2008 Buffalo Half Marathon

I had been looking forward to the weekend of May 24th. I always look forward to races and this one I was looking forward to more than others. This race I would be running with Bates, John, Julie, and Mike. Mark decided that a half isn’t enough and ran the full marathon. Unfortunately John dropped out due to injury but came along to be our running mom and provide hours of entertainment (mostly at his expense, sorry John!).

This was the first time that any of us were able to see Mark’s house. What a dump! The lawn looked like junk. It was only half mowed. It looked like someone tried to write something on the lawn but then gave up. I’m only kidding of course, the house is beautiful. The lawn wasn’t mowed completely which annoyed Mark to no end but that’s only because his lawn mower broke.

Mary joined us for, you guessed it, a pasta dinner. I don’t think any of us though much about running as we were too busy convincing John that we knew the name of a store that he couldn’t remember.

The race started on time and seemed reasonably reasonably well organized. The course could use some improvements. Early in the race I saw people walking towards me with bibs on. Many of them were pushing people in wheel chairs. At first I felt sad that they were dropping out of the race but then I realized that the race looped back on itself! I felt very bad for those participants as they had to battle hundreds of people running directly at them. Another complaint I had about the course was that it narrowed to about 6-8 feet after only about 2 miles into the race. People hadn’t spread out enough by then so runners were forced to battle for position again. Besides that I liked the course. Much of it was along the water which was nice to look at. Some of it was in downtown, but not enough! I always enjoy looking at skyscrapers and would have loved to have more of a tour of Buffalo. There were a few “switchbacks” on the course which runners usually don’t like. In this case I liked them because I was looking for other runners. Eventually I gave up looking for friends as there were too many people to look for!

To the organizers of the Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon I have the following recomendations:

  • change the course so it doesn’t loop back on itself
  • if possible have more of the course downtown
  • update your website! Photos have been available via brightroom but you can’t find a link on the marathon website.
  • allow people to register other than using active.com (active.com inflicts a sizable processing charge)

I had an excellent race. Before the race I found myself wondering if the course for the Grand Island Half Marathon had been measured incorrectly. I just couldn’t believe that I was capable of posting the time that I did that day. The Buffalo Half proved to me that I was capable. In fact I was capable of just a little more than I did at Grand Island three weeks prior. I finished with a time of 1:36:22, an average pace of 7:22 per mile or 8.14 miles per hour. I was 6th in my age group of 80 runners. I finished approximately 95th (chip time) out of about 1600 runners.

I don’t think I’ve had more fun at a race. Not only did we have a blast the night before with Mary, John, Bates, and Mark (thank you Jerry and Linda for watching Cassie!) but we had even more fun the next day hanging around outside eating fatty animal flesh. Mark’s mom and brothers joined us for that. Mike and Julie weren’t able to stop by but we were able to hang out with them for quite a while after the race. Even Tim and Katie showed up at the race! Running local races is great because so many people can come out.

I think this has been my best race experience to date. Not only did I pee argh (PR, aka personal record) but I got to see so many friends!

I should also add that Mark peee arggghed with a 3:29 marathon time!  That’s right around an 8 minute mile pace which is incredible to maintain for 26.2 miles.

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