This particular race was a challenge, not in the course but in the weather. If you look at the pavement we are on, it is very wet. We may have been in a slight sprinkling period as it was taken but there were torrential downpours throughout the race. I was thinking we would be on a trail – a cinder paved in most places trail but a trail none the less – so I was hoping that the rain would be absorbed by most of the trees overhead.
The Catharine Valley Half Marathon started and ended at the Watkins Glen High School. I was thinking that the finish would be good as it included a 3/4 lap of the track at the high school. Unfortunately, the end of the track it was as if we were running a steeplechase as the track itself was covered with a couple inches of water. You can find additional photos of the race at The Odessa File.
I ran on Sunday in honor of MCM Mama as she turns 40 August 25. While this may not seem like a big deal, she is celebrating with gusto by sponsoring a virtual race. The suggested lengths were shorter than my half (with the exception of the 40K) but I thought honoring her with a race would be great.
The weather does not deter me from running. I had done a long run the Sunday before the race in a torrential downpour here at home. That particular day I had pieced together some local routes that constantly circled by my home so as to be close to shelter if it should happen to thunder or lightning. This race had none of those safety features. Thankfully, the storms were forecast for later in the day.
As is usually, those that I knew who were running the race all ran much faster than I did so I was off on my own. I was treating this as not only the honoring of a friend’s birthday but as a long training run. I chatted with some friends along the route but settled on following these two people who were running together. They were behind me for about three miles and then just in front of me for a couple. On the one uphill on the trail – I really didn’t think there was a lot of long uphill like some, I decided I was going to run hard up the hill. I went past the couple again but soon they were in front of me. I got close to them at about six miles and asked what they thought their pace was. Since he thought it was about 11:30, I decided they were the people that I was going to stick to like glue (I have been listening to a lot of Sugarland lately). Eventually, Denise went off on her own and PJ and I continued to run together until about mile 12. I knew we had slowed down and I wanted to pick up the pace there – even knowing I had a huge puddle to go through – to finish strong.
I will definitely try this race again next year. Loved it and knowing others that were there. Hopefully, next year will be slightly dry. You can find out more about the trail by visiting the two links below.