Not Fast, Not Last: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half Marathon, Completed

20 weeks ago, we started out on a journey to do the impossible. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point. Moments full of sweat and dehydration, cramps, rolled ankles, restroom stops at the Turkey Hill on Broad St., restroom stops in the middle of the woods, 0500 wake up calls at the gym, new running shoes, and the internal struggle between what we want to do and what we need to do. However, we made it. From the very first 40 minute run on the treadmill to the final 13.11 mile jog through downtown Columbus, Christine and I completed the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half Marathon.
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I went to bed at 1230am the night before, half because of nerves and half because of the Buckeyes game going into overtime lol. I woke up at 4am, showered while blasting Kanye “Father Stretch My Hands Part 1” and left the house at 445 to get downtown early for a parking spot. Christine and I got to the race at around 515, and were two of the first 5 people there. The athlete gates opened at 6am, and after a few port-a-john breaks we lined up and waited for the first gun at 730am. With us being in the last grouping, it took a while to get to the starting line, but when we crossed it, we were happy to see a few people out there cheering us on.
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The first 2-3 miles of the race were very familiar, as we have ran this route several times in getting ready for the race. It was amazing seeing Broad street flooded with racers from curb to curb, and hundreds of spectators with signs cheering us on. Even more motivating were the friends and family that came out to cheer for us as well. Every word of encouragement helped us get re-energized, and the first 5 miles were a breeze. after we looped back around and headed back downtown at mile 6, thats where things started to get shaky.
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Up until this point it was all fun and games. After mile 6, the fatigue started to set in. Almost every mile there was a hydration station with water and gatorade. Around mile 8 there was Clif energy station where they handed out Gel shots of energy, and I took full advantage. At mile 9 more friends were out holding signs and that helped us to keep going, but the fatigue was still heavy. Two weeks before we ran 10 miles without stopping and did ok, so as we approached mile 10 the hardest test was ahead of us.
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As mentioned in a previous post, we switched from the full marathon to the half after attempting a 14 mile run only to hit a physical wall at mile 11. It just so happens that mile 11 this time was at the bottom of the steepest hill on the route. However, we were able to power through and climb the hill, and make our way back downtown and into the final turn where we had less than a half mile left to finish!
The last half mile was lined with spectators cheering, but at this point my body was numb and it was hard to focus. I also forgot that the start of the race was slightly downhill, so the finish line was another uphill battle. However, as we had about 50 yards to go and the finish line was clear, the crowd got louder and friends and family had made their way in the crowd to cheer for us one last time. Christine decided to sprint towards the finish line, and since I promised her we would cross together, I sprinted as well. After 3 hours, 8 minutes and 15 seconds, it was over.
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Read what Christine had to say about the event:

I set two goals for 2016. First goal, I wanted to run one mile without stopping. Second goal I wanted to run one 5k before the year was over. Here it is October 2016 and I have ran a little over 500 miles for the year, ran my first 5k January 1st, first 10k this pass July and this today October 16 I ran my first HALF MARATHON. 13.1 miles!
I woke up at 4am, before my first alarm. I was so excited that I was about to accomplish something I would have NEVER thought I would be capable of doing. Race didn’t start til 7:30am, but I was up there at 4:30am mentally preparing for this 13.1 miles. I was scared and excited all in one. Clock hit 7:30, fire works started and my nike app said “starting run, 3…2…1”.
Today with the love and support of my husband, family and friends, my running partner Bern and most importantly myself I did it. I completed a my first Half Marathon with out stopping. This is coming from the mouth of a person who couldn’t run 1 whole mile without stopping at the beginning of the year.
The experience was amazing, I laughed, I was angry and I cried. I wanted to quit, but I had to remind myself why I was out there in the first place. Even though I’m in pain, I feel amazing mentally. I will not stop right here, more runs for me in the future. Blood, sweat and tears!!! The only way.

I learned a lot about myself during this race. The training helped a lot, as well as the cheering. Running with a partner helped a lot, because we held each other up in weak moments. The biggest thing I took from this is that if you push yourself past your limits, you can achieve anything. This is the furthest we’ve ran without stopping at all; not for the bathroom, not to stretch, not because we were tired. Although the pace was slow, we fought through every weak moment and came out as better people I feel like. There was no quit in us, and we left it all out there on the route. I encourage anybody out there that thinks they could never run a half marathon to give it a try. You might surprise yourself!

4 comments

  1. Kathy Williams says:

    I’m so proud I can’t stand my self!! Thank you Ernest for being my daughters running partner!!! And I just love your spirit😍 You are inspiring and an awesome guy! You both DID THAT!!! CONGRATULATIONS πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸƒπŸ½πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ½πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ…πŸ…

  2. Tai Cornute says:

    Just want to say it’s an honor to be a part of this journey with you both (Even if it was only a 30minute run)

    I’m proud of y’all! Y’all have inspired me to keep diggin and put in work. Might just be me next year!

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