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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!)
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!)
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.
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.
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?