It was a great weekend in Cleveland. A weekend filled with marathoning, wedding festivities, and seeing old friends. Event pics follow this post so enjoy. And before you ask, I did not hit my 1:30 mark. But, it's OK. I feel considering I ran this Half the morning after a wedding on two hours of sleep with hot and humid conditions, my 1:39 finish will do! Details follow below.
I decided to drive into Cleveland Thursday night as oppose to Friday afternoon so I could wake up in town ready to get some of the day's agenda items done. Agenda items included picking up my race packet from the Expo (held at the I-X Center) and then driving over to the airport to get my good friends Mike and Tania, arriving from NYC. It was a good plan because I was able to grab some dinner and beers Thursday night with my host and good friend Bill. He was nice enough to let me borrow his couch for a few days. Thanks, Bill.
Friday started with Bill and I heading over to one of my favorite places in Cleveland for breakfast, the West Side Market Cafe. Afterwards, we walked over to the market as Bill needed to do some grocery shopping. For those who have never been to Cleveland, the West Side Market is fantastic. I say that mostly because anybody who knows me knows I can eat as if there is no end in sight. It can be a spectacle at times. When I lived in Cleveland, you could most likely find me at the market on Saturday afternoons perusing the aisles. The market basically provides anything your appetite may desire. You can find whatever it is you're looking for in meats, chicken, fish, coffee, candy, bread, sauces, spices, pastries, fruit, etc. It's amazing. After the market I headed to the I-X Center to pick up my bib and packet as Bill headed to a wedding rehearsal and dinner. This was my second time to the I-X Center. It's spacious and perfect for a running Expo. My first time at the I-X was when I went to pull a plane. Yes, an actual plane. Wait. It wasn't just me. That would be impossible. It was with a bunch of us for a charity event. But, that's another story.
After the Expo I took the short drive to the airport to pick up Mike and Tania and then we headed to Prosperity in Tremont for some dinner. Joining us were our good friends Dominic and Ali. It was just great to see all these guys. It's been a while since I've seen them and meeting over a wedding weekend was a nice way to reunite. We had some dinner and drinks before heading over to Hooples to meet the bride (Kerry) and groom (Andy), friends and family. It was a fun evening. I also got to see my old boss and good friend Glenn. It's almost like a day hadn't gone by and he's right back at it busting my balls at every opportunity he gets. I wouldn't have it any other way. And then there was Uncle Bob, Andy's uncle. He's getting a shoutout on here for being among the most entertaining uncles I've ever met. He was great.
Saturday was wedding day. Kerry and Andy, quite honestly, are just perfect for one another. Their personalities complement each other and when you know them and see them together, you know this is a real good thing. The wedding was beautiful and festivities a lot of fun. Now, remember, the Half started at 7 am the next morning. I limited myself to light beer all night while hydrating. I was the guy double fisting with a beer in one hand and glass of water in the other. After the reception everyone headed to W. 6th (popular downtown strip). It was decision time. Do I go to bed (it was around midnight at this time) or go out? I decided it wasn't that late and I could spare a couple more hours. I went out.
I eventually got to bed by 3:30. My alarm was set for 5:20. The cab to pick me up was going to be out front at 5:45. Needless to say, running 13.1 miles under these conditions was going to be interesting. Oh, and weather.com had the temperature for race day hitting 86. A nice hot day.
I was able to wake up and be at the start line by 6:20 am. I made it. And the route through downtown Cleveland, over to Lakewood, and then back downtown to Brown's Stadium through Tremont and Ohio City was nice. By the time I crossed the finish line I was soaking wet. It was hotter than most anticipated. That's why when I looked at my watch and saw 1:39, I was pretty happy. I placed 294 (14,664 finishers), 241 among males (6,389 finishers) and 47 in my division (age 30 - 34). I figure 1:30 can wait a little longer.
The final pic under my Cleveland pics shows the result of my day. I basically crashed on the couch as soon as I could. It was a great evening followed by a long day of marathoning. Needless to say, my weekend in Cleveland was a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing my two friends get married and spending time with Bill, Mike, Glenn, Dom, and everyone else that I haven't seen in so long. It was also nice to end my last day being asked to join Mike's wedding party. He's getting married in September. I'm an official groomsman. Thanks, buddy.
Up next: Minnesota