This year marked the inaugural Mill Race Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k, which took place in Columbus, IN. We ran the half marathon as part of our training for the Walt Disney World Marathon coming up in January. I must say, for a first year event, it was stellar. Even the governor of Indiana, who is from Columbus, participated in the 5k. The event included a two day expo prior to the Saturday races, as well as an after party in downtown Columbus. That after party included rock climbing, activities for kids and adults, and even a zip line through downtown Columbus. We had to leave right after the race, so we did not get to experience that firsthand though.
As for the race, I must say I was a bit worried as the weekend approached. The weather man was calling for high temps in the mid-80s, and I was having flashbacks of the heat of the Dumbo Double Dare. However, the morning started out in the upper 50s, and we could not have asked for better weather for the first part of the race. The race started in downtown Columbus, just outside the Cummins Corporate Headquarters. (Cummins is the world’s foremost manufacturer of diesel engines – which explains the medal you will see later).
The race then wound through its namesake, Mill Race Park. The park was beautiful at that time in the morning, with sunlight streaming through the trees, and fog rising from the ponds. It was really a great start to the race. There was a rather narrow stretch right after the start, but it was nothing compared to some of the Disney races we have been in.
After exiting Mill Race Park, entered the streets of Columbus. The city is known for its architecture, and the race course took us by several interesting sights. All in all, it was a great course: Flat, with plenty of great sights and shade. The crowds were awesome all along the course, the volunteers were very enthusiastic, and the bands on the course were great. It seems the community really embraced this event. Below are some of the views from the course.
We were really impressed by this race. The course, again, was great, and we saw some wonderful sights along the way, including one particularly touching running group.
Since this was a training run on the way to the WDW Marathon, and with the questions about the weather, we were not really gunning for a PR. However, for the first 11 miles, we ran a pace that was faster than our prior best. In the end, we missed it by about 2 minutes, but it was good to know we could get close, especially after the beating it felt like the summer gave us.
The crowd for the finish was great, and we got a very unique medal out of the effort, which paid homage to Cummins. After this inaugural event, I cannot wait to do it again next year.
Now its off to the Southernmost Half Marathon. No doubt that one will be a hot one, but it is Key West, so I am not complaining! There is no shortage of icy drinks to cool you off. . .