The weather couldn’t have been any better for this year’s Race for the Roses! The sky was clear and it was above freezing when I headed to the Convention Center where the race would start. Street parking was available just a few blocks away, and a short walk later I was back inside the warmth of the Convention Center. Packet pickup went very quickly, I stopped by some vendor tables, then took my things to gear check. A big screen announced the schedule for the morning, including the start times of the different race distances. I could also clearly hear the announcements for runners to join their race on the street outside the big doors.
The half marathon and 10k had already taken off when the 5k group was starting to assemble outside. With nearly 700 participants in the 5k, it was a pretty good crowd, and the start could have benefited from encouraging walkers to start their race in the back. I typically fall solidly in the middle of the pack, but I had to spend the first half mile darting and dodging until the field stretched out a little.
The course was very nice again this year, slightly changed from the last time I participated two years ago. The first half mile along Interstate Ave was a nice gentle downhill and gave me good momentum for the on-ramp to the Broadway Bridge, where the half marathon runners were re-merging with the 5k-ers without any issues. Running across the bridge was beautiful, and the downhill off-ramp allowed me to pass a few walkers (or runners on their walk break). I passed the 1 mile mark just after the bridge, at which point I saw the lead runners heading the opposite way.
The water station offered water and Nuun electrolyte drinks, and soon after turning north onto 9th Ave I could hear a volunteer loudly announcing the turnaround for 5k, while 10k and half marathon continued on. Being a true out-and-back course, the second half of the race retraced the route exactly, including the long, drawn out uphill to the Broadway Bridge, and another small hill to the finish.
At the finish line, runners were announced by name, and we received a finisher’s medal and a rose. Inside the convention center, it wasn’t very busy yet when I got my mimosa, bagel, and orange. Computers were set up to look up results, and a photographer was taking photos, which would later be available for free download on the Race for the Roses Facebook Page.
Overall, this years race was just as wonderful as I remembered it from past years. The indoor area is wonderful when it is a chilly morning, or especially if it had rained. The course was well marked and well organized, and the volunteers were friendly and helpful. Definitely a great race to add again to my April schedule in future years.
You can find full results here.