Stay tuned to the end of the recap for a special announcement!
My husband and I signed up last minute for the Get Bold Event’s Blooms to Brews 10K…literally the morning of the race! We have been training for the Hood to Coast, and his mileage was slowly increasing, and he was up to about 4.5 miles. He inquired about running some 10ks a couple of days before this event, and because he likes beer, I mentioned Blooms to Brews was that weekend . He liked what he heard and he said “let’s go for it!”
I was super excited! I had not run a race since February and I was jonesing for a race bad! So on a beautiful Sunday morning, we picked up the babysitter and headed north to Woodland for my husband’s first 10k race.
Despite getting up early, and our carpooling being on time, we did not arrive until about 35 minutes before the race. However, I was pleased to see that the parking was not so bad. Also, although parking was in the same field as he 2013 event, the start/finish Arch had been moved a road down. The walk was not far and the weather was turning out to be perfect running conditions for me. A little chilly o start and I would warm up as I ran. We walked over to he registration line. It only took us 10 minutes or so, and that is not bad for the morning of a popular race. I looked around and enjoyed the race scenery, it is located next to Horseshoe Lake, so it has a real ‘Summer BBQ’ or fair like feeling (I will explain more later).
This race did not have a bag check, so we walked back to the car to drop off our gear. My hubby stayed back in the car to keep warm, and I went off to visit with friends. I reveled in the social atmosphere, it had been so long! Hugs for everyone! Soon it was time for the first race and I was excited to see the half marathoners start their race at 8am. I momentarily wished I were with them, but remembered I would get to run with my husband. After the start of the race we went to the port-a-potties which went quickly with most of the race participants gone and lined up for our 10k.
Having run this course last year, I knew it promised to be a scenic course. The start this time was much flatter than last year with just a slight uphill and turned right onto the main road. About 1.25 we veered left onto Pekin Road. About Mile 2 we hit the Tulip Farms! The Holland American Bulb Farm was one of the main reasons I wanted to run this race. To be able to pass the tulips twice and ‘no hills’.
My husband was keeping us at a brisk pace (8:15 MM) and I told him I would keep up as long as I could. Well when we hit the turn-a-round, I lost him. The ironic part is I was looking forward to not having the hills, I didn’t check out the course, and it actually had more hills than the half. I had to laugh at that! The first hill was a little steep, but only last .25-.3 miles long and then back on flat paved road. Again, great scenery.
The turnaround- not so pleasant. LOL. It was a steep downhill (for about .07?) and then back up that same hill. I wondered if that short up and down hill was the price the race director paid to move it down a road to avoid the first steep hill. In the end, it was short and fast and I tackled it with fervor. I still wanted to catch up to my husband, but I was getting tired. I loved waving to the other runners still on the way to the turnaround. I pushed it as best as I could, but I never did catch up to my husband. However I did finish 5th in my age group coming in at 52:29! A great time and my husband ran his at 49:50. I grabbed a muscle milk and a Gatorade and went looking for my hubby.
After finding each other, we heading back to the car and grabbed our gear and I grabbed my SunRype Bars. I had a bunch to give out. We went to grab a table at the beer tent which was placed in such a way we could see people coming into the finish line as we drank our ice-cold beers and munched on the best pulled pork sandwiches and SunRype bars. I placed some on the tables for runners as they came into the beer garden and they did not last long. I swear these pulled pork sandwiches were AMAZING! They make my mouth water still thinking about them. I liked how they had an option that family members could purchase one. The Beer was by Alameda Brewery and served by Back Draught. Back Draught dressed as firemen which was fitting with fire truck that had taps on the side of it. It was pretty neat.:) We watched our friends come in and finished our tasty food before venturing to other parts of the race.
The race festivities offered Muscle Milk, Sports Authority, some physical therapies, food carts just to name a few. They had a Tulip Photo booth opportunity, a Walking Flower costume for photos, and two places that were doing massages. I felt bad that some of the booths along the lake were not getting much foot traffic from all the people. My husband and I enjoyed the free massages with no wait, while we looked at a line 6 to 7 deep at the other massage booth in the middle of the park and were glad we didn’t wait except for each other. (Afterwards we walked to the other massage booth line and told them about the other massage table with no line, but no one left that line. Oh well. I tried to help. ) About a week after we were treated to a couple of free photos by Volunteers as you see here.
My only issue was the bag check. My friend Darhl and I talked on the way back home (hubby had no comparisons) and said this truly would have been the ‘perfect’ race had it provided bag check. No other race has ever gotten close to being ‘perfect’ because no race can be perfect, but this one came very close for both of us. Hopefully they add bag check next year!
All and all I loved the atmosphere of this race. It was like a summer BBQ in the spring. The fun, festivities, friends and everything offered. I am sure the weather helped! The course is scenic and beautiful, the shirts were a really pretty royal purple, and I loved the amount of things to see and do, and the food was great! And afterwards we went to the Tulip Festival down the street (the one we ran past) and had a great time! Tasty goodies and pretty flowers for my garden.
Now I think about “Blooms to Brews” every time I see the tulips in my front yard and it makes me smile.
This is an awesome event! The 3rd Annual Blooms to Brews will be held Sunday April 12, 2015 with an addition to the event “Blooms to Brews Marathon”
The Get Bold Team is offering a special ONE DAY ONLY discount on May 4th, 2014 for $65 into the Marathon, $45 into the half marathon and $30 for the 10K This special lasts for 24 hours ONLY, then goes up to $80, $65 and $37. You will receive a finishers medal, dri-fit shirt, chip timing, and food, beer, and DJ at the post-party.
The Marathon begins at 7:30 AM. The course will be open for 7 hours and you can see the course and full description here. This course will be a Certified Boston Qualifier, so register now while it’s on sale!