Red, White, Boom and a BBQ!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Red White and Boom Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

July 4th has come and gone, BBQs and fireworks have happened, and I finally knocked off Minnesota off my 50 state half list. Last week, I headed off to Minneapolis for the Red, White and Boom Half Marathon. It was my first half marathon on a holiday and my first weekday half marathon race (it only took 90+ half marathons!). I spent Tuesday getting caught up on adulting (microwave delivered, fuse blown that required an electrician and a worn out Moe the cat).

I flew out to Minneapolis Wednesday morning and got in just before noon. I arrived to some pretty humid MSP weather and Ubered my way over to packet pick up at Summit Brewery in St. Paul (10 minutes from the airport). Had a fun conversation with my driver and who else gets to say packet pick up is at a Brewery?! Pick up was small, which I was ok with. I’m a fan of no frills pick ups where you’re in and out, not pressured to buy anything. They did have some gear for purchase and bib look up. Beer fan? Beer tastings were available too!

I headed over to my hotel in downtown Minneapolis, just a short walk from the start. After checking in, I found some lunch and explored downtown some. I went for a quick shake out run in the hotel because of 90* and humid weather. After some dinner, I hung out in the hotel room for a little bit and went to Whole Foods (because let’s face it, I wish I had one in eastern Washington) to find some pre race breakfast for the 4th. Because of the heat and humidity, the race was good about communicating with us about race updates, which is always appreciated.

Race morning started bright and early. The half marathon started at 630 AM and the 5K started at 6:50. For quite a while, I was worried we were going to get rained on, though we got lucky, in that the rain held off until after noon. Because of the humidity and weather, we actually started out as a yellow flag on the EAS system and runners were given the option to downgrade from the half/relay to the 5K at no cost. While in the starting corrals, I actual ran into Mary Jo (a fellow Bibrave Pro) and we chatted prior to the start. The start was at the Mills Ruin Park and it’s actually in a residential area. The organizers are mindful of the community, so there wasn’t loud music or an MC on the microphone due to it being so early. After the national anthem, we were off and running. We went through West River Park and Theodore Wirth Parkway until you got to Victory Park before making your way back through the streets of Minneapolis. Be ready for some hills the first part of the race (all before mile 6), some fun facts along the way and some fun people and volunteers along the course. By 9 miles in, we were red flagged to run with extreme caution, but overall, us 2000 runners were able to finish. Aid stations every 1.5-2 miles, though with the humidity, every mile would have been nice to have. Something I did miss were something like oranges or bananas, or even sponges. The last 2 miles were back along the Mississippi River where we started with the finish being across the Stone Arch Bridge (lined with flags)

The race finish was hopping and the place to be. It was a big old BBQ and a party waiting for runners to finish. You were met with medals, water, chocolate milk and popsicles at the finish (red, white and blue of course). The post race party was filled with games (corn hole and hanging donut contests), post race recovery, BBQ and a whole bunch of family fun. There was plenty to do for runners, family and friends a like!

Overall, a fun race and a race to look at for Minnesota. Looking for a holiday race with a great post race party?? Come looking at this one! Great communication, good course. I bu wish there were a few more aid stations on course. Be prepared for some humid weather, but be prepared for it in the midwest. Great people, great atmosphere and a fun time

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About drrunner
8 time marathoner, 65 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. BibRave Pro, Doctor and a mix of insanity

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