Amish Country Half Marathon Report 2016

 

Amish Country Half Marathon Report

I conquered the hills! Again! This was my fourth year running the Amish Country Half Marathon in Berlin (pronounced BURR lin) Ohio.  This is a nicely organized half marathon held the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

I was quite unsure whether to attempt to run this.  But I finally figured if I was going to have any chance of finishing Tarawera 60K in February, I need to get a base of some endurance miles under my belt. I checked the finishing times and saw a few people finished around four hours. Okay, I could walk the whole 1/2 marathon if needed and still finish, as long as the knee co-operated.

This is a tough little half marathon. The hills are no joke. Amish half marathon course profile

My running revolves around my knee these days, whether I like it or not. The first mile, which is downhill, was completed very gingerly.  It did not feel good.  It wasn’t until I started climbing uphill (which doesn’t bother the knee) and topped out that I felt happy.

I decided that would be the barometer of my run, whether I was happy in each mile.  I was doing well. I would power walk up the hills, and then rather slowly amble down.  (I used to love bombing downhill. Oh well.)

Iris and I began chatting about mile six. She was from Virginia, visiting relatives in my town! go figure.  She and I stuck together for most of the race.  That helped me get through the somewhat tiring flat sections on the course.  I warned her that there were hills toward the end.

Best Water Station Ever

Around mile 12, there was a home made water station manned by three Amish children. On a little table, there were styrofoam  cups.  There was a piece of tiny paper taped to each cup. I picked one up. It said “good luck”.  I had to drink that glass of water!! I’m glad I stopped there!

I climb the almost-last hill, turn onto State Route 39, and head toward the finish line at the high school. My knee has gone pretty much numb. I’m tired since I didn’t train for this, but I’m moving well and then I head downhill.

CRAMP!

Aaah! A cramp starts on my right hamstring. I stop and grab it.  I could tell it would like to go into full blown cramp and do the “relax, relax, it’s okay” and try and stand up straight. I’m less than a half mile from the finish line!! Iris and the 3 hour pacer catch up as I start to walk briskly and tell them no, it’s not a knee blow up just a pesky cramp reminding me that I’m not ultra human these days.

Finish

Another small twinge hits right before the track finish and I slow down a bit, the three hour pacer is still behind me, and I would like to finish under three. I thought if I “could run it” I could finish in around three.  Iris and I head for the hot buttered noodles! Yes there was the finisher medal AND CHEESE BLOCK!

 

pre race Amish half marathon

Finish Time

I finished in 2.58.21.  I would have been happy with “a finish”.  This race was a very good idea.  I ran much more than I would have, if I was just in a training run around the block.  The knee held up, and while I was tired, it wasn’t as bad as I thought I would be. Next up, get a 20 mile run in.
Amish finishThis is a well organized half marathon with real hills! My only constructive criticism (that I will email to RD) is they need a cardboard box/garbage can at the water stops for cups. Yes, it’s a small half marathon, but someone is out there picking up the cups.  If there is a receptacle for cups I would use it! (Note: after I drank the awesome water at mile 12, I put my used cup under one of the other cups.)

amish country medal

Did you run a race this weekend? Did it exceed your expectations? Did you get a block of cheese and an Amish hat and beard?

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