Y’all, with a name like Skedaddle, I obviously had to run this race.
[Sidenote/preface, I’ve been incredibly neglectful of my blog for a several months now, and I intend to rectify that with a barrage of posts — starting with this one, which I actually composed on my phone while waiting for the start the Pittsburgh Half Marathon… back in May (facepalm emoji). No excuses. Such things happen. But my fall race season is about to start this weekend, and I need to get at least a tiny bit caught up. So. Sioux Falls…]
Historically, I’ve been wary of inaugural races. When I’ve scouted events, I’ve shied away from those that haven’t been tested and proven. This stems in part from my own experiences with, well, most things… the first time you do it, it usually doesn’t go that great. (Witness most of the new classes I ever taught). So, I’ve been dubious about new races. Plus, with a new race, you often can’t Google stalk the medals…
However! I’m so glad I took a chance on this one. It was so great, y’all! (In spite of being in the 30s with 10+ mph wind.)
I signed up for this race pretty last minute (at least by my usual months-out planning standards). I was planning to drive from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh and wanted to find a race relatively in the middle — since I’m working my way through all 50 states, and this seemed like a good opportunity to check off a midwestern state.
Initially, I was planning to run a race in Nebraska (also an inaugural race, but one that didn’t seem quite so well organized – and hence shall remain nameless). The major flooding last spring damaged their course, and they were scrambling to figure out solutions. I was also a bit nonplussed about the medal, so I felt like maybe this wasn’t the time to run Nebraska.
To see if I had alternate options, I pulled up the magical calendar (with map view) on Running in the USA, and was delighted to find the Skedaddle listed. Then, I visited the race website and was even more sold on the event!. They have such a great website! And had clearly invested in a graphic designer. And! Since I was signing up like 3 weeks out, they had already revealed the medal!! And it was bangin’.
So. I decided to Skedaddle.
Admittedly, South Dakota wasn’t really in the middle of Vegas and Pittsburgh, per se, but it was close enough. And, as a sort of random happenstance, driving to Sioux Falls from Las Vegas took me past Mt. Rushmore. So, I got to check a national monument off the list as well. (Spoiler: it’s kind of underwhelming).
Sioux Falls is cute! As you might expect, it has a lovely set of waterfalls. My Airbnb hosts were delightful. And I had a nice couple of nights in town. I feel quite satisfied with my first visit to South Dakota, and I might even try to return to the western part of the state at some point to explore the Badlands (didn’t have time on the drive in).
As for the race, I was super-impressed with the organization. Everything was really well-run, and they smoothly handled having to adjust the course due to flooding. The swag was great, and the support on the course was excellent. Even though the weather was on the crappy side (in the 30s and windy), I had a great time. Two thumbs up, for sure. Probably won’t ever run again, but only ’cause it’s way out of the way. Am definitely bookmarking the Good Life Halfsy in Lincoln, Nebraska for my NE race, since it’s put on by the same folks.
Overall Assessment: Definitely Recommend
Time of Year: end of April (4/28/19)
Start Time: 7:30 am
Temperature: 36° at start, maybe in the low 40s at finish. Wind: 12 mph
Size of Field: around 1,000
Elevation Gain: 197 ft (according to Garmin)
- Really well organized.
- Fairly flat.
- Good volunteer/course support (plenty of water stops).
- Great medal!
- Weather was on the crappy side.
- Course was a little bit boring in places, but that may also have been because they had to make adjustments due to flooding.
- Kind of far from everything… at least if you don’t live in the Midwest.