For a fourth year in a row, I spent the last Saturday of April participating in the Cap City Half Marathon. If you're a runner or a walker (like me) and you haven't done the Cap City Half, put it on your calendar for next year. I highly recommend it--and if you think a half-marathon is too daunting, remember that not all 13,000 runners are going 13.1 miles. The Cap City Half also offers a quarter marathon and a 5K--so there are options for everyone. This year's race, the 16th annual, was probably my best experience, only because of the one element race organizers can't control...the weather. It was a made-to-order spring morning, with a little chill in the air and nothing but sun in the sky.
What makes the Cap City Half and the Columbus Marathon in the fall so special are the people who participate...and I don't mean just the runners. Thousands come downtown, or spread themselves out along the course to volunteer, cheer, play music or just watch. I can tell you that really does help--especially on miles 8 through 13 when tired participants need encouragement. For me, it's also awesome to see the wide variety of runners and walkers. They all have a story. Some are seasoned, well trained athletes, who continue to push themselves to be the best. Some are people like me, who exercise regularly and enter a race or two a year to give them something to train for. Some are beginners, whose personal goal is just to cross the finish line, while others walk or run for a cause. Whatever the reason, the people who show up inspire me.
As I made my way around the course, which is a nice tour of Columbus, I snapped some photos and updated my progress on Twitter. As a walker, I was towards the back of the pack. My goal was to break 3 hours--and I did it, coming in at 2 hours, 52 minutes and 56 seconds, averaging 13 minutes 12 seconds per mile. As I write this Monday morning, I'm still feeling it. My shins and calfs are sore and walking up and down stairs is a challenge but to quote a 1980's John Cougar hit, it "hurts so good." Congratulations to all of this year's participants and thanks to Cap City Half director David Babner and his entire staff for putting on a fantastic race. Below you can check out my Saturday Cap City Half experience, in tweets.
If you're a longtime WTVN listener, this tweet may bring back memories. I was blessed to work with the late, great Bob Conners for 14 years, the last 6 of which I was a regular part of his morning show. Bob started every Friday morning, at 5:30 a.m., by playing KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight." I thought of Bob here when one of the 20 plus singers or DJ's along the course was playing Bob's Friday morning theme as I walked by.
Given that there are 13,000 runners or walkers, I was fortunate to bump into race director David Babner in the finishing area. David was on with Joel Riley on Friday morning talking about the preparation for the race. Thanks to David for joining us and again, congratulations on putting on a fabulous race.
I mentioned that some walkers or runners do the race for a cause. WTVN morning show host Joel Riley did just that three years ago, when he raised money for the nursing scholarship program at Grant Hospital. It was the nurses at Grant who helped Joel recover after he suffered a hip injury in a car accident. Joel told David Babner in our Friday interview that the best part of the race was getting chocolate milk afterward...so I had to snap this final picture of my chocolate milk celebration.