The reason why this race is so highly recommended is that the course is downhill. I had thought it was a false flat down, but it was a lot more decline than I had expected. I had just ran the Buckeye Half Marathon 2 weeks before in 2:02 and was looking forward to improving upon that or maybe achieve a PR on this easy course.
I arrived at the starting point a lot easier than I had expected as directions had been a little hard to come by. With so many runners owning a GPS, I am surprised when organizers don't have a address for the parking lot. At this race you had two options. Park at the start and bus back or park at the finish and take your ride before. Since I live closer to the start, I chose to park at the start. We arrived before the buses arrived which was nice as we didn't have to wait to use the rest rooms. A few of us congregated at the start line and it began shortly thereafter.
I got off to a great start and was taking advantage of the coarse as the initial miles weren't too bad. We broke off and made a quick loop around a housing development at mile 2. This is when trouble struck. I exited the allotment was still moving faster than usual. I reminded myself to not forgot to stick with the usual hydration/fueling plan. I was so focused on pace that I didn't what to lose track of my plan. This brief lack of concentration led too....BOOM!!!! My right foot slammed into a crack and I took a tumble. This was the first time I have ever fell while running and I made the mistake of putting my palms down. I skinned them pretty good and thankfully did not take the skin off. While trying to gather my shades and get my feet back, I got a helping hand from fellow runner and friend Kali. I was really lucky and did not role my ankle. I did jam it and as I continued to run it began to feel worse.
I really began to struggle as the race went on. I was still shaken up from the fall and the course began to get steeper. Not only down, but side to side. The turns were banked pretty steep and it was wreaking havoc on my ankle. I kept fighting and was struggling to run at my goal pace. Things just were not good. The miles continued to click by and I felt worse and worse. I ran out of gas at about 8 miles and was feeling pretty fatigued. It just wasn't my day and it was becoming more frustrating with each mile. I just felt frustrated I was missing a opportunity to have a great race.
I kept fighting and established a goal of making it to mile 10 at 90 minutes. My belief was that I could Ralk the last 3 and make it in under 2 hours. I actually made it in 1:28 and began to Ralk. With a mile to go, I got back in touch with Kali and she inspired my to get after it and finish strong. We took off at a 7:30 pace and as I approached the finish. I could hear the crowd counting down to the 2 hour mark. I began a sprint and made it just in time. Gun time was 1:59:58 and my chip time was 1:59:44. So, no PR on this day. But with everything that went down and how I felt. I'll take a sub 2 half.
At the finish area I met up with fellow runners Angie, Jess, Christian, Ryan, Jeff, Mason, and Kali. Big congrats go to Angie and Christian as they PR'd!!!!!