Ever since I moved to the west side of Cleveland, I heard about the Heroes Run. However, I was also warned of the huge hill that comes around 3.5 of the race so I was always turned off. When running a 5 mile race, a hill at mile 3.5 kind of turns me off.
This year I decided to finally register and give this race a shot. I run the area the race takes place in fairly often so I thought it would be exciting to race that same area. The race start was close enough that we could run to the starting line and used that as our warm up.
Before the start of the race there are a couple speeches, then the horn solo (drawing a blank on the name) and then the gun salute. There is something different about this race than other races in the area. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what it is or maybe it’s because the organizers but a lot of work into this race. I just know I’ll be back to run this race ever year.
My goal for the 5 miler this year was to break 34. With the asthma attacks over the summer, that got put on hold and I’m just happy to be running again. I figured my goal time should be a minute slower than the last 5 miler I did. I was adding a solid minute for the hill, so around 39 mins.
I tried to hold back on the speed but it was a little hard because there were so many spectators! There were people lined up all down Rocky River Drive and at the Kamms Corner Plaza. You shoot down the hill into the metroparks and then I’m in heaven. I love running through the metroparks. You are on the trail for the part through the metroparks so I tried to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
In the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about the upcoming hill. Do I slow down and conserve energy? Do I go all out and let myself walk/die on the hill? I pretty much eased up just a little bit. When I got to Hogsback Hill or Hogsback Hell, as the cute signs that decorated the hill said, I figured I’d run as far up the hill as I could and then walk. However, before I knew it I was half way up the hill, people were cheering, my abs were burning and I kept going just a little farther. I ran up the entire hill without stopping to walk. I couldn’t believe it.
Although if you look at that face, you might believe it! I took my time and slowed down when I got to the top. Just wanted to catch my breath, I glanced down at my watch and expected to see a 8:30 pace but it was a low 7 pace! After that I picked it up and headed to the finish which is almost all flat and straight.
There were more spectators (probably a lot of 2 milers finishing and lingering but we’ll call them spectators) so I felt like I was part of a parade as I was coming in for the finish. I even grabbed some high fives as I was coming down the last part of the main road. I crossed the finish line in 38:29, 7:42 pace, 3rd female in my age group! I’ll take it!
If you get a chance I definitely recommend running this race next year. I will warn you this is probably the hilliest 5 miler in the area. Totally worth it though.
P.S. I apparently didn’t post a picture of the shirt but it was pretty cool and green. I already wore it and it’s in the wash!