Distance: 13.1 miles
Date: August 26, 2012, 7am start
Finish time: 2:51:06*
What sets this race apart: One of the first big races in Columbus area to feature the quarter marathon as it's main race distance.
*Ran this race as part of the pace team. My goal time was 2:50
|It's all about the bling! Gorgeous medal. Same medal for both half and quarter finishers|
This year, I ran this race as part of the "World Famous MIT Pace Team." It's kind of fun to get emails addressed to "World Famous pacers." :D Pacers typically get assigned based on preferences, but are expected to pace a time much slower than your best time. The idea is that the goal time should be an easy pace for you. My assigned time was a 2:50 finish. I was assigned to pace with an experienced pacer so that she could help us hit the splits.
|The pace team pre-race|
|Coming around the corner towards the finish line. |
Some of the volunteers joined me because pacers shouldn't finish alone.
What I love about the race?
- The course - it's not all a road race. At least half of the race is on paved trails through wooded areas and Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
- It's a smaller field, with a different atmosphere.
- All the cute young cheerleader groups that cheer us on!
- The post race food and clean port-o-potties. M3S Sports has this part of races down to a science. Post race food: chocolate milk, water, bagels, apples and bananas. GU was provided around mile 9. I stopped to pee around mile 6, the potty was clean, and there was actually a fully stocked sanitizing foam in the potty!
What is NOT my favorite about this race?
- The section where we run on a boardwalk.
- The lack of big crowds - I do like the extra umph you can get from lots of adoring fans.
- Smaller field. (I know I listed this in both section). I ran miles 10-13 mostly by myself. At the quarter marathon turn-off, a large portion of the group following our pace banner turned for the quarter distance. I need people to listen to me blabber! HA!
- The sport drink. I've begun taking salt pills and drinking water (instead of sports drinks) at these races because GU Brew is the new Gatorade - and my stomach hates it.
The weather started cool, because sunrise was at 6:55am. Pretty awesome to see the sunrise as the race started! It got pretty warm by the end of the race. This brings to me to the other thing M3S sports did right - in the finish chute, first you were handed a cold bottle of water, next station was ice cold wet clothes to help cool you down. Then, you exited for the food and a massage/stretch station. Afterwards, you could cross the the parking lot to BW's for free food and beverages.
Of course, I didn't stay to enjoy all those things. I snapped a quick photo with my husband. Mark ran the quarter marathon in under an hour! He went and enjoyed the free food and decided to wait for me to finish (pretty easy to guess my finish time since I was a pacer - ha!).
|And yes, he got the same medal for half the distance. :)|
Then - I topped off my fuel belt bottles and ran backwards on the course. I stopped to GU because it'd been several miles since my last one, and then ran out to the first water stop. I ran back, and stopped to walk once I hit 3 extra miles. I did the extra 3 miles in 32:40, including stopping time. A bit faster than I should be doing any portion of my 16 mile long run, but that's okay.
Amazing how much emptier the finish line was after those bonus 3 miles. I still searched out a bagel and a banana. Then, I went to BW's, but all the free food was gone. I stayed anyway, and ate a lot of hot wings with friends to "refuel."
I was so jazzed after I got home and attempted my first
water ice bath, that I wouldn't shut up. (I'll post about the bath experiment separately). My husband is so lucky to get to hear endless recaps of my runs! I know he treasures every single second.
I really enjoyed pacing the race - what a different way to do a race. It was a lot of fun meeting other runners as we were pacing and helping them reach their goals. I'll definitely pace again!
Have you ever gone back out for extra miles after a race? Did you notice a big difference in the post-race festivities as well?
Would you ever pace a race?
Do you ever do the same race year after year? This was my 3rd year doing Emerald City.
Do you ever bore your friends and family with endless recaps of your long runs? Please tell me I'm not alone!