I visited a cousin in Minnesota to run the Minneapolis Marathon Sunday morning. I had perfect running conditions: sunny, cool, mostly flat track, and I was chugging along at a decent pace when I felt a twinge of pain in my right knee (the side of the knee, where the IT band is). I ran through it and it finally went away….and came back… and went away. The third time I felt the pain, it was so unbearable I thought I’d buckle. That was at Mile 23. I mostly walked the next three miles, so disappointed. I was shocked – SHOCKED – to have crossed the finish line at 3:18:12. Apparently, I was on pace to DESTROY my personal best run – 3:08 in New Jersey two years ago – before the injury.
I’ma take some time off to heal and regroup for Hartford in October.
Here’s the race shirt, which was really comfy, but dude. The thing looks like a Simon Cowell V-neck. Terrible choice right there, Minneapolis. Emblazoning “FINISHER” across the back of the tee you receive 24 hours before actually running the race is a little presumptuous too, dontcha think? I almost didn’t make it myself. (I’ve been compared to the guy who wears a concert tee to the concert he’s seeing; I always wear the marathon shirt I’m given for that particular race. It’s the only way I’d be able to distinguish where I was in any photos I have, its one less thing I need to pack when I go to these races.)The medal is okay. Not the coolest I’ve received, but definitely not even close to the worst. The organizers could have taken the time to remove the MADE IN CHINA stickers on the backs, though. (My cousin has run either the full or half version of this race since its inception. Each of her medals have that sticker on them. So tacky.)
Overall, I’d say it was an okay race, with a lot of little things that can be improved upon, from supplying course maps (every other marathon I’ve run includes them in packet pick-ups), to labeling (on those maps) where gel stations are located.
The first half of the course wound through suburban Minneapolis, dipped into an industrial area, and cut across some well-trodden public places, and that was terrific, but the back half was like running through a park. Nothing to distract my mind, it was very boring. The city has a lot to offer, so it would’ve been cool if there was a way to capitalize on that. (I know logistics can often prevent these things from happening… who wants a main artery closed so a bunch of maniacs can run around town all morning?)