My weekend started Thursday night when I few into Columbus late and stayed with my mom. On Friday she went with me to the race expo. There were a number of vendors, but nothing that either of us wanted or needed to buy. We didn't get to see any of the elite athletes while we were there. Later, I had a quiet happy hour with my stepmom Kim and then dinner with friends Shelly and Nikki at my favorite Mexican restaurant El Vaquero. It was a little disappointing that they had changed the menu, removing menu items that had been offered for 20 years or so. But I was still able to get what I wanted by creating my own combo (for a higher price, of course).
|Entering the expo|
|That's Brian in the center wearing red|
|The elites are ready to take off; Desi Linden can't be seen as she's in the very front of the women, and she's shorter than most of them|
Video of the elites starting
|And here's my pre-race pic, feeling great in my NYC Marathon "in training" shirt (I'm still fundraising for Migraine Research Foundation)|
|Selfie with Ohio Stadium|
|The Greystone Apartments, where I once lived|
The course was mostly scenic and with periodic spectator support. The aid stations were frequent and all had water and Gatorade. I didn't carry my own fluids, so this was good. Around Mile 6 they handed out Carb Boom gels. So far, better supported than my last half in New Jersey.
I mostly kept to my run/walk intervals. I only walked a little extra at aid stations. I did not walk extra on the uphill portions, and in fact, I ran extra on the downhill portions. I felt pretty good the entire way.
|Beautiful houses surround Schiller Park in German Village|
|In the last couple miles we ran north up High Street|
With a few miles to go we ran within shouting distance of the finish festival, but had to keep heading south to German Village. This was fine. It's not often that a race runs through German Village. I think I got to do it at the 2006 Columbus Marathon. It was nice to run around Schiller Park and see all the nice houses. Then there was another tease. I knew we had more than a mile to go, but we were running up High Street straight to the finish line and it was really close. Then we had to turn off, make a loop and cross a couple bridges before coming back. At this point I was skipping walk breaks because I wanted to finish quickly. But most of the last mile was uphill, and I did have to add in one walk break so I could run strong for the rest of it. Finally, I rounded the last corner back onto High Street and finished.
|After my finish, selfie with the Ohio Theatre|
|Finish selfie with the Ohio Statehouse|
I received the absolutely huge and heavy medal, and was routed through the finish chute past the Ohio Theatre and the Ohio Statehouse. All runners got water, a banana, a NutriGrain bar and a Panera bagel (yay, asiago!). Then I was reunited with my mom in Columbus Commons, the park hosting the after party. It started to rain lightly, but I wasn't going to leave without getting my post-race beer, even if it was only a Miller Lite. We also got two slices of Papa John's pizza. Mom and I sat at a table under an umbrella while I ate and drank, listened to the band, and enjoyed the people watching. It was a little cool, but we were dressed for it. I felt a little bad for the runners behind me who would be finishing the race cold and wet.
|I've got my huge medal and my cheap beer; bonus: my mom brought my jacket to me|
|The stage and commons area looked like this as it started to rain|
This was a very nice event. I believe this race will also host the USATF Half Marathon Championships again next year. They did it very well. The elite winners each got a Tag Heuer watch and a nice ring from the Diamond Cellar (not to mention the title and the $12,000 cash prize). The rest of us got a great medal and shirt, a well-done event and nice after party. This race has a half marathon, a quarter marathon and a 5K, so there's something for everyone. I highly recommend it of anyone looking for a race to do in Ohio.