Two half marathons.
That qualifies me for entry level in the “Half Marathon Fanatics” club, but I doubt I’ll spend the 35 bucks to make it official.
This time I didn’t need to travel far to run 13.1 miles.
May 28th was the 35th running of the Ogden classic, but the first edition of it as a half marathon. For 34 years it was run as a 20k classic, but a little over a half mile was added this year to the streets of South Wheeling to extend it to 13.1 miles.
The best part of the Pittsburgh race, was seeing Christy and Aubrey as I passed Station Square.
This time, I knew they’d be standing about one mile into the course.
Sadly, Aubrey was scanning the crowd, and couldn’t see me run right in front of her along the sidewalk. Hearing her cry I DIDN’T SEE MY DADDY, about 5 times didn’t help!
After breaking two hours in the Pittsburgh half, and feeling good a few days later, I was hopeful to break two again. But this time, it would be on the hills of Wheeling WV. A little over 3 miles in, comes 29th Street Hill, clocking in at 1.8 miles.
The course then heads down to the halfway point near Bridge Street Middle School, before rolling along National Road until heading up Wheeling Hill for another .5 miles.
But after 12+ miles, it hurts.
Once again, I ran without headphones. It was easy in Pittsburgh, with bands every mile or so, It was easier in Wheeling, since I heard my name a lot along the course. Seeing old friends, and new ones along the way sure helped.
What didn’t help, was the combo of hills and humidity. More than half way through, I was on pace to break two hours again, but could feel I was fading.
I was struggling through Woodsdale, but perked up knowing a good friend was taking pictures along “Chicken Neck Hill.”
After passing Jim taking pictures, I switched my GPS watch over to “time of day” so I wouldn’t see the inevitable ticking up of my average time past the 9:09 I would need to break two hours.
Not watching my pace didn’t hurt, although I don’t remember much between Sheetz and Fulton.
Oh, I remember that. I’ve pounded up it many times, and usually at a pretty good clip. What I haven’t done, though, is attack it, after nearly 2 hours of running.
I survived it. That’s about it.
At the top, my parents were waiting to cheer me on, and down the other side into downtown I went. I wasn’t flying, but was happy, knowing the end was just around 14th street.
Although I didn’t break two hours, I wasn’t off by much. Plus, I got to hear Aubrey yelling my name at the end.
Compared to the 18,000 people running the Pittsburgh Marathon, the Ogden was relatively small, which apparently meant lots of face time on the local news.
Here is the start of the race, courtesy of Channel 9 (I’m in the middle):
…and the finish (although not as good as above) courtesy of Channel 7: