- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
I signed up for this race over seven months ago as part of my "Complete 50 half marathons in all 50 states before I turn 50" quest. I read several articles about the races with good reviews. I checked out their website and found the price for the half marathon was the same at the full marathon. I contacted race officials about this but really never got a definite answer. I was able to convince a very good friend of mine to run the race with me if I actually signed up for it. Sent her my confirmation number and presto we both signed up for the 2014 Wine Glass Half Marathon.
I landed at Elmira Regional Country Airport from Philly on Friday Oct 3rd. We proceeded to the Corning Glassware museum/gift shop for the race packet pickup. The directions were easy to follow and there were plenty of signs on where to go. Once in the building we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful glass objects just waiting to be purchased. We went through the huge display to the other side of the building to find the packet pickup. The volunteers were friendly as we headed towards the half marathon table. Once there we should our I.Ds received our race bibs, long sleeve tech shirts, and best of all our wine glass/personal champaign bottle. We proceeded to verify our race bibs then headed off to the expo.
The expo itself was not very big but did have interesting local booths.The race merch for sale was suprisingly well stocked. I bought myself a very cool looking Wine Glass hoodie with the very important thumb holes for $40. Not a bad price at all for quality an Asics product. After getting our packet we proceeded to head to lunch at a local brew pub. When racing out of your area it is really helpful to soak in the local flavors from independently owned businesses. Skip the fast food joints, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor.
Saturday saw us just keeping a low key day. Caught my first live rugby match. Nevermind that it was an all-female rugby match because these ladies can play just as tough as the guys. We returned back to the house for a nice pasta dinner. We turned in for an early night. And found ourselves throwing another blanket on for the night. Temps at race time were falling to somewhere around the upper 30's. WOOHOO!!!
Our home base was in Ithaca, New York so it was about an 20-30 drive to the race. Once we arrived there we saw a lot of people there around 6am. We were lucky enough to be dropped off so we didn't have to worry about parking. We read that we were going to be transported to the half marathon starting line by bus. We were informed that the last bus was going to be leaving at 7am. Judging by the ever growing line and the slow fill up of the buses this was not going to happen.
We waited in line until it was our turn to hop on the bus for about 45 minutes and the line behind us was not getting any shorter. Once our bus was full we headed towards the starting line. 20 minutes later we found ourselves about 0.2 miles away from the starting line. There were plenty of port o johns and there was a person on the mic directing people on were to go. Gear check was also there, Four/Five UPS trucks were there with bib numbers. You had to find your bib number on a certain truck, check it in and it would be waiting for you at the finish line. Once I made use of the port o john it was time to make the walk over to the starting line. Funny that the starting line was on a road between corn fields.
Now the setup of the half marathon was unique for me. It shared the same route as the full marathon. It would start an hour earlier and was actually the midway point for the full marathon. The sun was finally coming up and the temperature was begining to rise to a nice 40 degrees. People were very friendly. Many of them were running their first half marathon. While others, like myself, had this race on a list to check off. After some stretching it was time for our race to begin. We looked at the race map and noticed there was one major increase in elevation after that it was all down hill from there. Trust me this is a good thing for a runner.
Since the start of the half marathon was actually the half way point for the full marathon there was the typical inflatable arch with ballons and such. There two simple floor flags that read start and the timing strip that activated your timing chip on the bib once your crossed it. The race did have pacers so that was cool. This was only the 4th half marathon while the full marathon was celebrating it's 33rd year.
It was finally time for the race to begin!!! Didn't hear a boom, bang, or horn. Just noticed the herd slowly moving ahead of me. The incline happened very quickly and honestly really didn't notice it. It might have been a two hundred meter incline at nice slope. The drop happened just before mile two. It stayed flat winding around the beautiful area until it dropped off again. Now around mile two my shin splints acted up again. I was hoping they were going to be a non issue for this race. I had none during my Boston half marathon and it was a lot warmer. It got so bad I told my friend to go ahead and go without me. I walked/limped for about a mile or so. I was pissed off. Walkers were passing me by and an awesome guy by the name of Shawn had his two person team walking with as he was completing his first half marathon. Shawn was a big guy. I mean a big guy. I admired him for taking on this challenge. But personally I thought to myself there is no way in hell Shawn going to finish this race before me. So I gutted it out. I had to stop to the side of the road and massage out my shins. The right one acted up first and when I thought it was over the left one took over. Then pain on both my feet were happening. I was thinking to myself "Why am I breaking down?" Took a couple of deep breaths, remembered my training, and slowly picked up my pace.
I never let Shawn out of my site. After two miles my pace was now at a respectable running pace. I caught up to Shawn and gave him a thumbs up at mile 4 and never saw him again. The whole time I was just in awe by the fall colors, running through bridges over streams, It was a picture perfect race. Norman Rockwell would have an hard on the whole race.
I didn't take any pictures but with my current pace I was able to really enjoy the scenery. I noticed my race app wasn't working for the majority of the race. I had no idea what my pace really was until mile 11. By then I knew It wasn't going to be a fast but a respectable one considering the pain I push through from the beginning. My goal is always to finish the race and not come in last. So far I met that goal in all my half marathons. The speed will come eventually come through with hard work. Running a long distance race isn't about the person in front or in back of you. The person you are trying to beat is your previous self. Races like this will unveil your mental toughness. That's the biggest hurdle to overcome the rest is just hard work. ;)
My personal goal for this race was to finish under 3 hours. The official race time has me at 3:01 but that is almost the exact same time as my race app which has me running an extra 1/2 mile. I've read through Facebook that other runners were complaining that their finish time did not match their race app. So it looks like either everyone's app was not working due to poor cell phone coverage or a qlitch in the race timing gear. Either way I had a great time at the race and encourage other runners to take part in the 2015 Wine Glass Half/Full Marathon. Quite a few mico breweries, a lot of vineyards, and many good local eateries.
Until we lace up those running shoes again,