Finished in 1:55:01(official time); no new PR
Overall place: 648/2,340
Men overall: 487/1,216
Men 45-49: 70/182
Men 45-49: 70/182
Race #80 and Half Marathon #30!
Registration is very simple. You can either fill in your entry and mail it or register online. I actually went to the Brooksie Way kickoff event and they had entries for only $40 with no registration fee so I did that and got a great deal for the race.
Packet pickup had several options. You can go on Friday afternoon or Saturday at the expo. Packet pickup is located on the Oakland University Campus so it makes it very easy and it's not far from me which is nice. There is also race day pickup which I always think there should be. I decided to pick my packet up on Friday evening so I didn't have to deal with the crowd. It was very simple and I was in and out in no time.
As you can see, this is a little unusual for a half marathon in that they have a pretty good size expo going on. If you've been to the race, it was very similar to prior years with various vendors there selling their product or service or race. It's very well organized.
|Looking from above|
|Doug Curtis selling for the Turkey Trot|
|Lots of race stuff|
|Solutions table and late regisration|
Because they start to close the roads around 7am, Kevin and I left around 6:15am from his home to ensure we would get a parking spot. The traffic is typically terrible the later you get there so the earlier you get there, the better. We were treated to a beautiful sunrise while waiting in the car for the race to start.
|Beautiful sky to start us off|
The runners were standing around socializing as we waited for the start.
|Lots of port-o-johns|
|Finish line tents|
|Pre race picture|
|Start finish area|
|Rochester Mills Beer!|
|Race day packet pickup|
My only goal for this race was sub 2 hours to keep my road half marathon streak alive. Other than that, it was all about having fun! I didn't want to push it too much since I'm in taper mode for my 50k in two weeks. The course was slightly different that previous years as the City is working on Tienken so the course changed to go up to Dutton. I never realized how steep Dutton was but it was crazy steep.
One thing I really noticed, especially after the race, was that given I've not run on many roads this summer, I was more sore after the race than I usually am for a half. In fact, I'm rarely sore for a half marathon but I was for this one due to being on the roads. Thankfully, there are several miles on the trails to help ease the pounding. Overall, I got my sub 2 hour so I was happy with the result.
|Map per Garmin|
|Elevation per Garmin|
|Splits per Garmin|
Note: When I take pictures during the race, I typically don't change my pace or stop in the interest of safety. I just keep running and I get what I can get from the pictures. Some come out better than others but they give you a great idea of what the course is like.
The race has had corrals for the last several years which is a good thing. It really eases the congestion at the start. I will say that had I wanted to be in Corral B, it was terribly crowded and I think the race needs to think about making this corral area bigger. It also got backed up last year as well. They had volunteers at each corral to keep out the people that didn't belong. It seemed to work out great as I watched one of the volunteers turn numerous people away. With that, we were ready to race!
|Runners behind me|
|Runners ahead of me|
|Running into the sun|
|Bagpipes for the first act|
|Two hour pacers|
Before we knew it, we were already at mile 1!
|Lots of people cheering|
|More crowd cheering|
|Turning onto Avon|
|A newly paved road|
|Sometimes I get lucky with shots - geese above|
|Heading to the trail|
|Start of Clinton River trail|
|Almost to Rochester Road|
|Industrial area near downtown|
|Royal Park Hotel|
|Near the Library|
|In downtown Rochester - mile 6|
|Heading into Municipal Park aka Duck Pond|
|Beautiful tree - with Kevin in Front of me|
|More crowd - onto Paint Creek Trail|
|On Paint Creek Trail|
Before we knew it, we saw the sign for Dutton and knew we were in for some hills.
|Ready for Dutton hills|
As you can see, some runners were still walking. It certainly wore you out.
|I see a RUNdetroit shirt!|
|Dutton at Brewster|
|Lots of entertainment on course|
|Almost there - last hill|
I didn't get a picture at every aid station. The reason? There are so many! They have one about every mile on the course. It was crazy! The volunteers were awesome and they had gatorade and water at the stations. They also had Gels at a couple stations as well. They have more stations here than most half marathons I've run and the amount of volunteers just to fill these must be huge!
After you finished the race, the race had blankets to keep you warm. Fortunately it was in the mid 60's when we finished and it was not needed. Many years you do need these though.
|Space blankets (not needed today)|
|Food in team challenge tent|
|Lots of food!|
|Rochester Mills Beer too!|
I went to the Brooksie Way kickoff meeting and they allowed you to register there for the race. I only paid $40 for this race with no online fee. That is an incredible price for all that you get for this race.
There is a two day pre-race expo. You get a custom race bib with your name on it(if you register early enough) and it has a QR code so you can get immediate results. I would like to see them offer real time tracking as I have seen in the past but they didn't offer it this year. You get corrals set up for crowd control at the start. You get a great chip, timed course with an incredible challenge. You get course entertainment, cheer stations, and well stocked aid stations along the way. You also receive a nice post race party with a free beer. If you were on the team challenge, you got free beer and food in their tent.
|Custom Bib with name|
|Brooks Tech shirt long sleeve|
|Back of shirt|
Overall, the race did an excellent job on organization. They kept you informed of things happening through emails and Facebook. They even published a newsletter with all the race details called the Brooksie Bugle. Of course, I've run this four times so I knew pretty much where to go but they still make it very easy for everyone to find out whatever you needed. I had heard that the 10k and 5k was a little less organized but I could not say what the issues were. I would say that they should announce to the runners that the half only is starting and that the 10k/5k would be moments later. I think that might reduce any confusion.
Overall, my heart is in it for the Brooksie Way. It's my hometown race and I love it since it was my first half marathon. From the start of the Brooksie Way Kickoff meeting to the emails about things coming up. The race does an excellent job and each year they seem to learn something from previous years to make it better every year. The course, while hilly, is a real challenge and fun to run it and it's a great way to see parts of Rochester Hills and Rochester. I've only missed the race once since I started running so that shows you how much I enjoy it. If you have not run the Brooksie Way, it's certainly one to put on your radar for future years.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: I paid for this entry with my own funds.