Wineglass Half Marathon Race Recap

It seems like we’ve been planning this race forever and now it’s come and gone. It certainly met our expectations and more.

I signed up for this race for several reasons:

  • FOMO.  Many local runners including my weekly running partner were going.
  • I love race-cations.
  • Ten women running the same race and staying in the same hotel – How fun!
  • I’d heard great things about the course and the race and it was supposedly pretty flat.

Half Marathon Training:

If you read my blog, you know that my last long run was actually a half marathon.  The weather was hot and very humid and so I didn’t fair so well (but my running partner did get a PR.)

Thanks to Judy, I had a great 11 mile run but the 10 and 12 milers were nothing to write home about.  In fact, they sucked.

Whether or not, I was ready to try for a PR, I was still excited to run the race. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be too disappointed with a mediocre performance and that I would pace myself better than during my previous half marathon.

Marathon #28.  I was thrilled to be out there running and healthy and to be in the company of such a bunch of awesome ladies.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Months ago, we all made reservations to stay together in small, cheap hotel nearby.

We even arranged to meet-up several times to get to know each other better.

Then we attempted to coordinate who would drive whom.  In the end, it all worked out.  Most of us arrived on Friday at various times.

I was lucky to be able to leave early on Friday.  I drove with Judy and Jan. The weather was awesome (nicest day of the weekend) and we got in a nice walk in Glimmerglass Lake State Park and lunch in Cooperstown before arriving in Painted Post where our hotel was located and had dinner.

On Saturday after breakfast, we drove to the expo to collect our race swag and we met up with Alyssa, my roommate.

Afterward, we walked into town (Corning, NY), checked out the race finish and had a scrumptious lunch.

Everyone but Alyssa and I headed back to the hotel to relax.  We decided to visit the Museum of Glass, shop in town (and get ice cream) and then make a sand-blasted wine glass.

We all reunited for dinner at the Radisson Hotel.  The dinner was amazing- pasta, salads, potatoes, chicken, meatballs and more. Then we listened to the speaker, Dave McGillivray…so inspiring (go hear him if you ever get the chance.)

Finally early to bed to prepare for the next day (Although as usual, I didn’t sleep much.)

Race Day:

So 4:45 am came early on Sunday morning. Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in on a weekend??

The race was scheduled to start at 7:45 am but we had to catch a shuttle to the start.

Wineglass is a point-to-point race starting in Campbell, NY and finishing in Corning, NY. (see course map below:)

at least 11 water stops and 4 bathrooms 🙂

Check out this elevation chart:

looks pretty flat, right?

The 90 degree temps left for awhile. And it was actually pretty chilly.  Not chilly but COLD like 35 degrees!!!

I planned to wear my usual half marathon outfit of a tank and skirt. I brought my DIY sleeves, a long sleeved shirt and gloves to discard when I warmed up.  I also brought sweat pants and a jacket to wear before and after.

One good thing about the hotel (that and the price) was that they opened breakfast early for everyone – 5 am!! So I was able to eat my oatmeal and have coffee.

At 5:30 am, we piled into two cars and headed out to find parking near the shuttle bus which would take us to the start line in Bath, NY.

We found parking in parking garage, hopped the bus and in 15 minutes arrived at the start where there were port-a-potties (lots) and a school to gather in to stay warm  This was a God send.  It was freezing!!!!!!!!! I had to surrender my jacket and pants to put in the bag check so I would have them at the finish line.

We hung out in the gym for awhile bumping into many local runners that I knew (and didn’t even know were running the race.)

Soon it was time to head to the start line. Brrrrrrr.  Some of used the port-a-potties again. And some of us (me) headed to the start line but on the way, found a booth handing on tinfoil heat wraps.  Score!

There were several corrals: under 2 hours, under 2 hours 30 and everyone else (with pacers for different finish times).

This was the crowded part.  It was hard to get to your pacer because you had to squeeze past the faster corrals. You entered at the start line and then had to head to the back.

I just wound up squeezing behind the 2:00 pacer and huddled in the crowd until it was time to throw away my tin foil and move.

The race is a blur as usual but here’s how I remember it:

Miles 1-3:

9:16, 9:22, 9:18

I was in the second wave and didn’t have to wait long before I started to run. The race started on a narrow country road lined by corn fields. So it was quite crowded at the beginning which slowed me down and that was a good thing.

The scenery would have been quite beautiful if it weren’t so darn FOGGY!!

The one and only hill came in just past the 1st mile marker but it wasn’t so bad.  Even I was able to run up the whole thing.

As I said, the scenery I believe was awesome…lots of streams, fall foliage and corn fields.

Although, I wasn’t warm or thirsty, I did walk and drink at every water station. I warmed up a little and rolled down my DIY arm warmers but didn’t dare take them off in case I got cold.

The bottom of my left foot (due to a bunion) which usually starts to bother me around mile 9, started to hurt at mile 2.  It hurt on and off for the rest of the race but not enough to affect my pace.

Miles 4-6:

9:14, 9:41, 9:38

I don’t remember much about the scenery in this part but I did see Amanda, a fellow Skirt Spirts ambassador.  She was wearing the same skirt as me and so I caught up to her so we could chat a bit.

Around Mile 4.5, I took a GU and found it impossible to open with gloves on. So I took off my gloves and carried them in my hand for the rest of the race. (My hands were numb by the end!!!)

In hindsight, we didn’t need that many water stops due to the cold but that’s just my opinion and my downfall.  I use them as walk breaks and so I walked more than I needed to (which cost me a PR 😦 )

Plus the cold seemed to be cramping my legs.  After every time I walked, I found it difficult to start running again.

Miles 7-9:

9:38, 9:51, 9:55

These miles were on busier roads and even part of the highway, so I ended up running on that slanted part of the shoulder a lot.

I wasn’t really concerned about my pace and glanced down at my watch every now and then.  I was always pleasantly surprised to see that even with all that walking, my pace was in the 9s.

We didn’t see a timing clock until mile 8.5 and I was at 1:21 which was pretty good, I thought.

I took one more Gu hoping for an energy burst.

PR thoughts now floated through my brain!!! Was it possible???

Miles 10-12

9:41, 10:00, 10:06

I LOVED the crowd support in town and how we were running on these little paved paths for some of it.  There were kids and lots of awesome signs to distract me.

Unfortunately, I was losing steam and my walks at the water stops got longer.

I knew a PR was possible but my legs were not cooperating.

As a distraction, I started chatting with a young runner running her 2nd half.  She was having a big PR race and I was happy for her.

Mile 13- 13.17:

9:42, 8:32

The last little bit of the race winds through the town of Corning and across a large bridge. In the last half mile, the course turns onto Market Street, the anchor street in this old fashioned downtown, and finishes right in front of a cute clock tower on a little square.

just wanted to be done (and didn’t see the photographer)

I didn’t see anyone from our group the whole race until now.  Then all of a sudden, Alyssa caught up to me.  I was shocked.  That meant that she was going to have a BIG PR!! She tried to encourage me but I was spent. I did the best I could but I could not catch up to her.


And when I saw the clock, I knew that I was close but would not PR.

but done!!

at least I beat the lady in blue LOL

Chip Time: 2:07:07

Garmin Time: 2:06:54

mile 8.5 and mile 13.1 – you can see how I slowed down

Post Race:

As soon as you crossed the finish line, they put a medal around your neck, gave you a bottle of water and then chocolate milk (Woo Hoo!!)

I made a beeline to get a heat foil and then put my gloves back on…my hands were NUMB!

Alyssa rang her bell.  I was happy for her.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was a little jealous.

The sun still hadn’t come out and we were freezing so headed to bag check to get our extra clothes. On the way we stopped for a few pics.

I felt a lot better once I got some extra clothes on.  The sun was starting to come out but it was only in the 40s now.

We debated getting massages but we were afraid to miss our group who were starting to cross the finish line so we headed to the food tent. There was a line but it moved quickly.  They handed you a bag which was greatly appreciated. The food selection was impressive – bagels, cookies, apples, bananas, two kinds of hot soup and pizza.

Little by little we bumped into the other members of our group.  Everyone did great – some got PRs, some improved their times from their last race, some were recovering from injuries, and even one finished her FIRST.  It’s a good race when no one says “Never again!!”

We continued to wander to check out our official times and find the restaurant that we ate at the previous day.

a thumbs down because my Garmin said I was faster

Additional Race Reflections:

The Good:

  • Organized packet pick-up.
  • Great race swap (bag, glass, champagne, 2 $10 intown store gift cards).
  • Gender-specific high quality half-zip shirts
  • Half price discount to the Glass Museum and free entry to Norman Rockwell Museum-.
  • Outstanding selection of food at the pre-race dinner.
  • Inspirational keynote speaker at the dinner.
  • Flat course!!
  • Scenic and varied course (countryside, small town, bike path)
  • Excellent crowd support
  • Lots of water stops (every mile past mile 5)
  • Organized finish chute (medal, water, milk) plus a bag for refreshments
  • Decent selection of refreshments (bagels, pizza, soups, cookies, and CHOCOLATE MILK)
  • Easy to access post-race results
  • Nice Medal (Corning glass)
  • PR bell (not that I needed it 😦 )
  • No major injuries. (just the usual bottom of left foot pain)
  • Sharing the race experience with friends

The Bad:

  • Too foggy to appreciate the views
  • Hard to line up at the start
  • The only clock was at mile 8.5

The Ugly:

  • Nothing really.

It was a great race. I enjoyed it! I am so glad that I had to chance to run it.

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I don’t usually repeat half marathons but if I did, I would run this one again. And especially if it were closer.

Final Stats:

12th in my age group but a year older and I would have placed 3rd

So I didn’t think I would PR but I also didn’t think I would be that close.  (My PR was 2:06:52.) It’s hard to see it slip away in the last half mile.

But I didn’t have a bad race.  In fact it’s my second fastest half. And my time was over 9 minutes faster than the one I ran 2 weeks before.

Yes, I know, I am crazy to be disappointed.

Next Up:

Nov. 12  RNR Las Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There will a 5k and a Half Marathon in the same weekend (a first for me) and a reunion with many of the Panama City #HoLottaFun gang.

I’m linking with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner

It’s also Friday so, I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.
My topic for today is: Five Reasons to Run the Wineglass Half Marathon:

  1. The scenic course
  2. The flat elevation of the course
  3. Lots of fun things to do in the area – wineries, museums, boat rides, hiking, etc.
  4. Great race swag
  5. Impressive pre-race dinner and guest speaker
Happy Running! Do you have a favorite Half Marathon? Do you train to PR? Or does it happen by surprise? Are you disappointed every time you don’t PR? Have you run this race or do you plan to?

26 thoughts on “Wineglass Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Darlene, you rock! That’s an excellent time! It sounds like a wonderful weekend with friends. I want to make a wineglass now! Maybe I should put this one on the list for next year…


  2. I seldom ever train for a PR (because I’m not a fan of speed work). I typically (though this year is a big exception) have a lot of races on my roster, so I don’t take the time to train for anything specific.


  3. I’m glad you enjoyed this race so much. It’s on my list of “maybe” races but I don’t like how it seemed to be cold for you gals, especially when it’s been so warm lately…eek! I can only imagine that in cooler years it will be even colder!

    I love listening to Dave speak, so totally inspiring! Have you tried those gel pads that slip over your big toe to help with bunions? I have slight ones and they seem to help.

    Sorry you didn’t PR but congrats on a strong race. I love how your name and time shows up on that screen. Did you have to scan your bib or something to see that?


  4. Pingback: Wineglass Half Marathon Race Recap 10/01/17 | Chocolaterunsjudy

  5. Darlene you rocked the race!! You have been so speedy!! That is a great finish time 🙂 It is ashame it was foggy and you couldn’t appreciate the views! At least it looked beautiful when you arrived. I love the medal and the swag is top notch. Gift cards are nice!


  6. Congrats, Darlene! It’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re so close to a PR. The same thing happened to me in August. But like you, it was my second fastest time so I couldn’t be too worked up about it. 🙂

    Congrats again!!


  7. Funny how you can run the same race and have totally different experiences.

    Not having a PR, when you’re close, is always disappointing. You ran a great race, though. Good thing I never saw that clock at mile 8.5 — I seemed to have missed a lot of the race! Sometimes that’s not a bad thing.


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