Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On the Run: Mustache Dache Detroit 2014

A few weekends ago was the Detroit marathon - a much-hyped, highly-anticipated race. This past Saturday was Mustache Dache, a smaller yet just as eagerly-awaited event.  Last year was its inaugural year in Detroit and it went off without a hitch.  Although I hadn't run many 5k's at that point, I was just going to go ahead and declare it as best 5k ever.  I've run a few since then and it easily maintains the status!  This year was even better.

The event is hosted by RUNdetroit, which is not only an amazing running store but is tops in putting on an event!  

New This Year

Photos - All photos from the race can be found on Flickr and are FREE for race participants, courtesy of Nicole Rourke Photography!  You cannot beat that!  

Kids Race - 1 Mile Kids Run held before the 5K.  All kids got a sweet red cape.  The kids looked awesome!

Shirts - Men's and women's fits in different colors.  Last year they were all the same color and cut.  I like the change.

Photo courtesy of mustachedache.com/detroit


I did packet pickup at the store (it was Thursday and Friday) but you could also pick up day of.  It was in full-swing when Brian and I arrived, helped along by many RUNdetroit Flight Club members.  Packet pickup, tents, port-a-potties, and picnic table were all set up in a parking lot located next to Atwater Brewery (as opposed to the lot behind it like last year).  It was a great location for everything.  

It was a cold and rainy morning so Brian and I huddled under the RUNdetroit tent.  Around 9:15 I went out for a 2-mile warm-up with a few of the ladies from the racing team.  We ran to the 1st mile marker and back.  The whole way out we were running straight into the wind, our faces being pelted with sharp icy drops of rain.  When we made the turn back, however, the wind was at our backs, the rain seemed to stop, and it was nearly blissful running.  Perhaps this race would be okay after all!  (At least the second half.)

Back at the tent we got a great group shot with the RUNdetroit Flight Club.  Crazy kids!

Then we headed to the start line where the race began right on time.  No waiting around in the cold for any late arrivals!  We were off!

The Race

I didn't start right at the front, knowing I would be slow (since the marathon I've mostly been running 3-4 miles, average pace 8:30ish).  Thankfully the rain had stopped so we only had wind to contend with.  The course starts out on the street next to Atwater Brewery before you hang a left toward Atwater Street.  This is familiar stomping grounds for me - past Milliken State Park, the entrance to the Dequindre Cut, Outdoor Adventure Center - so I was happy to be running there.  

Before I hit the 1 mile marker I heard a familiar voice ask, "So why are you running with a broken leg?"  It was my GLR teammate Mikelle!  I was so happy to have someone to run with.  We ended up running the rest of the race together, chatting the whole way.  I haven't seen her in forever!  Not only was it great to catch up but it made the race much more enjoyable.  Mikelle helped take my mind off pace so I didn't worry that I was running too slow.  

Photo credit: Nicole Rork Photography

Just as in our warm-up, the beginning of the race was windy.  After making the turn to head back along the Riverwalk, however, the wind was at our backs and it was calm and peaceful.  

Photo credit: Nicole Rork Photography

After the Riverwalk it was back to Atwater Street, a short jog around Milliken State Park, and before long we were heading to the finish line.  Many of my RUNdetroit friends finished ahead of me this time so they were all cheering me on.  Mikelle and I finished together.  I didn't pay attention to the time and even forgot to stop my Garmin right away.  It was a good feeling.  

Photo credit: Nicole Rork Photography

Brian finished just a few minutes after I did.  He did awesome in his first race since before we met!  We got our cool mustache medals, free beers (they were in cans this year, which was nice so we could take them to go), chatted with a few friends, and headed back to the car.  Had it been warmer we would have stuck around for photo ops with the gigantic fuzzy mustache or tried out the mustache teeter totter, mechanical bull, or mustache-themed High Striker game.  It is the best post-race party and the people-watching is amazing.  SO many mustaches!  Crazy costumes!  haha.  But seriously, it's a great time and the awards are pretty darn cool.  Growlers for top finishers and mustache pint glasses for age-group winners.  Everyone's mustache medal doubles as a bottle opener.  Sa-weet!





Maneater / Hall & Oates
Attention / The Raconteurs
Run (I'm a Natural Disaster) / Gnarls Barkley
Sharp Dressed Man / ZZ Top
Everybody Get Dangerous / Weezer
Bodysnatchers / Radiohead

*Due to time constraints, I had to use the same playlist as last year.  In keeping with the theme of the race, all songs on my playlist were sung by artists sporting 'staches at the time of recording.  

I'm not big on medals but this one is definitely unique.  Plus it's both fashionable AND functional!

Also new this year were these awesome pom-pom hats, which were available for purchase in-store packet pick-up.  My favorite color AND a pom pom?  I couldn't resist treating myself to one!

All in all, another fabulous Mustache Dache!  

Did you run Mustache Dache?  Tell me about it!

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