|Buckeye Striders Pat, Nancy, Steve, Deb and me.|
The course was a 1.25 mile loop in a park -- mostly on asphalt. There was a short section through a wooded area that was gravel. A line was painted on the trail dividing it in half. Signs indicated that walkers and slow runners were to be on the outside of the loop with faster runners on the inside. (Yes, that does mean that walkers went farther than the runners.)
The crowd spread out quickly, and it was pretty easy to pick up the pace. Because the loop was so large, the faster runners took a while to lap us, and it was pretty easy to pass slower walkers and runners most of the time. The only time passing was an issue was on the gravel section. It was narrower than the rest of the trail. Unfortunately, that is where we got stuck behind a couple of very slow walkers and run/walkers. We were behind them for way too long before we could pass.
The course was nice! We didn't mind the gravel because the wooded area was so pretty and smelled wonderful. It was hard to racewalk, but the section was not too long. The race organizes used fluorescent orange paint to mark any potential tripping hazards like tree roots! Overall the course was flat and in good condition.
After the 5K and the faster 5-mile people finished it felt as if we had more room and I moved to the inside lane and started to use tangents to walk the shortest distance possible. I could tell it made an immediate difference while passing some fast walkers on a curvy part of the trail.
I finished in 1:09:37 by my watch. My slowest mile was 14:16 and my last mile pushing hard and using tangents was 13:08!
After the race, there was a raffle with some nice prizes. We stayed for the awards because our friend Steve won his age group. Unfortunately, it was the last age group for the 5-mile race, so we had to wait for the 5K awards and all of the other 5-mile awards, but that was OK. Everyone seemed excited to see their friends winning prizes. They did not have separate walking awards, but Steve was still the fastest man in his age group.
This was a well-run and fun race! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a shorter distance event in Ohio.