Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ohio State Four Miler Recap

Photos by OHventures

Many races have their schtick: whether it be cool swag (like the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K), cool locations (like the Brace Against Hunger 5K at Gervasi Winery), or cool things being splattered on you (paint, mud, foam...). 

One of the best marketing ploys of them all comes from those at M3S Sports (the company who brought you the Cap City Half Marathon and the Oktoberfest Brat Trot). Their major selling point? Cross the finish line on the 50 yard line of the Buckeyes' football field in Ohio Stadium! What can be more enticing than that??

Diehard Buckeyes fans (that's me), running enthusiasts (that's me too), OSU students/alumni (oh that's me too!), and any combination of the above gathered together on the morning of Sunday, November 10, 2013 for the inaugrual Ohio State Four Miler. It was a frigid fall morning, with wind whipping its way through campus, causing the nearly 10,000 running participants to huddle for heat, rubbing hands together and adding on layers of Buckeyes-themed garb. 

Me, Beth & Jim

A sea of scarlet and gray swarmed the area surrounding the stadium in anticipation for the big race. With so many people, it took an awfully long time until everyone was off and running. For some reason, they staggered the runners and only allowed a certain amount of people start at a time. I can see the logic behind this, but while freezing my kiester off, I had wished I was closer to the start of the pack!

Once the floodgates opened for the corral that I had been plopped into (10 minute pace group, which is not really my pace), it was full steam ahead! I was a bit unsure of how well I would do today for a number of reasons, the main one being that I had participated in a Columbus Brew Adventure the night before and was therefore a bit foggy in the head. Also, it was so cold, I was tired, and had not run as much as I would have liked in the past couple of weeks.

However, it was a classic case of runner's high (still legal in all 50 states) that kept me light on my feet and flying through the course! I often forget how being amongst thousands of other runners in a timed competitive setting can really cause you to mentally step up your game! The fact that the course weaved through the campus of Ohio State also made the run that much more powerful. 

Running through the campus, I caught myself having flashbacks of walking that same course from my dorm to biology lab and from my fraternity house to jump into Mirror Lake or to lounge on the Oval. The nostalgia fueled me to the finish line, which I crossed in a time of 33:57, high fiving Bobby Carpenter along the way as Icona Pop's "I Love It" blared over the loudspeakers.

I asked a random stranger to take this pic of me after I finsihed the race!

I hadn't stepped foot on the turf of the Ohio State field since I received my diploma from Bill Clinton during graduation in June 2007. Before that, I had rushed the field to tear out a tuft of grass after winning against Michigan in 2006. Adding this to the list of moments I had been on that iconic site had me happy beyond description!

Me & Matt showing off our medals!

What's more is that I got the chance to share in this experience with many friends, both old and new. My old dorm-mate and fellow Comm-Tech scholar Brad was there with his wife, as was my post-college roommate and fraternity brother Jim with his wife Beth. My high school classmate Matt also ran, and of course my Akron running mate Katie (as well as 4/5ths of our Akron Marathon Relay Team). OHventures contributor Corey and OHventurer of the Week Jason were also there! Having so many folks from so many different aspects of my life there in the same spot was pretty remarkable. 

Me with my old college dorm buddy Brad!

We all were awarded a participation medal, which was in the shape of the Horseshoe itself! It is probably my most beloved medal of any race I have done thus far, as in encapsulates a very special piece of my life (the college years). The website had our official times (which I posted below):

Brad - 30;13
Matt - 33:33
Mike - 33:57
Corey - 36:15
Katie - 40:27
Beth - 44:49
Jim - 49:08
Jason - 49:19

It's her again! Katie's at all my races these days! :)

I don't think I will ever run another race with as many "O-H's" and "I-O's" being shouted along the way!

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