2017 Emerald City Half Race Report

What's this? I'm posting my race report on the same day as the actual race? Must be some kind of record! I still have a couple backlogged blog posts (which are not race reports), but this one jumped to the top of the queue. Today I ran the Emerald City Half Marathon in Dublin, Ohio for the second time. The first time I ran was in 2014 when I walked the first three miles with my mom, who was completing the quarter marathon, before running on to finish my half marathon.

Finish pic with medal, wearing the 2014 shirt
And this year's shirt, a slightly different shade of blue...and also a singlet

I registered for this race months ago and had hoped to attempt a new half marathon PR. Back at the end of May, coming off a successful Medina Half Marathon, I thought that PR was a sure bet. Then I lost some training time in June when I was sick, and more training time in July when I injured my leg. And I never quite got back my training mojo in time to expect a late August PR. So, I decided to just go and have fun.

Several members of the Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC) ran the half. I planned to run the race with Carl. He's usually faster than me, but a knee injury caused him to scale back, and I promised to introduce him to the wonderful world of run/walk intervals, and ensure we got a not-too-terrible finish time.

The Franklin County Sheriff's color guard gathers at the start

I arrived about an hour early for the race and hung out in my car for a while, as it was chilly outside. Yes, the starting temperature was about 55F, which was unusual for late August, but I wasn't complaining. We really lucked out with great weather. I met up with Becca and Carl in the start corral. To my surprise, I also found Marathon Maniac friend Halbert. I hadn't seen Halbert for a while, so it was nice to find him in Dublin. Carl and I made our way back to an appropriate place in the corral, where we saw Sally and grabbed a quick pre-race selfie.

Pre-race selfie with Halbert 
Pre-race selfie with Carl and Sally

Carl and I started out together and I set the pace with my run/walk intervals and a running pace that was slightly too fast for me to sustain for the full distance, but it worked for most of the race. It was nice to have someone to chat with, since I'm usually running solo. Of course, it was harder for me to chat because this was a moderately challenging pace for me, so I did a lot of listening and made most of my vocal contributions during walk breaks.

Somewhere after Mile 4 or so we caught up with Halbert, and ran several miles with him. It was great to catch up with Halbert and the three of us traded race stories for a while, helping the miles to tick away. We got to the halfway point, which was marked by a timing mat, but no signage, so it took us by surprise. We enjoyed the short bits of the course that wound through a wooded park. Before we knew it, we were to Mile 10. I really didn't think about distance at all during this race since I was happily distracted by good company.

Halbert at an aid station

After Mile 10, Halbert pulled ahead (and honestly, I also dropped back a bit). For a short while, Carl pulled ahead of me too, but then I caught up to him again. His knee was bothering him a little bit, and I think he was happy for some extra walking. And I needed a little extra walking too. I just wasn't trained as well as I had wanted to be. There was no way I could possibly have earned that PR, but I did end up finishing a little faster than my Plan B goal, so that was good.

Coming into the finish, Carl and I saw Becca (who earned her own PR) and Tracy (who was spectating). It's always nice see friendly faces and be cheered on by name. After the finish, and a few pics, Becca and Carl went back to the finish area with Tracy to wait for Sally to finish. I went to the post race party at Amigos to look for Halbert. Unfortunately, he had already gone back to his car. But while I was trying to message him, Iliana from CWRC found me, so I went inside with her and her boyfriend Andrew for our post-race margaritas. Yes, this race gives out margaritas, not beers.

Carl and I were perfectly in step in the finish chute
Finishers: Becca, Carl and me 

After the margarita I tried to find Sally and Tracy, but it looked like they had already left. There were still some runners and walkers coming in, but I was pretty sure Sally would have already finished.

Now I've run this race twice. I think it's managed very well, and the medal and shirt are nice. This year the women got a singlet instead of a short-sleeved tee; that was different. The course has its pros and cons. Major pro is a fair amount of the course on nice bike trails. Major con is so much direct sunlight on boring suburban roads. And other than the DJ at the start/finish area, there is zero entertainment on the course, if that's your thing. There are also very few spectators. But it is a fast course with few hills, and a great setting for a PR if your training and the weather are on your side. Today, the weather worked for me, but several weeks of training had suffered. I'm still glad I went and pushed myself a little today. I needed that. And it was great to run with Carl and Halbert.


  1. Wow - that was fast!!! I'm so glad you wrote this up to help memorialize a special day.

    Thanks for the miles! I felt like I pushed you for the first half and you pulled me through the second. Great team effort!!! 🙌🙌

  2. Eeeek! Andrew and I made the cut!! So great seeing you and I definitely look forward to many more encounters. Way to pull through!!


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