The RiverRun Experience

I groaned as I rolled out of bed to check the weather, which told me the temperature outside was about 34 degrees. Although I wanted to crawl back into bed (because, really, what right-minded college student would be up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning to run 3.1 miles?), I instead pulled on my old high school running tights, chugged a bottle of water, and jogged over to the Iowa Memorial Union.

I was ready for my first RiverRun 5K around the UI campus and the Iowa River, and my first race in about four years. About 1,400 runners signed up for the 32nd annual race, which benefits Uptown Bill’s Coffee Shop and the nonprofit group Extend the Dream Foundation.

I was glad I managed to pull myself out of bed; the IMU and surrounding area was the familiar hub of activity I sorely missed from my high school track and cross country days. I had forgotten how much I loved being part of a large running community and realized I actually missed the nervous anticipation of race day. It was great to be surrounded with current students, Iowa alumni, and local residents who came out to run for a good cause.

The course was fast, and the temperatures quickly warmed up to the mid-40s—perfect running weather. The race was fun, yet competitive, and it felt good to race again. I felt strong, but in towards the last half-mile, my energy began to diminish.

Once I turned the corner towards the finish line on Iowa Avenue, I was reinvigorated by the stately sight of the Old Capitol gleaming in the morning sun and the cheers of encouragement from spectators and race officials. The energy in the crowd was contagious, and I found the old cross country strength to sprint the last 100 meters of the race.

RiverRun is a great tradition, and I am thrilled I had the opportunity to participate in my last year at the University of Iowa. Although I’ll be graduating in May, I will definitely be coming back to race in future RiverRuns as a proud Iowa alumna.

Steph Seidel
Marketing and Programs Intern

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Love it! I was the race director for RiverRun in 1989. I’m thrilled that it’s still alive and kicking!

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