With as many races as I do there are some races that I really look forward to and some that I do not. Unfortunately, the Wineglass Half Marathon was one race that I was just not looking forward to running. I think that feeling of just not looking forward to this race definitely played into my attitude overall for this race.
The weekend activities were fun. Since we were up there for a good day and half before the race, we got to do glassblowing, a few museums and check out the local area. Corning is a gorgeous place. I enjoyed the slow pace and small town feel. What I didn’t like was being away for another race though. I have been on the road so much for work that all I wanted to do was be at home by this point. The fact that I was going to be away for 2 more nights just was not appealing to me.
The expo for Wineglass is nothing special. The coolest thing about the expo is that it was at the Glass Museum. After picking up my bib, bag and small bottle of champagne, I did look at the vendors that were there, but it didn’t wow me. To exit you had to walk through the official merchandise Some of the stuff was pretty cool. Kathleen got a blanket and the nice thing is that you could preorder stuff and just pick it up there. She kept saying we got a bottle of wine, but that ended up being a single serve bottle of champagne. Some complaints there, but hey “free” alcohol is “free”, right?
The weekends events consisted of a 5k on Saturday and then the full and half on Sunday. Kathleen and I thought about doing the 5k, but decided not to. If they had a challenge for an extra medal or something else we would have. I think the race directors are missing out on tapping into this.
One of my gripes about this race was the cost of registration. To me paying $96 is just too much for a half marathon. I could do two races for that cost and it was especially hard since it wasn’t the one I really wanted to do for NY. However, I will say that the premium of the 1/4 zip long sleeve was nice plus you got a discount into the Corning Museum of Glass and free entry in the Rockwell Museum with you bib.
Come race morning, there was an early wake up. We were staying a good 20-25 minutes away and with having no idea how parking would be and that we had to be bussed to the start line, we wanted to get there with plenty of time. Well for me this early morning hurt. I could not sleep for anything that Saturday. night. I was exhausted but just could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned and probably got about 4 hours total. When the alarm went off I felt that I just had gotten to sleep minutes prior.
Parking was much easier than I thought it would be. We lucked out as we came into town, we turned left into the main parking garage and found a spot right away. The best part was that it was also free! It was just 2-3 blocks from the buses which was even better. Looking back, I think we could have spent some more time just relaxing in the car, but we were in the buses I think by 6am and off to the start line of the half marathon.
It was a 15 minute bus ride to the start line area. A local school opened their doors for all runners to relax inside before the race started. This was great since we had over an hour. Once we got there, I went to the bathrooms for a quick pee. Kathleen headed inside and I ended up not finding her again until I saw her briefly in the corrals. I didn’t want to eat breakfast too early, so after a quick bathroom break, I headed inside. I think the idea was that we were suppose to go to the gym but so many runners were just sitting int he hallways and I made it as far as a cafeteria. I just sat there really wanted to sleep, but I somehow stayed awake. Eventually I ate my bagel and around 6:50am I decided I’d head out to check my bag and get another bathroom run in.
As soon as I left the cafeteria I was met by a wall of people. Apparently the hallway was blocked so a bunch of people just went out the back doors and we walked around the school. By the time I got around, the bag check line was so long! I was a little worried because I remember there only being 2-3 volunteers and I know I needed to hit the bathrooms again. Well, luckily one someone got smart and as long as you had your bag properly labeled, they were walking up the line to grab it from you. I maybe waited about 10 minutes in that line. I only had about 10-15 minutes before they wanted everyone to walk up to the start corrals. The lines to the bathrooms were even longer so I was getting a little worried. Luckily I picked a great line and didn’t spend too much time waiting and I headed up to the start line with everyone else.
I thought we would back load in, but nope. Being a back of pack runner, I now had to push my way through the corrals to get to the 2:20 pacer. There was a nice piece of land by the side of the road which was muddy, but I wasn’t about to risk getting my feet wet, etc so I just pushed my way through. It didn’t seem to make sense this was the way they loaded the corrals. Somehow we mostly got in, waited for the National Anthem and then took off. The goal for this race was just to finish. I didn’t really care about my time at all.
The half marathon started at the half way point of the marathon course. Overall it was a slightly downhill course with only one or two hills thrown in there, but nothing crazy. It’s definite a PR type course but be prepared for it to also be a boring course. The scenery is pretty in some places, but then some miles you’re running alongside the interstate. There are also a lot of spots on the course where there is no crowd support.
To start the race, I lined up behind the 2:20 pacer but within about 2 miles of the race, I let myself fall back and lost sight of them. I was holding a decent pace, but just wasn’t in the race. It also didn’t help that the humidity was so high. The temperature was around the 60s but the humidity was still gross. It was interesting listening to tons of people on the course talk about how this was perfect weather. Now, I would agree the temps were perfect, but I was still struggling with breathing in that humidity. Also by mile 2, I was just drenched in sweat. So gross.
The first half of the race was’t bad. It wasn’t great though. I just happened. Mile by mile ticked away and for the most part I was running the whole thing unless I went through a water stop. Then around mile 5.5 I started to almost get bored or something. I was just done with the race in my head.
Then at the 10k mark I just gave up. I said screw this. I wasn’t going for time, I was mad and not having any fun so I just started to walk. From that point on I went to a run/walk and probably dropped about a 30-40 seconds a mile. Even though I was going at a much slower pace, I was just trying to get from mile to mile. Just after mile 8 there was a short but sweet downhill. I loved it and it certainly gave me a little boost going into the last miles.
Then I saw some people handing out freeze pops. I got so excited. I love freeze pops in the middle of a race. Love them! Well, I get over there and just as I put out my hand to grab one, the runner in front of me took the last one! I was devastated. Crushed! What sucked was that for the next half mile I saw wrappers on the ground but they weren’t empty! People were throwing away perfectly good freeze pops!
From mile 9.5 to 10.5, we hit the Painted Post Trail. It wasn’t very wide so it was pretty annoying when groups of 2-3 people were running straight across. Luckily it was just a mile of that before we were heading into Corning. It was nice getting closer to town as more and more people were out cheering. Kristy mentioned when she ran this race there was beer around this point. Well, another disappointment. No beer. Good lord. What was with my luck at this race?!
Finally once we were in Corning I knew the finish line was near. In the last mile we had one small bridge to get over and then turn left onto the main street to the finish line. This last half mile was great! Probably the best half mile of the race. Lots of people were out there cheering you on and most looked like they were enjoying some beers or mimosas. I certainly would have rather been in their shoes at point. Finally though I had a last little kick and crossed the finish line.
I met up with Kathleen and we went through the finish chute. They had some amazing finisher’s food which included some great looking soup, but with the heat of the day, I had no inclination to take the soup. I was easily able to get my checked bag but I noticed the line for the first truck was insane. I have no idea what happened but in a post race email they did acknowledge there was an issue.
This race was certainly not one of my personal favorites just for a handful of reasons. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly did have logistics down for the most part, but for me, this race didn’t do it for me. Perhaps it was just that I didn’t want to do it in the first place so I already had a negative view on it. Oh well. Either way though, I finished half marathon #31 and state #19 in my half quest.
Official Finish Time: