Race: River Run Half Marathon
Runner: Phil M
Race Date: 09/08/2019
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Results: 34th/1st in 55-59 AG/time 1:30:27
Strava Activity Link: http://strava.com/activities/2690973392
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
Beautiful run through one of the Metroparks. At one point the course cuts back on itself and I saw a huge wave of runners coming at me! A couple were friends who shouted out encouragement.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Nothing to complain about. It’s a very well organized race with about 1000 runners.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The race is point to point with a net downhill. However, runners perceive the race differently because it rolls downhill with little climbs in each mile. There is also a hill towards the end that looms large in everyone’s immediate memory of the race.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I ran this half marathon ten years ago when I was in good shape in 1:35. This year I ran it in 1:30 – a huge improvement – especially considering my expected decline with age. My coach (CJ Albertson) did a great job preparing me and the training went well with no setbacks.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
It’s a fast course but you still have to run within yourself.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
I think of this in terms of training specifics. CJ had me running more than 13 miles for my weekly Long Run and then running a hard tempo pace with just one easy run cushioned between them. This really taught me to run quite fast when tired.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
There is a hill with 3-4 miles to go that is more psychologically challenging than it is aerobically challenging.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Beautiful course and perfect, cool weather this year.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
It’s rolling but net downhill and so if you’re in good shape you can go after it.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This race has been a staple of the Cleveland running calendar for a while and was executed perfectly by the organizers.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
The top guys run about 5:30 a mile or a bit faster and the top women about 5:50-6’ mile.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
It’s a very enjoyable medium sized half marathon.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Aid stations were standard and good.
Weather and typical race conditions
It’s Cleveland and so you never really know but this year was perfect: cool with very little wind.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Yes there are good spots for spectators and I owe a big thank you to friends who showed up and cheered me on.
How’s the Swag?
This year they gave out a high quality half zip running shirt. If you were completing a three race series (I was) they also offered an unusual and spectacular additional medal.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?