RACE REPORT: 2023 Raspberry Run 1 Mile

>> Monday, July 17, 2023

After some decent 1-mile specific workouts, I was ready to try to crush another mile race. We spent the night before in Alexandria with family, so I had a 2 hour drive back to the Cities to race.

Cousins fishing with Grandpa on the dock.

Funny story: I was telling Henry about last year‘s 1 mile race and how I had hoped to break 5:00 one last time back then. But I told him I was maybe in better shape this year, so I hoped to break 5 minutes one MORE time. He was telling family that “Dad wants to be fast one more time before he’s old.” Close enough, I guess.

I was ready for things to get "blurry" and to feel like a "puddle of mudd" during this race.

I stopped at a random park in Hopkins to use their porta-potty.
A BEAUTIFUL sight from my car after driving 2 hours.

Without trying (and arriving from the opposite direction), I ended up parking in the exact same spot as I did last year, just 1 block off the race course, and maybe 3 blocks from the start line. I chatted with Bobby Paxton on the walk to get my number, and he said he’d love to beat his 5:53 from last year (and 5:52 is his age group’s record!).

The day was cooler than last year, there was a slight tailwind, and the wildfire smoke from the day before had cleared. I was ready for a good race! But I was also aware that I felt like I'd run last year‘s race PERFECTLY, so I had to be on my game to have a shot at my goal this year.

Final pre-race business in a decent bathroom.

The straight race course: here's the 1/4 mile marker.

The race heads straight down Main Street.

The leader (and eventual winner) of the 5 mile (who was the same guy
being awkward in the background of my post-race selfie in March.)

First and 2nd in the 5 mile following the lead biker down Main Street.
(The 5 mile has the same finish line as our upcoming 1 mile.)

Kirt in the 5 mile!

Final snack back at the car. Expired PowerBars still work! ;)

I pinned on my number, walked my shirt back to my car, warmed up with a little jogging (and 2 short sprints), and was ready to go! I found a spot in line similar to last year: 3 rows back and right in the middle of the road. Perfect.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1... GOOOOOO!!!!!!"

I took off pretty hard, but most people around me were passing me. I almost felt a little boxed-in after 45 seconds, but I worked my way to the right and got around that group. My throat was coated and dry and I was already breathing hard, so I was curious what this first quarter-mile split would be.

• FIRST 1/4 MILE: 1:12.2. "Right where I wanted it! Try to do that again!"

Last year I started with opening quarter-mile splits of 1:12 and 1:14, and I told myself that a perfect start this year would be 1:12 and 1:12. And gosh darn it, I nailed it:

• SECOND 1/4 MILE: 1:12.4 "I’M DOING IT! Now hold on and suffer."

I briefly became aware that my PR is 4:49.x and that I was at 2:24.6 at a half mile, but I really didn’t have any grand delusions that I would break that. That PR is 12+ years old from a different time: pre-kids!

I felt a little time slipping away in this quarter-mile, but was still feeling good with the race overall and my effort. I wasn’t surprised to see I had slowed up just a little:

• THIRD 1/4 MILE: 1:13.2 "You’re not dead! Keep it strong here!!!"

I had Heather Kampf and Dakotah Lindwurm (2 rockstars if you didn’t know!) just in front of me, so I set my sights on passing them! (Which is NOT something that I thought would have been possible when I saw them before the start!) Heather just kept pulling away, but I was able to come up next to Dakotah. I saw the finish line, and I passed her in the final few meters.

I didn’t know my final quarter-mile split until well after the race, but I was happy to look down and see 4:51 overall on my Garmin.

• FINAL 1/4 MILE: 1:13.6. "A slow positive split. But just by 1.4 secs from start to finish. I’ll take it!"


Steve Stenzel, 42, M, St. Paul


57 out of 550 overall
56 out of 321 males
8 out of 58 in the 40-49 age group

[Garmin: 1.0 miles in 4:51.4]

BARELY got Dakotah...

... but barely even made the same PAGE of results as Heather.

Heather about to break a state AG record, possibly being
held up by 3 guys hitting their watches in front of her.

Dakotah in the middle of the background of that pic, and I don't know
where I am. I think that's me peaking out from behind that guy. Dunno.
(I might have more pics from Tom R to share shortly!)


• ONE: this is my 3rd fastest 1 mile out of 15! As a 42-year-old “old man” (as Henry would say), I couldn’t be happier! The shorter/harder training has paid off. (See this post from last year detailing all my other 1-mile races.) My only faster times are from 2011 and 2013!

• TWO: if I’m being completely honest, I maybe could’ve eeked out a little more time in that final quarter mile. Yes, the two lead females in front of me really helped pull me to a strong finish, but I still maybe had a little more I could’ve given. I could NOT have PRed (4:49), but I maybe had a half to a full second left in the tank. Don’t get me wrong: I hit the finish line completely hashed! But maybe shortly after the 3/4 mark, I could’ve dug a little deeper. Who knows.

• THREE: I posted my best age graded results ever! At last year‘s race, I saw an age graded result of 81% which was the first time I'd hit 80+! But with this finish, I hit 83!

• FOUR: the winner won my heart. Speedy Colin Abert ran the 800 meter track meet with me last month, and we talked a bit after that meet as I was walking to my car with my boys. I happened to see him as we were both cooling down after this mile race. He turned around and tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I broke 5:00 like I was hoping to do when we had chatted at the track meet. I was super impressed that he went out of his way to ask me about that, and even more surprised that he remembered me (AND my goal time!). I became a big fan in that moment. Nice 4:02 mile, Colin!

Here are some Garmin notes:

Note my speed: starting strong, easing up
when boxed in, and then slowly slowing down.

Two new Garmin PRs.

Ascending splits.

Only pic of the "bowl full of sunshine" shorts that I raced in.

I’m using this race as an excuse to have a slightly easier week and maybe do more biking. We’ll see what the rest of this post-race week holds. Happy summer!!


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