Monday, May 18, 2015

Cleveland Half Marathon Race Recap

The race: Cleveland Half Marathon, Sunday, May 17, 2015
The stats: 13.3 miles, 2:30, 11:17 pace
The outfit: Saucony visor, Saucony Daybreak tank, Saucony Speed of Lite short, Moving Comfort Rebound Racer bra, Injinji socks, Saucony Zealot shoes

This was my fourth Cleveland Half Marathon. It's kind of a tradition, but I just wasn't that into this year. I haven't done much real training, and while I have plenty of endurance, I don't have much speed. I decided to run with someone for whom this race was her first half-marathon. It seemed perfect. The weather wasn't great (storms in the forecast) and I am under-trained.

We arrived downtown to meet the group at 6am, but apparently the group was quite timely. We were about 5 minutes late to the meetup spot, and the group was leaving. We talked briefly with some friends who were at the tail of the group, but we couldn't leave with the group because our friend (who was also running late) picked up our bibs. We got our bibs and settled and headed over to the start.

A few of us, pre-race
The storms left the forecast, and it looked like it was going to be okay. Then there was a brief, but somewhat heavy, rain right before the start of the race. Luckily that was the only heavy rain of the day!

We tried to find our people at the start, and we couldn't. None of us were prepared to run "fast." We simply didn't know what to do. We watched the race start and hoped that we'd be able to find someone as they went by. Eventually we figured we had to just take off and hope we'd run into someone while, well, running.

The first mile ticked off, and we hadn't seen anyone. We were still running very easy, warming up, looking around constantly. Finally we found the girl I'd wanted to run with! And then another guy came up on us! It worked out perfectly. I stuck with her for the entire race, and Aaron and our friend ran with that guy, taking him to a nice PR.

The course was pretty different from last year, which was a surprise. I thought only the start had changed. But don't worry -- the race still ended with the shoreway, which is challenging. We were feeling pretty good, so I felt comfortable pushing her to run the entire time. We passed a lot of people on the shoreway, and that always feels good!

Post-Race sheen
Overall, the race turned out well. I don't mind the shoreway finish, but I wish it could be shorter. There's not much crowd support (too difficult for people to get there), and it's not very scenic. You're just running on a highway. I think that makes the rolling hills feel worse than they are.

One other slight complaint is the beer garden. There is no shade, and by this time, it was getting really warm out. Also, the lines for beer were very long, and they weren't moving very quickly. Figuring out a better way for that would be nice. They could use a little more food, I think. Akron provides a lot more.

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