“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cap City Recap

Race: Cap City Half Marathon
Distance:  13.1 miles
Date:  May 5, 2012, 8:00 am start
Finish time:  2:26:48, 11:13 min/avg  (official time/pace)
What sets this race apart:  Being local

I finished it!!!  No more will I say that I register for Cap City and fail to finish it!

All week long the weather was an issue because our temperatures were way above normal.  A few days before race day, we received email warnings about the symptoms for heatstroke and the need to slow down and hydrate.
The dog fountain is an excellent way to stay cool AND hydrate Mommy.
I modified my race plan and intended to slow down, but I couldn't give up the idea of PRing. Turns out, I did both.  Slowed down compared to the Scioto Mile 15K a few weeks ago, and PR'd by almost 3 minutes compared to the Knoxville Half a month ago!

Once again, this race made poor Sports Drink decisions.  Last year, they served Ultima (I forget the exact name - but it was disgusting - everyone was spitting it out).  This year, they served GU electrolye brew.  I'd never had it.  Thus, I'm glad I read the program guide the night I picked up my packet, and filled all 20oz of my fuel belt with power aide instead.  Nonetheless, I wound up taking a couple cups of the Brew during the race - and it was AWFUL.  Now that I've finally finished this race, I think I'm taking it out of the race rotation because of bad sports drinks.

The race was 65 degrees and 93% humidity at the start.  I was thankful, that it was foggy and thus, the sun wasn't shining down on us as well.  I'd intended to run with my friend Amy during the race, but pre-race she was saying that she was going to run with the 11:30 pacers for the first 6 miles.  So, I moved up to join the 2:25 finish pacers.  I stayed with them for about half of the race.  I fell back from them because of the water stops.
About 2/3 through the race, I'm the one in yellow.  Photo Courtesy of Sarah
The course had an awesome number of water stops, which is great considering the above average temps and humidity.  (I sweat more in this race than I ever have at a race, and I have the odd chafing injuries to prove it).  At least 4 of the stops though, did not have water cups ready when I came through.  Runners were having to wait in line to get water.  This is why I took the nasty sports drink a couple of times.  (I drank all of my poweraide by mile 10).  Perhaps it was the heat and the size of the race, I don't know, but it felt like I waited FOREVER at a couple of stops to get water.  At one stop, I actually had to leave the course, go up onto the sidewalk to a table in the back where they were pouring water into cups one at a time.  (There were 13,000 runners in the race!)  To top it off, a lot of the cups only had a gulp of water in them.

Given the fact that I was sweating outrageously by the end of the FIRST mile, I didn't feel like it was a good idea for me to skip many of the water stops (I skipped the first one because it came before the end of the first mile).  So, I waited.  Honestly, I wish I had timed how long I actually waited!

This race brought home how awesome it is to run in a local race when you belong to a couple of different running clubs.  The crowd support was AWESOME.  My friend Sarah, who got injured a few weeks before the race, showed up on her bike and was that added boost I needed several times during the race.  The last water stop was packed with my Run DMC (Daily Mile Columbus) group - and they had plenty of water cups ready!  HA!  On the course, I ran into two other good friends that were also running the race. Imagine that - out of 13,000 runners, I run into those two.  Very cool.
Some of the gang post race!  From left to right: Me, Laurie, Amy, Deb, Suzi and Nita
The only thing I didn't like about the course was the cobblestone streets in the German Village.  I definitely slowed down in that area because I was worried about turning an ankle.  They've changed the course several times in the last few years, I would've loved it if they'd removed this section.  It is a big section for crowd support though, so maybe that's why they don't.

I'm sad to say that I saw more people down on the ground: in the street, on the side of the street and in the back of ambulances, than all the previous races I've run combined.  Many were hooked up to IVs.  I hope that all of them are okay today!

Despite the weather and the water stops, I still PR'd by almost 3 minutes, so I'll take it.  Turns out my friend Amy didn't stick with the 11:30 group, and she PR'd by 13 minutes and beat me by 3 seconds!  She also was prominently displayed in a picture in the local paper!
Hob-nobbing with the Celebrity.  (I was chilled post-race, that's why the extra shirt)
Several of my regular Tuesday/Thursday night group completed their first half marathon in the race:  Sue, Andrew, Lynne, Kumar, Gail and Nic!
From Left to right: Amy, Andrew, me, Kumar and Lynne
So, all in all, a good day!  What else do you need to know???

The goodie bag wasn't much.  A bag, a chocolate and a lot of ads.  The shirt was pretty awesome though.
I also got a few fun things at the expo.  Some Super Feet inserts and some bondibands.
Blogspot loaded it sideways - so annoying
Maybe one of the other best parts of the race???  The Cap City medal is big enough to eat all my other medals...
The empty spot is reserved for my first full.
I am probably done with running the Cap City Half Marathon now that I finally earned my medal.  There are a lot of other Spring races I want to do, and the Sports drinks continue to be nasty.  It is usually a target race for my group, MIT, though, so I will probably enjoy being cheerleader or volunteer in future years!


Editor's note:  I should never write race recaps when I am as tired as I was writing this one.  Tired makes me focus on more negatives than positives.  I left out a lot of great things about this race.  It was a nice loop course from downtown to Ohio State and back.  It was relatively flat.  They had great post-race treats: orange slices, bagels, chocolate truffles and Snowville Creamery chocolate milk.  Because I stayed to the end, I even got an entire carton of chocolate milk to take home with me and a bunch of extra truffles too!  I will comment on these in my Rainier training update tomorrow as well!

Anyone else race this weekend?

Any other stories about heat or sports drinks at races?


  1. Congratulations! Great medal rack and LOVE the spot reserved for your first (I'm sure of many) full :)

    And you know I can speak volumes about heat at races, after Boston '12!!

    Great job Mandy!

    1. I know! I felt lame complaining about humidity after your Boston experience!

  2. Congrats on the race!

    I actually like Ultima, but I had a bad experience with Cytomax. That stuff was hard to keep down! Other than that, I usually see lemon lime gatorade at races and that's my favorite, so I'm good.

    1. I'm glad someone likes it! I would much prefer lemon lime gatorade too.

  3. Nice race Mandy :) I think you did really well! and those expo grabs look SWEET!!!!

  4. I tried GU Brew randomly at the Scioto Miles 10K and hated it. Never again. I always just put my own electrolyte drink in my water bottle and take wter at the races. Good thinking on your part!

    Congratulations on a fantastic race!!! I need to get a bigger medal holder like yours!!

  5. Go MANDY! What a day! You all were fantastic!!!

  6. You look great and CONGRATS on a PR in the heat. It's exciting to think how you would have done without the water stop and heat issues!

  7. I love that picture of us! :) I agree with you about the cobblestone streets and GU Brew...gross! I'm glad we were able to spend a lot of the day together!

  8. Odd Chafing? Let's just say I'm using the ole' Aquaphor too! Great job on the PR, I can't get over my pity party and being 9 minutes SLOWER than my PR. Oh well, next time.

    1. Don't sell yourself short! You pushed through a late training injury and finished strong!

  9. Congrats on another PR! Fantastic! Your pictures are great, and I am glad I was able to see you on the course and CHEER! :) You look fantastic in yellow by the way, just thought you should know. ;) Nice race, Mandy!

  10. Congrats, Mandy!! Getting a pr in the heat is not easy to do... great job! I love your medal hanger... mine are not so neatly organized. :)


Comments pretty much make my day - so thank you for yours!