Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Running my adopted hometown (again)

It's not a secret that I'm a fan of the Capital City River Run (CCRR). I blogged about last year's race with glowing praise. I don't generally like to repeat a race I've already done because there are so many races, and I can only do so many of them. There is, however, something very nice about picking up my packet and starting a race less than two and a half miles from my house.

Michigan Avenue, Downtown Lansing
I decided to get to the expo early this year - as soon as it opened. It was not yet crowded, and I was able to check in for the race in less than five minutes. Once again the race had an excellent New Balance long-sleeved technical shirt.  Awesome! 

The weather for this year's race was once again perfect - high 40s at the start and in the low 60s by the finish. It was beautiful weather for a 13.1 mile tour through Lansing and East Lansing. Most of the race course was the same as last year highlighting some of the Lansing area's best attractions - Michigan State's campus (briefly), the River Trail, Hawk Island Park and downtown Lansing. 

Lansing River Trail
This race does a great job of energizing the entire course - there are spectators and music even on the quietest portions of the River Trail and water stations liberally placed throughout the course.

The race organizers made a wonderful change in the last mile by keeping runners on the River Trial. Last year the race ran up a hill in the last mile onto Michigan and then Washington Avenues. This year we remained on the River Trail until the end where we finished on Shiawassee Street at Riverfront Park

About to finish the race on Shiawassee Street
My one large complaint would be lack of water at the end of the race. In other half marathons I've done, you finish the race, grab a medal and then grab a bottle of water. This race had small cups of water, but I grabbed the last one. There were other tables with cups of water further in from the finish, but there was a noticeable absence of water at the end.

Finishing my 8th half marathon
There were tents with food in the park, but we didn't linger. Perhaps those tents also had water, but at that point it was easier for me to drive 2.3 miles back to my house to drink Gatorade from my own refrigerator.  

Clearly the CCRR course agrees with my times because I was only one minute off my PR time from last year. There aren't a lot of races I'd repeat, but I definitely plan on doing the CCRR next year.

Posing in front of Michigan's State Capitol in Downtown Lansing
How would I rate the race? A- (the water thing = the minus)

How would I rate Lansing? B+ (I know Lansing got an A last year, but in the last year I feel like more progress could've been made in more economic development in and around downtown).

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