Churchill’s Half Marathon recap 2015

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Without further ado, let’s get on to the topic of the day – Churchill’s half marathon race recap!!  If you’ve been following my blog, I have mentioned that I was running this race with my friend Jamie, who just started running in February and was making this her first half marathon.  I figured I would end my year on a good note after my PR in Columbus last month and give my body some rest.

kid sign

Best sign ever!!

Churchill’s half marathon is a local race which has a long history.  This year was the 48th year and it’s one of the oldest half marathons in the country!  It used to be a Spring race, and two years ago they switched it to Fall, so one year we got to run it as the 46th, and 46.5th year (both Spring and Fall).  It is named after a local runner, who ran the Boston marathon 22 years in a row – Walt Churchill.  Walt doesn’t actually run any more, but he is at the finish line every year handing out medals.  That’s very cool in my book.  He’s also one of the founders of our local running club, Toledo Road Runners.

The race has had several difference course configurations over the years, and this year was the 3rd year for it’s point to point course layout.  That’s pretty unique in terms of race courses too, at least around here.  The super cool thing about this race is it starts at a high school, which very kindly opens up the building for the runners to wait in.  We’re talking a warm building with a plentiful of indoor toilets!!  Race morning doesn’t get much better than that folks.

race start

The morning was a bit chilly to start with, around 35 degrees, but really it was ideal for racing.  In years past Churchill’s always seems to happen on a windy day.  The kind where wind hits you from every direction.  But this year, no wind!!!  Hooray!  They even had pace groups in this race so we decided to position ourselves between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacers.  2:10 was Jamie’s ultimate goal for this race, even though it was her first half marathon, and she especially didn’t want to walk.  I was a little concerned about the walking part of the promise because I had fallen victim to walking quite a bit the last time I ran this course.  It has some hills after mile 10 which are challenging.

bridge

Jamie is in the green. I had to run over to the side so the photographer could get me in the picture!!

We were ahead of our pace for the majority of the course having around a 9:30 pace.  We hit the hills and our pace did slow down a bit, but I knew that would be the case so it was already in the plan.  As we went up each hill I was happy to see Jamie wasn’t complaining, just cruising along.  And for the record, she was a much better “running buddy” than I am to my husband… I complain a lot when the going gets tough!  We made it up the last hill and I gave her a high 5, we were going to make her goals!!

I made a motivational sign for us which was around mile 13.  Hooray for us!!

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If this doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

We finished with a time of 2:08:42.  Nice!!!!!  I had to laugh at the end when she pulled a “Sydney” on me and sprinted ahead of me at the finish line!  Dude, what is up with that??  haha  Good for her. And that sprint was pretty darn quick too – it totally caught me off guard and I couldn’t keep up with her.  (luckily we ended with the same finish time… or else I would never let her forget that!! LOL!)

finish_line

Dang girl, I was not ready for that!!!!

After the finish, we met up with Alan who had a blistering fast time of 1:28.  21st out of 940 runners. Mere seconds away from his PR.  It was a great race day indeed!  The funny thing was that Alan and I got flu shots the day before the race and he wasn’t feeling good after the shot.  He was even considering not running because he was feeling a little off!  (note to self, don’t get flu shots before any major event!)

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We celebrated with a beer… or two.  The finish area had a heated beer tent complete with a band.  It was fun seeing all of our friends there.

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I had a good time running this race as a pacer for my friend.  It gave me some renewed energy in running races by taking away the stress of always worrying about a better time with each race.  It was fun to just soak in the surroundings, listen to the other runners, and I even struck up some conversations with a few of them.

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Q: Is there a race you have ran in for several years in a row?

Q: What is the best race sign you’ve seen?

Q: What temperature do you think is best for running?  Do you like the heat or the cold?

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11 comments

  1. ok, totally cool that you placed a sign ahead of time for motivation!!! That is awesome!!! So thoughtful! So motivating!!! Love it!

    HA! HA! on your friend sprinting to the finish line… I bet her excitement to be finished and the adrenaline took over her!!!!! 😀

    And, so awesome that you supported your friend in such a way to run and pace her!!! You Rock!!!!!
    Congrats to you both!!!

    1. Thanks! She did a really good job at this race. I had to laugh remembering when we first talked about running it and she thought she was going to finish around 2:30 or 2:40. Um, no girl, you were way off!!

  2. I would love to pace someone sometime. I bet it is really rewarding! This morning it was a little chilly but not too chilly… I believe about 42. I had on shorts, long sleeve, and vest, w/ gloves. I ended up pushing up my sleeves. It was a great temp for my speed work!

    1. I think 40’s are a pretty good temperature too. It’s just always so odd transitioning from Fall warmth to Fall cold, and at first 50 or 60 seems super cold. But really, if it’s even close to 50 I’m probably in need of shorts!

  3. Hahaha I love that your friend sprinted across the finish line! What a great way to cap off her first half marathon. Super impressive debut finishing time too!

    I think temps between 55 – 65 are the best for racing. I’ve only ever gotten to race in those temps once and it was glorious. I would love to relive that someday because it made PRing feel like a breeze! I can’t imagine running in temps lower than 55 though, that sounds brutal. I might take a hot run over that just because I hate when my nose gets cold during a run, haha!

    1. Oh yeah, here in Ohio we get very skilled at the technique of “snot rockets” because my nose runs a lot in cold temps. More runner TMI for you! 🙂 At 55 we call that a “warm run”! We do get to wear some pretty jackets and tights, so it’s not too bad.

  4. I’m so glad to have found your blog before your Glass City giveaway! I ran the half a few years ago and have been hoping to head back there. The finishers beer stein is pretty awesome.

    Great job pacing your friend through her first half marathon, even though she tried to out kick you at the end!

    1. Yeah! A Glass City veteran! Stay tuned for my giveaway starting Friday (if all technology goes well. haha!). I don’t know which was more funny – the fact that she sprinted, or that I couldn’t keep up with her (darn it!!). But still, I think it would have been poor sportsmanship if I sprinted ahead of her at the finish, so it all ended quite well!

  5. Great race report, an awesome result for everyone involved! Local races that have a long history are the best. I just moved to where I live 18 months ago and there is a local 5K each May that has been run for 30 years, no doubt it will always be on my personal calendar!

    1. It would be interesting to see the stats for the number of runners at races that have been around a long time. I know this year was the most runners yet for Churchill’s half. It’s also fun to have run the same race a few years and see the trend in race shirts. All cotton to some nice tech ones now!

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