First, we drove up on Friday afternoon and stopped at Dave's Running Store for packet pickup. Plenty of volunteers so I did not have to wait. No expo, just packet pickup. Saturday morning races are my favorite, so that was another draw for me to run this one.
This race is a point to point. Since my parents live close to the start line in Downtown Maumee, and my husband planned to meet me at the finish, I did not have to drive downtown to Toledo to park to be bussed back to the start line in the morning. The race was set to start at 7:30am. This seems pretty late to me for a mid June race. The race was a good size, capped at 1100 half participants and 900 for the quarter marathon which started half way into the half marathon course.
This year, storms rolled in close to the start time, so the race was delayed 2x and did not start until 8am. The weather kept temps down in the high 60s for the first mile or 2, but once those clouds cleared out, the sun, heat and humidity caused for tough conditions.
The race is a baseball theme, running from downtown Maumee up to the new Mud Hen's stadium in downtown Toledo. We were sent a block over to the municipal building for shelter during the storm, then got started at 8. We ran down to Side Cut park and turned around at the cemetery and came back up to the start line. Sidecut Park has a nice hill going down, but its a beast to get back up for only being the first 2 miles of the race. The race leveled out after that. You run down River Rd for the entire rest of the race. This is very similar to back when the Glass City Marathon used to follow the river before it moved to the University of Toledo.
The roads were a little questionable in a few places. Just beat up and potholes. The first 3/4 of the race had a decent amount of shade from the trees. The houses along the route are very pretty up Maumee and before you get close to the West End.
There were plenty of water stops, however, they served gatorade AFTER the water, which is backwards. They gave out gels at a few water stops which was nice, but it was so hot that I had to stick to water and gatorade only. There were some really great spectators out on the course with sprinklers and hoses which was very helpful. Spectator of the year had ripped up rags and sponges soaked in ice water she was handing out.
Volunteers were great and really helped with their positive support, especially at water stops.
My watch finished with 13.33...that was a killer. I just wanted to be done so bad.
...So you get downtown, round a corner, go in front of the Owen's Corning building and around the stadium. You go down a tunnel onto the field and run along the very back outfield. Lots of guys on the field making sure you do not go on the grass.
It was a cool finish on the ball field. The tough thing about it was that to get to the celebration area, you had to walk all the way around the inside of the stadium to get back out, after walking up all the stairs to get back to street level.
Once we got out, there was a nice fenced off turf area with bounce houses and a band which was really great since my kids probably would not have wanted to sit around for long. Post race food was watermelon and bananas, go-gurts for the kids which was a great help as well, and all runners got a beer or pop, hotdog and bag of chips. Totally fit the baseball theme. They had post race massages, but I could tell my family had little patience for hanging around this morning.
The medal was a good design and a good weight. I absolutely love the shirt as well. It was a nice light weight tech t and I love the design.
Overall, it was a very hot race. I debated dropping down to the quarter, but didn't for pride reasons. Since the first 3 miles are out and back and you cross back over the start line to continue on, I think this would be a really awesome 15k by eliminating that first out and back portion. The race is generally a gradual downhill, but the few hills in it, you should be prepared for. Plenty of water stops, good finish line/post race experience. I would recommend