Race: Early Bird 10 Mile Run
Runner: Danielle Dewees
Race Date: 04/08/2023
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Beautiful course!
- Great post-race treats!
- Very well-organized!
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
The long hilly walk back to the vehicle after the race was torturous. However, it was also a nice opportunity to commiserate with strangers and strike up a conversation!
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
There was a dead opossum on the side of the road between parking and the start/finish line.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
- Seeing some running friends for the first time in a while was an unexpected joy! I had the pleasure of bumping into them before and after the race.
- Simply being there and finishing the race was a notable accomplishment. I had seriously considered logging my first DNS.
- I was surprised by the beauty of the course! And the cinnamon roll at the finish line was the perfect cherry on top!
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
- Early packet pick-up is extra early!
- Keep some power in the reserve tank to get up those hills at the very end!
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
There are two relatively significant hills in the final mile, and the finish line is at the top of the final hill.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
The race starts and finishes in Walnut Grove Park which is lovely! It’s a hilly, tree-packed park, and it is easy to forget that you’re in the middle of the city. Getting from Walnut Grove Park to Zorinsky Lake is your typically city road race, but once you get to Zorinsky Lake, the course is gorgeous! It’s as close as you can get to a trail race in the world of road races.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
This really depends on so many variables… for me, I’d say 5 out of 10 (1=easy; 10=hard)
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Pink Gorilla does amazingly well with all their races and the Early Bird 10 Mile Run is no exception. They’re race guide is released a week or two before the race and it will have all the information you need! There are always plenty of porta potties, well stocked and managed aid stations, and no shortage of post-race treats.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
There are around 1,000 runners. In terms of size, it was perfect. I was not running alone at any point, and I was not tripping over other runners either.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
- Register early to get good parking. Check your race week email for your parking assignment. Regardless of where you’re assigned, carpool if possible and arrive early. Follow the suggested driving routes.
- Start/Finish line bag drops are available.
- There is a decent walk from even the closest parking to the start line. Arrive early to allow plenty of time for that walk. It’s also pretty hilly which can be exhausting after the race.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
There are aid stations at miles 2.8, 4.7, and 7.3. All have water, Gatorade, and toilets. Energy Gels are available at the final aid station. Medical is available at the 4.7 and 7.3 mile aid stations.
Weather and typical race conditions
This time of year, in Nebraska, the weather is very unpredictable. Be prepared for anything!
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
The course is paved and very well kept. Be prepared for any possible weather conditions. It might be cold early in the morning and hot before you cross the finish line. There could be snow or rain or both.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Pink Gorilla coordinates over 10 motivation stations throughout the course. They also provide spectator driving routes. However, there are not a lot of spectators for the length of the course.
How’s the Swag?
They don’t have the biggest or fanciest medals, but the other swag is nice. There are a lot of swag options, including stocking hats, coffee mugs, race vouchers, and gift cards. All participants also get a long-sleeve tech shirt.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
4 out of 5 stars