Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Race Report: The Mill Race Half Marathon 9.28.13

I realized today that while I did write about this race being Adam's first half and about the awesome drawing I won here, I never wrote an actual race report.

This was the very first year for this event.  Not only did they have the half marathon, but there was also a 5K and a full marathon.

Registering for the race was a breeze, and we loved that we were able to customized our bibs - we had them say Husband and Wife!

The race started in downtown Columbus, IN near the Cummins office buildings, including the one where Adam works.  We were able to easily park in one of the garages, and we had plenty of time to use the port-o-potty and get to the start line.

One thing I noticed that I hope they'll do differently next year is that they didn't have a couple of blocks of road closed off that they really should have closed.  They set the stage up on this one corner, but traffic was still allowed on one of the roads off the corner.  They should have just closed that stretch altogether.  Not only that, but the potties were lined up down the sidewalk along the road that was still open... so there really wasn't anywhere good for the runners to line up for them.  Everyone was cramped up on the sidewalks, and then people who were trying to walk through risked pushing through crowds or being hit by doors when someone came out of a potty.  And the stage was a block away from the race start.  I think they could better place all of these things, but it wasn't anything that would cause me to not return.

We had plenty of time so we stood in the start area for a bit.  It was the first time in 10 months for me to run a race, but it still felt odd to be standing at a start line and not knowing a lot more people.  I really miss the Tennessee running community!

The start was a bit anti-climatic.  We weren't that far back, but we couldn't hear anything and I never heard the actual start... no gun, no sound system... Hopefully they'll improve on that next year as well.

The race itself was great.  Columbus (and Indiana in general) is very flat, so this was perfect for us since we didn't really train all that well.  We had terrific fall weather, and we felt great!  There weren't a ton of spectators, but when there were they were enthusiastic.  The water/Gatorade stops always came at the perfect time.

The only thing of note that was a bit negative is that the half didn't have any mile markers after mile 8.  I had my Garmin, so we were able to keep up with it.  At first I thought I may have just missed seeing one, but by the end it was clear that if there were any after mile 8, they were poorly placed.

They also gave out fuel/bars at mile 12.  For the half, this was a bit too late.  However, I wished at the finish I grabbed one because all they had there was bananas.  I don't expect a meal after a race, but when you do 13.1 miles you want a little more than just a banana.  Plus, I don't eat those.

Nonetheless, I chalk all these little things up to it being the first year, and in the end we still had a great time getting out there and enjoying the race and chatting with other runners, etc.

Even better was that once we got changed, we were able to walk to Zwanzigs and have some awesome beer, breadsticks and pizza for lunch before joining the after party and waiting for the drawing, where I wound up winning the Dodge Ram.

All in all, it was a pretty terrific day.  I suppose in a lot of ways the race got overshadowed by the truck, but we still enjoyed all 13.1 miles and plan to do it again next year - only maybe we'll actually train a bit better!

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