So this past Saturday was the final race of the Christian Moerlein Beer Series, served up by the Flying Pig Marathon. You can see the 2013 recap, the 2012 recap, and the photo of my garmin from the 2011 race on my about me page. It is crazy that I have run this race all 4 times that it was offered (although last year we just ran the 7K because it was so soon after Addie was born, and I STRUGGLED).
So this is a difficult and hilly course. I had forgotten about it since I didn't run last year, but it pretty much encompasses all of downtown, You do not actually run through downtown, but all around it. He started on Mehring Way, right next to Great American Ballpark (where the Reds play) and head west. In Cincinnati, there is the east side, and there is the west side and to me (an east sider) I consider I-75 to be the border between East and West. So we did cross over into the West side right away, splitting from the 7-K runners about 1 mile into the course, and immediately heading up a hill. We ran through a tunnel which goes in front of Union Terminal, the former train station which is now a fun museum with a great kids area and traveling exhibits.
After running down that road for a good while, we turned down Harrison Ave and under 75 to be back in the northern part of downtown.
Mile 1: 8:22 (warming up, getting settled in)
Mile 2: 8:09 (there)
Mile 3: 8:05
Mile 4: 8:00
Here is where we kind of hit a loop, we run down a road and you can see at the intersection the runners that are about 3/4 a mile ahead of you, and they have already looped back, getting ready to take on the steepest hill of the course (not the longest or the most climb, but the sharpest incline). There were a few dads and little kids downtown at this point, likely cheering mom on in her run. and then we made the turn and headed up a hill, greeted by the Parrotheads of Cincinnati, manning the water station. After reaching the summit, we headed down McMicken for a quite awhile before running by Bockfest Hall and up Liberty. On Liberty, I started chatting with an older guy, who I ended up sticking with for the remainder of the race.
We ran past the casino and out Central Pkwy before making a u-turn and then heading down Eggleston for a very familiar section of running that nearly every downtown race covers before coming out onto Pete Rose Way (he may not be allowed in the MLB Hall of Fame, but he is in ours here in Cincinnati!) and turning behind US Bank Arena to come up on the finish, which was directly behind Great American.
Mile 5: 8:04 (BIG uphill)
Mile 6: 7:47
Mile 7: 8:02
Mile 8: 7:39
Mile 0.78 (per garmin): 5:45
Total 8.78 miles in 1:09:54 for a 9+ minute PR.
Upon meeting up with Aunt Laurie, Addie, and Megan, Megan and I grabbed a beer from the giant ice buckets that they had for the runners (you got 2 beers with your race entry.)
Anyone want to join me for the beer series next year? Registration is now open!