Saturday, 23 June 2012

Detroit River Days 5K

Beautiful Day, beautiful event! Part of the Detroit River Days Festival.


The setting couldn't have been nicer (along the wonderfully renovated Detroit riverfront) and a better organised race I've yet to see. The proceeds go to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy which has done an amazing job so far making the river accessible to people. The race was to start at 8:30, so we arrived about 7:55 or so. The organisers had sent out free parking passes for one of the huge parking garages right at the site!!!! Normally $10, this was a huge bonus as we didn't have to worry about finding parking (the registration fee was only $20 which included a nice T-shirt and the parking). Down to get my bib, etc.: really easy. And get this: not only real washrooms, but CLEAN portapotties! No problem at all taking care of the necessities before a race. Warmup, drills, then on to the start line, fueled by pumping Motown tunes (this is Detroit, after all!). Canada (specifically, Windsor), my "home and native land" (words from our national anthem, for those non-Canucks) was actually quite pretty across the river:

The course was gorgeous, following historic Atwater Street past the Renaissance Center (RenCen to us locals):

and through the Atwater tunnel to Hart Plaza. After turning around at the fountain, we were right next to the water and got to pass a visiting Tall Ship,

the River Princess (a dinner cruise ship; actually a paddle-wheel riverboat!),

and other docked local cruise ships (the one on the left, the Yorktown, will embark on a 7-day cruise between Detroit and Chicago this evening with a limit of 80 passengers):

There was one water/Gatorade station on the course and one at the end as well as food at the end. There was also a bank of Porta-potties about halfway into the race and lots of course marshalls and police. At the end, we swung around a lovely little wetland, part of the William G. Milliken State Park , the first urban state park in Michigan. I was cheered on by a bullfrog gallumphing in the city!

I believe the field was about 555 strong (up from about 325 last year), and solely a 5K, so a smaller race for this area (there's to be a larger one tomorrow, the Heart of Detroit, which has a 5K and 10K, ending up at home plate in Tiger Stadium! Will try that one next year perhaps, as I found out about it too late for this year). There was no separate walking division, so my time was lumped in with the runners. Still, I did pretty well, I think, as I came 333/555 solely racewalking, and 4/17 in my age division (all included runners).

Here I am in a great shot because I love the sign by me!!! I should be a poster child!

...and one more shot for good measure (Mike took all the pics):

My Garmin says I did 5K in 30:43 which gives me an average pace of 9:55 min/mi. I'm sure this can't be right, GPS-creep and all that (that sounds way too fast). My Garmin distance ran out before the actual distance, I studied the map beforehand and cut all the corners, so I don't know what to think about this. My Garmin says the actual distance of the race was 3.6 not 3.1 miles?????  Just the usual discrepancy, I guess. My official time was 35:00 for a pace of 11:18, which is probably more likely. Surely they couldn't have mis-measured the distance.
No aches or pains or any blisters or anything (one wouldn't expect any for this distance, anyway). I used the new New Balance W730 flats (not the Re/shod versions - they're set aside for longer distances).

Again, a great, very well-organised race and one I will definitely consider again for next year - so should you!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you enjoyed this race and that is good. The race ending up at Tiger Stadium sounds pretty good too and a $20 race entry fee for this one - that's great. Either way, your time for racewalking was very fast! Congrats!