Pro Football Hall of Fame 1/2 Marathon

Somehow, the Pro Football Half was my 1st half of 2014.  Partly work and partly Cleveland and her temperamental weather for this.  I was in Columbus for a conference earlier this week and wasn’t sure I’d make the expo.  A perk of the Pro Football Half was that you had the option to have your bib and shirt sent to you. Point me!!

Image I left my conference Saturday afternoon and headed up to Canton anyways to catch part of the expo.  Part of the perks of this race was we got free entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum.  Vendors were scattered throughout the museum (not sure how I felt about that one) and the Second Sole store was located at the exit and the bib and shirt pick up located on their football field.  I caught church in Canton and then headed to Cleveland.  I also finally got to watch Spirit of the Marathon 2 (it’s finally on iTunes!!) before going to bed.  I should have either 1) gone to bed before 11 PM or 2) got a hotel room in Canton, as wake up call was at 4:40 AM.  It’s an hour-ish drive to Canton and we had to park at the Stark County Fairgrounds and get bused to the start at the HOF.  Lines to get into the fairgrounds were ridiculous, but at least we didn’t wait long to get shuttled over, and this was after I darted out of line for 2 minutes to use the bathroom.  Despite getting on a shuttle at 634/640 AM, we didn’t pull into the start until 6:56- the race started at 7 AM.  I ran and checked my bag and sprinted down to the start, where people were already in corals.  within 2-3 minutes, the gun went off and so were we.

The first 2 miles were pretty decent and I was loving my times.  I also probably went off a bit too fast.  The first few miles were flat and then we started hitting some minor hills.  They weren’t horrible, but were enough to notice them.  I slowed down and ran the first 10K in just over an hour, this after a quick bathroom break after mile 2.5.  We had some neighbor hood miles, some bike paths right next to the highway, some parks.  After mile 7-8, we were off in McKinley Park for a loop.  Somewhere after the 8.5 water station, my hamstring started to get sore on me.  I don’t know if it was the roads and their ridiculous pot holes or how I was running.  Going up the hill prior to mile 11 didn’t help things, but I was just glad to have 2 miles left at that point. We trucked on back towards the HOF and at 20K, we split from the marathoners.  We went around the Hall and up another minor hill.  Up until this point, I had been keeping an eye on someone with a shirt that said “Baby Boy on Board” and I wasn’t determined to pass her (sorry!!!).  We finished inside the stadium and I was just glad we didn’t have to do entire lap around the inside.  I was aiming for 2:05-2:08, but the hamstring slowed me down.  I finished in 2:12:20.  About 15 minutes later, the men’s marathon winner came through.  Behind him was someone who ran Boston on Monday and a 3rd person who’s run 300 marathons under 3 hours (what the what?!!)- can I have their times for the marathon?

We got some nice bling at the end and a fleece blanket at the finish.  They also had people massaging runners at the end and they worked on my hamstring, which was awesome.  I picked up my bag from gear check and trucked back to my car.  I got the shuttle to their fairgrounds and changed shirts before heading back on the road.  It was so hard to get out of town though.  The marathon was around a bulk of the roads surrounding the fairgrounds so it took me about 20 minutes of driving side streets to find a way that would connect me to I-77N (so frustrating!).  After getting home and showering, I had a massage over in Shaker Heights- not a bad way to end the day in my opinion!

Not a horrible race, but here’s what I think needs some work

  • Pre Race- let the shuttles get through on the roads so it doesn’t take 20 minutes to get to the start.  Some people were still on their way over when the gun went off
  • The parking situation: either some roads need to opened up for people trying to get out after the race or the route needs changed.  Having the race route go so close the fairgrounds made getting out of Canton such a hassle
  • Exiting the stadium post race- no signs telling you where to go to exit.  It also seems counter intuitive to have the exit at the opposite end of gear check
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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

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