When I decided to run a late September half-marathon I didn’t think there was any risk of it getting canceled due to high temperatures. But that’s what almost happened at this year’s Brooksie Way in Rochester, MI.
Instead of running the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank race in October as usual, I entered the Brooksie Way. I had heard it was a scenic but hilly course so that didn’t surprise me. But the unseasonal temps pushing near 90 degrees had the race organizers worried. At the expo on Saturday everyone picking up their race packet was warned the race may be cancelled if the temps were as high as predicted. The plan was to still let people run if they wanted but it wouldn’t be timed, that way people wouldn’t be encouraged to race it hard.
Fortunately Sunday morning was not quite as warm as predicted. So we started at 8:00AM in full sun and high 70s but it was a race. The organizers did a nice job of adding more water stops along the course so we had a station almost every mile.
Knowing the hills would be tough and the heat would add more challenge, I was smart enough not to shoot for a PR. I ran a nice, easy pace and finished in 2:04:30, a 9:31 pace. Good enough for 40th out of the 100 in my age group. And good enough to walk comfortably to the beer tent knowing I ran a smart race for the conditions.