This just sounded like a fun time to me. I am not sure if I have ever even had (or seen) a matzoh ball but the race was close to home and I wanted to get in a race during June. I am still searching for a July race but I may have to go without since I have vacation coming up at the end of the month.
I also didn’t train for this race. I ran twice between the Frederick Half-Marathon and this race. Almost a whole month of not running. I just didn’t have the motivation. Just another reason I created this blog: to try to get myself moving and training. I have my goal (NYC marathon) in November and I can’t wait until the last minute to train for that one.
Race Day: I had little motivation on race morning due to my lack of training. I felt this was a disaster waiting to happen. I really just wanted to go back to bed.
As usual I arrived about an hour early for the race. It was at Centennial Park in Columbia which was also holding the Howard County Health Expo. I was initially confused on where to go for registration. If I had followed the crowd I would have went right to it but I ended up wandering down by the Expo setup first. Registration was quick and painless as it should be. They were also raffling off an I-Pad2 for 10$ a ticket. Everyone was super friendly and spoke to some of the volunteers before the race who said they would keep an eye out for me (it told them I might be dying by the end of the race). I also spoke to a retired Army guy before the race and we reminisced about being in the service for a few minutes. I am not usually a talker but the spirit of the Matzoh took over.
The Race: The course itself meandered through Centennial Park. I had only been there once and didn’t realize that is was that big. It was a rolling course, up and down smallish hills. I had some odd sharp pain in my shoulder so I ran keeping my arm close to my body and up high. I am sure I looked rather strange. At least I didn’t have a pebble like the race in Frederick. I saw my Army buddy at one of the switch back areas so I gave him a “Go Army”. I was expecting a bigger hill at the end so I was conserving energy. That hill never came so when I turned a corner and saw the finish line I actually had a burst for the end. I haven’t had any gas in the tank at the end of any of my previous races so it was nice to have a kick. They were also calling bib numbers ahead to the finish line so they announced runner’s names as they came to the finish (nice touch). I finished in 26:40-ish (the website is down so I can’t confirm my time). I couldn’t complain after how little I did to prepare.
Post Race: I actually hung around for the awards ceremony for this race. I think in the back of my mind I was hoping I could wiggle a third place for my age category (not that I deserved it). Alas I was not even close. They had a former basketball player handing out the awards (I never heard of him). Nice to have a special presenter on hand to get photos with (once again, nice touch). I did get a certificate for a free pint of Matzohball soup. They had the usual bagels, oranges, water to sip on. It was a real friendly crowd with a lot of people congratulating each other. The Howard Health Expo was there as well so you could wander down the hill to check that out as a bonus. My family wasn’t with me so I headed home to see them.
Goodies: They had a fun shirt with a Matzohball on it and it said “One Cool Dude”. Catchier than most race shirts. My wife thought it was the best shirt yet. I also got a coupon for free soup (so I ended up with 2).
******I would have to give this race 5 stars for the size or the race, the great atmosphere, fun shirt and challenging course. I would definitely run this race again next year and would probably see if my wife/daughter were interested in the 1 mile fun walk/run. There was a decent crowd for that as well.
For more information: www.matzohballrun.com/