Thursday, September 24, 2015

My New Favorite Race

I don't really know how many races I have run. The number must be between 100 and 200. When I began racing in my 20s there were events out there that no longer exist. I seem to recall a Frog Hollow 5K run along the main street in Fabius way back in the mid-1980s. Then there was the beloved Grunt Run in Geddes, where I always placed well because the prime runners were in New York for the marathon.

Kudos to that woman wearing a tutu.
It's always an adventure to run a race that is brand new, or that isn't new but has been rerouted to a new course. Such was the case with the Rochester Half Marathon, September 20. I have done that half for several years--in fact, my 13.1-mile PR was run there, 1:42:49, and I placed third in my age group in 2007 (that will never happen again, but I don't care). The course was nice, but it was getting old, and the race organizers must have recognized that as well. They mapped out something entirely new and different and challenging for 2015, and I can't wait to go back and run it again.

They promised a few hills, they promised neighborhoods many of us who don't live in Rochester have never even heard of, they promised four bridge crossings spanning the Genesee River (though I counted five), and they promised two waterfalls. After a challenging incline at mile 11.5, we got a slight downhill finish that brought us through the High Falls District and the breweries there, straight across the river and into the chute for the finish. No turns, as in past years, just a mad dash to cross that line.

I loved nearly everything about this race (except that hubby wasn't there at the finish). We traveled with the youngest child and the dog, and logistics weren't in our favor. Next year. . .

Crowd support seemed heartier and more populous than in years past, despite the 7:30 (on the nose) starting time. Rochesterians really came out to support this race, and those runners I was keeping pace with all noticed. The shuttle bus driver who took us from the finish line a few miles to the start was amazingly perky and friendly at 6 a.m., wishing us all good luck.

River Boardwalk over the Genesee River.
A factor out of everyone's control but that everyone talked about was the weather--absolutely perfect conditions for a long-distance race. Mid-50s to start, some clouds, minimal wind. Those factors were the exclamation point on an already perfect day.

My one criticism--I have never enjoyed pizza after a race. I am never hungry for a good hour afterwards, but I do force down a banana, or a yogurt, or a granola bar. But pizza just never sits well with me. I couldn't imagine even wanting to think about pizza had I run the full 26.2. So, maybe something different afterwards? I could be the only one, but since this is my forum, I'm bringing it up.

Speaking of sustenance, I have never run a race that offered four different flavors of Gu. Four! And they had my latest favorite, Salty Caramel. Oh, and I don't know what flavor electolytes were out there, but when I sipped, I smelled and tasted flowers. Ew.

Anyway, a huge shout-out to the crew at Fleet Feet Rochester and Yellow Jacket Racing for an amazing morning spent in Rochester. I enjoyed the half marathon you folks put on in April, as well, taking us through a different set of Rochester neighborhoods and a different finish line.

I intend to return next fall, and I hope to run faster than 2:09!

No comments:

Post a Comment