September 28, 2013
This was the inaugural year for the Mill Race Marathon but it was being put on by KLA which has done numerous marathons and half marathons so I wasn’t too worried about experiencing too many first year hiccups. It offered a full marathon, half marathon and 5K. Although this race was taking place in Columbus, IN which is only an hour south of where I live, I decided to get a hotel room in Edinburgh, IN (which is about 10 minutes north of Columbus) but in hindsight that was probably a waste of money. I could have sucked it up and made the drive in the morning. Lesson learned.
Surprisingly, packet pickup started TWO days prior to the race so I drove down Thursday to get my stuff. Packet pickup took place at The Commons. There was actually a line to get in 15 minutes prior. Packet pickup was relatively smooth and without issue. However as more people showed up, the lines got longer and they started to weave into each other (line to get packet, line to get parking pass & line to check timing chip on the way out) so that’s something they should address prior to next year. There were a few vendors there but nothing that I was necessarily interested in so after taking a few pictures I headed for home.
I was hoping that my husband – since he was not running this race – would go down there with me but he had already signed up for a class on Saturday. Well, at least I didn’t have to find a dog sitter. But he did have dinner with me Friday night at Applebee's before I drove down to Columbus.
Traffic was a little annoying on the drive down but I didn’t get delayed too much. I had made reservations at the Hilton Garden Inn. I thought I was staying where we stayed prior to the Seymour Half Marathon but this was right across the street and just as adequate. Check out time was to be 11:00AM so I asked the guy at the front desk if I could get an extra hour on that and he actually gave me until 12:30PM. Score. The plan was to do the half, drive back, shower and change clothes then go back down and enjoy some of the after race festivities that had been planned. At three o’clock, they were giving away a new truck and everyone that had completed the half or full was entered in the drawing…but you had to be present to win.
So I got everything ready for the next day and it was lights out by 10:00PM-ish
Although I didn’t have to drive very far in the morning, I set my alarm for 5:30AM. The race was scheduled to start at 8:00AM but as I’ve mentioned before in other posts, I like to make sure my breakfast has had plenty of time to process. I also wanted to make sure I had enough time to find my assigned parking area, I wasn't sure how traffic would be and we were scheduled for a Half Fanatics picture at 7:30AM Sadly, I didn’t sleep well; couldn’t get the “temperature” correct in the room.
I’m glad I gave myself extra time because after two drive-thrus around the area, I could NOT find where I was supposed to park! Luckily though I found a spot open on the street just two blocks south of the finish line so I think I got a better spot here instead.
I arrived at the Fanatics picture area and met some new really nice people. Runners can be so friendly. After the picture I found a porta-potty and went to the bathroom one more. time. There was NO LINE; highly unusual. For some reason I looked at my watch & had a brief moment of panic because I thought the race was about to start. It was 7:30AM so I hurried to the start line which was only a block away. Then I realized that I was 30 minutes too soon. LOL! So I went back to where the Half Fanatics & Marathon Maniacs were still congregated.
Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs
Finally time to head to the start line. I was a little surprised that there were no corral markers so I tried to get in the middle of the crowd. But then with about 10 minutes prior to the start, here come some people with pace per mile markers signs. Suddenly everyone started shuffling around trying to get to the correct spot. But then we noticed there was a big gap in front of us. It seems that through this confusing – and the fact that everyone was talking SO LOUDLY – I never heard the National Anthem and I never heard the start gun. So although I was just a smidge over a block away from the start line, I didn’t cross the line until 3 minutes after the gun time. First hiccup of the race.
The first 5ish(?) miles of the race were the most scenic. We ran through Mill Race Park (thus the name of this event) and then over the “famous” bridge in Columbus. But after that, it was pretty average and boring. We did run through what appeared to be a nice – maybe historical area – but I had put my phone away and didn’t want to get it out to take anymore pictures.
Covered Bridge in Mill Race Park
This was sign around the 2-mile marker. There was also one that said “only 24 miles to go” for the marathoners.
I became obsessed with watching my shadow especially my ponytail swinging back & forth.
I thought that I had read where the aid stations/water stops were to be 1 1/2 miles apart. And didn’t really notice pattern but there wasn’t one from mile 10 until mile 12. I was parched at that point and so that was one of my longest stops during the race. That far into the race it should have been closer together.
I wasn’t doing too bad during this race. The weather was pretty good and although I started in long-sleeved shirt it was easy to push them up so I didn’t feel like I got overheated. My personal issue was that I developed a “cramp” in my left quad around mile 3 and it never really left. I’ve never experienced pain in that area before; so random! It didn’t cause me to walk but it did slow me down.
My FUNNY moment from this race happened while I was running toward the finish line. I have approximately only the .1 (point one) to go and out of the corner of my right eye I see a police officer on a motorcycle. The crowd begins to really cheer and clap. As you’ve probably guessed…the guy that would WIN the Full Marathon was about to pass me and cross the line. Yep, that’s how slow I am. Someone can finish 26.2 in the same amount of time that I take to complete 13.1. But it was fun to pretend those people were cheering for me.
Although there was a big Finish on the 4th – After Race Party, I decided that I was too tired and just wanted to drive home. So much for needing that extended checkout at the hotel but I still had to stop and get all my stuff.
Overall this was a good race and I would recommend it. I doubt that I will do it again unless I need to add to my “number” of races.