Latest reviews by Angie Maske-Berka
August 7, 2021 - Summer temps, humid
Registration: Available online, maybe around $25/$30. Included was a short sleeve cotton shirt. Could register in person on race day.
Pre-race: Parking was not available at the start, but in lots nearby on the same grounds. (Race takes place in the Herbert Hoover Historic Site, Prairie.) No port-o-potties. Announcements were made about the course, lots of turns!
-Various terrain, asphalt, grass, prairie
-run through the gravesite of Hoover, prairie views
-volunteer at every turn, signs along the course marking the turns
-aid stations with water
My race: I ran this event the first year and was excited they were going to host it again. The prairie is a challenging place to run, and I still wasn't prepared. We started on the paved area then turned into the prairie, immediately climbing a hill. The grass was also dewy, glad I wore trail shoes. I never felt lost, there was someone at every intersection or turn. Besides the tougher course, I had a decent race and came to the finish line with no issues. A volunteer snagged my bib number and wrote down my finish time.
Post Race/Finish: Bottled water and bananas were available. After all participants were back (there was also a mile walk.) Awards were announced. I won my age group!!
Overall: This race coincides with the weekend festival - Hoover Days. Over the years there has been a race associated with the festival, then it went away, so it's nice the Lions Club brought it back and made it more challenging, highlighting the features if the town. I will try to continue to support this as the Lions Club gives a lot back to the community and do it if it fits in my schedule.
The 2021 event took place Saturday, July 17at 7:30 AM. It was sunny, temps in upper 70's with high humidity. The 5k and one mile event were run at the same time.
Registration: Available online with a no t-shirt option for less. Or you could register on race day. Cost was around $20, shirts were guaranteed by a certain time and available first come first serve on race day for an additional $12. The were short sleeve, unisex, cotton.
Packet pick-up: Bibs and shirts could be picked up the morning of the race. If you pre-registered they were handed out in a plastic bag with 4 advertisement papers.
Pre-race: There was parking available near the start/finish for free at the nearby rec complex. Port-o-potties were available. The were a few announcements and the National Anthem was sung.
Race /Course: A route through town
-Terrain: Paved and chip n seal
-Scenery: Rural small Iowa town.
-Course Markings: The course had each turn marked with spray paint on the ground. I don't recall mile markers.
-Spectators: A few people were out and about, lots of empty chairs as people were saving spots for a parade later that day
-Aid Station: Water on course, just before the 2 mile mark.
-Volunteers: plenty and always felt safe on the course. Law enforcement at major intersections.
-Photography: No photographers
-Elevation: While there are no mountainous climbs, I think every hill in town was on the course
Finish / post race: There was a giant clock at the finish and lots of people standing around, only because this is where the food and water was located. There were bananas and granola bars, in addition to ice cold bottles of water. A table of random prizes awarded by raffle was nearby. The timing guy provided printouts of your time.
Awards were held after the race. Prizes to overall and age groups.
Overall: The event has been a tradition of this small town celebration for years. It still keeps it small town charm while drawing a speedy crowd. Great price for your basic 5k needs.
My Race: I can't resist the small town festival race and in my area there are so many happening. I have participated in this event many times over the years and it happened to fit in my schedule this year. I had no expectations but to give it a good effort.
The start was a bit crowded, but once I found my place I tried to push as much as I could. I saw some people I know and said hi as I huffed and puffed up the next incline. The pressure was on to not get passed by them.
I had an uneventful 5k, it was tough with the humidity and the hills, but I managed to find the finish line with a time of 28:13, good enough for 173rd place. It was a super speedy field.
July 25, 2021, Summer time running conditions - sunny, warm, humid, late morning start.
Registration: Online for near $40. First 100 to register received a gift bag. Bib and timing chip included. *I received the "gift bag." The bag is an insulated cooler, had some coozies, pens, socks & headband inside.
Pre-race: Runners could pick up their bibs about an hour or so before the race. Parking on city side streets or ramps. Race takes place outside the Need Pizza restaurant, bathrooms inside. Announcements were made on how the race will work and about the PR Foundation.
"EAT PIZZA, RUN 1/2 MILE--DRINK A PINT OF CRAFT BEER, RUN ANOTHER 1/2 MILE TO THE FINISH!!!
This pizza and beer 1-mile race is put on by the PRFoundation. This is a charitable sports run that will help support veterans through the Freedom Foundation in the Cedar Rapids area as well as a no kill animal shelter, Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids! Even though the PRFoundation was founded by Robert Kabakoff of Chicago and "Panini" Pete Blohme of Alabama, they feel wherever there is an event that their cause can support, that money can be used in the community!" - taken from the race website.
Race: The race started with eating a GIANT slice of cheese pizza, then your timing started, run a half mile, come back and drink a can of Big Grove Boomtown, then run another half mile.
-Closed city streets
-photographers near start/finish
-GIANT slices of pizza
-ICE COLD beer (root beer option)
-views of downtown city scape
-volunteers and police at every intersection
My race: This concept is new to me, but I was very excited to give this a go. I made the day work by joining a group run earlier in the morning for longer miles and then topped off the day with this. I was more worried about eating something than drinking something, I really thought I would puke.
The race started a few minutes later than posted, but I would imagine it's because the pizza was fresh out of the oven. They cut it up and plated it on paper plates. People were invited over to start eating. I picked up a huge slice and tried to chew as fast as I could - which wasn't a great idea as my time would start when I crossed the timing mat. I just couldn't chew fast enough. Once I was done, I started running. I just had to do a loop, I had no issues and I was back at the starting area. I picked a can of the coldest beer ever from the ice tub and started drinking. It was soooo cold I couldn't drink it, it hurt my throat. I was trying as now it mattered, I was on the clock! This seemed to take forever. I was finally done and I did the next loop. It was great to be able to run the entire street and not worry about cars. I came across the finish line and that was it! No puking. I had run the mile in 11:28.
Finish / Post Race: After everyone was done there were awards and some door prizes I think. The awards were recycled (other sport) trophies.. Participants were given a post race free beer too. Could hang out in the pizza restaurant or in the street. The results were posted to the window.
Overall: Fun! The price is a bit much, but it's outlined upfront that this supports a foundation, plus you get pizza and beer and I had a great time. I see there is already a date for next year and I hope I can better my time.
July 17, 2021 0 overcast, summer temps and humidity.
Registration: Not sure online registration was available. On race day paid only $15, no shirt. Could purchase shirt for additional fee, short sleeve cotton. This got us a bib, no timing chip.
Pre-race: Free parking near the start. Real toilets available at the neighboring campsite. Announcements made about the course - specifically about the turnaround and the distance not being short.
-Crushed Limestone trail, shaded
-each turn around was an aid station. Water only
- no spectators - except with out and back, runners cheered each other on
-Volunteers at water stops, and there was an ambulance at the one road crossing on my way out
Finish: There were volunteers snagging the strip off the bottom of the bib to record your finish time. Each distance was marked with a sticker so they knew what race to place you in. There was a gathering of runners cheering everyone in.
Post Race: When everyone was done, awards were given out. Overall and for each age group. Finisher and gift certificates were awarded. There was an easel with all finisher bib strips, showing the results. Nice spread of treats too including string cheese! Kid finishers even got an entire bag of things.
My Race: I have run this event before, I enjoy the Pony Hollow Trail where this happens. This race is also no frills and straight forward. Run out 3 miles and turnaround. There were not a lot of participants, so at times it felt like I took a wrong turn (impossible.) I did eventually have another runner in my sight, but I could not catch them. I enjoyed cheering on my husband and another friend as we passed on the out and back. The course was a little short, but I did end up winning my age group. I had a good race.
Overall: You can't beat a $15 race registration. I will come back to this event if it works with my schedule. Sometimes you don't need all the bells and whistles to enjoy running.
This race is part of the Sweet Corn Festival, afterwards I competed in a donut hole eating contest and we enjoyed all there was to offer.
Trek for the Schools 5k. 8:00 AM, 70 and humid, overcast. Riverside, IA The event is part of TrekFest (yes, a festival centered around Star Trek.)
Registration: Available online, until race day, $30. Shirts were not guaranteed after a certain date.
I registered late and still received a short sleeve, unisex cotton shirt inside a drawstring bag with a slap coozie, lip balm, pancake breakfast coupon and letter opener.
Expo / Packet Pick up: There was no expo. You could pick up your bib and shirt before the race. There was plenty of parking in a nearby lot or on a side street. There was live music by Dave Zollo. The port-o-potties were located steps away from the finisher arch and pick up area.
Pre-Race: Participants were told to line up behind the spray painted starting line. There was a short description of the course including there might not be a volunteer at every intersection, but each would be spray painted with an arrow. A child said "go" and the race was on!
Race / Course:
-paved / asphalt
-roads open to traffic
-little to no spectators
-one water stop around the halfway point with plastic water bottles
-Police at major road crossings, most other intersections had volunteers
-no mile markers
Finish / Post Race: An inflatable arch signaled the finish. A volunteer was writing bib numbers down in the order people finished. There was no clock or timing chips. A volunteer was handing each finisher a bottle of water and a banana.
Results and awards were announced minutes after the last finisher. Overall winners and age group.
My race: I was one week post marathon and I can't resist a small town 5k. This one I had never ran before and it fit into my schedule. I arrive with plenty of time to get my bib, listen to the live music and get a short warm up run.
When it was time to line up for the race, I was shocked at the low number of participants. Maybe 50 people? There were at least 3 other area 5ks the same day.
This is a tough race course, while the hills are not steep, I am certain we ran every hill in Riverside! Add in the humidity and I did all I could to keep pushing the pace. At one point I had my sights on catching someone in a white cotton tank top & baggy shorts, but I just couldn't do it.
I came to the finish line and when I looked at the distance on my watch I had 3.03, so I kept running to get to 3.10. I had a decent for me time of 28:xx minutes. This was good enough to win my age group. However, I think there were only 2 of us.
Overall: This is the definition of small town racing. I like these races, you can explore these small towns on foot and get a feel for the community. Despite the course being a tad short, the price was fair and I felt like this was a great little 5k.