The second half-marathon in as many weeks, the Grimsby Half was more of an opportunity to do a race as a training run. With a PR the week before at the Winterman Half, I wasn’t planning to push for another the week after.
The Grimsby Half was in many ways the opposite of what I experienced the week before: it felt unorganized, the course was slushy and wet from the week before, the course was more crowded.
My buddy @chriswignall picked me up bright and early despite some poor weather conditions the night before. We drove down to Grimsby and found a parking spot near the McDonalds just down the street from the school.
The run seemed to be for self-starters and veterans rather than newbie runners – finding things was more difficult than it should have been, although once inside the gymnasium things were fairly straightforward. The halls were tight with people, but we managed to find a spot to get our bibs on and prepare for the race.
At The School
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_Thumb_0005.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_0004.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”At The School”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_Thumb_0004.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_0003.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”T Pick-Up”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_Thumb_0003.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_0002.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Waiting”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_Thumb_0002.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/Grimsby_Half_0001.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Start Line”/]
Once outside we headed near the front of the pack. The beginning of the race was slushy and tight, which wasn’t helped by the two or three turns we had to make inside the first kilometer. But once out on the open road things started to spread out, and it wasn’t long before people moved into smaller packs that were keeping pace with one another. I fell in with a group doing a comfortable pace and went on cruise control. I’d decided beforehand to turn off the feedback from my Nike+GPS app (I usually get a pace update every half kilometer) and just listen to some tunes while “feeling” my pace.
The first half of the run wasn’t too bad – streetwise, I mean. Though there were slushy parts it wasn’t until after the halfway point that things got really sloppy. One part of the course went along a paved path through an orchard – but you couldn’t see the ground as it was snow-covered and slippery – the case with much of the remainder of the course. Carefully picking where to run and what to avoid takes its toll mentally, and I found it tiring to constantly be on the lookout for slush, ice, or random ruts in the snow so that I could avoid any sort of injury.
That said, the route was scenic in the second half- with vistas of the lake and such – much better than the service road on the first half. A large hill near the very end of the race was brutal, but coasting into the well-lined finish line was exciting. My only beef there is that my friend was doing his first half, and unfortunately they missed calling his name as he crossed the line.
A quick pitstop in the bathroom followed by getting a donut and some yogurt in the caf (provided by the race, of course), and I was off to the bag check to get my stuff. This is where things were disorganized. Though the girl searching through the piled bags was trying her best and was very nice, the disorganized pile of look-alike bags coupled with the fact that she was alone and there was a growing number of people eagerly waiting for their bags was enough to drive you crazy, though I empathized with the girl who was responding to people’s, “mine’s the black running bag.”
I was happy to run into another old friend, and former employer, who ran exceptionally well, before heading home. It was a good experience, and I did enjoy myself (as I always do at a race), but I don’t believe this one will be on the calendar next year.
[info_box_1 title=”Race Stats”]
Weather: Overcast, Slushy
Swag: T-shirt, Medal
Terrain: Roads, some hills, slushy and snowy
Shoes: Nike Lunar Elite
Fuel: Bagel + Banana, Gatorade Prime Drink, Gel
Overall Place: 75/422
Gender Place: 60/246
Age Group Place: 8/39