Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017 Reno Downtown River Run Marathon Race Report and Video

Here is Holly's report for the 2017 Downtown River Run Race. Video and Dave's comments follow.
Before we begin the report we need to note that Holly's 50 States marathon quest was a featured story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

There are not many choices for a marathon in Nevada. The Las Vegas one would be fun, but it starts at 4pm and I really dislike running at any time other than early morning. The Hoover Dam one sounded great, but it was a double loop course and I have tried to avoid those as they can be pretty boring on the second loop. I zeroed in on the Downtown River Run in Reno. It sounded like a pretty course along the river and it was a small race which I prefer. I also figured Dave would enjoy the gambling! Unfortunately a week before the race they announced the course would be changing due to all the bad weather they had during the winter. It would now be a double loop course. UGH! We were meeting our good friends Lee and Laura for the weekend and we were excited to see some of the sights. Dave will cover that in another post.
We all stayed at the Harrah’s in Reno. It was located right at the start/finish line so super convenient. We met in the lobby 20 minutes before the start and still just waited there until about 5 minutes before because it was a bit chilly. Lee and Laura were doing the relay with me. Laura was up first and without much fanfare, no national anthem, the race started. We were both noticing how winded we were. We were at elevation, 4600’ or so, but we both felt worse than we did in Jackson (Wyoming) which is a higher elevation. We were trying to chat with each other and it was difficult to form a complete sentence, it was pretty comical. Thankfully my breathing settled down, but it took about 6 miles. The course was very pretty with mountain views all around and we ran through some nice neighborhoods and parks. We were going a bit too fast and I kept trying to slow myself down and it just wasn’t happening. I would pay for that later. Dave and Lee were doing a good job race chasing but had some trouble due to the course map not being super precise with road names.

The first lap was completed and I said goodbye to Laura and hello to Lee to run with me to the finish. I was doing ok, but the altitude was getting to me and the too fast start as well. I had to psych myself up around Mile 18 and said, of course you are tired, it’s a marathon, and it’s supposed to be hard. That helped and we continued on.

Things were going better until Mile 21 when we turned onto a downhill portion and I tripped. I fell face first and landed on my right hand and knee. I had some serious road rash but the worst was the calf cramps that occurred at impact. I was screaming bloody murder and poor Lee thought I broke my ankle. I finally was able to get out cramp and he tried to help stretch it out. Super painful, honestly the worst pain of my life. It finally subsided and I got up and we started slowly going again. We met up with our race chasers who were by an aid station. Unfortunately, the aid station didn’t have any band aids or anything so we just rinsed off the cuts as best as we could and got going. Our race chasers met up with us again and they had some band aids. I was hurting and the running was few and far between for the last few miles. Lee was great and stuck with me, even though it hurts his knee to walk more.

We finally got back into town and saw the glorious finish line. We finished! I wasn’t sure when I went down if I would be able to but we did it and I was very happy. We went over to the med tent and they were packing up, but some very nice young firemen took great care in cleaning out my wounds and bandaging them up. I have to say that I felt very safe on this course. There are many races where I can run for a quite a while and not see anyone. This race had a few motorcycle cops constantly going up and down the course checking on us. I was grateful for this support. The race was a good small race and I would think it would be even more beautiful if we would have been able to run the whole course as intended along the river trail. I would recommend this race, just try and stay on your feet!

Dave's Comments
The double-loop course made this one easy to follow since you only had to really learn about 7 miles worth of road. Lee and I were thrown off in the beginning by a surprise road closure. We turned down a residential street that intersected their path, but the running trail was fenced-off from the community. We did not catch Holly and Laura until around mile 4. From then on it was a piece of cake. Snacking options on the course were horrific. One cafe/coffee house was the lone business selling food on this stretch of road. Not even a gas station. As usual I was self-supplied and feasted on Diet Coke, Salt and Vinegar Chips, and a granola bar.

After the race we took in Reno's growing beer culture. We had lunch at Brew Brothers in the El Dorado Hotel and Casino. What a difference from Harrah's! This casino was nice and had many more of the modern slot machines than Harrah's. The beer was non-eventful but the food was very good. Our second stop was a few blocks away at The Depot. They were both a brewery and distillery housed in a beautifully restored train station built in 1910. The beers were good quality, just not much in our preferred dark/non-hoppy category. The food coming out of the kitchen looked great.

Based on closing times we could only hit one more brewery of the two choices on the block. We walked passed Lead Dog to visit Under the Rose because UTR offered more darks. This was our favorite place. Under the Rose is housed in a metal-walled warehouse from the mid 1930's. While enjoying our beers we took advantage of their games including giant Jenga, Candy Land, and bocce on a full-sized court.

With Under the Rose closing at 6:00 we had to find another place for beers. Laura and I discovered Siri's Casino across from our hotel while race chasing. The small casino offered many craft beers on tap as well as a full line of daiquiris just like a Fat Tuesday's. It didn't have the best atmosphere, but the beers were good and a decent price. Dinner was back in the hotel at Joy Luck Noodle Bar. Not the best Asian food, but good enough for what we wanted. One entree could have fed 3 people comfortably.

As far as gambling - we hit a few slots and had some exciting wins which were mitigated by losses at $5 a time here-or-there. Successful trip in-the-fact we only lost about $20.


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