|2014 medals (11 races, 9 medals, 1 fun run)|
Let's start with the most important category: the actual run. Hands down, my PR at the Loveland Half Marathon. Not only was the fall foliage along the course gorgeous, but the baby hills made it just tough enough to stay interesting. I felt amazing during this run. I'm sure I'm looking back on it with rose-colored glasses, but I felt good and I felt like I could keep running after I crossed the finish line. The race itself was relatively small and Loveland was a cute, quaint, and friendly town. I was able to pick up my packet before the race began and it all cost $35!
|The Turkey Trot "medal" / magnet|
I'm not a fan of giant race expos so this one goes to the Powell Turkey Trot. I loved the "medals" (magnets with turkey illustrations by local elementary students) and the post race 22oz bottle of beer was fantastic. Additional swag included post race water, fruit, snacks, bagels, and coupons I actually used! The shirt was one of the nicest of the year. Even though it wasn't a tech shirt, I feel like I'll wear it for years to come.
The Cap City Half Marathon was a close second in the swag department. It was a more traditional giant race with a huge expo downtown. I loved the shirt and gear check drawstring bag (which I use a lot). Along with the normal post-race snacks, every participant could have chocolate milk, beer, and sparkling wine. Unfortunately, it was my first half and I felt like crap after so I only finished the milk!
|Alum Creek Lake from the trail // Photo by Fleet Feet Sports Columbus|
I made up this category. I haven't seen any other runner bloggers use it yet, but it's become a huge part of my wants and needs for a race. I loved Loveland's fall color (mentioned above), but the Summer Squatch trail race wins. I have to run this trail two more times in 2015 (in the winter, no less!), but summertime on the trail was lovely. It started in a prairie, entered the woods for lots of up and down along the rocky trail, and about once a mile the trail turned out towards the water of Alum Creek Lake. The race took place about an hour before sunset and there were crew teams rowing on the lake. It was really pretty, even if I couldn't really concentrate on the scenery while watching my footing. I'm curious (and scared) to see how different it is during winter races...
|A close up of each medal in the order I "earned" them.|
This is so hard. I can narrow it down to four (in no particular order).
- Emerald City (center): This shamrock is thick, sturdy, and gorgeous. The ribbon is beautiful. But it was my worst race of the year, so moving on....
- The Santa Race (bottom right): I looooove that it sparkles and Santa looks hilarious. The ribbon is very high quality, but I'm not surprised: Speedy Sneakers does such a good job with their medals.
- Scioto Miles (middle row, left): I really enjoyed this point to point race, even if it was before I had the confidence to run the whole 10 miles. The medal shape is pretty awesome. Ohio pride!
- Summer Squatch (middle row, right): let's be real, I signed up for this trail race because I loved the medal! It's not even a metal medal, it's kind of a light fake wood material, which makes it cooler.
I'm looking forward to new bling (as the cool kids say) in 2015. The six races I've signed up for include medals, so perhaps I'll come out with more than nine next year. If so, I'll need a rack (currently using my closet doorknob, which I do not recommend if you open and close your closet.). This custom designed rack is my top choice...
|I made this on medalhangers.com|
That's all for now. We'll talk about time improvements, overall "feelings," and year-end milage next time! Don't forget, my year-end book post is also coming. Oh boy! (/sarcasm)