Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bloody Border Dash 1/2 Marathon: October 5th, 2014:

My mom works in the Hemophilia clinic at the Toledo hospital and the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan and Ohio put on this race to raise money.  She sent us an invite to sign up for the race and Jessica and myself thought it would be fun to do and at the same time we would be contributing to a great cause.  A cool thing about this race is that it started and ended at The Centennial Quarry which is only a few miles from where I grew up.  The race course was designed in a way that took us North across the Michigan / Ohio state line, thus the name of the race Bloody (for Hemophilia) Border (crossing state lines) and well..Dash (self explanatory).

We stayed at my parents house the night before the race since it was so close.  On race morning it was a lot colder then average for the beginning of October.  In fact, it was the first day of the entire fall season where temps dropped below freezing.  I think it was in the high 20s and with nothing but fields around the course the wind was whipping like crazy.  We waited in the car until we had to line up for the start.  Once the race was underway we decided to start quickly so we could get warmed up.  Once our body temps reached a comfortable cruising temperature we settled into a nice pace.  I have always wanted to break two hours in a half marathon but never have.  I came within three minutes of that goal in the past but never succeeded.  I thought I would just relax and have fun during this race which I did for half of it.  After the course went North for a few miles across the state line we took country roads west for three or four miles. About mile seven I was feeling pretty good and Jess told me to go ahead and take off.  I kicked it into high gear and thought if I kept a really fast pace that maybe I could bust two hours.

The course turned South and we ran back into Ohio.  For sentimental reasons the course was awesome because it traversed the flat country roads where I grew up.  It was cool seeing all of the Berkey Firefighters and EMTs at the intersections.  I come from a long family line of Firefighters so it is emotional seeing the active volunteers who are some of the most selfless people in the world.  My mom is one of these Firefighters / EMT volunteers and she donates a ton of her time to this volunteer department and I am very proud of her for what she does.  It was cool seeing her rooting me on as we ran back into Ohio and turned East to run the last few miles.  With about two miles to go I realized that I was not going to break the two hour barrier unless I magically received some superhuman speed powers and could utilize them without getting injured.  I was suffering from a hamstring strain that came about at the Devil Mountain 50 miler back in August so I just slowed things down and enjoyed the rest of the run.  As I was running down a paved pathway to the finish I heard my name over the loud speaker and there was a lot of people braving the cold weather cheering me on to the finish.  After I finished I waited for Jess and it was not long before I heard her name over the loud speaker.  She had a great finish and we were both glad to be done and headed for the car to get some warm clothes on.

Hanging With Paws
The after party for this race was really great.  They had a band playing up on stage.  They had plenty of food and also kegs of craft beer!  I couldn't believe this was the first year for this event because it went so smoothly and they had such a great party after the race.  They even had the Detroit Tiger's mascot Paws their handing out finisher medals and I thought this was strange since the Tigers had a ALCS game later that day.  Unfortunately because it was so cold many people had left right after the run instead of hanging out at the party.  Jess and I sat with some family friends Jerry and Ann Lumbrezer for awhile and chatted while eating some food and drinking some beer.  The good thing was we did not have to worry about our beer staying cold!  Then my mom showed up and we sat and talked with her for awhile.  I hope they have nicer weather for their 2015 race so more people stick around and enjoy the after race fiesta.  I also hope more people sign up to run this race in 2015 because it is for a great cause and these guys really know how to put on a top notch event!