Race InfoLocation: Hilliard, Ohio
Date: Sunday, June 19th, 2016
Distances: 13.1, 10k, 5k
Like many of my races, signing up for the Hilliard Classic was a last minute decision due to the low cost of the race. I’m a sucker for good deals but lately have been using the excuse of adding any additional training I can for Burning River. Races feel like “mandatory” miles because I know I’ll feel guilty skipping a race I paid for. As an added perk, I can’t push my miles off to later in the day when I decide I “feel” like it. I have to get up early, and suck it up if I went to bed too late or just ate bar food and beer for dinner and on occasions, suffer through some tough miles.
My weekend consisted of a 5k on Friday (and a new PR) for a total of 8 that day, 12 on Saturday, and 13.1 on Sunday. Not necessarily a high mileage weekend for my training, but some fast miles were a nice way to break up the monotony.
My goal for this race was to run a 1:50ish half, but would have been ok with anything in between 8:30-9:00 minute pace. Best case would have been sub-1:50. I went into it with an open mind and tried to remind myself that it was just a training run. The nice thing about always running on tired legs is that if I go into a run with a goal set higher than what my legs can accomplish, my legs don’t let me do it. There’s only so much you can push when your legs are already burnt out going into a race. It can be frustrating, but it’s a nice reminder that training is only half the battle, and of how important recovery is (compression socks, ice, stretching, and on occasions… rest).
I’ll be honest in that I did not even look at the course map before showing up to this race. It started on the Hilliard Memorial Middle School track and wound around the school to intersect with a Rails-to-Trails path. The course was interesting to me because it was an area that I’ve never ran in before, however others noted that it was a little bland. That was a fair statement, since there were no curves and you ran in a perfectly straight line only to turn back and see it all again. The course was flat though, you could easily go out and get a PR if you wanted.
The water stops were frequent and most had gatorade. In between water stops I often found myself running alone, but passing other runners headed towards the turn around point helped pass the time. I always enjoy races that are put on by this company as there are always some pretty fast girls that show up (and I never stand a chance of placing), meanwhile there are LOADS of back of the pack runners. I think too often you see races lean to one extreme or the other. The balance feels right.
The course had next to no shade, which in my opinion was worse than the boring route. I was baking on the blacktop and attempting to stay on top of my hydration. It was hot, but it was also early in the day and I have been training in the heat of the day as Burning River preparation. When I was walking back to my car I saw an ambulance 0.75 miles from the finish tending to a runner. Whoever the runner was must have been severely overheated or dehydrated if they couldn’t make it to the water at the finish line.
At the finish there were good snack options. I filled up on grapes, fig bars, and blue gatorade of course.
They ran out of shirts. I opted for morning of packet pick up and was informed that more would be ordered and I would get an email when they were ready to be picked up. As I was writing this, I just realized that I never got an email. I just checked my junk mail to make sure. Now almost 2 months have passed, so I’m guessing I won’t be getting my shirt.
August 1st Update
My shirt showed up unannounced in the mail!