My friend Jillian who is also doing Toledo and hoping for a BQ came out to run the race as well. My husband Steve dropped us off at the start on Ravenna Rd in Concord Township around 7:45. This allowed plenty of time to warm up, use the bathroom and say hi to some other friends. The start was at 8:25 and began with a slight incline heading up Ravenna Rd before a downhill and right hand turn onto the Greenway Trail. The start was fast but I was trying my best to hold back the pace.
Jillian was in the lead and the woman who ended up placing second passed me after a mile so I was in third for much of the race. Although the race is called a drop, there are some climbs throughout. Exiting the Greenway Trail and turning left onto Rt 84 is uphill. With the temperature rising and the sun shining down on me I knew it would not be an easy race. I was able to hold pretty steady. My 5K split was 21:51, which was faster than my planned pace. The next few miles I slowed down a little with my 10K pace slipping to 45 and change. I definitely started to feel some fatigue later in the race around mile 8 when I was passed by the third place female. Another woman had attempted to pass me too but I was able to hold my ground and push forward in front of her. I had hoped to regain third place but as the finish drew close she was out of sight. I just kept my goal as not letting any additional women pass me.
At the final turn onto Second St in Fairport Harbor there is maybe 1/4 mile to the finish. Or maybe a 1/3. I didn't look at my watch as I was focused on trying to finish strong. I saw Jillian cheering and saw the clock and I tried my best to break 1:14 but came up just a tad short in 1:14:02. My race average was 7:25 pace versus the 7:02 I started with. This was above my goal pace of 7:30 so I was happy with the 4th place finish and age group win. I was excited for Jillian to learn she had won the race with a 1:11 and change.
|Postrace with Jillian and our friend Bryan (Lake Effect Runner)|
This was my last hard effort before Toledo. I am hoping things go well there and I can celebrate my first BQ! I feel ready and just have to rest up now and get fresh for race day. After Toledo I will race the Cleveland Marathon Full or Half depending on how I feel and my goals. No matter which race I do, I am super excited to race Cleveland again as I love this race and especially with the new course!