Our family race for March was the Hot Dash 5k on Saturday, March 18th. The Hot Dash, which offers 5k and 10 mile options, was put on my Twin Cities in Motion. The course was around Boom Island in Northeast Minneapolis.
A friend of mine was kind enough to pick up our packets at Fleet Feet Sports in Minneapolis, so I can’t comment on the packet pickup process. The packet consisted of personalized race bibs and a Storm Creek running jacket.
We arrived at the race site approximately an hour before the start of the race and were able to find easy parking about a block away, in one of the recommended lots. It was a short walk to the race village, where there were abundant porta potties, pre-race coffee, photo ops, and lumberjack games. Packet pickup was also offered the morning of the race, and would have been easy, provided one got there early enough to park close.
Participants in the 5k were asked to line up by 8:45 so that the race could begin at 9:00 sharp, which it did. The start was a bit crowded, and continued to be until approximately half way, which was where the water stop was located. The field loosened up a bit after that and continued to do so from that point on, particularly once we hit the first hill.
The course around Boom Island was pretty and it felt like the race went by pretty quickly. I know that some runners dislike the section that traverses a brick road; I personally have seen people trip on this stretch at other races. However, I found that I felt really good over this section.
I have only two complaints about this race. The first was that people slowed down and/or stopped on the timing mats, instead of running through them. This, of course, backs up the runners who are trying to complete their race. The post-race snacks – water, potato chips, Clif bars, Nut Goodie bars, and bananas – came next and further slowed down the crowd. I feel with the size of the field, the snacks should have been placed further past the food to keep the flow moving over the finish line. A family meeting area, such as a tent, past the finish line chute would have been helpful. Many people stopped in this area to wait for friends and family members finishing behind them, which further back up the crowd.
My other complaint, though a much smaller concern, was that the one beer offering was very hoppy; it’s the one type of beer that I cannot drink. Strongly hoppy beers tend to be a love or hate for most people, it seems.
Once we got past the finish line chute, we wandered back to our car to put on a warmer layer of clothes and sit for a bit while our friends finished the 10 mile. Once it got close to their finishing time, we headed over for some hot dish with hot sauce, which was really good. The hubby grabbed a beer, while the kiddo and I grabbed hot chocolate. We ate and sipped, while listening to the DJ, as we watched for our friends.
After the race, our group headed over to Bunny’s Northeast for brunch. They offered large portions of delicious food and our waiter was very good. It was a pleasant experience and I would definitely go back.
Overall, it was a great race morning, even with the overcast and windy conditions. I would consider doing this one again in the future. My finishing time was 33:49, which I felt good about considering how I’ve been building long, slow miles.