Friday, December 22, 2017

MOUNT DORA HALF MARATHON - December 17. 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Especially if you are running a half marathon in Mount Dora.

Now participating for my sixth consecutive year, the Mount Dora half marathon has truly become a holiday tradition.  The best way to think of Mount Dora is to think of Stars Hollow.  During the holiday season, the lights are spectacular.  Lindsey was supposed to go with us, but her friend Jacqui was having her bridal shower the same weekend; I guess that’s enough justification to miss the race.  Rachel had midterms coming up, so she decided to stay home as well.  Glenda and I drove up Friday afternoon, and checked into our usual haunt, the Mount Dora Historic Inn.  I picked up my race packet on Saturday morning, and we grabbed lunch right after that.  The best part of being in Mount Dora is that everything is in very short walking distance.  Another bonus this year was the temperature.  After an unusual “heat wave” last year, the temperatures were in the sixties.  Not too cold; not too warm.  We were able to eat outdoors the entire weekend.

With the starting line just a few blocks from our cottage, I was able to grab some extra sleep before making my way out.  It was 54 degrees, and I chose to wear a long sleeve shirt.  In retrospect, I should have worn a short sleeve shirt with compression sleeves.  I wasn’t broiling during the race, but I did get a little warm.  977 runners entered this event, which was 100 less than last year.  I made the decision to do intervals, as my knee was still sore from Weston the previous week.

I enjoyed the race very much, except for the hills.  Living in South Florida, you sometimes forget just how flat it is down here.  I probably did a little more walking than I would have liked, because the knee was not cooperating during several points of the race.  Nothing terrible, but it was annoying (and frustrating).  Besides the temperature, the weather was perfect.  After I crossed the finish line, there was actually food this year for us slowpokes.  I mentioned to Chris (the race director), that the food had run out every year I’ve entered this event.  He must have flexed his authoritative muscles, and it was much appreciated.


As I’ve probably mentioned in previous posts, I highly recommend this race.  It is relatively inexpensive, and the medals are always very nice.  A very nice course, and even nicer people running the event.  It’s also a great pre-holiday getaway without breaking the bank.


Thursday, December 14, 2017


Untitled Document The great thing about South Florida is that it is always hot/warm.  The bad thing about South Florida is that it is always hot/warm.

Finally, we hit the jackpot!

It was 43 degrees as Lindsey and I made our way to the starting line.  Decked out in a long-sleeve shirt and a running jacket, there was no chance of getting overheated or being too cold.  With 623 participants taking their mark at 6:20am, the crowd did not look that big.  I’ve run this race many times before, so I won’t bore you with the details of the course.

It was very quiet up until the end.  Just like last year, there was a Mayor’s Challenge 1-Mile Walk.  This started at 9am, and finished at the same place as the half marathon.  Just like last year, we spent the last three-tenths of the race dodging little kids and their parents.  As we crossed the finish line, there was a Disney-sized crowd just standing there.  It took me a solid ten minutes to find anyone giving out the medals.  Lindsey finished one minute ahead of me, and was told they ran out of medals.  We finally located a woman who had a whole box, but was unaware that any of the other folks handing out the medals had run out.  It was so crowded, you could literally get lost in the shuffle.  This pretty much ruined the entire experience of the race.

This is very much a no-frills race, but it is about 20 minutes from my house.  Last year was a disaster, but I was willing to give them the opportunity to clean it up this year.  They could have had the 1-milers finish on the other side of the road. There was no traffic allowed, and the 1-mile run was not timed.  If they do not rectify this mess, I’m afraid I won’t be entering this race again.

At least the weather was tremendous.