Yesterday I shared the events leading up to the actual running of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Series, so today I wanted to give you a recap of races that consisted of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Series 8K/Half Marathon Challenge. The first race was the 8k on Saturday, May 20th. I knew it was going to a great weekend of races as soon as I got my awesome race bib:
Unlike Florida, races in Ohio start a little bit later because the sun won’t burn you alive by 8am. In fact, the Cleveland Race Series 8k was set to start at 8am, so on the day of the race I actually got to sleep in a little! I knew I wanted to be downtown by about 7:15 or so and since I didn’t expect any major traffic on the highway, I left Mentor at 6:45am.
Let me back up – at the VIP dinner the night before, I heard fellow race ambassador, Stephanie Lesco telling someone that she was planning on walking the 8K with her family. I sent her a quick text to ask her if she was really walking the 8K and she very easily invited me to join them. It was a little cold Saturday morning so I met Stephanie and her family inside Tower City. Introductions were made and we waited around a bit. As the time drew closer to the start, we headed out to line up for the race and we bumped into a few other race ambassadors and friends.
Sort of at the last minute it seemed, Stephanie’s father said he wanted to run the race and wanted to finish in under an hour – a goal he apparently hadn’t trained for. Later, I learned he nearly achieved his goal, coming in at 1 hour 20 seconds! Stephanie ran ahead with her father while I walked with her mother and sister and had a great time. When I say we walked, let me tell you that it wasn’t much slower than when I actually run a race – our average pace was 14:36, with a finish time of 1:12.35. They were walking so fast that I felt like I was going to end up with sore legs so I started jogging along with them at a few spots so I could keep my legs stretched out. Those ladies are definitely athletes too, and I hope they realize it.
It was great starting out in Public Square and ending in Public Square. The course was clearly marked and each mile had a big flag with the number on it, so I never had to wonder how much farther we had left.
I will admit though, when we hit the 4 mile mark and I saw where we were in the course, I wondered how they were going to use up almost a mile to land at the finish line. Either my watch was incorrect or the course was a little short, but either way, we had a blast! A big shout out to Stephanie and her family for allowing me the privilege of joining them on their annual family walk.
Having completed the first part of my two race challenge, I headed on to my next event for the day – visiting family and friends! Catch my story tomorrow as I share the second part of my two race challenge – the half marathon!!