I was getting tired. The guy that had been running behind me slowed way down, so it was just Trudi and Jordan with me. I was heading up one of the little billy-goat hills and caught the toe of my shoe. I had a little stumble so I slowed down a minute to make sure I didn’t injure myself. When I felt I was OK, I started working to catch back up to the girls.
he final sprint and I caught back up. My boys were not at the finish line since I finished a little sooner than I had projected, so I sat on a rock and took a rest. The boys got there 5 minutes later and checked out of the pie selection. Eventually, my tummy settled down and I found a piece of leftover pie. It was so good! Highly recommend the pies at the Pi Day race! They are all baked by Celestial Bakery in Lawrence, KS.
The Scout Strong Half Marathon is a race benefitting the Boys Scouts. The race was held at KC Sporting Park, home of KC’s professional soccer team, that was called Livestrong Park before some legal issues forced a name change. Not sure if they will continue with the Scout Strong name next year due to this change, but this inaugural event was in the works before the legal issues.
The course promised a tour of the KC Legends complex, including the Kansas Speedway NASCAR track, which sounded pretty cool. I found the 2:30 pace group and met up with some people I remembered from the Garmin Marathon. The event started at KC Sporting, and headed toward the Kansas Speedway. You didn’t actually run on the racetrack, but cut through the complex, running through an area where I think they probably have vendors set up? From there, you run through a ton of parking lots and out to a parks and recs area. (Glad I used the porta-potty before the race because there were none on the course. AT ALL!)
At mile 9, I noticed my IT Band wasn’t liking the course at all. It was extremely hilly. Before the race, we were all commenting on the elevation map, wondering if it was accurate. Yeah, it was. Mile 10-ish, my pace group left me in the dust as I had to start taking some walking breaks. I was just in too much pain to keep running. My sub 2:30 wasn’t gonna happen.
I was so happy to see the Legends Complex. We wound around the shopping areas and entered the KC Sporting stadium to finish our race on the field. Well, not on the field… right by the field. But still, pretty cool.
I got my medal, a chocolate milk and sat in the stadium for a bit. Sad that I didn’t get my sub 2:30 finish but the atmosphere was pretty cool. I hadn’t been in the stadium before and it was really neat to walk on the field.