The past few weeks, months and even years all lead up to this day. I’m sure everyone has their pre-race routines dialed in, but thought it might be worth highlighting a few things, as well as providing a few course related tips.

1. Eat, hydrate and sleep well this entire week. You’ve sacrificed a lot to get here, don’t let anything derail all of your hard work.

2. Minimize your time at packet pickup. You will be on your feet plenty the next day, conserve that energy.

3. Lay everything out the night before and pack it in your “go” bag for the next morning. You don’t want to forget something.

4. Go over your race/fueling plan(s).

5. Get a good night’s sleep on Friday night. You might have issues sleeping Saturday night, so getting a solid eight hours or so Friday night should be the plan.

6. Arrive to the race early to avoid any traffic issues. The streets of Moline are torn up in some areas so it might create delays.

7. Before leaving your vehicle, get your things in order and make sure that everything is working and full. Speaking of full, two things that shouldn’t be are the parking lot and your bladder. With ample parking a short walk from the starting line and plenty of porta potties, the race makes things easy for you.

8. When the gun goes off, don’t go out too fast. Stick to your plan.

9. Enjoy the wobbly views from I-74. They only close one lane of traffic on the bridge so use caution. If your legs feel wobbly before you hit the first mile marker, it’s because the suspension span is moving underneath you – you aren’t bonking already. Running along the railing will give some amazing views of the sun rising over the Mississippi – not to be missed.

10. The hills are early – respect them. By mile 5, everything flattens out other than the Centennial Bridge crossing (more great views) and a few blips along the way.

11. Take advantage of ice cold sponges at miles 18 and 22/24. See why below.

12. Beware of the last 6.2 miles. Even though this section is flat, it’s also exposed to the sun. If it’s a warm day with the sun out, you can take a beating in this section. If you’ve managed your body temperature (sponges) and stayed hydrated before hitting this section, you will have a strong finish.

13. Don’t forget to have fun and smile.

Jeramy Duffee is an RRCA Running Coach and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with racing and coaching experience ranging from 5K’s to 100 mile trail races. For coaching or personal training inquiries, email him at swingthegate@gmail.com

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