Sunday, April 17, 2016

Race Report: Ron Daws 25k

Ron Daws was a famous (as famous as a runner can be) Minnesota athlete who ran in the 1968 Olympic Marathon. The race of his namesake, the Ron Daws 25k, is a hilly route through Hopkins, Minn., one of Daws's favorites.

Start of the Ron Daws 25k <photo credit>
 I did this race once before, back in 2011, when I used it as a training run for the 2011 Boston Marathon. I was in a little better shape back then, and as that was my only 25k, it's stood as my PR since then.

My top goal for the race was a new PR, but about halfway to the race I noticed my naked wrist--I'd forgotten my Garmin 210. No GPS watch meant never having any idea how long I'd been running and having only a general idea of how fast I was running.

At the race, I ran into my friends Don and Jared. They were both in the midst of marathon training for Boston and Fargo respectively. Don was kind enough to offer me his watch, but I declined. I'd do my best to run by feel.

The toughest part of the race this year wasn't the hills--those were hard--but rather, the wind. I was pretty much constant at 15 - 20 mph, and there were frequent 40 mph gusts. The hills were also tough, but in the second part of the race there was a section that started downhill and the wind was so strong it felt as if I were running in place.

No watch didn't end up being a huge problem. I ran with another runner who was training for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, and he was nice enough to give me splits for the five miles I ran with him.

After that, I caught up to another runner. He had forgotten to start his watch, so no splits for him. The Ron Daws is also a pretty bare bones race (it does cost $5), so there were no volunteers giving splits at the mile markers either.

Still, running by feel worked out well enough. Had I known how close I was to a PR, the watch may have helped push me a little, but I doubt it. I finished with a time of 1:42:45, less than 30 seconds short of a PR. Two seconds a mile faster and I would have had it. I did, however, manage to reach my "B" goal for the second time this year.

I met up with Jared and Don after the race and we headed over to Pizza Luce for some brunch, beer, and talking about running. Though the race was cold, windy, and hilly, it was still fun.

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