Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa Hustle 1/2 Marathon Cedar Point

My December half marathon ended up taking me to Sandusky, Ohio to participate in the Santa Hustle.  Myself and some of my Sunday morning long run buddies headed to Sandusky on Saturday night.  Susan and Amanda would also be joining us as they were driving in from Chicago Saturday morning.  Amanda's nephew joined us and he is a great kid and he became our event photographer.  I don't know how happy he was about it but he did it anyway.  Once we made it to Sandusky, we checked into our rooms and headed downstairs to packet pick up.  It was great being able to stay at the host hotel as everything was right at our fingertips.  When we got to packet pickup they had run out of Santa hats and beards but we were told we could pick them up in the morning prior to the race.  We had a picture taken with Santa and then headed out for some carb loading.
Left to right:  Amanda, Me, Kim, Santa, Anthony, Susan, Missi

We eventually decided on Chili's and then we talked strategy for the race.  Originally I was supposed to be running it as a training run for Rock N' Roll Arizona but a little part of me was hoping to break that sub 1:50 goal I had set for 2012 at my last half for the year.  I even asked Susan what she was thinking because I considering sticking with her and seeing if I could get that sub-1:50.  She was planning on running much faster so I decided against that!  I went back and forth about it the rest of the evening and figured I would make the final decision once I saw how I felt at the race start.  After Chili's we stopped by Friday's and chatted a bit and then headed to our rooms to get ready for the morning.  We woke up to gorgeous weather and none of the rain that had been predicted which was a pleasant surprise.  I kept going back and forth between a short sleeve shirt and the long sleeve race shirt that I would never normally wear on race day but it was a themed race afterall.  I was very happy when Missi and I went outside to get the Santa hats and beards because I realized it was quite windy and knew I should switch to the long sleeve race shirt.  When we were collecting the hats and beards I came across Jessica and we chatted for a bit and then I headed back into the hotel to finish getting ready.  Once we had everything together we headed downstairs for a picture or two.
Left to right:  Amanda, Kim, Me, Missi, Susan

As you can see in the picture, Susan had made tutus, but only she and Amanda decided to run in them.  I had gone back and forth about running in one but I was concerned about not being able to get to my fuel belt.  After the pictures we headed over to the start line and I was still debating what I wanted to do.  I did line up towards the front and Susan basically told me it would hurt but it would be worth it in the end.  I told her she was right and figured worst case scenario, I'm not feeling it and I back off the pace.  With very little fanfare, the race started.  I got out easily and didn't have to do any weaving at all.  I was feeling great and my first mile came in at 8:09 which was a good :14 seconds ahead of my required pace to go sub 1:50.  I decided to go for it at that point.  In fact my first six miles of the race were all under 8:23 pace.  I knew in my head I had to hit mile six in 50:20 and when I look at my watch the front numbers were still showing 48:xx.  We ran through the amusement park and there were a lot of turns but it was a fun course.  The next magic number I needed to see was 1:23 at mile ten. Sure enough I was under that time slightly at the 10 mile mark.  As the wind picked up and seemed to push me backwards, I was glad to have banked some major time over the course of the first six miles.  Right around mile 12, Amanda's nephew was there to cheer us on and he took a great picture of me which I think is still on Susan's camera as I haven't seen it surface on the internet yet.  I knew I was getting close to the finish as I could see the hotel so I did my best to push through the wind and finish strong.  I was incredibly happy when I crossed the line with a shiny new PR of 1:49:16 because I had met two goals.  12 half marathons in 2012 and a sub 1:50 half marathon in 2012.  I immediately saw Jessica again and went over to talk with her and get a picture with her.
Jessica and I.  I seriously look like a giant next to her.  Did you notice her race number is Christmas Day?
My Garmin as well as those of many others registered the course as short.  When I was talking with Jessica she mentioned hers came up short as well.  We did speak to the race director and he assured us that the course was certified 13.1 and all of the tangents likely caused the differences in our Garmins.  I feel as if I need to put an asterisk next to this PR but I earned it and I never lost the pace I needed so who knows really.  Amanda put it best when she said, just run a sub-1:50 again.  Okay then, look out Phoenix because I'm on another sub-1:50 mission!  We got a few more pictures before we decided to shower and head out to grab some lunch before returning home.
We got our hustle on

Pretty sure Santa was loving his job this past weekend

We clean up pretty good
All in all it was a great weekend with friends and  I accomplished my goal with this last 1/2 in 2012.

So how often does your Garmin or watch of choice vary from the posted course distance?

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!


  1. SO nice to see you and get a picture. My phone was in my car so I probably would have lost you afterwards. I'm glad you asked the race director and he said it was certified. Still a little far off even running the tangents. But with the wind we were running in I think you definitely earned that sub 1:50 half. You'll be able to do it again on a less windy course for sure!

  2. My nephew enjoyed himself! He always hangs with me so this wasn't new. And he loves to be the photographer! Great job Jodi!