Clinton Half Marathon Sunday September 8, 2013. Clinton, IA. Low 70 degrees, overcast, windy.
Notes from friend Joel: Saturday packet pickup: It went from 4-7 pm at the YWCA. There is a free public parking lot across the street with plenty of parking. There was no expo. You pick up your shirt and goodie bag at one table, and number and chip at another table. A table upon exit had a computer set up to verify you had the correct chip. A table also offered technical shirts and running hats from previous years for $5.
Local pasta options: If you are looking for a carbo loading option the night before, Rastrelli’s is a local favorite for Italian food. It is located on Main Ave in the Lyons commercial district. Portions are good-sized (they do offer a smaller option with some dishes) and include salad bar and bread. It is a nice restaurant, but prices are still pretty affordable.
Pre-race: Registration available online & on race day; $40, price increased as race day neared. Parking at the ballpark, easy to access. Same day packet pick up at the entrance to ball park. Bathrooms available in park. Lots of swag; tech tee, race bib belt, coozie, first aid kit, pens, drawstring bag, some bags had socks and we’re given our timing chip.
Course: The race covered some of the hilliest sections of town on paved & asphalt surfaces. The paved spots had some cracks & holes. The asphalt was questionable in lots of parts, especially when we ran through Eagles Point park. It was warped, cracked and repaired, very uneven. Other parts of the course were through downtown and residential areas. The course was well marked at each intersection with a sign, these intersections were also manned by a volunteer or law enforcement person. The miles were clearly marked with a sign. Only noticed one porta-potty station near the beginning of the race. Many water / Gatorade stations with enthusiastic volunteers from the local University and military. Spectators were few & far between, if there were any at all. Course avoided the active train tracks. Start & Finish were clearly marked with inflatable arches & timing mats.
Post Race: A bottle of water was handed to you at the finish, with the top twisted loose. Some “teen Queen” was handing out the medals. Printouts with race results were available immediately after crossing the finish line. Short walk back to the ball park for pizza, bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars and chips, which you could wash down with bottled water or a Miller Lite. Were able to hang with others in the ball park pavilion. Awards were handed out.
Overall: Nice small race, not too crowded. Course is a nice hilly challenge, but the terrain could be improved as to not break an ankle. I would recommend if you have the weekend open to add this to your race list, but it’s not a must do.
Joel’s overall thoughts: The race committee and volunteers are committed to providing a great experience for the runners. One situation was for shirt sizing. The past two races have had shirts that have been larger than the normal sizes, so this caused some confusion as to what size should be selected. This year’s shirts are more normal sized. At the post-race party, they sold previous year’s shirts and running hats, and extras of this year’s shirts. I purchased a previous year shirt at the table. After I heard of the sizing issues, they offered to wait a few extra minutes so I could go back to my car to verify I had the correct size of this year’s shirt. I did have the correct size, but waiting for me so I could check on the shirt size proves that they are committed to doing the right thing.
Personal: This was my 10th half marathon. I ran with a friend (Laura) as our last super long run before our marathon. She kept a quick pace, she says it’s because she had to use the bathroom the entire time. It was nice to have someone to chat with, not only becuase my ipod was dead when I started, but because it was a lonely course. I didn’t run my fastest race, but 2nd fastest. I told myself it was a training run, but Laura kept pushing me, she’s got a great steady pace.
Josh & Joel also ran the half, while Tereasa ran the 5k (recap soon)
Angie (& Laura) 2:09:38