Monday, October 20, 2014

Marathon Monday: Columbus Half Marathon

On Sunday October 19th I ran my first half marathon.  It was a chilly 45 degrees at the start, but it turned out to be a perfect day for running.  It warmed up into the low to mid 50s and it was clear and sunny.

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon/Half Marathon sold out in record time with 18,000 participants.  The event raised 3 million dollars for Children's Hospital and for the most part was a huge success.  From start to finish I felt like the race ran smoothly.  The course was flat and I enjoyed running through downtown Columbus and the surrounding neighborhoods.  Here are a few pictures from the start.

There was an impressive fireworks display and I loved the fireworks above the starting line.

They changed the course this year, so runners went past Children's Hospital.  This was a very nice additional along with the Children's Champions who were at many of the mile markers.  I tried to high five all of the children with the orange hands that I saw along the way.

Marathon Childrens Hospital

Marathon patient champion

There were some minor issues after the finish line, which hopefully they will be able to correct before next year's race.  First, the medals were not at the finish line until close to two and a half hours after the start of the race.  When they did arrive, there were only two volunteers opening boxes and distributing them to a very large number of cold and tired runners.  Every other race I have participated in had dozens of volunteers distributing medals immediately after the finish line....before the food/water distribution area.

The pickup area for the checked gear was immediately after the food distribution (in an area that spectators had access to) so it was VERY crowded.  Fortunately I didn't check any gear, but they decided to pass out the medals (once they arrived) in this same area, which compounded the congestion.  I would move the checked gear into an athlete only area away from where the runners are exiting the course.

Those are the only issues that I experienced, which should be very easy to correct.

Here is a picture of me coming into the finish. (I'm in the pink shorts and blue shirt)

Here is a picture of my son and I after the race with my medal.

Here is a link to me crossing the finish line
(I'm on the right side of the video)

Chip Time: 2:02:23
Average Pace: 9:21
Overall Place: 3356 out of 10411
Female Place: 1600 out of 6827
Age Group Place: 253 out of 1001 Females in the 35-39 age group.

For my first half marathon, I'm very pleased with this result.  My first mile was VERY slow at just over a 10 minute mile.  I spent over half a mile trying to weave my way through a lot of very slow runners/walkers.  Once I got through that, I was just above or below 9 minute miles the rest of the race.

Since a lot of people clearly over stated their pace and started ahead of where they should have, I think I'm going to have to take that strategy the next time.  Without the bottle neck and a little more training, I should be able to finish my next Columbus Half in under 2 hours.

I already registered for the Columbus Half Marathon on May 2, let the training begin!!

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