It was a cold start with temps in the single digits so I opted for some extra warm gear such as my balakalava and heavy duty winter gloves, two pairs of Smartwool socks and had plenty of layers on to keep me warm.
The race takes place in the gorgeous Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and includes a half marathon, 50K as well as other non-traditional distance options like 18 or 22 miles. Packet pickup is inside at the Ledges Shelter where they had the fireplaces going. My first impression after picking up our swag was a good one. They gave out some awesome stuff! The 50K runners started at 7:30 and the half marathoners started at 9am. I enjoyed the later start since we had a 50-minute drive. Steve and I got to see some of our friends and get in a little warm up before the start,
|Hubby in the front at the start!|
I felt pretty good through the first aid station, which was around 5 miles. It was so cold that my gels had frozen but I was able to get one down and take a quick drink before heading back into the woods. I feel like I started to labor more as time went on and there were not many people around. I wasn't sure where I was place wise, I just knew at least a few of the usual speed demons like Janet Edwards and her sister Lisa were ahead of me.
|bringing it home!|
After the race I was freezing! I stopped to get a drink and some snacks and hug my love. I Chatted with some of my friends and then headed to the heated restrooms to change into my dry clothes. After that we headed over with a group of friends to the Winking Lizard in Peninsula for some hard-earned food & hoppy beers!
I definitely will do this race again. Maybe someday I'll even tackle the 50K as I had originally planned. But on this day, I was glad to be finished after 13! The next day we were off to sunny Clearwater Beach, FL and getting ready to race again the following Saturday at a cross country race in warmer temps. That will be my next post!
Below are a couple more photos from the course from the photographer. It truly is beautiful to run here at anytime of the year!