Friday, October 3, 2014

Tri Town Community Half Marathon

Happy October! Hope fall is treating you well. This past Sunday, my friends and I ran the Tri Town Community Marathon and Half Marathon. I did the half. I considered the option of the full because originally it was the weekend of my 20 mile run, but things changed. Here's how things went down.

A groupon came up for this full marathon and half marathon in Merriville, Indiana. At the time, the groupon was $25 for the half and $35 for the full. Since half and full marathons can break the bank nowadays, my friends and I jumped at the chance. A few friends (including Melanie from See Mommy Race and my cousin Nick) decided to do the full marathon. The rest of us chose the half marathon since they would be on taper for the Chicago Marathon.  I knew that with this being a groupon race AND in Indiana (not knocking Indiana...ok, maybe a little), that I shouldn't expect too much from it. Also, originally, I was going to do my 20 miles this day and just tack on miles in the beginning and/or end of the race.  Since I was persuaded to do my 20 miler the weekend before with those training for the Chicago Marathon, I know longer had to worry about the logistics of that. I also scoped out the weather for those two weekends and I knew it would be a bit warmer the weekend of this Tri Town race.

And boy was I glad I did my 20 the week before this race and not that day! The race started at 8:00 a.m., which is actually a bit late considering some people were doing a full marathon.  The high temps that day were going to reach about 80 degrees. I think it came close to that during the marathon. And it was so sunny and hot and there was little shade. I really felt bad for the marathoners. And I was equally thankful to be doing only the half.

Ok, I'm having trouble focusing on this recap...  Here goes. I drove down with Derek. We were both signed up for the half. I met up with several other friends from the FNRC as well as my cousin Nick, who was doing his first marathon.
L-R: Melanie, Becky, Nick, Carol, Derek, Me, Karen
We headed to the start and waited...we waited to figure out exactly where to line up. There were are 200 people registered, 75 for the full and 120 or so for the half (approx). And we were just all standing near the finish line, not sure what to do. And 8:00 came...and we were looking around like... uh...where do we go?  Finally someone came over with a bull horn and told us where to line up. It's now after 8:00 and already getting warm and sunny. I knew for the full marathons, this needed to start soon because it was going to be HOT!

We started and my plan was to run with Nick as long as possible to help support him for his full. I was hoping to go all the way to about mile 10 with him but unfortunately that didn't happen. I only got to run to about mile 6.5 and I had to turn and double back. I was a bit disappointed but I gave him a high five and wished him luck, telling him I'd be near the later miles to try to help him finish.

The course for the half wasn't too bad. It was a tiny bit confusing but there weren't too many turn arounds for the half (unlike what I heard about the full).  I got to see friends several times and there were a couple different out and backs. In fact, I started making friends along the way because I kept seeing the same people over and over. That part was kind of nice.

Mile 7! Thanks Melanie for the photo!
I'm glad Melanie did the full so that she can tell you the clusterfuck that became of the full marathon. I can really only speak about the half marathon. And I believe the half marathon was 20 times better than the full. There was water at the aid stations. There were officers crossing us at streets. Both of those did NOT happen for the later miles of the marathon people.

As I eluded to in my last post, my Mizunos that I had decided would be my marathon shoes started to hurt my ankle about mile 10.  This was also an issue the week before on my 20 miler but it wasn't too bad. This time, it really started to bother me. I knew if this happened two weeks in a row, there is NO WAY I'm going to wear them on marathon day. I had enough foot issues last year at my marathons that I did not want to have issues this year.

I walked. I ran. I wanted the half to be over. So it finally was and I was happy to see the finish line. The first 2-3 miles of the course was on streets and completely unshaded and we had to repeat these same miles on the end. It was awful and hot. My time was around 2:23 which was perfectly fine with me and right around what my summer half marathon times tent to be.

I waited for all my friends and boyfriend to finish the half. I had some real rockstar friends who PR'd and got first in their age group! Nice job, you know who you are!


L-R: Karen, Becky, Carol, Me, Derek

Me and my love
Derek took me to the spot that was near mile 23 where I would wait for Nick. I found a few friends that were doing the marathon and walked or ran with them about 0.2 miles each time I saw one of them. I just wanted to chat with them a minute and see how they were doing. I know a friendly face during a marathon is always a welcome thing.  Everyone was telling me the same thing. They ran out of water at aid stations, there was no one crossing people at streets anymore. It's almost like they gave up on the marathoners! Unbelievable and unacceptable, in my opinion. Some kind person drove his truck up around mile 21 and started handing people bottles of water. A saint to those marathoners.

I spotted Nick and he was walking. He was hurting and frustrated. He could barely run anymore and my goal turned out to be just helping him get to that finish line. He had missed any time goals he wanted to make at this point.  After a few "shuffles" of trying to run, he gave up and we walked the rest. I told him he did everything he could, that his training was awesome and he needs to be proud of being here and pushing through to the end.  I felt bad because I know how disappointing people feel when they are so far away from any goals they think they can hit, when they did the training and did well, and the luck of the draw was that this marathon sucked and it was hot.

Me with Nick around mile 23 of his marathon!
Nick crossed the finish line, as did the rest of my friends. I could have cared less about my half this day. They were the real rockstars. They were the ones that pushed through when the going got tough and when it seemed like everyone forgot about them. I'm glad I was there to give a few smiles and to support Nick on his first marathon. I think there will be a redemption marathon in his future...just not right now.
Me and Melanie after her marathon
Congrats to all the finishers of the half and the full marathon. I'm sure none of us will be doing this race again anytime soon! :)

*I'll post a link to Melanie's full marathon recap when she posts it so you can see how the full marathon went.


  1. Anonymous10/03/2014

    great post Amanda! I am working on mine, trying to sound nice for a bad race is hard to do! lol!

    1. You don't have to sound nice, necessarily! Just give your opinion on the race! I want to hear the truth! ha!

  2. Congrats on the half finish despite the heat and bad shoes! Wow, I'm sorry to hear about the bad conditions that the full marathoners went through. The race should have charged a few dollars more and had at least one or two more water stations!

  3. Thanks Pete. And it wasn't the number of water stations, it was keeping them fully stocked! With the small amount of runners doing the full, there is NO REASON to have run out of water!

  4. You are very wise - it's so true that you can do all of the training the right way, and sometimes the weather or something else on race day can just suuuuuuck. You have to play the hand you're dealt.

    Great job on your own race! It's hard to believe I'm seeing a race report that was too hot, with everyone in shorts, while I read this underneath a thick blanket on my couch :)

  5. My goodness. Small world. I have been following your blog for some time. I I run walked with nick in the later miles too! Tell him I said hi! As far as the full is concerned with water, I found most stations empty after mile 13. So glad I had my pack with me but it was so hot that was almost hot so nasty to drink. Here's to the next race!

    1. Hi Chris, Thanks for walking with me, it made it much more enjoyable that walking alone. I did cheer for you at the end but I am not that loud.

    2. Sorry Chris, forgot to mention to him but glad he read it! Glad you guys had someone to keep you company for a few of those later miles! Great job to both of you for finishing! And thanks Chris for reading my blog.

  6. That sucks about the water and aid stations, although when my sister ran the Chicago marathon, she was so slow that the water/food stations were already torn down by the time she got to mile 17. I felt so bad for her - I had just finished eating the best Chinese food in China town and she came around the corner and said "I am so fucking hungry!"

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate this year!