As I mentioned the other day I ran the ODDyssey half marathon with my friend Mike yesterday in an attempt to pace him under two hours. In 2010 the average finishing time for a 35 year old male was about 2:09, so it’s an admirable goal. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. With conditions over 80 degrees F and over 70% humidity we couldn’t have chosen a much more difficult day. He looked strong until the halfway mark (which we went through in 59:41) but soon after the heat started to get to him. At mile 8 he wisely decided to call it. After a brief discussion it was decided that I would go on, so I used the final 5.1 as a pacing exercise and came in at 1:58:21 (not too shabby for not even wearing a watch!). I know Mike is disappointed, but I’ve run much faster with much less discomfort. There is something about a hot, humid day that just saps all the energy out of you. My legs and my lungs were fine, but my body really wanted me to stop in a shady spot and perhaps have a nice cup of tea. Additionally I was having an unusually difficult time keeping my blood sugar up which may or may not have had to do with the heat.

A nice side benefit of the race was to give me a reasonable measure of my fitness. My running has been rather sporadic recently as my marathon training doesn’t start until July, so to lay down 13, albeit at training pace, and have my legs feel fine is comforting.

Regarding the ODDyssey itself, conditions aside I think they did a very good job. The first four or so miles are through a beautiful section of Fairmount Park here in Philadelphia with the next eight on West River Drive ( or whatever they call it now). One word of caution for anyone who wants to join me here next year: nearly half of the final mile is uphill. Ouch. Aid stations were well placed and had great volunteers, and while it was well organized this race doesn’t take itself too seriously (as you might guess from the name). Costumes are encouraged and there are a number of optional “challenges” along the course including an oversized Jenga tower, bean-bag toss, and even a dunk tank. I gave all the challenges a pass, but after deciding to not try for sub-2 Mike gave the dunk tank a go and hit on his second throw! Perhaps my favorite part of the race was the fact that it’s sponsored by local craft brewery Sly Fox, and all of-age racers received a complimentary pint glass full of fresh Sly Fox beer at the finish (poured by head brewer Sean O’Reilly no less). I’m a fan of their beer in general, though the particular beer available isn’t my favorite. That having been said I think it was one of the best beers I’ve ever had. Funny how context changes everything…


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1 Response to ODDyssey

  1. Pingback: ODDyssey Half Marathon 2013 | runningwithinsulin

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