Cleveland Half Marathon Race Report

18 Aug

On May 20th I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon (my 6th Half Marathon). I actually ran this race last year and LOVED it. It holds my PR for the half marathon distance. I wasn’t planning to run it this year but I won an entry though a twitter contest and decided to give it another shot.

My dad and I drove down to Cleveland on Saturday together, stopping at the expo along the way. It was a pretty typical expo, lots of vendors, simple shirt pick up and lots of samples…especially of tuna for some reason. Anyhow, we got to our hotel that was within a mile of the start, ate a pasta dinner at the hotel restaurant and chilled out for the rest of the evening.

My dad took out a sharpie and started writing the water stops on his arm. We planned to run this race separately – he had a time goal that he wanted to meet, that was faster than my planned pace. So, I copied his idea.2012clevelandhalf_armLet me tell you, I am so glad I did this. It was awesome knowing where the water stops were and not having to guess!

Race morning was pretty typical. I ate cereal with almond milk down in the hotel lobby and then we walked to the start. The sun was already blazing and it was getting warm. But I was positive. I just wanted to finish this thing, especially since I had just run Pittsburgh 2 weeks prior.

I said goodbye to my dad as he went to his anticipated times corral and I went to mine. The gun went off and off we went. I started right near the 5:30 marathon pacer. I figured that if I could stick with them I may be able to pull out a sub-3 hr time.

I started with them pretty well, but soon realized the pacers strategy was not one I wanted to follow. They were taking a walk break within the first mile up a killer hill. They eventually would pass me, so maybe I should have stuck with them, but I just decided to run my own race.

I made it to the first water stop (1.5ish) and took a walk break through it, chugging 2 cups of water and 1 of Gatorade. The sun was getting very warm. Next water stop was at 4 miles, and after that the wheels sort of started to fall off.

Last year when I ran this race it was overcast, so I never realized just how unshaded it was. I started feeling pretty sick to my stomach around mile 5 and knew I had to slow it down and incorporate more frequent walk breaks if I wanted to finish this thing in an upright position.

I quickly met other people who just weren’t feeling it either and we motivated each other along. Whenever I run with my dad I guess we sort of just talk to each other, and it was really cool to meet some other people out on the course.

I slugged along, ticking off the miles.
And it kept getting hotter.

I remember around mile 10 starting to see many people being pulled off to the side, getting medical attention. It was pretty scary. I kept on drinking 2 cups of water and 1 of Gatorade at every stop. I also walked a LOT – more than I have in any other race. The goal was to finish.

The last .25 of the race – wow it was hard. I could see the finish, I was in the chute, but holy cow, I just didn’t want to move anymore. I was so exhausted, and so tired. The last bit of a race has never felt so difficult. But I couldn’t walk in front of those spectators so I kept going.


My OT was 3:31:39. My worst Half time yet. Cleveland now holds the distinction for my PR and my PW. 🙂

But hey I finished.

And with crossing that line I also became eligible for the Half Fanatics Neptune level by completing 2 Halfs in 16 days. You better believe I signed up as soon as I got home. Hitting a mile marker like that is a big deal to me. I never ever thought I would be running half marathons, much less 2 in 2 weeks. 🙂


7 Responses to “Cleveland Half Marathon Race Report”

  1. mizunogirl August 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Somehow the last few moments of a race, especially one that maybe wasn’t the most fun, are just the worst!!!! you did great!

  2. Melinda August 19, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    I am super proud of you! What a great accomplishment. And with your recent heart health scare this is majorly impressive! We can plan for certain times, or even just have them in the back of our minds, but sometimes the race just turns out differently. Overcast vs sunny can make a huge difference. I ran a half on May 19 in MN that was soooo hot as well. I remember my hands started tingling around mile 9 or 10 (I’m assuming now from dehydration/being overheated). At the time I was like “whoa, what’s happening here” and now I realize I was a little loopy probably from sweating so much. Take care and happy running!

    • Becca August 30, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Thanks for the sweet words Melinda! 🙂


  1. Year-end update on my goals « Diary of a slow runner - January 3, 2013

    […] Run at least 3 half marathons. CHECK. Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Bird In Hand. Bonus, I also became a half fanatic. […]

  2. The Goofy Challenge: How I Trained « Diary of a slow runner - January 29, 2013

    […] done six half marathons when I started this plan (the most recent being at the end of May – Cleveland). So I had a decent base built […]

  3. My next goal | Diary of a slow runner - June 11, 2013

    […] conquer it faster. My half marathon times have ranged from 2:56:26, two years ago in Cleveland to 3:31:39, last year in Cleveland. (Yes the same race holds both my current PR and PB.) The 2:56:xx happened when I wasn’t […]

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