Sunday, December 28, 2014

Looking back at 2014, looking forward to 2015....

2014 Review:
·         Completed the Inaugural Dopey Challenge at Disney World

·         Ran my 3rd Disney marathon
·         Finally completed Disney’s Coast-to-Coast Challenge after being wait-listed in 2011.  Added California to the list of states I ran a race in and went home with 11 Disney medals for the year!
All these medals = one expensive year!
·         Incorporated more 5K races into my race schedule.
·         Discovered virtual races which typically benefit a good cause, are extremely convenient, and save $$$
·         Ran 14 half marathons, with my fastest being the Route 66 Half Marathon in Litchfield, IL
Medal haul for 2014

·         Was a race ambassador for Diva Dash 5K, Glow in the Park 5K, Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K, and the MO’ Cowbell race series
·         Ran my 2nd relay and met some great people along the way

I only knew 2/5 other runners before race day!

Goals for 2015:
·         Run more consistently and track my mileage.
·         Get closer to my 2010 half marathon PR of 2:20.  Joined Fleet Feet’s spring half marathon training group to help with this goal.
·         Continue being an ambassador for the MO’ Cowbell race series as well as the St. Louis Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K.
·         Race in at least one new state.  So far I have signed up for the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in April.

I am looking forward to 2015 and all the mileage it will include!  Have a great, safe, and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fleet Feet Hip Mobility Class and Cycling = soreness!

Last week I took another class through Fleet Feet - St. Louis called Hip Mobility/Strength.  For some reason I thought this class was meant to be a one-time, get the information and put it to use workshop but when I arrived, the other participant knew the exercises because she had taken the class almost 20 times this year.  I pasted the class description below:

Tight hips, sore hips, this is the class FOR hips. Lack of mobility in the hips is not only one of the most common causes of injury in runners, walkers and triathletes, but it also inhibits and decreases performance. By focusing on full-range hip motion through a variety of targeted exercises, this class improves hip mobility and increases strength.
Class duration: 45 minutes.
We went through various hip/adductor/abductor exercises for 45 minutes straight, so I can't remember everything we went over but some of the exercises we went through were:

  • Walking lunges, forwards and backwards
  • Lateral squats
  • Hip circles
  • Clam leg lifts with and without resistance band
  • Double leg glute bridge
You can also find good exercises on You Tube from other trainers and gyms.  After class I was talking to the other participant about the long-term benefits of the class and she said that she started having hip pain during her first marathon, so she started taking this class frequently and has been fine ever since.  So fine in fact that she said she is running 11 half marathons in April.  WOW!  That is what I love about going to these classes, being a race ambassador, and being part of running clubs.  You have your own list of accomplishments and you feel pretty proud of them, and then you talk to another runner about their accomplishments and you are suddenly humbled, yet inspired at the same time.

Saturday morning I was still a bit sore between the last week of boot camp and the hip mobility class, but I got up early to get to the 1st cycling class.  I haven't taken a cycling class in several months and my road bike has sat on the trainer in my apartment unused for months as well.  I wanted something with a high calorie burn that would work my legs so that I could really stretch them out afterwards since my hamstrings have been so tight.  This class gave me exactly what I was looking for.  My face was bright red and I was pretty much breathless by the end of the class, so I know my calorie burn was decent. Afterwards, I spent about 10 minutes just stretching my legs, which felt amazing!  I think I will try to take this cycling class again for the next several Saturdays until the Fleet Feet Half Marathon training program begins January 24th.  I am going to keep my mileage low for the next couple weeks to give myself a break and try to incorporate more stretching so that I am back up and rebooted by late January.

Have a great week everyone and Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hot Chocolate 5K (not 15K as originally planned)

This weekend I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K in downtown St. Louis.  I applied to become an ambassador for this race earlier this year and was accepted!  For the most part, I kept the local running stores stocked with race flyers and I also promoted it on social media but then I also was able to work the booth for the race at the Rock 'n' Roll expo, which was a lot of fun.  All that hard work ended up earning me a free entry as well as a free merchandise item, so I was very pleased with my ambassador experience.

The expo opened at noon on Friday and was held at Union Station.  I took a half day off of work because I worked the booth for another race I am an ambassador for, the MO' Cowbell race series which now includes a base camp-style, five-person relay in May.  Before my shift at the MO' Cowbell booth, I picked up my packet and free merchandise item as well as my parents' packets.  There were two things that I LOVED about this expo: the amount of volunteer support AND the coat try-on and exchange area.  This is the first time I have come across a try-on and exchange option, well at least one that was this organized.  I took a few pictures because I was so impressed.

What a great idea!
At the expo and then also at the Start on Sunday
Hot chocolate and treats to prepare us for race day

Coming to a city near you!
Sweet merchandise

My race swag:

If you registered with my code, you also got a free hat like my mom and I did 
My free merchandise item, complete with thumb holes and adjustable neck collar

From 2:00 p.m. until about 4:30, I was working the MO' Cowbell booth.  I could tell that it was getting busier as people were getting off work but I knew that the busiest day would be Saturday.

I ended up staying with my parents at the Double Tree-Union Station Saturday night.  Although I had to pay to park overnight, being able to "sleep in" until 6:20 a.m. and walk to the race a half hour before the start made it completely worth the expense.  In fact, most of the bigger races in St. Louis start and finish in that general area so this hotel would be perfect place to stay.  Check out their website for pictures of the historic hotel.  I really can't describe how beautiful it is with words alone.

This race had a wave start and the corrals were to be released three minutes apart.  As I was walking to my Corral F, I came across several other MO' Bassadors and runners I had met at the Katy 80 relay last spring.  Even though I live in this area, it was still a surprise to unintentionally see this group in the mass of thousands of runners.  There were plenty of porta potties near the corrals and the pre-race area and setup were well-organized.

I had signed up for the 15K and had every intention of running it, but my hamstring had other plans.  About two miles in and just before the 5K and 15K courses split, my right hamstring started cramping up.  At that point I started thinking about how nice it would be to be almost at the finish rather than having seven more miles to go.  So at the split, I decided to take the 5K route because even after stopping to stretch for a few seconds, the tingling was still present.

As you finished you were greeted by volunteers and then you proceeded to the bottled water.  Then you exited the finisher's shoot and walked into the park where there was a merchandise tent as well as the.....finisher's mug filled with hot chocolate and fondue!  I picked the shortest line and I ended up picking the line where my co-workers were volunteering.

After finishing my goodies and hanging out with the parents, I came back to the finish around 11 to pick up discarded clothing and leftover bottled water and bananas with the co-workers who had volunteered earlier in the day.  We ended up bringing back three cases of bananas and 60+ cases of water that we distributed to our leisure department as well as our adult day program sites.  This part of race weekend was just as rewarding as running the race itself, and I am so glad that my co-workers also had a great time volunteering.  I am very happy to have been able to see this race from multiple perspectives: as a race ambassador, as a runner, and as a volunteer.  Be sure to check out the Hot Chocolate race website to see where your closest race is and if you happen to be in the St. Louis area, I should have a registration code for you for our race next spring.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Spring Half Marathon Training Program and Elf Run Virtual 5K

This week absolutely flew by!  About mid-week I received an email from Fleet Feet containing information about their Spring half marathon training program, which I signed up for a few weeks ago.  When I originally saw the email advertising this training program I was interested until I saw the price.  At that point I decided to take advantage of the free half marathon training program offered by another running store in town. But I knew the truth.  I knew that I had signed up for the free training program twice already and had only run with the group one time between those two training programs.  I also knew that I hadn't PR'd since the last time I was training with a group way back in 2010 at the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.  But what sold me was when I went to Fleet Feet for my caloric expenditure test, which was administered by one of the coaches of the half and full marathon training programs.  The way he described the program made it seem like the perfect fit for me and like it was everything I had been missing from my training routine.  So when I received a 15% off discount code via email for the Spring training program, I signed up.  Shortly after, I found out that a co-worker also signed up and plans to run her very first half marathon as the culmination of the training program.  It was a sign.

The email I received this week further proved that this program was going to be a good fit for me.  The email gave us details about the kick-off meeting in January, but also contained a survey to help the coaches determine which pace group we should be in.  The survey was a bit of an eye-opener for me.  It made me realize that I was totally slacking on my training and not running as much as I used to or as much as I "should be" before each race.  It was very hard for me to put my real weekly mileage and my real typical race pace on the survey.  I wanted to make myself appear faster to be in a faster pace group but as the coach explained to me during my caloric expenditure test, you have to start where you are and work towards your goal rather than just starting where you want to be.  This makes sense to me as I am typing it, yet it goes against what my original instinct would have been.  So I clicked "submit" on the survey and will happily work with whatever pace group I get put into.  I am really looking forward to this program starting in January and I will keep you posted as things progress.

Mid-morning today I went for a 5K run on the Katy Trail.  I had signed up for the Elf Run, which is a virtual race organized by another Midwestern runner as a fundraiser for St. Jude.  So today I ran the virtual 5K that she set up and yesterday she ran the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon.  I took a few pictures after my run this morning.
Katy Trail is a Missouri State Park
St. Charles is ready for the holidays!
The virtual 5K race medal
Be sure to check her blog later this week for her race recap: Run With Jess

Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A bad week in St. Louis sandwiched by two positive events

We all know what happened after the grand jury announcement came.  I will never forget where I was that night.  I was working at the gym and I was glued to the closed captioning on one of the TV's along with the few remaining members who decided to stay and work out during and after the announcement.  I didn't sleep that night even though I am 10+ miles away.

The good news that came the morning before the announcement was that I had finally been matched through the I Run 4 Michael (IR4) program.  I first heard about this program during my yearly review at my full-time job (the non-profit) when my manager suggested I look into it because it all started because of a person we used to support.  Of course I Googled it as soon as I could and a few days later I got on the wait-list.  As I joined the Facebook groups while I waited to be matched, I started to realize how much this program has just exploded in popularity.  At one point I was #1,100-something on the wait-list!  Several months passed and in late November I saw that I was now in the low 100's.  Then I received an email saying that I was on the verge of being matched and then BOOM, I received my match the morning of the grand jury announcement.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect.  This little bit of good news at the beginning of the week kept me going as I continued to hear bad news throughout the week of Thanksgiving.

The boyfriend, cat, and I went to my hometown for Thanksgiving and I decided to run a few times for my buddy while I was there.  I ran a little on my mom's treadmill on Black Friday and then went for a muddy run on Saturday at the local nature center.  I took the pictures below during my run.

After a run, bike ride, race, etc. you post about it to your own page or within the private I Run 4 Michael Facebook group and then tag the parent so that your buddy can see it.  It is a unique way to pay it forward, get to know someone you otherwise wouldn't have met, and stay motivated!  It doesn't have to cost anything and it takes as much or as little time as you want.  I will tell you more about my buddy as I get to know her, so stay tuned!

The other positive event came at the end of the week, after I got back to St. Louis from my hometown.  I mentioned Medals 4 Mettle in my Monumental Half Marathon post because it was started by a Dr. in Indianapolis and they had a table at the Monumental expo.  I had gone to one medal distribution with Medals 4 Mettle at Children's Hospital last spring, and it moved me to tears.  Most of our local hospitals will only allow us to come in on weekdays, but Ranken Jordan allowed us to come in on a Sunday this time.  If you are not familiar with Medals 4 Mettle, it is a charity that has chapters all over the country and even internationally now.  They collect medals from runners who have completed half and full marathons or triathlons and then they remove the original race ribbon and replace it with a Medals 4 Mettle ribbon.  Then volunteers take them to children's hospitals to distribute them to patients who are running a much more difficult race than most runners can imagine.  We give these medals to the patients to let them know that they are always in our thoughts and prayers and we know how hard their battles can be.  Each time we give a medal to a patient we give a little speech.  Most of the time the children don't quite understand why we are there but the parents frequently shed a few tears.  Then I shed tears seeing them.  It is just an amazing experience so if you have a chapter near you and can part with any of your medals, consider donating them to Medals 4 Mettle or going to a medal distribution at a local hospital.

Medals we distributed

My new Medals 4 Mettle t-shirt (portion of the proceeds going to the St. Louis Chapter)

Our volunteer group from last Sunday.  I am in the green (before I received my new shirt).

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Learning to foam roll with Fleet Feet

This past Wednesday evening I attended a workshop at Fleet Feet called "This Is How We Roll."  Every time I think about this workshop I also hear the country song of the same name playing in my head.  This particular workshop was at the Town and Country location and there ended up only being four of us: a married couple, me, and an Ironman.  The instructor was also a runner and a triathlete.  I had purchased a foam roller a year or more ago from TJ Maxx, but have never used it.  The instructor could tell this because there were no indentations from my legs on the roller, so it still looked brand new.  The other participants used the foam rollers provided by Fleet Feet. Two were full-length and two were half-sized.  The instructor said that the full-length rollers are great to start with but the half-sized have padding around a pvc pipe, which is hollow so it is perfect to take on the road with you because it is easy to pack.

The workshop lasted about 45 minutes of legs-on rolling, followed by endless questions.  It turns out that when I was actually using the foam roller, I was doing it all wrong.  Sigh!  I was rolling after a workout, when you should be rolling before a workout or a run.  I was only rolling vertically rather than focusing on a spot and rolling side-to-side.  I noticed a HUGE difference when I rolled side to side and I couldn't believe that I never thought to roll like that before.  I was also rolling my calves and when I was moving onto my hamstrings, I rolled the back of my knees over the roller.  That is definitely a no-no!  The instructor told us that you should NEVER roll over joints because you would really injure yourself.  The instructor also rolls at least twice per day to prevent injury, which is something I may start trying because injury prevention is the exact reason why I signed up for the workshop.  At the end during the Q&A my legs felt great, almost as if I had gotten a massage.  Although I wanted to purchase one of the half-sized rollers from the store, I decided against it because they were $40.  I fully intent to purchase one from them soon or ask for one from Santa.  Instead, I decided that I would start using my own foam roller at home or the rollers at the gym more regularly.  I did end up buying The Orb massage ball, to get concentrate on areas that I identify as "tight" through foam rolling.  The Orb gives a more aggressive deep tissue massage to target areas.

If you have local running store that offers workshops and classes, check out their schedule and see if they offer anything for injury prevention.  If you don't there are plenty of You Tube videos available, but click here for an overview and brief demo of This Is How We Roll.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Get your kicks on Route 66 - Litchfield Route 66 Half Marathon and 5K

On Saturday, November 8th I took a little road trip to Litchfield, IL to meet my mom for a quick mother-daughter weekend.  Litchfield ended up being roughly an hour drive for both of us, although my route was via interstate and hers was via state highway.  Even though we both left for Litchfield later than planned, we arrived within 10 minutes of each other.  I had just checked into the hotel and called to check her status, and she was already pulling in.  I had booked the hotel through  because I am slowly trying to earn a free night and since the other hotels I had booked through this site were ok at best, I wasn't expecting much this time either.  This hotel was different because when I saw the lobby, the pool, and the room complete with a microwave and fridge, I was impressed.  The view from my window was of a primarily industrial area, but not even a half mile away I could see the drive-in theater that served as the packet pick-up, start line, and finish line for the 5K and half marathon.  This was literally the closest hotel by far and I chose this hotel pretty much on a whim.  The hotel was so close in fact that we decided to walk to and from the race on Sunday.  The map below shows our hotel and the drive-in.  This is the closest that I have ever stayed to a start/finish line and it was a nice hotel for a great price!

We had both arrived just before noon and were hungry, so we decided to grab lunch at the local Pizza Man.  We have a Pizza Man back home and have been to several others throughout Illinois, so we knew that we could get a good meal for a low price.  After lunch, we drive through the downtown area and came across the beautiful local library which happens to be a Carnegie library.

Litchfield Library - one of the many Carnegie libraries throughout the world
Then we made our way to the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, where we ended up spending well over an hour viewing the various displays and memorabilia.  I am a bad former Illinoisan because I thought Route 66 started on the east coast and ended on the west coast when it actually starts in Chicago.  I saw the end of it earlier this year while we were in Santa Monica, California but I didn't know that it started in Illinois before I visited this museum.  Oops!  As we were leaving the museum, I couldn't help but notice the world map with all the colored pins indicating where visitors were from.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that so many international visitors had toured this museum as well. 

Museum from the Ariston Café parking lot

Route 66 - Illinois Route

Things my mom remembers and that I am MUCH to young to appreciate

After the museum we went to packet pick-up at the Sky View Drive-In Theater

Last year during the inaugural Litchfield Route 66 Half Marathon and 5K weekend a free drive-in movie was available to runners.  That was a pretty unique feature of the race.  But this year due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the theater and race's control, a drive-in movie was not available.  This was posted to the race website early enough so that runners would not show up expecting the movie and the race directors did let us know that they would like to offer the movie again in 2015.

Despite not having a movie, the other swag was pretty sweet!

Front of the long sleeve fleece/jacket


Compression socks I received FREE for registering early
Souvenir cup
After dropping off our swag at the hotel, we decided to beat the rush of carb-seeking runners and get dinner early.  I had picked out the restaurant in advance based on the restaurants the race recommended.  I saw that the Ariston Café was offering runners a discount, but by the time we sat down and were soaking in the nostalgia and ambiance, I had completely forgotten to mention it to our waitress.  The Ariston Cafe is actually across the street from the museum we toured earlier, but they did not open until 4:00 p.m. that evening.  We LOVED this restaurant for so many reasons.  The menu has a wide variety of items, which does not include their daily specials.  Their salad and soup bar was delicious and your meal comes with warm bread.  I ordered the pasta in typical carb-loading fashion, which came with garlic bread on top of the bread basket.  The waitress asked us if we were traveling Route 66, and we explained that we were in town for the race. She gave each of us a postcard and a magnet to remember our visit.  She then encouraged us to sign the guest book on our way out.  As we ate our meal, we overheard the people in the booth behind us say that they were from Australia.  Crazy! 

After carb loading, we decided to relax the rest of the evening in our hotel room.  As I was setting out my gear for the race I noticed that I had bib #17, which was the lowest bib number I have ever had.  I was excited about this, yet also worried that there wouldn't be many half marathoners and I would end up being last.

The half marathon started at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and since we were so close to the start, we were able to sleep until just before 7:00!  We ended up leaving for the start line just before 8:00 a.m. and before I knew it, I heard "GO!"  Remember how my paranoia kicked in the night before when I worried about too few half marathoners?  Well a half mile into the race the arch of my left foot started feeling funny.  I don't know how else to describe it, but it felt funny.  I had started in between the 10:00 per mile and the 10:30 per mile pacers with no real intention of staying with them, I just didn't want to start all the way in the back.  So now I am running and thinking about my foot, not paying attention, thinking "what if I am too slow and a sag wagon picks me up" or "what if I don't finish?"  But then I was distracted by the people cheering on the sidewalks and at the street crossings.  Since Litchfield is a smaller town, they brought in Police and what looked like EMS from nearby towns to help.  I wasn't about to walk in front of any of those people, so I kept going. 

The course was unique and well-planned so that we would be supported with the most volunteers, crowd support, and Police/EMS with minimal street closures.  We ran on Route 66 until we got to an industrial park, ran through the industrial park, back onto Route 66 to a turnaround point, back through the industrial park, back onto Route 66, ran past the start to another turnaround, back through the start, on Route 66 to the industrial park again, to the turnaround, back through the industrial park, back on Route 66, through the start, to the other turnaround, and then to the finish. Whew!  Seems like a lot but the route was very easy to follow and was well-marked.  It was also flat as a pancake.  No hills, just a ramp up to railroad tracks and that was it!  I did run-walk like I have been all year, but this time my walking intervals were shorter for whatever reason.  In addition to not wanting to walk in front of spectators, I also knew another runner on the course and she was super fast!  I ran with her in the Katy 80 Mile Relay earlier this year.  Because of the looping course, I ended up seeing her multiple times before I was certain that it was her, so I finally waved and said hello.  She finished well ahead of me and was actually on her way back while I was still heading out to the industrial park.  I hit the 10 mile mark and was in a bit of disbelief.  So much so, that I thought my watch was broken.  I just kept running.  I crossed the 12 mile mark and there were ladies in prom dresses cheering for us.  I couldn't walk in front of them either, so I kept pushing. 

I went through the final turnaround, back through the start, and finally into the driveway leading into the drive-in and finish line.  When I stopped my watch at the finish, I was still in disbelief......I had somehow managed to finish 10 minutes faster than the previous weekend in Indianapolis!!!!  I have no idea how it happened and there was no quick fix that I attempted that week.  I was actually worried from the start of this race that my time would be slower because it was a smaller race and I wouldn't be constantly surrounded by other runners.  Maybe it was all the bread I consumed at the Ariston.  Who knows? 

I grabbed my medal, a granola bar, hot chocolate, water, and then headed back to the hotel to shower before check out.  Mom was already back at the room and she reported that she also finished her 5K faster this weekend than in Indianapolis. Sweet!  Good job Mom!!!

We checked out right at noon and then ended up talking in the parking lot for a while.  Then I heard a voice ask if we could take a picture and when I turned around, I saw that it was my former relay teammate and her fiancé! I was so happy to get to talk to her because she is getting married this weekend in Las Vegas the day before she runs the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon there.  Good luck guys and congratulations!!!

We all finally got on the road around 12:30 p.m.  It was on the drive home that I realized that I run like I drive.  I have a "comfort zone" that I tend to stay in when I run and when I drive.  On this part of Interstate 55 the speed limit is 70 mph.  I am comfortable going around 5 mph above the posted speed limit, so I set my cruise control at 75.  Before I knew it, I was surrounded by a caravan of cars so I turned off the cruise control and got into the flow of traffic.  At one point I looked down and realized that I was going 80 mph.  I stayed there for a minute or two until all the cars had passed, and then I returned to my comfort zone of 75 mph.  At that point it hit me, I did the same thing during the race.  I had started between the 10:00 and the 10:30 minute per mile pacers and I managed to stay with them for a while, probably because I was thinking about my foot and not finishing to the point that I didn't realize I was keeping up with them.  They both ended up passing by me during the race but then I would see spectators and the Police/EMS and I didn't want to start a walking interval in front of them, so I kept pushing.  This in addition to the bread is the only explanation I have, but this race ended up being my fastest for the year!  Not only does that leave me with great memories but I also got to spend quality time with my mom, took a look at the history of Litchfield and Route 66, got to see a runner friend, and left with plans to return to Litchfield when the drive-in opens for the 2015 season.  Mom and I both think our men would enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Back in April, I emailed the race director a list of questions about the race and these are the responses I received.

Q&A with the race director:
How did this race get started?
A little background info may help: My wife and I are originally from Indianapolis and both attended Greenville College where I majored in pastoral ministry and she studied Physical Education. My wife and I both ran track and XC at GC, and I always had a desire to get into the racing industry...and use it for compassion effort. Post college I spent 7 years an an executive director for a youth center (2007-2013),and in 2013 we took a big chunk of our savings and launched RaceMaker Productions. We were aggressive with adding races in those early years, but had to stay fairly local due to finances. In August 2010 we were contacted by Litchfield City tourism after hearing great things about our events in neighboring towns. They wanted to do a triathlon as a part of a new weekend festival "Do the Lou..." they wanted to do it 5 weeks out on September 15 I believe. We told them what we needed (at that time it was 100% of race costs covered, and all entries go to the youth center I ran) they agreed. We did the race and had 25 people register (which I predicted, they just wanted to see what the race looked like cause in 2011 the whole event would be bigger. We grew that triathlon in 2011 to 150 or so athletes, and we anticipate around 300 triathletes in 2014-which is great for the area. 

So the half marathon wasn't too different. We have grown very close to a couple city employees and many individuals who live in Litchfield. Along the way I had mentioned how cool it would be to do a race out of the drive in, just because there are not many drive ins left, and it would be neat for athletes (pre-race movie etc). We never went aggressively after it though. Last summer a member of the tourism committee got it in her head that the city should have a half marathon or full marathon-it would be great for hotels/businesses etc. I was contacted, and quickly through out the idea of the drive in half marathon 5k. We discussed it in a couple meetings and came up with a race on route 66, and out of the drive in. We launched it 7 weeks out from race day...never had the 5k, mile dash, or half! I have a couple staff that do my design work and website work...I typically (so far) come up with 100% of the concepts for each event. I thought drive in, route 66...we came up with the's old school so I thought of a hand full of mottos and the city loved a "race down memory lane." It just sort of took off. 

Do you market your race at other races, either through goody bags or by having a booth at an expo?
We are a private company in the industry...which is very competitive. We have never directly marketed at another event. We have partnerships with different folks to cross promote (running shops, bike shops). We are heavy on social media. We have an email database of 6000. I timed about 70 events a year for 3 years with another company-that help build our name a ton (and teach me a lot seeing every size and level of race in existence). We will be at some events/expos this year that we are paying for our giving away entries etc. to some of our big races...we are looking forward to that.   

Has the community embraced the race, or do they find the road closures and crowds a nuisance?
Community is amazing and without them we would not be able to do this race...especially as well as we did. They lined the course, they volunteered, they were creative for the "cheer contest" etc.  

Your race offers very unique amenities fro the drive-in movie offer the night prior to the race to the post-race food.  How did these unique features come about or what made you decide to go above and beyond to offer such a unique race experience?
If you check out our other events-we pride ourselves on having a high ROI for athletes. The quality of race, the overall event experience and the SWAG-we try to do it all at the highest level possible. Obviously prices are key and we price competitively with our competitors-but a big difference for us is keep our overall costs down and don't depend on major profit margins. We know what we need to make off a race, and we really try to be creative, different, and maximize every dollar we can so that the athlete is treated right!

I LOVED this race and not just because of my improved time, which is slow compared to most of the other half marathon finishers in this race.  The support from the residents and employees of Litchfield was amazing and you just felt welcome there.  As I mentioned above, we are already making plans to come back for a weekend when the drive-in opens next season.  Unfortunately I will not be able to run this race next year if I decide to run the Monumental Half Marathon again to continue year two in their four-year series.  Although it would not be impossible to run both in the same weekend (Litchfield is just 3.5 hours from Indy and you gain an hour coming into Illinois), I just don't think it will be feasible for me on top of everything else I want to do next year.  But I highly recommend that YOU check into running this race in 2015.  You won't be sorry!