Nov 14

Race Report: 11/11/11, 11 Mile Run at 11:11PM

Or… My first win!!!

Ok, so first off, this was a super casual race.  You didn’t even have to run all 11 miles if you didn’t want – some people walked a mile, some did an 11K, some did whatever they wanted.  There wasn’t any awards and it wasn’t timed, but I was the first person to cross the “finish” line and complete all 11 miles so I’m counting it as a win! For being a casual race, it was very well organized and a ton of fun.

We got to the race site around 10:30PM on Friday night to pick up our t-shirts. Despite only be an $11 race, we still got great shirts.  While they were cotton shirts, they had both men’s and women’s cut shirts which is the first race where Jennie has actually gotten a shirt that fits.


With everyone ready to go, the race director stood up to thank everyone for coming.  When he first had the idea for the run, he thought that if he could get just 11 people to show up, it would be a success.  He ended up with over 80 people brave enough to come out at 11PM and run in 35*F weather.

For the sake of safety and simplicity, the course was a 1 mile loop along 8th Street in Holland – down one side of the street and back on the other.  As boring as that sounds, it was actually a great loop.  It was well lit, lined with US flags for Veteran’s Day and there were lots of people cheering.  Also, because it was a looped course, there were constantly other runners around despite it being a smaller race.

11-11-11 @ 11-11PM 11-11-2011
Pretty boring GPS for this run.  Must have been tall buildings at the west end or something messing with the signal.

11-11-11 @ 1111PM 11-11-2011, Elevation - Time
Looks hilly doesn’t it? Look at the numbers on the left – the change from peak to valley is only 10ft. In total, there was only 68ft of climbing during the entire race.

My goal in this race was to hit a 7:00 min/mile pace – the pace needed to BQ.  End result? 7:01 min/mile. Nailed it.

I went out strong on the first mile, clocking in at 7:02 and felt great the entire way.  By the 2nd lap, I already started to lap a few people walking.  I have to say, I felt a little bad passing people for some reason.  I made sure to say “Good run” or some encouraging words as I passed though. I had never led a race before so I’m just glad that it was loops and that I didn’t have to know which way to go.

I kept pushing a strong pace each lap and felt stronger with each one.  The worst part of the course was that we had to pass by two bars.  Michigan recently passed a smoking ban for all restaurants and bars (Wooho!!!).  However, this means that all the smokers congregate just outside the bar in a giant cancer causing cloud of second hand smoke. Lovely. Despite the horrible smell and air quality, they did add some comic relief to the run.  Afterwards, Jennie and I compared notes on the funny things we heard:

“There’s a legitimate amount of people out running tonight.”
“You guys rock. Truly. I only run when being chased.
“I can’t believe you people just run for fun.”
“It’s 11/12 now. You can stop running.” (shortly after midnight)
“Don’t mind us. We’re just stumbling from bar to bar.”

Besides the “cheering section” at the bar, there was a bunch of groups of other people out cheering as well as the volunteers shouting words of encouragement.  The course wasn’t closed and there were 6 street crossings with each loop.  However, there was hardly any traffic and with the help of volunteers at the corners, I only had to come to a complete stop a couple of times.  All of the street crossings had the newer “Don’t Walk” signs that give you a countdown until the light is going to turn red.  They made for good motivation to pick it up a bit to make it through on green.

There was one group of girls sitting on a bench covered in blankets that were the loudest. They cheered for me on each lap, “There goes that fast guy again! Go fast guy!” The group started with 3 girls, but grew to about 8 as some of the runners finished up after doing a few laps.  Like I said, super casual event and I would guess that only about half of the participants did all 11 miles, so the cheering sections grew as runners finished up.

I managed to pretty much hold even splits the entire race.

11-11-11 @ 1111PM 11-11-2011, Split pace

My 7 mile split was a little slower because I had some stomach issues and had to burp a few times to clear out the system.  On mile 10, I slowed down a bit as I passed a guy with an M-Dot tattoo on his calf.  I chatted with him a bit. Turned out he is a 7 time Ironman.  I told him about my IMWI and the problems I had with the nutrition on the bike course. He said that he has heard from at least a dozen other people who had problems with the on-course Perform.  Moral of the story – do NOT rely on the on-course/premixed Powerbar Perform. Other than that, I felt great each mile and probably could have pushed it harder. 

Jennie has been fighting some issues with her foot so she did an 11K run instead of 11 miles (read about it here). That meant that she was able to snap some pictures of me as I finished up.

Coming in for a strong finish.

In the end, I finished up 11.55 miles in 1:21:03 for a huge confidence boost. While I would have to run another 15 miles at the same pace to BQ, I was still fresh at the end of this run and probably had at least 5 or 6 miles at the same pace in me. 

IMG_1299 IMG_1300

We headed back to the building where registration was and they had a stack of Little Caesars pizzas waiting to be devoured.  We were actually surprised by the amount and quality of food they had for such a cheap race.  We’d definitely do this race again, but if they are going to stick with the 11/11/11 name, we’ll have to wait another 100 years.

photo 2 photo 1
MMMM…. pizza! Yes, I am double fisting my pizza.

Finally, in case this post was too boring, maybe this will make it better:

Bailey says “Thanks!” to Team Oravec (including Frank and Sophie) He loves his new toy and hasn’t totally destroyed it. Yet.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/11/14/race-report-111111-11-mile-run-at-1111pm


Skip to comment form

  1. Matt Oravec

    HAHA! Frank already ruined his frisbee 🙁

    Bailey is looking like… go ahead, take it… I DARE YOU!

    Nice job man. If you wanted to feel like what the BQ pace is you should go to that McMillan calculator and figure out what you should have run at that distance to be equivalent to the BQ. My last 13.1 put me at a BQ time… I felt like complete UTTER DEATH! The rest of the day was an epic fail for me as my body was just in pure revolt. It sucked.

    These races are the best in my opinion. Pure fun.

    Ohio passed the same smoking law a few years ago and you cannot walk in or leave an establishment anymore without pretty much throwing up.

    Glad you guys did it and had fun out there for a charity event 🙂
    Matt Oravec recently posted..In need of gift ideas???

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      We are only giving Bailey the frisbee in short stretches to preserve it as long as possible. I’d rather not pick up red-flecked pieces of dog crap in the back yard after he chews it up in 10 minutes.

      I’m studying up on Brain Training and the Advanced Marathon book this week to try and figure out what/if I am going to do this spring. I think training in the winter is going to be the hardest part. Not because of the cold, that really doesn’t both me, but because of the snow/ice that forces me to have slow down a bit and shorten my stride.

      Why am I thinking that BQ-ing is going suck (and hurt) a lot more than IM ever did?

  2. Jeff

    What an extremely cool race idea!

    And T-shirst AND pizza for $11…wow! I’d go support the RD in every other race he ever does.

    dude that is a serious pace to be dropping at 11pm after a full week of work. I’d have been one of the walkers!

    Big CONGRATS on #1 Overall!
    Jeff recently posted..Ghosts and a Half Marathon …

  3. lindsay

    it was the shirt!!!!!!!!!!
    lindsay recently posted..m&m’s: missing in action

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Did you doubt?

  4. Mandy

    I hardly ever get shirts that fit. I always get a large and then give mine to John.

    I LOVE the bar cheering section, hilarious. I used to be one of those barflies.

    Fast guy…ha ha well you are a fast guy, holy crap.

    Yeah, I stayed away from the preform at my IM. I heard lots of folks had problems. Took me all of 30 seconds to refill at the special needs with my own special blend of calorie enhanced goodness…

    Pizza looks awesome.
    Mandy recently posted..Running Through Changes

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I know how you feel about the shirts. I honestly think that women should start a riot or something. Maybe you can start up OFL (Occupy Finish Line). haha

      Why am I hearing all these stories about Perform now?!?!? haha I swear I have heard the same thing from at least a dozen other people. I’m totally carrying all my own fluid at IMMT. I like the Perform powder which is what I trained with – the premixed is what killed me. I’m hoping to create a couple bottles of triple strength powdered Perform and then watering it down in my aero drink on the course.

  5. BDD

    Congrats on the race
    BDD recently posted..Weekly Ramblings

  6. Matt Smith

    You’re the man! Way to go, Kevin! After Jenn and I thought about it a bit, we were pretty tired and didn’t really want to be out in the cold, so it’s a good thing we didn’t go. Although, that pizza looked good. Congrats on your first win! That’s awesome! Boston, LOOK OUT FOR KEVIN NEUMANN!
    Matt Smith recently posted..Iphone Frustration! (Whining Alert)

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      We were both really regretting the race as we walked from our car to registration. However, once we got moving it was actually really comfortable out. I had to take my gloves off after 3 miles which I had a good chuckle about… “And that’s when the gloves came off!”

      We are both really bummed that we couldn’t make it down for your sermon. I told Jennie about it after you mentioned it and she really wanted to go. Any other weekend and we would have been there. Let me know if you are going to be subbing in again!

  7. adena

    That race sounds like fun although I would have stopped for a beer at the bar. 🙂
    adena recently posted..so I was… AND a giveaway!!!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I was actually tempted to go to the bar afterwards for a drink but after dealing with all the drunk smokers, I wanted nothing to do with it.

  8. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Great great job. It seems you would have been below 7:01/mi if you didn’t have to stop and if you didn’t have that chat with M-Dot. That is terrific.

    Love the cheering section too: There goes fast guy…..ha! That had to put a little pep in your step.

    And the shirt matching the shoes is perfect.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Analyzing Yourself To Get Better

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      No kidding! Stupid me for being chatty! haha. Honestly (and not trying to sound cocky), but I think I could have easily gone 6:50 or even 6:45 if I had someone up with me pushing me along. As it was, I led the entire race and never really had any competition. The only other runner’s I saw were ones that I was lapping. Of course, I’ll probably never run such a flat course again. My biggest changes in elevation were jumping up and down the curbs.

      You are darn right that it put some pep in my step! Definitely a cool feeling.

  9. katie

    nice job!!! that pizza looks fabulous…oh, and beer…mmmm.
    katie recently posted..trying to breathe…

  10. onelittletrigirl

    Post run pizza- AMAZING!

  11. Emily

    Fun idea for a race. Congrats on the win and the successful execution!
    Emily recently posted..Random Friday Facts

  12. Beth

    Congrats on your win, and holding that pace for 11+ miles! I love the exaggerated elevation chart, WHOA 10 ft mountain!!!!
    Beth recently posted..Taper Time!

  13. Elizabeth

    “but this one goes up to 11.”
    Elizabeth recently posted..Farewell Land of Junk Miles

  14. Jon

    Soooooo, time for me to move to Michigan me thinks. You guys need a roomie? I am totally low impact as well. I just come with 2 bikes, three computers, and car. This will totally work! Oh, and all the free Zombie talk you would ever want 😉

    Nice job man! “There goes that fast guy again! Go fast guy!” That cracks me up! Kevin, you became THAT guy!

    And Bailey says, “You come towards me, YOU DIE!”
    Jon recently posted..The Weekend Wrap Up

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Hmmmm…. We could use a new car. And those bikes come with race wheels right? Those could be borrowed. However, we are already at 6 bikes, so we might have to build a lean to on the garage for bike storage.

      I do have my work’s digital projector here so we could do some killer training rides while watching zombie movies (pun intended).

  15. Christina

    Since I am not yet able to run 11 miles, I tried to bike it on 11/11/11 (although it was 4 PM darn). I failed to map it all out and was almost out of daylight and did 10.11. Close enough? Your race seemed awesome! And a win is a win – no matter how fancy or not the race is. Cool on the pizza, shirt, cheering (not smoke), etc.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Way to get out on your bike! I hear you on the lack of daylight. It downright sucks!

  16. DR

    this sounds like it was awesome !!
    and nice run fitness you have going still….you are most def feelin it.w/ bq pacing!


  17. Heather

    What fun! So jealous of all the cool things Michigan has to offer! Either Cleveland really sucks or Matt and I need to get out more 😉

    Congrats on the win “fast guy”! That is awesome! Your improvement this past year has been phenomenal! What’s your secret?

    Glad Bailey likes his Frisbee!

  18. Kristin @ Lazy Marathoner

    How cool! Congrats on the win! I’d have to enter a race where everyone’s legs were tied together in order to win! 🙂 Sounds like a fun one, too, which makes it better. I see you’ve recovered beautifully from IMWI.
    Kristin @ Lazy Marathoner recently posted..Ironman Wisconsin: Bike

  19. Marlene

    Nicely done on first place and a killer run! Talk about a sweet deal for a race – I’d be all over that. And I happen to think ALL races should serve pizza afterwards.
    Marlene recently posted..Five Photos For Friday

  20. Colleen

    I think more races should be run in front of bars at night. Talk about motivation and great cheering sections.

    Yes, you definitely count this as a race win! 🙂

    Sounds like fun – and I’m super jealous that you have an $11 race with teeshirts AND pizza. That’s awesome!

  21. abegail

    Congrats on your race!Sounds like a fun one, too, which makes it better. I’m craving on pizza..
    abegail recently posted..door awnings

Comments have been disabled.