Race InfoLocation: Alum Creek State Park, Lewis Center, Ohio
Date: Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Distances: Half Marathon, 10k
The day prior to this race I ran 17 miles at a pace a bit faster than I intended, especially considering I'd be racing the next day. Sore legs made me nervous going into it, but the lack of a specific time goal bolstered my spirits. My goal was a 30 mile weekend which this would complete.
Knowing the course, my plan was to take the first loop at a moderate pace and try to push the pace during the second half of the second loop.
On the south loop I stuck with a group of two runners who were holding a steady pace. They were both wearing packs and I guessed from their casual conversations that they were running the half. 10k runners came and went around us mostly without problems.
One runner (in headphones), jumped in front of me without saying "on your left", or anything for that matter, and caused me to trip. Then she kept turning around to talk to another runner behind me. Soon, she slowed up her pace. I could only watch as the two individuals with whom I had been keeping pace began to leave me in the dust. I was not amused. This all lasted for about a mile before she finally sped up again and cut another runner off. I shouted at her to say something when passing before never seeing her again.
The entire south loop was easy enough, although I couldn't help but wish I was racing the 10k like I did last year. Oh well. My training plan for the fall calls for more mileage than speed.
I tried to get back in the right mindset for the north loop. Temperatures were rising and the north loop has steeper climbs. After the first mile I noticed that the two runners I had been following for most of the south loop were starting to speed up. I kept pace with them for a while before deciding that I would rather maintain the pace I had been running. With over 5 miles still to go, I wanted to run smart.
A few runners passed me on this loop clearly pushing it to the finish. I kept telling myself that I would start pushing it at the usual aid station from the Rocks and Roots course. I had assumed that the course was the same. Although it felt like I had gone too far north and passed this point already.
I was confused but kept on running. At another point I saw a runner coming at me and thought he was going the wrong way. "Maybe he's on his cooldown run and has already finished?" Finally I was near the pond on the north loop where the path usually turns left, but this time was blocked off with cones and I was directed to go right. So the north loop was different this year! Which explained the runner coming at me earlier.
I saw the aid station full of Columbus Run Crew volunteers. This was it! I was closing in on the finish! I kept running, now paying closer attention to where I was going on the new course.
Finally in my sights ahead I saw one of the runners I was following on the south loop. I tried to catch up but I couldn't maintain the pace to get there. There was a final road crossing to go before the last flat stretch into the finish. Here my run turned into a sprint and I finally passed the runner I had been trailing for the last 2 miles.
Final Time: 2:17:25
I finished thinking my race was slower than it had been in the past and was disappointed. Turns out I had improved my time from the 2015 Hoot Half by 9 minutes!
Race Photos from Cap City Sports Media