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Apr 14, 2012

Martian Half Marathon Race Review

20 miles on the schedule today!!!!  Done!  Let the taper begin.  Well, ok, I do have another half marathon next weekend but the taper is beginning otherwise.

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Martian Half Marathon Review

Short Version:

Ran the half marathon(there was also a Marathon, 10k, 5k, and kids run); well organized, plenty of food, great medal, terrible course.  I probably will not race this again unless it's free.

Chip Time:  1:51:54
Gun time:  1:54:18
Men AG(40-44):  53th place out of 148
Overall place:  451 out of 1791 finishers
Pace:  8:29/mile (not racing this one)
PR:  Nope - not racing it.

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Long Version:

I ended up getting there about 6:30am.  I went to pick up my packet at the start line, got my bib number and picked up my shirt and pin.  I do like the fact that they gave you a pin - I know it's not much but something cool to keep from the race.  The shirt, on the other hand?  OMG - no, no, no, no, no.  Really?  I'm sure I'll use it for training but I already know this will never get worn to a race.  Ok, maybe if I liked space invaders more, I'd wear it.  I know it's a space theme but I'm thinking that a little more creativity would have been nice.
Cool Pin
Would you wear it?

Back - yuck!
I will say that you can certainly tell they have experience setting up races(Running Fit puts it on) as things went very smoothly and I was in and out in a matter of a minute.  I did not have time to go to the expo yesterday but I did hear that it was a pretty decent expo.  They also had a virtual goody back that you could look through on your computer.  There was a 10% off coupon for the Detroit Marathon so if you are thinking about doing that, let me know and I'll give you the code.

The plan was to meet Mark from Writing, Running & the Human Experience   at 7:30am, get in the miles we wanted to get done(20 for me, 19 for him) then finish when the race was about to start. Unfortunately, Mark got stuck in traffic -- I bitched about it to myself for a few minutes and went off on my own.  I had time to get in 6.5 of the 7 miles which was fine with me.  I tried to keep these miles somewhat on the slow side of things which I did a pretty good job of.  Average pace of 8:58 - slightly faster than I wanted but Ok.  I basically just circled around the race start area since it was difficult to find too long of a stretch but there were some roads that were closed I was able to run.

I literally ran all the way until they started the race and jumped into the half marathon.  The start was located in Ford field(in Dearborn, not where the Lions play).  It was not too bad a place for the start/finish but you could not park there unless you did not mind being stuck there until 12 noon.  I decided to park a few blocks away which worked out fine. If they would have had the race on Sunday, we would not have had to pay for parking - it's the details, right?

The very start was a slight hill and then we were off.  We did a somewhat of a circle around the area and then headed out to Hines Drive.  Ok, maybe some of you like this course(I have heard many of you do) and I'm Ok with an out and back - I did one for the Bayshore Marathon which was awesome.  But I'm sorry to say that this course was B-O-R-I-N-G.  Oh my gosh, there is nothing around.  Probably the worst course I have done since I started running.  I will qualify it by saying that I have only run 5 half marathons including this one and 2 marathons but I've run a total of 25 races and I can tell you that I liked all of the other course better.

I cannot imagine doing the full marathon at this race.  I would have gone absolutely crazy.  What I did like was the ending of the race at about mile 10.5 through mile 12 we go through the Rouge River park and next to the UM-Dearborn campus and I did enjoy that part of the race.  We also had to cross two wooden bridges which I also enjoyed but other than that, sorry I would pass.  Also, no fault of the races, but it started to rain again at about mile 10.  It was not too hard, just a sprinkle until I actually finished then it started raining harder.  Fortunately, there was a covered bridge right at the finish so many of us hung out there to eat and recover.  I did get to see Mark because it was an out and back as he was ahead of me about a mile.  He turned around and found me and ran with me for a couple miles.  That was really nice of him to do that.  Probably because I was carrying the umbrella(kidding!)  We chatted for a couple miles then he took off ahead - he's much faster than I am plus I did not want to race this.  I also got to see Megan and Ryan from WatchMegoRun and Rose from Hacker Half Marathon.  Are we the only ones that seem to race everything?  Haha!  We always see each other.  I also saw Ty from This is how Ty Runs.  Forgot to mention she yelled my name and said my non-race running was kicking her butt.  Haha!  Sorry I did not talk much Ty.  I was in a zone at that point.

When we finished, there were half bagels, bananas, pretzels, water and Chocolate Milk.  Remember, this is the reason I was at the race since Refuel with Chocolate Mile sponsored a giveaway for race entries.  Yum - the Chocolate Mile was nice and cold and delicious.  The race finish line was also very organized in my opinion.  We also got a medal which I think was nice - probably one of the cooler medals I've received.  It's great with the space theme.  Here it is:

Unfortunately because it was raining before the race and after, I did not bring my camera so I don't have any pictures of the race itself.  Overall, I finished with a chip time of 1:51:54.

In conclusion, I probably would not do the race again next year.  It was fun - I love any race but given the hour it takes me to get there, the course which I did not like and the shirt, I think I would pass.  I am happy that I got one of those medals though.  Plus I know that there are many people who love doing this race so please don't just take my opinion of it.

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!

26 comments:

  1. I just wrote pretty much the opposite of everything you did!! (To be posted in a couple of hours). Hahaha, I LOVE the shirt, LOVED the course (just did the 10K though). And I totally parked in the parking lot right next to the starting line (for free) and left by 9:30 ;)

    What a bummer that you didn't enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See - most people love this race. I'm not a fan. Oh well!

      Delete
  2. I was just talking to a friend about this race and said I wanted to do it next year just for that sweet medal. I actually love the shirt, but I guess everyone is different. I hate my most recent race shirt too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael - if you are going to do a half/full in Michigan, I would suggest Detroit marathon. Perhaps Grand Rapids - I'll let you know about that one in October.

      Delete
  3. I love your honest opinion. I pretty much agree about the shirt - but don't care that much.

    I've found that I love out and backs when I know a lot of runners in the race. It keeps me going since most of my friends are faster than me. I like to cheer for them and today, it kept me out of my own head through mile 9.

    Great job with your 20 miler and enjoy Glass City next week!

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  4. Didn't do this race (doing Big House, Big Heart tomorrow), but I actually do like that shirt. I'm more of a Galaga guy than a Space Invaders fan, but I like the retro video game thing.

    Nice job at the race. I know you weren't "racing", but you were still faster than me at this point :)

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    Replies
    1. Good luck Josh. That looks like a great course and finish. Can't wait to hear about it.

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  5. Hello, it is Mark here. Yes, I feel like a big ass. I left in plenty of time, but I minsterpreted the directions and went two miles the wrong way on Michigan ave, and then after resorting to my rarely used android GPS, turned around but hit stop and go traffic coming back causing me to be 25 minutes late.

    You can mess with a lot of things in a man's life, but when you mess with their last long run beofre a big event, you've gone too far. Fortunately it seems Jeff got in most of his run as needed, but let this be my public apology. (Imagine the guy on the basketball court who holds his hand up after he commits a foul, that's me.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! No worries Mark. I was just messing with you. I knew you'd read my post. You redeemed yourself coming back and running with me. Frankly, I never would have done that so it's much appreciated. Plus you probably added another 10 minutes to your time. We could have talked after the race - always run your race!

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    2. I had to write on it myself:
      http://markmatthewsauthor.blogspot.com/2012/04/martian-marathon-my-inner-stooge-and.html

      Delete
  6. I did it last year and it is quite boring, glad you had a good race. t-shirts were better last year. I got a little wet and muddy down at the tough mudder- yikes! I still haven't warmed up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet there is nothing boring at the Tough Mudder - that's for sure!

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  7. I agree on the course being a little boring, but I actually like the theme and the race.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Got a picture of you on my post of the race:

    http://operationmarathon.blogspot.com/2012/04/martian-marathon-new-pr.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sent you a comment Joel. Nice pic you took of me. Haha! We must be about the same pace. Now come on - I may have a "bad" review of this race but it was not all bad. There's some good things too. If we are at another race, I'd love to meet you and respect the opinion of others. It's what's great about this country!

      Delete
    2. Agreed. Good luck in the Pig.

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  9. Good job on your training "race". Didn't know you were there! I did the 10k. Have to agree with you on all points: nicely organized, good food, but awful course. The 10k was tolerable, but I can't imagine doing the half or full up and down Hines. I've done too many marathon training runs out there, and it's so god awful boring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally Megan! Someone who understands what I'm saying. I'm not saying they don't put on a great race; just need a better course. Change the course and I'd be back!

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  10. I am not a fan of this course either. Pretty boring if you ask me. I can't even imagine running the full!!!

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  11. This race is known for having awful shirts and it looks like they didn't disappoint! Although I thought last year's wasn't bad, really. And that's too bad you didn't like the course--I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Gently rolling hills, no major highways, fast. I guess it's not for everyone. At any rate, congrats on a great race!

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  12. I am a dummy head and missed the cut-off for the prices going up in Detroit a couple of days ago. Any chance I could use that coupon code? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am registering for the Detroit International Half Marathon, and was wondering if there was a discount you knew of. It's $117.40 total, so a discount would really help!! Please let me know, as I have to sign up ASAP. Thanks so much!!

    Kelly Geiger
    SparkleK29@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's a relief to know I'm not the only one who despised the race!!! For some idiotic reason I'm doing it again...

    Here's my recap: http://runningconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/04/dead-woman-walking.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. Is it too late to get the coupon code for the Mini Martian Marathon.....My daughters want to run with their school

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please contact the we directed. I ran this a year ago and not sure what they are doing.

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