Tag Archives: Minnehaha Falls

Get in Gear 10k

I didn’t run the Get in Gear 10k this year, though I would have loved to be in shape to take part in this “Annual Rite of Spring.”  It was a cool (low-50’s) and rainy morning (with a spell of lightening and thunder before race time), which was actually better than two years ago when it was in the 30’s with snow on the ground!  See my race report from the 2008 edition.

As I mentioned on Monday a friend and I showed up to Minnehaha Falls fairly late, close to 10am or an hour after the 10k and 1/2 started and 40 minutes after the 5k.   The 10k race is the main event, even though there is a 2k, 5k, and half-marathon.  We got to see the back of the pack runners finishing and then the half-marathon leaders finish.  It was sad to see that they haven’t fixed the finish area problem of runners from the longer races merging into the shorter ones and having to dodge runners and walkers.  It seems it would be easy to setup cones for at least the last tenth of a mile to separate the races.  I’m sure the leaders would appreciate that!

Below is a video montage I created from some of the videos and pictures I took.  I’m not sure what the issue is with my cell phone’s video encryption but sometimes Windows Movie Maker doesn’t read the video, while Flickr does.  So Kim Scheel, Women’s 1/2 marathon finisher, didn’t make it into the montage, but gets her own separate video!

Kim Scheel finishing the 1/2 marathon in 1:28:23.

Rocco at the MDRA (who finished in 37:21) also found this video by Brett Sall who finished in 45:25, not bad for his first race:

Get In Gear 10K from Brett Sall on Vimeo.

How was your Get in Gear Experience this year?

[tags] Get in Gear, 10k, GetinGear[/tags]

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Week in Review

Where does time go? It seems like time flies by.  It is almost Christmas and almost a new year. 2008 has flown by with lots of great stuff happening.  This week was no exception.  It is a busy time at work as we prepare for “winter break” and the students start getting antsy.

Monday was my requisite day off of running.  I sadly failed part way through my Week 5 Day 1 of the hunderd push-up challenge. I got 82 of 145 done before I couldn’t squeeze out another one and collapsed to the ground. After recovering a little I did my Prehab: Core, Hip, and Elasticity workouts. I also biked to work in the snowy slush.  It was fine except that the bike I planned to use for the winter didn’t workout too well because the suspension system on it made the bike too small for me.

On Tuesday I did 5 miles along the Greenway doing an out and back heading west.  It was pretty uneventful but it is interesting to point out that the Greenway was plowed better than the road next to my house! I did it 38:41. It was about 16 with a wind chill of 0.

Wednesday I took my new video camera along for a 3.5 mile run at Powderhorn Park.  I took some video of the snowy park which helped make the run longer! The snow also made the run a little more difficult because only some of the sidewalks around the park had actually been plowed.  I’m still trying to edit the video to make it right but you can see a rough edit here.  It was about 2 degrees without a significant wind chill. Since I failed on the push ups I went back to Week 4 Day 2 and did the 3rd column (last week I did the 2nd) which is a little harder as a result I did 140 push ups.   I also worked out on the Physioball.

Thursday I did a newer 3 mile loop which goes along the Greenway heading East and then takes the Hiawatha LRT trail north to the 24th St bridge and then head home.  It is a nice change of pace that I did in 24:00. It was about 9 and sunny which felt nice. I did my Prehab Core, Hip and Elasticity.

I had planned to run on Friday but woke up pretty tired and unmotivated. So I decided not to.  I then looked at the weather and realized it was -1 outside (air temp) and was glad of my decision.  So I did my push ups getting most of the way through Day 3 of Week 4. I didn’t finish but I didn’t write down how many I got. I think I was a little frustrated at myself. I was so wrapped up in editing that stupid video that I forgot to post a Foto Friday!

Saturday was a very nice morning. It was sunny and 28 without any major wind.  The Polar Bear group met at Lake Harriet Bandshell and we ran around Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, and Lake of the Isles.  It was about 9.4 miles and as usually happens with this group we went out pretty fast.  A small group of us settled into a comfortable pace and let the rest of them go out.  We never got too far behind but just enough that it was impossible to catch back up easily.  It was a gorgeous day to be running and a good workout.

Sunday on the other hand wasn’t too pleasant.  It was 36 with freezing rain when I woke up. I almost didn’t go but decided I couldn’t take another day off this week and the weather was only going to be getting worse. Our group met at Minnehaha Falls and ran to Fort Snelling over the 5 bridge backup the East River Parkway crossing the Ford Bridge.  It was just under 6 miles.  I was wearing shorts and felt fairly comfortable for most of the run.  The rain wasn’t too hard but was noticable throughout the run.

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 26.3 miles

Biking – 3.5 miles

LAST YEAR

I ran 5 miles, biked 16.5 indoors, swam 400 yards, and did the elliptical, stair climber, and rower! I posted a guest review of the St Jude Marathon and shared about a 12 Days of Christmas give-a-way program which ended up being a huge marketing gimmick. I also posted 9 winter running tips and of course a hilarious Foto Friday.

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Pike Island’s Trails

I would take a nice trail run any day over running the roads.  Trails are my friend as this picture so elegantly shows! It is a little hard for me to hit the trails very often since we only have 1 car and I prefer to run in the mornings.  However, Pike Island is easy to get to via public transportation and even via bike.

Part of Fort Snelling State Park, Pike Island sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers just south of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  On Pike Island itself you have a variety of options for running. See the maps here.  The easiest is a 5k loop around the outer edge of the Island – but there are little cut through trails to make 1 and 2 mile loops.

It is pretty scenic as you run along the rivers.  I think every time I’ve run there I’ve seen some wild animals – deers, squirrels, rabbits, but no pine martens! The trail is very flat and actually pretty wide too.  It might narrow down in places but is wide enough to mostly run 3-4 wide throughout. The trail is a mix of soft surfaces but is pretty safe for the ankles and has no technical elements to it.

Another great thing about this run is that it can easily be extended.  Want to go really long? You can head north up to Minnehaha Falls and connect into a variety of trails from there, although this is a paved trail.  More of a mid-distance run, you can run around Picnic Island and Snelling Lake.  Part of this segment is on pavement, but most is still trails and Picnic Island has grass stretches. You can also connect with bridges (with pedestrian lanes) that cross either river and connect with trails on the other side.

I enjoy running at Pike Island and have used it in the past to recover and reconnect with my reasons for running.  The worst thing about running here is that it is so close the MSP Airport, with almost continual flights over-head.

Parking Note: You must pay to park if you enter through Fort Snelling State Park. It costs $5 to enter the park or a valid State Park Permit. Then follow the main road to the Visitor’s Center.  However, if you enter from Historic Fort Snelling on top of the bluff there is no charge for parking.  Park in the main lot and run towards the fort and then follow the trail down the hill to Pike Island.

There is also some interesting history associated with this area:

To the Dakota [Native American tribe], Pike Island in Fort Snelling State Park was and is a sacred place. It is where the waters of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet and the Dakota believe it is the very center of the earth and arguably the place where Minnesota began.  WCCO

During this time[Dakota War of 1862], more than 1600 Dakota women, children, and old men were held in an internment camp on Pike Island. Living conditions were poor, and disease struck the camp, killing more than three hundred. Wikipedia

Despite the mixed history I enjoy running here, what do you think?

[tags] Pike Island, Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Running Routes  [/tags]

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