Race Review: Glass City Half Marathon

So I’m a tad (ok, really) late with my Glass City Race Review, but better late than never! I signed up for Glass City back in November and it was $60 (decent for early registration for sure!). Part of my goal was to hit the major half marathons in Ohio before moving out west and I almost hit it, missing only the Flying Pig in Cincinnati.

I happened to be on inpatient medicine the month of the race and ended up driving to Toledo the night before the race after getting off work. It’s about a 2 hour drive from the east side of Cleveland. Traffic was non existent, which was a plus! I stayed about 2 miles from the start at a Holiday Inn (because let’s face it, you’re smarter if you stay at one right?).

The race starts on University of Toledo’s Campus and race morning, I was up bright and early. I quickly got changed, got a quick bite from the complementary breakfast and drove to the start. Roads were already closed off, but I was able to park behind Alumni Hall. The nice think about Glass City is there’s race day packet pick up. The downside is that if you’re unfamiliar with campus, you have to figure out real quick where to go. I found the stadium and ran inside, got my bib no problem. I even made it back to my car to throw my shirt, etc in it. I made my way to the start and waited to sneak into a corral.

The start I wasn’t a fan of. Too many people and the announcer kept hushing people to make announcements that should have been made prior to 7 AM. We ended up starting late and there were too many people trying to get into the corrals last minute. Can we say staggered start next year?

The first part of the course was around campus. It looked nice from what I could see and remember on it. There were hills and such nestled into flatness. I did the half marathon, but there was also the full marathon and a relay. At the first relay split, the flag for the split was behind the split and did no good in directing people. You didn’t really know when it was coming. We kept on chugging along and the course became more residential. There were families and some people out supporting runners, but I was expecting more from it. Around mile 9 was splitsville per say. The half marathoners made a left and the full marathoners made a right. What I didn’t like was the cones on the ground leading up to the split. I felt like I had to look down to see them and there was no ‘big’ signage until you got close to the split. We kept on going through more residential areas and back roads, before getting back to campus for the last mile or so of the course. The last 1/2 mile went through campus and to the football stadium. The downside was that it took you through sidewalks and on campus bridges and parking lots. There were finishers and spectators coming the opposite way who were going back to their cars and it was hard to see what was actually the course. The finish was in front of the football stadium and as you finished you got your medals and finisher mugs.

Post race was decent. Plenty of food, drinks and things to do. I had about a 1/3 mile back to my car and an easy way back to the hotel. However, other people got blocked into their parking areas until 1 pm because the lots were on the race course. Who does that?  I headed back to the hotel and showered before heading out for Tim Horton’s and heading back to Cleveland.

I’m kind of on the fence about Glass City- I felt like I’d heard better than what it was. Maybe it was just an off race day?

About drrunner
8 time marathoner, 65 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. BibRave Pro, Doctor and a mix of insanity

2 Responses to Race Review: Glass City Half Marathon

  1. My experience was very similar to yours and I wasn’t impressed. I felt it lacked a lot of organization. I wasn’t expecting any crowd support and I’d say that’s the only place I differ from your review. The non-wave start was horrible and I got stuck at a 8:30 pace and spent almost the whole first mile trying to get ahead of people. I thought it was weird that when the half marathoners broke off there were no pacers that continued w/ the HM, just moved on with the full. I was actually in the parking lot where half marathoners were told to park, but later got stuck when the marathoners went through. I was done early enough that the leaders were just going by when i was heading back to my car so it wasn’t an issue for me, but my friend commented that it was going to be a mess in about 30-40 more minutes. I read some comments from people saying that runners shouldn’t have parked there and there were plenty of other places to park, but that lot was in fact where half marathoners were told to park and having also come from outside the area (and never having been to the area) I just went to where I was directed to park as a half marathoner. Again, I think this just goes back to the poor organization. The finish line wasn’t very exciting or prominent, it just kind of appeared and then we were done. No one really told us where to go when we crossed the finish and we actually had to ask where the beer tent was located! Overall, I wouldn’t discourage others from running Glass City, but I have no plans to go back.

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