Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Cleveland Marathon, 2:46:36

One of the better CLE shirts!
Yesterday, I ran what was supposed to be my second full marathon but ended up being my 6th half. I couldn't change my registration to the half, so my bib still said FULL. I was a bit self conscience about it.

The weather Sunday could not have been more perfect! If you were planning a day at the beach. For a run it was less than desirable. At the start it was 64 degrees and quickly rose to about 70 in an hour. By the time the half was over for me it was 75. (These had to be shade temps, my car registered 82 in the sun.) This may have been doable had it been overcast but it was full on sun! I don't know what the second half of the course looked like but the first half is almost all open. There were points in the course where 3-4 feet of the road was shaded and you could see all the runners make for that shade. To sum it up it was devastatingly HOT! I saw 4 runners go down in just the half. I actually stayed with one till the medics arrived. In all my runs I have never seen a runner go down. It could be that I'm just not that observant but I think it was JUST THAT HOT!

Pineapple good, Apple not so much.
This brings up an issue I have with the Cleveland marathon. While they have ambulances periodically on the course, there are only 2 medical aid stations. One at the start and one at mile 18. Akron has 14 and Detroit has 3or 4. At one point I saw random by standers handing out petroleum jelly and band aids. I can only assume that they were past runners or friends/family of current runners. The CLE marathon is sponsored by Rite Aide. Are you telling me Rite Aide couldn't set up a couple more aide stations with band aids and skin lube?
Cleveland Marathon needs to get it's shit together!

On to my personal experience.  I decked myself out in my dark blue skirt and matching tank with a cute light blue bra. I haven't seen pics yet but I'm hopeful. I also wore my hydration belt and have the chafing on my back to prove it. I was iffy on wearing it. I was 99% sure I wouldn't attempt the full and felt I wouldn't need it for the half. I was wrong! I was so hot that I needed water between water stations that sometimes weren't fully stocked. They probably were but had been wiped out by the runners in front of me.

The guitar SWIVELS!
At the point where the half splits off from the full, mile 12ish, I was practically tackled 3 times. The workers there did their jobs well in informing the full runners to turn right and not to continue straight ahead. I tried to give the international "dead" sign but some just didn't get it. One lady ran over runners to get me. I knew what I was doing and knew that while I probably had 15-18 miles in me, I did not have 26.2. At mile 8 I did think about just continuing on the full course till 15 and then just run the 2 miles back to my car. But at decision time I was so hot and salty I just wanted my popsicle, fruit and a shower, that I decided to just finish with 13.1. 

At the finish line I tried to refuse my medal, since I hadn't actually done the full. I was told that I paid for it, I have to take it. Turns out all the medal are the same for the half and full that it doesn't matter.

Pineapple upside down, YUM!
When I got home I immediately took a painful (chafing) and cold (great) shower. I then settled in to lounge around with coffee and a cupcake! Caffeine and sugar was much needed after that run! I did get a runner's hangover but Tylenol and a good nights sleep has taken care of it. All in all, I'd say this run comes in second to the 2010 The Perfect 10 Miler as the most painful race.

*I was a full 2 minutes per mile slower than this years Glass City half! Basically, my Full pace.
**140 runners were treated by medical staff, mostly dehydration and heat-related issues.
***3:44 into the race (about an hour after I finished) officials announced a red flag warning. Meaning, slow down due to the heat.

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