On June 11th, my family participated in the City of Trails 5k in St. Croix Falls, WI. The race also offered 10k and Half Marathon trail options.
This was a small race, starting from one of the schools, which mean they had indoor restrooms prior to the race. Registration was simple and the volunteers were friendly. The shirts were tech shirts, with separate men’s and women’s sizing. Impressively, the women’s shirts fit perfectly and not overly fitted like a lot of women’s running gear.
The course was a combination of paved bike trail, sidewalks, and open residential roads. There were a few decent hills thrown in, but that meant we also had some beautiful downhill sections, too. Unfortunately, the course was long, so the we pushed it toward what should have been the finish, only to find out we had to go around another corner and up another incline to actually reach the finish.
When we finally reached the finish line, there wasn’t any water or refreshments immediately available. We had to climb a substantial hill to the overlook above us. Even then, we couldn’t spot the water and food right away, but were able to use a water fountain. Once we found the refreshments, there were oranges, bananas, bagels with cream cheese, and water available. Shade was available under a large party tent, along with a band for entertainment.
Along with the course being long, there was only one water stop, which occurred before the 1 mile mark. Normally, one water stop is sufficient for a 5k, but this was a hot, humid day that really should have had an additional one added later in the race. Had I known there weren’t more stops, I would have carried my own water with; lesson learned for next time!
Since this was a point-to-point course, there was a shuttle to take runners back to the start line. One could walk, but it was over a mile that was literally straight uphill. It was nice not having to make the walk, especially for those who ran the longer distances.
Overall, it was a great event, even with my above complaints. I wouldn’t hesitate to do this race again. The course was nice, race was well-organized, people were friendly, it was close to home for us, and it had a small-town feel.
Next time, though, I would have cash on me when I run. This race coincides with the town festival, so there are many food and beverage concession stands near the finish; sadly, I couldn’t partake because my money was in my car at the start line!