Minneapolis Moustache Run race report

After completing my first marathon, while I still thought that a 13-mile run was “only” 13 miles, I wanted to make use of that fitness to complete another half marathon.

There happened to be a half marathon Thanksgiving weekend in Minneapolis near where my mom lives: the Moustache Run. The finisher’s medal was shaped like a mustache! I had to do it!

I was a little concerned about the weather. Late November in Minnesota did not seem like a wise time and place to run a half marathon. On an 8-mile training run at home before the race, Bugman’s hands went numb and pained him badly when they warmed up. I was really concerned about proper layering for that length of time out in the cold.

We lucked out. The day turned out to have ideal weather: low of 21 warming to 39, with only a slight breeze and partly-cloudy-to-sunny skies.

Picture time!

Me on the riverfront before the race. Many of us sported real or ersatz mustaches for the run. The adhesive on my faux facial hair stuck very well, but that must not have been the case for other, cheaper fake mustaches. The course was littered with shed 'staches. It looked like there had been an invasion of bloated black wooly bear caterpillars.

Me on the riverfront before the race. The hat was part of the race swag. Many of us sported real or ersatz mustaches for the run. The adhesive on my faux facial hair stuck very well, but that must not have been the case for other, cheaper fake mustaches. The course was littered with shed ‘staches. It looked like there had been an invasion of bloated black wooly bear caterpillars.

The start line! The race had pacers who ran with balloons on sticks.

The start line! The race had pacers who ran with balloons on sticks.

All the mile marker signs had mustaches on them! (And, yes, that is a "baby on board" sign on that runner's back.)

All the mile marker signs had mustaches on them! (And, yes, that is a “baby on board” sign on that runner’s back.)

The course ran along the Mississippi River downtown, giving great views of the remnants of turn-of-the-century Midwest industry.

The course ran along the Mississippi River downtown, giving great views of the remnants of turn-of-the-century Midwest industry.

Cool juxtaposition of factory ruin and modern building!

Cool juxtaposition of factory ruin and modern building!

In addition to old industrial stuff to look at, there was wildlife, too. We saw a bald eagle fly into a tree just above us to join another eagle. They made the "chatter call" to each other - something I'd never heard in person before!

In addition to old industrial stuff to look at, there was wildlife, too. We saw a bald eagle fly into a tree just above us to join another eagle. They made the “chatter call” to each other – something I’d never heard in person before!

The turnaround! Among the silly racers was this guy, who passed us at the turnaround, wearing a suit, was making all kinds of silly remarks. "Turn around?!?? You mean I've been running the wrong way this whole time?!??"

The turnaround! Among the silly racers was this guy, who passed us at the turnaround. He was wearing a suit and making all kinds of silly remarks. “Turn around?!?? You mean I’ve been running the wrong way this whole time?!??”

Bugman at mile 8!

Bugman at mile 8!

Me at mile 9!

Me at mile 9!

I ran the first half of the race at a fast-for-me pace of less than 11-minute-miles, but I was really starting to slow down and wear out at this point. How sad that I had just run 26.2 miles a month ago, and now just getting to 13.1 was a chore.

Across the river from the Wiseman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus.

Across the river from the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus.

By this point I was run-walking. But I made it! Wasn’t quite last, either. Came in 39th out of 42 in my age category, 586th out of 655 overall.

My mom and her husband, Bill, were at the finish line to cheer us on! Yay! And my aunt Mary invited us over to her house for a shower and lunch afterwards. Yay!

My mom and her husband, Bill, were at the finish line to cheer us on! Yay! And my aunt Mary invited us over to her house for a shower and lunch afterwards. Yay!

We got our mustache medals! Yay!

We got our mustache medals! Yay!

Now for some race report stuff…

Course: Wonderful. A few gentle hills. Great views of the riverfront: vintage industry, downtown, nature, upper-end homes and park land. I think there were two water stations which, on the essentially out-and-back course, could be hit twice.

Swag: Medals were AWESOME! Hat was really great. There was an option to order a t-shirt, which we did, but the order got all screwed up. They mailed the shirts. Bugman, who ordered a large, got a small. I did not get a shirt at all. UPDATE: On 12/26, we received a package in the mail with two t-shirts: one large, one medium. The volunteers must have been checking out final wrapup details? Or maybe they saw this blog post or the comment I put on the group’s Facebook page? In any case, glad to have the shirts and will wear them with pride. I like that they are a cotton-poly blend. Anyone need a size small race shirt? The design of the shirt was pretty boring – essentially a reflection of the medal design.

Pre-race: Really nice having an indoor venue with bathrooms near the start where we could warm up. Free coffee, too. Some incorrect information was sent out about parking, though. Wonder if some people wound up getting tickets. It seemed odd to me that they allowed race-day registration – both for the 5K and half-marathon races, even with chip timing. There was a really long line at registration, and I think some people missed the start of the half marathon while waiting in line. There was a gear check service, which was nice.

Post-race: DJ, a free beer and SOCO drink per runner, a photo booth, a mustache teeter-totter? Fun! EXCEPT – all they had at the finish of the race, a half-marathon that ended around lunchtime, was water, sports drink, or some kind of fake milk drink. NO FOOD. Seriously?!?? They were serving alcohol to people who had just run 13 miles and had empty stomachs. Seems very stupid to me. I would have packed something in my gear bag, had I known. Of course, it’s possible that there was food and that, as a back-of-the-pack runner, I missed it all. Even then, seems a major no-no to not have enough food when alcohol is provided. There was not even an option to buy anything.

Overall, it was a fun race, and a great way to burn off calories after the Thanksgiving meal. I’d just be concerned about the weather in future years.

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

3 thoughts on “Minneapolis Moustache Run race report

  1. Great race report! I loved that “only” thirteen miles feeling when I had it, oh so very long ago! Funny! The food thing? Oh boy. Here`s hoping you just missed it.
    Fantastic medal though!

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