Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Syracuse Half Marathon Recap

This race was a week and a half ago now, sorry for the delay. I'll blame it on training, life, work, weekend away, and ALL the food. Because, well..that's life.

I decided right after Lake Effect that I was going to do this race as a tune-up for Boston (good timing for it, a month out from the race). I knew a lot of people doing it, which meant I would get to see some friends who I don't see often, and run too...win-win.
Heather & I 
Shortly after registering, my 'injury' started getting to be a problem. My goal of a faster time slipped away a little but I also knew I could use the race as a good workout.

That morning was one of the most stressful race mornings- woke up, prepared for the 90 minute drive....only to find that it snowed...again. The roads were covered, and it was crazy windy creating poor visibility(in the already pitch black of early morning. I white-knuckled it the whole ride and considered turning around many times.

Somehow I managed to still get there on time and get everything taken care of pre-race.  I have to say, had the logistics of the race not been as good as they were...this wouldn't have happened. I was able to park right around the corner from the Oncenter convention center (where expo was, as well as start and finish line). I got inside, grabbed my bib, checked my bag, ran around the whole convention center looking for shortest bathroom line, and got outside for start without ANY issues. Everything was so close and centrally located...I have to give them an A+ for that.

I decided going into it that I needed to throw out my original goals, the roads were slick and the conditions were far from ideal. My only real goal was to stay upright and finish. In my head thoguh I really wanted to keep it under my current marathon pace (1:36ish), but I knew between injury and weather conditions- might not be in my control.

The course itself is fair, LOTS of turns, a few rollers but nothing crazy (worst part is mile 2). The course was well marked, although most of us were not running inside the cones (it was safer running in the tire tracks from cars because there was less snow).
yeah...no one ran inside the cones.
I remember being afraid running down this, slick conditions! (source)
 I was actually surprised at the people cheering along the course, much more than I expected for a snowy cold Sunday morning in Syracuse. The only part of the course I really disliked was the 'Creekwalk' section. It's a sidewalk by the creek (imagine that!) but it wasn't plowed or cleared. I almost fell multiple times through here and I heard others complaining about it afterwards as well. Granted- that section probably would have been nice, had it not been the section I looked like I was trying to be an ice dancer.

As for my paces, well these are the splits from the race timing company. I never felt fabulous but I never felt like dying either. I managed to pull negative splits for the first 15k, but after that I was just toast. C'est la vie.
5k- 22:15 (7:10 average)
10k- 44:00 (7:05 average)
15k- 1:05:43 (7:03 average)
Last 3.8 Miles 27:22 (7:12 average)

I finished in 1:33:05 (7:06 average) which is 3 minutes slower than my PR but still a solid time. Anytime I can run around that pace for a half, fine by me. I used to dream of a time like that- and now that's my 'bad day', we call that PROGRESS.

One of the best parts of the day was getting to see friends--Carrie, Joe, Thomas & Family, and of course Heather! Heather and I hung out after the race for a while, and then she kindly let me be a bum and shower at her office gym (I had a birthday party to go to in the area after the race).

I really can't say anything bad about the race- it was incredibly well run. As I said the logistics were awesome, the course was fair, chip timing, big pre-post race warm area (in the convention center), lots of food and drinks post-race, and the medals were nice too. I see this becoming a bigger race in the next few years (this was only the second time the race was done and it's already a good sized race). For a 'new' race, they really know what they are doing and it's nice to see good quality races in the area. Obviously can't blame the race for the weather- I mean, it's March in Upstate NY....could be 80 degrees and it could be below 0. I will certainly do this one again, maybe next year the weather gods will be a little nicer?

Anyone else run Syracuse Half this year?

Seeing as it is April 1st, I'll ask---who did you prank? Or were you the victim?


  1. Great job Laura! You kill those halfs! You looked great too :)

  2. Great job wth the race even in those cold snowy conditions. I don't think I would have wanted to run on snow and ice either.

  3. I think it's amazing that despite snowy conditions (which seem to be never ending this winter..) and the battling injury you were only 3minutes off your PR. You are such a determined runner and it's so admirable.

    Boston is so close-I'm excited for you =)

  4. Great job!! No pranks for me, thank goodness.

  5. Syracuse Half was my first half, conditions were rough, but it was a ton of fun

  6. I'm glad you got to do the race despite the conditions and the bad roads. I will admit that living down South, I know you run in much harsher winter conditions, but I hadn't really thought about how might be that much tougher for you to just *get* to the start line sometimes. Glad the race was worth it and they are devoted to making it a great event and improving each year too.

    And I love how positive you are, the best part of running is looking back and seeing how even my best races now are still times I wouldn't have dreamed of years ago.

  7. I'm glad you had a good time. It looks like it was a lot of fun despite the weather conditions. I was afraid at Lake Effect so I can only imagine from the photos how Syracuse was.

  8. Heck yeah it's a solid time! Well done in tough conditions. Love your blue shirt/hat combo, btw--so bright and fun!

  9. Nice job! That is a great result considering your hectic morning and the conditions! I am not sure I would have fared well at all on the snow and ice....for some reason I really struggle running on it! Love the smile on your face too! So great to see! It is so helpful when races are well organized, good to read that this one was one of those.

    Looking forward to seeing how you do. Hopefully you continue to feel good :)

  10. Great attitude about your time, and killer race. I dream about a time close to 2:00 one day. I think you are ridiculously fast!!!

  11. Great job Laura! I really hope this injury is on it's way out for you, You're still killing it though!

  12. Your recap was so delayed that I don't feel bad that I'm a couple days behind reading it :) Great run in those conditions, that Freezeroo series has sure paid dividends for you!

  13. I think you should know that your recap being posted shamed me into actually finishing mine, lol. I know you didn't have the race you wanted at Syracuse, but those conditions were brutal. I'm really glad you made the trek out to run with me, it was so good to see you again!

  14. Dang you're fast! That looks like a very scary race indeed! I like running in colder temps, actually. And the snow is nice. But ice is not nice! Congrats on a great race despite all that!

  15. Great job Laura! I can't even begin to imagine running that fast...especially in the snow! And you always take the best pictures while running!

  16. Woohoo!! Awesome time! Especially for the cold and snow... and you look so happy!

  17. Wow! Impressive half in the conditions! You're speedy and smiley at the same time! Congrats! Hope the rest of your training goes well!


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