So now that you know I finished my half marathon and received a finishers medal this time (!!!) —Remember when I was bummed that my first half didn’t have finishers medals? — it’s time to recap the whole experience!
Saturday John and I headed to Youngstown to pick up my race packet and check out the Mill Creek Metroparks, where the race was being held. We came up with the perfect spot for John to cheer, in order for him to see me twice and drove around the parts of the race that were open.
The race website wasn’t kidding when they said 19 hills were involved. John and I couldn’t drive on the whole route, but I saw enough hills that knew I was in for a challenge. I had been preparing for hills during my whole training though, so I was ready.
Overnight, the Saturday rain turned into snow. We left a snowy-cold mess in Cleveland on Sunday morning in hopes that heading an hour south-east would help the snowy-cold situation. It did not.
Before heading to park at the Metroparks and pick up my chip, we headed to the “secret” parking lot that John was going to use in order to see my while running. As we feared the road was closed and the “secret” parking lot was out of the plans. We then tried to determine if John would have enough time to walk to and from that spot — but we decided that was out of the question and that he would only see me during the start and finish.
The gun went off and we were off! The first mile was down hill-ish, yup made for a great finish coming back up that hill, and everyone was treading lightly due to the snow / ice / slush. I think we all definitely lost a little bit of time at the start. This one guy was weaving in an out like crazy and ran in a huge puddle right in front of me and this other guy — he cause both of us to get water in our shoes right out of the gate. We looked at either and laughed it off and I forgot about my wet foot.
There were 5 water stations along the course and I had two strawberry shot bloks along the way as well. Around mile 3 I had to tie my shoe — I wasn’t very happy about this, but I did it quickly and continued on my way.
Around mile 5 when it seemed like all we were doing was going up up up… I took out my camera and snapped a few photos.
And now since photos of me always turn out so well while running, I thought I’d share the only one I snapped. The photo on the right shows the hill we just climbed — hope the girl in the white didn’t think I was being a creeper!
I finished 16 / 21 for my age group and am very happy with that. The top three women were actually all in the female 25-29 — what a tough age bracket, crazy!
After the half I also learned that our course was 13.5 miles which I suppose means I did beat my first half time… and I also learned that this half is in the top 5 for hardest halfs on the east coast. Now I’m even more proud tee hee hee.
John also shot a little video with the flip cam, so he’s going to make me a little montage this week! I’ll be sure to post it when it’s done! I’m also going to do a review of this race too!