Minneapolis Monster Dash Half Marathon (race recap/review)

The Minneapolis Monster Half Marathon…

A race I was super excited for. A race I was mostly prepared for. A race that went great…until the very end…bummer!

My morning started out at exactly 5:03am when my alarm went off. I proceeded to snooze until 5:21am. I’m cool like that – I don’t use 0’s or 5’s with my alarm, I’m not sure why. Probably because 5:03am sounds far more hardcore than plain old 5:00am! Anywho…

I got myself all suited up in my jazzercise costume and headed out the door…alone. Chris was still asleep in bed. I still haven’t been able to convince him that running is a spectator sport! I have no hard feelings about this race though – it really wasn’t an easy spectator sport and I know he wouldn’t have had any fun. The new course for this race was set up as a point A to point B race, meaning he couldn’t just hang around in one general area – he would have to navigate the streets of Minneapolis. Yeah, not his cup of tea can of Mt Dew!

I was in my car and moving down the road at 5:51am. I arrived at my destination (Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis) at approximately 7:16am. Traffic was basically non-existent and I got an awesome parking spot, just across the road from the info tent and up the road from the race start. Go me! Once I got myself parked I had to spend some time in the car completing my costume – the hair and make up. Not exactly difficult! I ended up with a high pony tail and an excessive amount of purple eye shadow. I never wear eye shadow meaning I suck at putting eye shadow on…especially dark purple eye shadow!

Done up and ready to race!

I scampered down to the info tent to grab my packet. Every one was supposed to pick up their packets on Friday night, but I had to work and was two hours away from packet pick up – they let me grab mine the morning of the race. Since my friend, Amy, was stuck in traffic (she must have a traffic magnet, I hit no traffic!) I asked one of the volunteers to take a quick photo as proof of my get up! I had to have a pre-race photo, just in case something drastic happened on course!

Rockin the pink tights! : )

I don’t understand why Chris wasn’t interested in hanging out with me….? Psht, yeah, I understand why!

When I got my bib I noticed that they did up the backside differently than I have ever seen before. I really liked it. Rather than having just your name and an emergency number they had a list where you could check off any medical issues. I think that would be really helpful for the EMTs if something horrible happened on course! I think this is a great thing to add – kudos to Team Ortho!

The back of my bib.

After checking my bag I headed over to the porta potty line. Wowza, there was a line! There were about 10 porta potties by the bag check and a huge line so I headed to the start line porta potties. The line was shorter there but it still took me about 40 minutes to get around to expelling all the water I drank on the way to the race!

While in line I chatted with some people around me. Three of the women near by were running their first half marathon – I wish I had seen them out on the course or at the finish. I hope they finished and did awesome, they were all so nice. I even got one of them to take a full body photo on my phone so I could post it online for the world to see…

I'm a product of the 80's...late 80's, but still!

One of the photographers for the race also came up to me and asked if they could take a photo – Umm, yeah! I felt pretty cool! I made it into the starting corral with minutes to spare – and then we were off! The course itself was great. We ran along boulevards and around three lakes. It was really pretty! A few people running somewhere around me had loyal spectators that I kept pacing by. There was this little girl, about 3-4 years old, that was holding a sign that had an image of a stop sign with a circle and line through it. She was spinning around in circles saying “Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.” It was adorable!

I saw some pretty awesome costumes out on the course. I think the one that takes the cake is the Baywatch “couple”!

Pamela Anderson & The Hoff!

I got this photo off the Monster Dash FB Page where you will find many more photos!

These two were so funny! They completely played the parts with The Hoff blowing his whistle and pumping the rescue floater. Pamela would drop “her” floater behind her and run along with it bouncing around. It was entertaining and I think they are the reason I was smiling/laughing for some of the photographers! (These photos aren’t posted yet, I’m not sure how I actually look!)

The race itself went great for me. I started out faster than I anticipated and spent the first four miles consciously telling myself to slow down! I can’t find my Garmin mount so I haven’t synced it up with the computer – I’m not sure what my splits were, but my average pace progressively went down! I consider that a good thing! The hardest part of the course was the last three miles when we headed out and around Lake Harriet – basically the longest and windiest stretch of the entire race! I had to pull my gloves back out for a while!

I finally made it across the finish line! My Garmin told me I ran 13.23 miles in 2:05:31 – an average pace of 9:29! That is amazingly awesome considering I didn’t train close to that fast! I was pumped! The official results say I ran 13.1 miles in 2:05:33 – an average pace of 9:31. I suppose I can handle that!

I met up with Amy shortly after finishing and we got some “whoo hoo, we are awesome” photos! I never saw Amy at the beginning – she ran the 10Mile race which started about a 1/2 mile behind the Half Marathon.

Yeah me! Another medal!

Monster Dash...Done!

After picking up my race swag – a pull over with a hood (awesome!) – we headed toward the shuttle pick up. Since the race was from point A to point B Team Ortho had set up shuttles to take us from the finish line back to the start line. This is where things started going down hill for the day. We got into the shuttle line shortly after 11am. I got back to my car at 1:11pm. The shuttle ride itself was about 10 minutes. So yes, I was in the freaking shuttle line for 2 hours! TWO HOURS!

After being in line about 15 minutes... (see it curving up to the left)

It was horrible. The line was insanely long, it was windy, everyone was tired and sore. I would go from being a reasonably comfortable temperature to just shaking uncontrollably. I did my best to continually stretch but my muscles were so tight. Some people were much worse off than I was! I had at least thrown some clothes into my bag drop bag! I had on my full costume, long running pants, my race pull over, my running jacket and gloves. Not everyone had that many layers on. A few girls/women were laying on the grass curled up in balls just shaking. It was a really bad situation to be in!

From where the line started to turn up the hill - there is still another block of waiting after the turn to the right.

People started calling cabs and begging friends in the area to come pick them up. I knew no one in the area and Amy’s family and friends were all quite a ways out so we sucked it up and waited. After reading Team Ortho’s FB page it sounds like some people walked the 5 miles back to their cars and still managed to drive back and pick up their friends who were still in line. That just isn’t right!

The line behind us after we had waited almost an hour.

About 20 minutes before we finally got on a bus someone from Team Ortho came out. Her name was Amy. I was upset and just exhausted but I didn’t really feel the need to lay into her. Other people felt differently. She was nice, apologetic and she explained the situation. I guess they set up 8 busses to shuttle people and somewhere along the way 2 busses dropped out (not sure if it was beforehand or the day of). There was some roads closed for construction and traffic was kind of bad. I think everything just added up to make this a horrible end to a great race!

It really sucks because this is going to be the first impression that some people have of the Team Ortho organization. For the most part they are really organized with their races and it sucks that some people may never experience the awesomeness (yes, a word, according to me) of their races because the end of this one sucked so much!

One lady basically yelled at Amy from Team Ortho saying that no one in this line will ever run another Team Ortho race. I reassured Amy that I would be back. I was really frustrated with this situation, but I would run their races again! She requested that people send out emails to Team Ortho as they have a meeting on Tuesday. I still need to get my email written. I’ll definitely be back, but honestly, I think we should be getting something out of this – that line was ridiculous. I was getting to my car about the time I was supposed to be getting home…I had a two hour drive to get home!

By the time I did get to my car I was tired, crabby and SO hungry! I was also almost out of gas. Awesome. I wasn’t familiar with the area so I quick filled up with gas and then drove toward home for about 30 minutes before I got back into familiar territory. I stopped at Erbert & Gerberts for a sandwich…the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten! I was shaking so bad by the time I got to ordering my food. There I was, in Erbs & Gerbs, with dark eye make up, shaking and no clear thought in my mind. It is probably a good thing I had layers over my costume – they may have thought I was a cheap hooker otherwise!

Most amazing sandwich ever...even with tomatoes!

They failed to hold the tomatoes (ew!) and I didn’t even notice until I had started in on the second half the sandwich! That is just how hungry I was! I even left the tomatoes on the second half – too much work to pull of tomatoes while driving, besides, I basically devoured the sandwich without tasting much!

I finally made it home two and a half hours later than planned…it is a good thing I had nothing exciting set up for my afternoon! I showered and then proceeded to fall asleep! When I woke up about an hour later (hungry again) I realized that the most painful part of my body was my back muscles…from all the shaking in the bus line. Not cool, not cool at all!

All in all, I survived. I had a great race and a lot of fun out on the course. Hopefully Team Ortho figures out their shuttle system but I’ll probably be paying off a family member or friend to come spectate and then pick my butt up afterward!


Minneapolis Monster Dash Half Marathon (race recap/review) — 9 Comments

  1. Congrats on a great race (and killer costume)! Sorry you had to wait so long in the cold. It was definitely great running weather on Saturday, but WAY too chilly to have to stand in a line post-race for 2 hours. Hopefully they get it all worked out for next year.

    • Thanks! It wasn’t raining, only windy, so I survived! I’m actually kind of surprised how positive I am staying about the shuttle lines (yes, this is positive ;)). I think all the other people going off the handle have sparked up my sympathetic side!

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