I was glad I dropped to the 10K distance for the Skunk Cabbage race this year. Just two weeks after that, Syracuse would be my first half marathon of 2023. We experienced roller coaster temperatures during the prior weeks with some days reaching into the 70s and low 80s. Really uncharacteristic weather for April! It was no surprise, then, that Syracuse was forecasted to be warm, in the high 60s by the time we’d finish. It doesn’t sound terribly warm, but since we’ve not been training in the heat, we’re not acclimated to it.
The night before, Amy made herself a great playlist and I had her send it to me. I thought it’d be cool for us to listen to the same playlist as we ran the race.
After we arrived and parked in the garage near the OnCenter, the race announcers reminded us of the forecasted heat, imploring us to hydrate well. After stretching and walking around a bit, it was time to start. Orange Theory was set up inside with a warm up and Amy readily participated in some of that. We also ran into my college friend Jason Fingerman and it was really great to catch up with him.
I set an intention to run nice, even miles, and finish without feeling totally spent. Competitors for the masters championship set off a few minutes before the masses and I found myself passing some of the older runners in that wave. It was so inspiring to see runners in their 60s, 70s, and older still out there running, and I shouted encouragement as I passed some of them. Some of the miles felt more difficult than others. It’s a hilly course, but the clear skies and sunshine made it a delightful run because I could see everything and everyone around me. It was very unlike the Syracrazy experience in 2016!
I walked through every aid station and took water, at one aid station opting for two glasses. Midway through the course one of the Fleet Feet spectators was shouted, “It’s a great day for a half marathon!” Just under my breath, I muttered, “Is it, though?” It was so hot and I was slightly uncomfortable even in a tank top, so I corrected her in my head, “It’s a great day for spectating a half marathon.”
The final miles seemed to drag but I felt spurred on by my proximity to the finish line. I started characterizing the remaining distance as my favorite running loops back home. Just the Curry Loop left (4); just the 3-mile loop left, just the 2-mile loop left, and then just the 1-mile loop! And then I was on the final straightaway, counting down the blocks until I crossed the finish line.
Selfie at the finish line
I grabbed a bagel and banana and walked over to Mile 12 to cheer Amy on. After she finished we enjoyed a slice of pizza and a few other post-race goodies. Really well-organized race with volunteers, and stocked pre- and post-race food in the OnCenter.
Amy and me at the finish line with our medals
By the Numbers
M 45-49: 11 of 80
M: 114 of 840
Overall: 142 of 1,815