#MDRA Ron Daws 25K Race Recap

I’m the flibbertigibbet of running. I mean, who in their right mind decides at the very last minute to run a 25K…just because?

This girl.

I signed up with the MDRA (Minnesota Distance Running Association) back in November with the intention of getting more involved with some sure footed, local runners, and maybe even meeting a friend or two. The idea sounds novel, but in reality, making it to any of the events has been close to impossible. I signed up for a 7-miler last Saturday, but our trip to California nixed that one but quick. The good thing was that it would have been a free event for me, so I didn’t lose any money. This one, the Ron Daws 25K, I paid a whopping $5.00 to register. So it really would have not been a big deal if I didn’t show.

“Well, are you gonna run?” Asked my husband.

“I don’t know…” was my reply.

He asked me everyday, from Wednesday to Friday night.

In the end, despite being very unprepared to run a 15-miler after the trip, I figured I’d probably run long that day, anyway. I may as well go run with a group of like-minded folks, right? Runner’s logic.

So, the night before, at 8 pm, I laid out my clothing and decided that I’d make a final decision in the morning, depending on if I got any sleep. And, depending on the weather.

I got the sleep. And the weather looked perfect in the morning, so perfect that my husband decided to tag along. It is really great to have him with me. We get a bit of time to reconnect and talk running, which is something I’m sure he gets sick of hearing about. But being there always changes his attitude a little bit. He also likes to pick out folks he recognizes from my previous runs. This time, he was sure our former dentist was among the crowd. I didn’t think it was him, because I remembered he had perfect teeth. This gentleman did not. So, upon further inspection of the finishers results, we realized it wasn’t him, as he wasn’t listed among the names. (Score one for the wife with the good memory.)

Waiting at the start of the #MDRA Ron Daws 25K

Waiting at the start of the #MDRA Ron Daws 25K

This particular event was small, just 168 runners in total, but it wasn’t small on miles, hills, or elite athletes. The MDRA consists of runners…in the raw. They all come dressed to compete, to PR, to RUN. They ain’t foolin’ around. They are young, old, middle aged, thin, fit, muscular, and proportioned. I swear, no two pairs of sneakers were exactly alike. And there were way more men than women. It was a treat to be among these runners. If my husband hadn’t of tagged along, I might have introduced myself to a few.

The weather was phenomenal for running. Sunshine, with temperatures in the low to mid 30s. There were many in shorts and tanks, which amazes me. No doubt they are young whippersnappers with high metabolisms and NO Raynauds. I dressed more conservatively with a light Fila top, over a dri-fit tank, just to keep my little boobies warm. And a pair of Under Armour lightweight spandex pants…plus my gloves. Soooooooo glad I didn’t forget those. I ran with my hood up for a little while, but pulled it back after mile 2 or so. I also wore my Brooks Launch. They are my “no fail” sneakers. And they didn’t fail.

Start line with some very impressive runners.

Start line with some very impressive runners.

The Ron Daws 25K is run in memory of Ron Daws, a runner and 1968 Summer Olympics men’s marathon athlete. Born in Minneapolis, he also competed at the 1967 Pan-American Games marathon and finished first in the National AAU Marathon also in 1967 on June 11.

Daws was a friend of Steve Hoag and Jim Berka. The three often finished 1-2-3 in Minnesota races.

Daws died of a heart attack in 1992. In honor of his death, in 1993, the MDRA Ron Daws 25K in Minneapolis was renamed after him. (Source-Wikipedia)

Ron Daws

Ron Daws

25K is an odd race length, but supposedly Ron Daws ran the route regularly. It is a hilly run, and one a runner might run in preparation for Boston. It is the perfect training course route.

I winged the entire thing. I just tried to watch what was happening ahead of me, and attempted to keep it around marathon pace with a slow, steady start. Actually, the stats on Dailymile are rather interesting, if you can make heads or tails of them. I don’t think that I can. I felt like I ran faster at the end than I did at the start, but it is tough to tell. The run itself consisted of a double short loop of about 3 miles followed by a double longer loop of about 5 miles. And the hills were brutal. It reminded me of the Belle Plaine Half Marathon route…the one that whoops me every year in October. But it was only a 228 elevation change in total as compared to the 567 feet at Belle Plaine.

The loops made for great photo opportunities!

Waving to my husband after loop 1

Waving to my husband after loop 1

What I like the most about these small, intense races, is observing other runners. I passed a few who were practicing their 3:2 breathing. And I passed some who were involved in full conversations while on the run. And they weren’t winded…AT ALL! In fact, listening in on many of the conversations, I learned there were quite a few running who were headed to Boston in a few weeks. I was a little envious, but I know next year will be my next opportunity. My husband actually made his own observations. He saw some of the speedier ones finish and told me about how they “shuffle” in. “It is almost like they aren’t lifting their knees,” he said. I, of course, have witnessed this at longer runs as well, and it always fascinates me. At times, I’ll try to do it myself, especially when I’m getting tired. It does help to regain some composure, but I’m not sure how they can pull off 6 or 7-minute pace times with a shuffle.

Every race provides a new experience. This was no exception. I’m glad I went. I managed a 8:06 average pace, and considering the lack of any kind of training, plus the fact that I really didn’t pour it on until the end, I was pleased. Of course, in an event with all these elite athletes, there was no hope of me finishing with an age group win. I was just grateful to get to participate. And glad my husband was with me to take some photos!

Finishing up!

Finishing up!

Unfortunately, I missed the part about the cookies in the gym following the run, but that is OK…since I don’t partake anyway. But I felt bad for my husband. In the end, he admitted he didn’t need them either. We opted for some coffee at a local coffee shop instead and took the scenic route through downtown Hopkins, MN.

I’m glad I went. Now I know what the MDRA is all about and it gives me something to look forward to for their future events. I hope to become more involved, too, as I have with Team Ortho.

Next up? I signed up for a 10-miler next Saturday. Oy vey. Do I know what the hell I’m doing? Quite possibly I don’t. I’ll know by Thursday if I really want to commit to it.

How about you? Have you done a spur of the moment race before? How did it go?

Don’t forget to check out my review of SLS3 Compression Socks and get in it to WIN a pair of your own!

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