All is Fair in Long Weekends: Erie Presque Isle Half Marathon

Oh the life of a resident.  This month, I’m spending time in the Emergency Room, which means 12 hour shifts and coming in whenever they tell you too.  This week was one of those weeks where I had a few shifts, my last one being Thursday night going into Friday.  After an early morning lecture, I headed home to nap before heading to Pittsburgh to visit family, go see some Pitt football and do some free laundry.  Saturday, after the Pitt game, dinner with the family and some outlet shopping, I headed up to Erie by way of Route 79.

I got to my hotel around 10:45 pm.  Thankfully, the Erie Marathon and Half Marathon does packet pick up day of (always important).  This morning, I woke up bright and early at 5 AM and then again for good at 5:15, got changed and headed over to Presque Isle.  After getting into the park, I was directed into lot 6 and parked (I even got a pull through spot!).  I went to pick up my packet, where I got my bib, long sleeved shirt and socks and then found out we started 30 minutes after the full marathon got started.  That meant back to my car to enjoy the heat and debate if I should add another long sleeved layer.  Ultimately, I broke my rule of never wearing the race shirt during the race because I was still cold.

The marathoners went out at 7 AM and had 2 laps around Presque Isle.  I went with the half group and we went out at 7:30.  Amen to 1 lap.  One big lap and you pretty much see the entire park.  The race itself was good and the course of flat.  Anyone who wants a BQ should look into running the Erie Marathon because it’s flat with no hills. Water water stop #1, we had the Halloween gouls and goblins passing out water. Glad we’re in the right holiday spirit (6 weeks early).   2 miles in, I took a quick bathroom break (hey, real bathrooms on course are a plus).  Around mile 3, we hit the entrance of the park and had cars stopped for us. Yes we were that important and yes I was hoping that would change by the time I left.  I was feeling decent up until mile 5.

At this point, I could tell working nights work well with long runs.  Coupled with lingering congestion I’m blaming on ever changing ER shifts, I just wanted the long run because I haven’t seen a lot of them.  I was happy to see the 10K mark and enjoyed the fans who did come out.  One lane was still open to traffic and people were cheering out their windows, which is always a plus.  Because of the trees, we got a good amount of shade mixed in with some sun and the smell of Lake Erie.  Eventually, we hit the opposite end of Presque Isle.  We began heading back towards the start/finish area and began hitting the double digit miles.  At water stops #9 and #10, signs up saying that water stops #11 and #12 were shut down due to high bacteria counts in the lake.  Completely kidding!

With 2 miles left, the marathon leader passed me.  Yes, completely serious.  And remember, they started 30 minutes before us so no, I don’t feel completely horrible.  I thought the bike marshall was kidding when he said marathoners coming on your left. After passing mile 12 and coming around the last curve to the finish, I passed a good 5-6 people who I couldn’t let beat me.  Officially, 2:11:46.  I’ll take it considering my last race, I thought I did worse and ended up 1:45 off my PR.  I got a medal, some food and chocolate milk and headed back to my hotel for a shower before driving back to Cleveland.  I was grateful for a 80 minute drive door to door!  I ended up running a few more miles to hit 15.5 miles for the day.  Good weekend for me and now I’m off to bed.


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