So this past Sunday, May 18th I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon on one of the most perfect days in some time here in northeast Ohio. I was concerned going into this race that the weather was going to be warm, as it has been in years past, and that I was not prepared to run a half marathon. Last month, April 13th, I had ran the 20 Mile Drop race and struggled there after the temperatures climbed. With the exception of the of the Christmas Story House 10k my races have left me feeling down and unsatisfying. I’ve been running and training a lot, but nothing has clicked when it came to the races. I think that’s why I felt like I was not going to do well at the Cleveland Half. From the time I volunteered to take someone’s place in the race I was constantly checking the weather. I’m a terrible warm weather runner. Everything leading up to the day looked like it was going to be ideal. One last long run a week before the race had me worried. I struggled just going 11 miles. I did one more run mid-week running part of the beginning of the course and that’s when I started to feel better about things. I had a great 4.5 mile run in the rain nonetheless. I used Google Streetview to view the course to plan a running playlist because I’m the type of runner that needs music to keep me going. Also, it dawned on me that I needed to stick out in this race to try and get awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and also to get picked up by the crowds when I needed a cheer. I wore my kilt. I ran with it on one other time for the St. Malachi 5 Miler, but missed it this year due to vacation. I drew up a sheet with my name on it nice and big (why doesn’t Cleveland have names on bibs yet?) and pinned it to my 2002 Cleveland Marathon shirt. I was hoping the shirt would bring me great luck considering I was unable to run in 2002. My gear was all set for race day. That night before the race I even slept in our guest bed to get decent sleep. I woke up before my alarm. I was, obviously, itching to run. Got fueled up and headed for the train at 5:20 am. I ran into another Cleveland Running Co. group runner who was also running the half marathon. Got downtown just before 6 and went looking for the gear check which this year was located in the new “medical mart” building. The rudeness of the entry security person is a story for another day, but quickly got my gear checked. At that moment I decided to run music free! I wanted to hear people cheer my name and just experience it without anything being pumped into my ears. That was the best decision I made. I heard several “kilt man”, what’s under the kilt and “Go Mark!” all though out the race. That helped me immensely. It picked me up and made for a super fun race. I felt great the whole race and loved the course. Tremont had the best cheering section and most vocal of all Cleveland. Thank you people of Tremont. The weather was perfect and I felt great the entire way. While I didn’t PR I did come within a minute of my expected time of 1:50 by finishing at 1:51:13. No complaints here. Great day and great feeling. The course was absolutely perfect. I hope they keep it for next year. The Shoreway did have a stretch where it leads uphill to the bridge, but I don’t think it was that challenging, but what goes up must come down so finishing on a downslope was great. All in all a better Cleveland Marathon this year than what I’ve experienced in the past. Thankfully the weather was perfect too. I might have to consider running it again next year. Below are my results. No complaints here considering how worried I was going into this race.
My results for the 2014 Cleveland Half Marathon
Age group 40-44
109 out of 349
734 out of 2523
1038 out of 6110