The second of my back-to-back 10-mile weekends of this training plan included the Capital Pursuit race. This race is held annually, and is the right distance and timing leading up to the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon. No ifs, ands, buts about it: This race felt AWESOME for me. Though it also made the reality of a 2-hour time for this upcoming half seem pretty unrealistic (but so in reach!!!). I won’t focus my thoughts there quite yet.

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Race day prep!

Registration and Cost: The Capital Pursuit was super inexpensive for a 10-mile race, AND I saved $5 being a Capital Striders member — $40 in advance, $45 day of race. I registered online through GetMeRegistered.com for a total $38.69 charge (which obviously included some fees). There was also a 5K run as part of the Pursuit.

Expo and Packet Pick-Up: No expo, but packet pick-up was the day before at Fitness Sports in the Swanson Depot in Clive, or you could pick up your bib on race day. Note: No bag check or transportation at this race.

Free Swag: A nice blue long-sleeve tech shirt with the Capital Pursuit logo.

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Charity: A portion of the race proceeds assist Iowa Kidstrong, Inc. — promoting healthy, active lifestyles among children. There were about 40 See Us Run students and their running mentors racing the 10-Miler.

Start Line: Plenty of Kybos (that’s Iowan for port-o-potty) and a DJ to entertain the runners at the start. We lined up at the Locust & 15th Street intersection at Western Gateway Park, heading straight into the city.

Weather: Well… it was sunny and mid-50s when I woke up. But 90% humidity. So while it didn’t feel oppressively hot, I was sweating profusely throughout the race (in a tank and shorts in 50 degrees, wtf Iowa). I’m glad that I opted not to wear a hat, to be honest. Official race weather states: 60s and partly cloudy. -_-

Course: I guess the course changed this year (I have no reference, but a couple people said this to me), supposedly skipping one of the hills going towards the capital building. But this year’s route was a nice out-and-back, running into the city, then out into the neighborhoods near Drake University where it was so peaceful. I was impressed by the elevation changes running back into town on Ingersoll — though the skinny lane with regular traffic outside our set of orange cones made me nervous at times.. And then there was that nice “sweet spot” of a downhill at the end of the race. A few weird turns near the end of the course, but I enjoyed sprinting in on that straight-away down Locust towards the finish line.

Fans and Experience: A few fans along the course (though not many), and water/Gatorade stations with volunteers at about every 2 miles. I made a new running friend, naturally, and we ran together and chatted for nearly the entirety of the race — even getting him to sprint with me to the finish.

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The boyfriend caught this great movement shot of me sprinting into the finish line — look at them legs!

Finish Line: I love, love, LOVE when the runners’ names are announced at the finish line. And we got medals! There was also a tent set up with a BUNCH of post-race snacks — the usual bananas, but an additional spread of bagels and orange slices and more.

After Party: There was an after party with, supposedly, a bunch of food and free drinks for participants at Exile Brewing… but it didn’t start until 10:30am. I walked down to the brewery and realized this when NOBODY was there. Kind of dumb, considering the start time of the race and anticipated finish times. Eh, great idea in theory, but I didn’t feel like waiting around another half hour.

Bonus: Chocolate milk at the finish line, YAY!

Random Bullshit: A TRAIN. Yep, a set of train tracks runs through downtown Des Moines and right on schedule during the first couple miles of the race. I heard its horn, and saw the light creeping around the corner — and I booked it over that set of tracks. I didn’t look back to see if anyone got caught up, but MAN… that’s not something you plan for AT ALL for race day.

OVERALL
The Great: Can’t beat a PR race! That’s two PR races in one month for me!!!
The Good: Putting a plan in place and getting in a GOOD training practice for race day.
The Bad: A MOVING TRAIN, YOU GUYS! Not ugly for me, but… holy crap.
The Ugly: (Men-folk, look away your sensitive eyes on this one) My freaking period started the night before the race (3 days early). It looks like I’ll be on my cycle for the half now, too, and that is NEVER fun to practice. >:-(

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Chocolate Milk!

Splits: 9:19 — WHOOOPS, started a bit too fast here! Blame it on the train 😉 (1) / 10:07 (2) / 10:35 (3) / 10:55 (4) / 10:50 (5) / 10:48 (6) / 10:45 (7) / 10:24 (8) / 9:45 (9) / 9:21 (10) — Check out the second half of that race! 💯

OFFICIAL RESULTS
1:43:16 (no chip time)
#279 overall
45th in my age group

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