|High Fives from Noah at the start line.|
The route for the River Rat begins on the Missouri River, very near the bridge to Nebraska. You quickly leave the waterfront, and run past the hospital and monastery to get onto Highway 50 out of town. As you leave town, you run down a giant hill, and the entire time all you can think is that you have to get back UP that hill at some point. There's a couple miles of out and back, and then you're staring down that hill again. The half marathon route loops around a shaded, semi-residential route, but ultimately the elevation climb is the same, because at the top of the climb it meets back up on the same road. (The full marathoners have to run back up the highway.)
|See the giant hill behind me?|
Mike finished about 15 minutes behind me, and while neither of us were last, it was not a fast run. We were both thrilled to have finished at all tho, and felt like the run was a complete success. The race seems fairly unorganized- there aren't any emails telling you where to go or where to line up or if there is any food after. There are no vendors at packet pickup and no options to buy other swag. You show up at the start line and follow the crowd, but it's a small crowd, so it's ok. That said, the volunteers are terrific and even the slow runners at the end get kudos and cheers as they pass the water stations, and there are volunteers at literally every turn cheering and clapping and helping out. The SD National Guard is on many of the corners prior to getting on the trail, and every single one cheered and clapped for me. There were only 162 runners for the half, and a $60 entry fee, and even with the giant hill I think it would be a great first marathon. My knees hurt quite a bit that night, but my shins were/are fine and three days later I only have a little quad pain, and am ready to run again.
|Family finish photo!|
Our signs included:
-Hurry Up So We Can Drink
-YOU are my favorite runner!
-Run Faster, I just Farted. (Kids, what are you gonna do?)
-Run Like You Stole Something
- GO Mike and Lisa GO
-Go Dad Go I Love You
-Run for the Hill (with detailed illustration)
- You aren't slow, you're getting your money's worth!
-Power Up Here! (with a green power up "button")
Plus pom poms and a cowbell!
|The boys helping me at the bottom of the big hill.|
|Mike gets a boost from Lauren a few minutes later.|
The hotel had a terrific pool, a little kid pool, and a hot tub and the kids played for hours and hours, and slept really well. My niece came over the night after the race to babysit poolside and the grownups went to dinner and relaxed. It was such a great trip.
|Noah trying to stare holes through their closed curtains. He was the first kid up on Sunday.|
|Hurry Up So We Can Drink!|