Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Syracuse Half Marathon Recap

AKA - That time I ran in a blizzard.

Oh Syracuse. April 3rd is considered spring. But it was most definitely not spring in Syracuse for the Syracuse Half Marathon. This is a race that was so cold last year that the race organizers pushed it back two weeks this year for better weather. That better weather ended up being way worse than last year. So. Much. Worse.

I awoke to snow. I knew there was a chance of snow. But the temperature was supposed to be warmer than last year so it wasn't going to be terrible in that regard. However, there were also supposed to be wind gusts of 20-30 mph. And boy were there wind gusts - about 28 mph. And yes there was snow, a lot of it. There was even hail at one point. I drove to the race in a whiteout. And yes, it was cold. It was 24 degrees at the start but felt like 8 with the windchill. So it ended up being colder than last year.

Thankfully the race starts right outside the Oncenter. So we waited inside until 10 minutes before the start.

The start was barely plowed and not salted. My friend and I decided to just take it slow and try not to fall. It was ridiculously slippery. Snow, ice, or slush on the road for the entire race. I almost wiped out a few times. It was also difficult to run in. It felt like running in sand. So it took extra energy to run. By the way, this is a hilly course. The snow on the uphills was hard and so was the snow on the downhills.

This was mile 3.5 when it started to HAIL! I had to document it.

My friend pointed out that my eyebrows were frozen. I found it hysterical.

I was glad I had my friend to run with. We kept each other's spirits up until the last few miles when we were both miserable and just wanted to be done and get our damn medals. The last three or so miles were particularly hard for me because I could not feel either of my feet or toes. I'm not quite sure how I kept running. The sensation was weird. My socks and shoes were soaking wet the entire race. I was actually really worried I had frostbite. I even stopped at medical after the race, but I was fine. Just really frozen feet.

At no point did I ever consider not showing up for the race (for the record 1300 people did not show up). I signed up for the race and wanted to finish it. But during those last few miles, I questioned my sanity. It seemed really dumb. Especially considering I have another race in two weeks. Thankfully it all worked out ok.

We finished and did not fall. Victory. We survived the 2016 Syracuse Half.

Finisher!

Cool medal and shirt.