In a few days, I get to run on the Towpath Trail again, a course that has become very meaningful for me in the past year. My first race upon returning to Cleveland was the Towpath 10-10. Soon after, I was hired by Canalway Partners as the volunteer coordinator for the Towpath Marathon in October, a job which pulled me deeper into the world of race management and planning, and ultimately helped me land my dream job at Hermes as a race manager. To say the Towpath has been instrumental in rebuilding after leaving Chicago would be an understatement!
Every year, the Towpath is host to runners for three events. I've been involved in two of the three Towpath Trilogy races, but this weekend will be my first experience with the Towpath Half Marathon. Ironically, my third Towpath race is also my third half marathon - I feel like this was meant to be in so many ways! For my past two half marathons, I couldn't sit still this close to race day. Right now, though, I'm surprised how calm I feel. Maybe it's having more experience behind me. Maybe it's the past few weeks of solid training runs at surprisingly fast paces. Maybe signing up for a full marathon severely diminished the impact of a half in my head. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying this at-peace feeling. It's WAY better than pre-race stress!
Hopefully this new-found sense of calm will prevail on Sunday and I'll be able to appreciate the Towpath for all that it has come to mean to me. I'm excited to see my friends from Canalway Partners at the finish line! As the Towpath series is also timed by Hermes, it's likely I'll be working at the next two races, making this my one chance to enjoy the Trail as a runner. It would be great to PR on the path, but I'm more interested in having yet another great experience in one of my favorite parks! Wish me luck!
Do you have a race or course that holds special meaning for you?