Why yes, I have been doing a lot of race recaps lately! Thank you for noticing. It’s been three weekends in a row that I’ve had a race to recap, which is awesome. I’m used to getting 2 in per year and now I’ve had three in a row!
This weekend’s run was the Stu Nevermann Run, a 4-mile run from the Mason City Aquatic Center down State Street. It is done in coordination with the Band Festival, the annual Memorial Day weekend festival in Mason City, IA. State Street is a very pretty and historic street, boasting some of Mason City’s most beautiful homes and it is also the majority of the Band Fest parade. Stu Nevermann, the race’s namesake, was a track and cross country runner from Mason City who died suddenly at the age of 25 due to a heart defect. He loved running and, appropriately enough, all of the proceeds from this run go to the Mason City cross country and track teams.
If you can’t tell from the picture I posted above, the fact that it started and ended at the Aquatic Center was pretty appropriate, because we were completely soaked through before the race even began. I wouldn’t say the rains were torrential, but they were definitely strong and persistent throughout the whole race. I ran with my phone in a plastic sandwich bag (hence the weird “filter” on the picture) and my water resistant watch had a fair amount of condensation inside it after the race was done (although spending some time in a bag of rice seems to have remedied that situation).
As far as the race is concerned, I didn’t have high goals set. Running a marathon 6 days earlier, I knew I could run it the whole way, but I wasn’t expecting any real endurance. My hope was to finish comfortably at 8:30/mile splits, enjoy the run, and encourage people along the way. I didn’t look at my watch until the 2-mile turn around and realized I was running at 7:30/miles and was feeling great. I was able to comfortably finish in around 30:30, which was good enough for 5th in my age group.
Overall, the Stu was a fun run. Being on the parade route for a portion of the run meant that there were a few people around to cheer us on, there were volunteers at a water station (which you passed twice), and the money went to a good cause. I finished faster than I planned, felt great, got to make a lot of bad joke about how no one would have to shower after the race on account of the rain, and got to cheer on a few familiar faces. If you’re in the North Iowa area and are looking for a fun run with a good cause and history, I’d recommend the Stu!