So, yesterday was (finally) the Berlin Ohio Amish Country Half Marathon. This was one race I was actually looking forward to with anticipation and dread. Running the back roads of amish country was something that really spoke to me (given where I grew up and everything, it seemed like a great race). Running the hills that were reported to be the course was kind of terrifying.
I watched the weather pretty closely for the whole week last week. I was dreading the hills if it was going to be 90 and humid. For a while, it looked like it was going to be a cool and mostly sunny day. Turned out it was a very chilly rainy day. It wasn’t a hard rain, but it was mostly a steady rain and it was cold. I was planning on being able to just run in my Goofy suit. But it turned out a jacket was a welcome addition to the day. On the up side, it was very comfortable wearing my goofy hat and it wasn’t too terribly warm for it at all. AND I got compliments along the route on my hat.
Turned out my feet were soaked in the first mile. But it was neat to see the shine on the parking lot.
I met Aiden Jaquez and his mom while I was waiting for the race to start. Aiden is 10 and he is on track to be the youngest person to ever complete 50 halfs in 50 states (and he will go on to be doing the 50 marathons in 50 states if he gets his wish). Aiden will be finishing his final half marathon in October 2019.
The starting line was just ahead. It was on the other side of the neatest American flag I’ve seen at a race yet. The fire truck hoisted it up over the parking lot and we were off.
The country side was beautiful, even if I was soaked and cold by the time we crested the first hill.
The course was riddled with smells. Silage, apples, cow and horse manure, goldenrod… It was neat watching people try to dodge the road apples along the way. I’ve gotten used to people running the tangents to try to make better time. It was great to watch them adding dozens of steps to their run trying to avoid the ‘dangers’.
I got to listen to some interesting snippets of conversation along the route. For a little while, I was running close to a couple of people who were doing the half. They were discussing the bat houses that were perched on fence posts along one farm. It was the topic of conversation for about half a mile or so… how the bats eat a crap ton of bugs.
The pacer buggy pulled over at about the first mile marker. The horse was gorgeous.
And then there was me.
I finished third in my age group. Not as well as I would have liked (time wise) but given the weather and the hills, it was better than I actually expected to be able to do, though. I finished with an average pace of 13:06 and finished at 1:21:24 (9 minutes off of average). 141st out of 200. Not fabulous, but respectable.
Better than that… I finished strong. I finished feeling pretty good (if very soggy and cold).
The race venue had some neat picture opportunities. And… I did conquer the hills.
And, for what it’s worth… I’m planning (right now, anyway), on doing the half marathon next year.
It’s a hard course, but it was an amazing race.
Love and Light