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|