Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Virtual Runners Hit The Towpath

The Virtual Runner team, supporting the Epilepsy Association, was out in force for the Towpath half-marathon.  Unseasonably warm weather continued through last weekend and we were greeted on Sunday morning with very mild temperatures.
Courtney, me Ben, Karen & Karl
The Towpath marathon and Half-Marathon are run in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, south of Cleveland.  This was actually my first time running the half-marathon.  I, though, have run the Towpath marathon quite a few times.  Years ago they used to beg people to sign up and run it as the number of entrants were so small.  Not any more.  All of the races, including a 10k, were sold out.

Traffic to get to the start of the race was crazy.  Organizers recommended getting to the race at least an hour before race-start.  That was good advice as the traffic was bad and even with that cushion I still only parked my car with 30 minutes to spare.

This was to be a fun run so to speak as I was running with my friend and "chief crew" member, Courtney.  She was running her very first (and she claims last) half-marathon.  The goal at the start was to run a 1:55 race.

We started out slow due to the large crowd of runners but then sped up to close to an 8 minute per mile pace.  I knew we were running too fast for our target but Courtney was feeling good so we just went with it....

Two-thirds of the way through, Courtney developed a side ache so we spent some time walking to get that worked out.  I tried to keep her entertained and distracted....  Before we knew it we were at the finish (with a chip time of 1:53) and in the beer tent.

I was actually glad that I was only running the half as temperatures continued to rise and hit 80-plus by mid-day.  All in all, a fun way to spend a beautiful fall day.

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