The skies were overcast, the wind was blowing and the temperature was only 44 degrees when we arrived at the Columbus Commons downtown to enter the Run Like a Girl half marathon October 4. It was so cold, the vast majority participants were huddled in parked cars or inside parking garages. We were in a parking garage.
About 8:00, the 5K and 10K participants started. After they started, and the half marathoners lined up, it started to sprinkle — luckily it stopped quickly. It was a little different lining up for a race with just women, but the start did not seem to be anything special other than that.
Nancy and I had planned to do the first mile in about 14 min, then go at a 13-13:30 min per mile pace. Pat’s plan was to hang with us as long as she could. We started out a little too fast at about 13:30, but it felt good. We then picked up the pace to 13:00 and tried to stay close to that the rest of the race.
We were on streets for about the first mile or so, then were on bike trails. From here, the course did a lot of out-and-backs on bike trails. The trails were a little too narrow when the leaders were heading back. The trails were also somewhat boring.
There were plenty of water stops, but not enough volunteers to out hand cups. We had to slow in order for many of these volunteers to be able to grab cups. There were plenty of people throughout the course directing us and making sure we stayed on course.
Though the trails were crowded, there were not a lot of walkers, so the crowds really thinned out around us as we went. I did not like the out and back on trails, but it was nice to be able to see the leaders and to see where the friends who were behind us were.
Throughout the race the weather was weird. The wind blew, it sprinkled on and off, and we were pelted with sleet. The sun even popped out on occasion. The trees on the trails blocked the wind and some of the rain, which was nice.
The last couple of miles were on streets downtown. At mile 12 Nancy and I tried to pick up the pace, but we had to climb what felt like a steep incline, affecting our pace. We decided to wait till we reached the top of the incline and then walked as fast as we could. According to my Garmin, we did that mile in 12:23 — our fastest mile!
We crossed the finish line, received our medals, looked for water and looked around. Because of the weather, almost all of the finishers were gone, the tables for sponsors that were set up in the Commons were gone. We walked across the park to find a tent with some picked over food — lots of cookies and candy, a couple bananas, grapes, and raisin bread.
Another tent had several men wearing tuxedos who were handing out wine! They were very charming! We collected our wine and waited for our friends. The last few participants were few and far between!
The race cost about $10 more than a typical local co-ed race. The shirts are women’s sizes, technical and in a nice color, but it is a low level brand. The medals are super cheap. The food was picked over and I have not tried the wine yet. The course was boring with no entertainment. Other than men in tuxedos handing out wine, there was nothing special about this race to justify the extra cost.
If you need a small local race in October, and want to race with just women, this race would be OK. If those things are not important, I would suggest skipping this one. (91)