The Med City Fall Half Marathon Recap
The Med City Fall half marathon made sure its sophomore edition delivered with a fast course and a great tune-up race for Twin Cities Marathon and other races later this fall. Last year’s race included a dramatic storyline: Four runners (who also happened to be nurses at Mayo Clinic) performed CPR on a runner who had a heart attack during the race and saved his life.
This year’s race didn’t include anything nearly as scary as the aforementioned story, but still encountered a few challenges. Rochester received nearly 5 inches of rain on Wednesday night. And while the only casualty of the flooding was washing out part of the city’s bike trail system, that meant that a few miles of the course needed to be rerouted at the last moment.
Race day brought even more rain, but that didn’t put a damper on the race-day experience. Here are a few reasons that more than 850 people participated in the 5k,10k, or half marathon (and what you missed if you didn’t run).
1. The community comes together
Rochester has a cohesive running community, and it came together to make sure it was a great race despite the weather concerns. Local cross country teams and physical therapy offices volunteered at water stops, and the sheriff deputies and police officers on traffic duty did their part to make the race a safe and fun experience. And I’d like to give a special shout out to the deputy who blasted music from his patrol car to entertain runners on an especially quiet portion of the course.
2. Local runners take over pacing duties
Other races often bring in outside groups to take over pacing duties, but this year Med City had the Terra Loco Pace Team do the honors of escorting racers to the finish line ahead of various goal times. The team made its debut at this year’s spring Med City Marathon and once again held their signs up high and ran rock-steady paces. These runners are familiar with the course and know quite a few of the runners they are helping, and that means fun, encouraging, and accurate pace groups.
3. Airport start = awesome!
One of the coolest things about this race is that it starts on a runway at the Rochester Airport. The owners of nearly a dozen recreational planes positioned their aircraft to form a gauntlet that runners passed through. Before the race, those owners talked to curious runners about their planes and even let people climb inside the cockpits. And empty hangars mean that runners had a warm and dry place to hang out before the race.
I ran the half marathon, and let’s just say that it didn’t go according to plan. But I think you can learn just as much from the bad races as the good races. A new half marathon PR may need to wait for another day, but I’ll regroup, hit the track for a few more speed workouts, and then try again at the 10k at Mankato.
Did you run the 5k, 10k, or half marathon at the Med City Fall events? Let us know how it went in the comments below!