Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 Youngstown Peace Race

Well I finally signed up for the Youngstown Peace Race this year.  I've always wanted to run this one since it goes through one of my favorite places to run - Mill Creek Park.  They changed the course this year making it a point-to-point run from Kirkmere Elementary school and ending in the usual finish area at Federal Plaza in downtown Y-town.

I caught a bus from downtown to the start line.  This guy I was talking to in line for the bus happened to be my high school English teacher's son.  At the school I saw a bunch of familiar faces including Tim McNeil, Terry McCluskey and Stacy Sowers.  I walked to the start line with Stacy then worked my way toward the front.  I definitely wasn't conditioned very well for this race so I just had two goals: enjoy the scenery and run under 7 min/mile. 

The course had some nice rolling hills, but nothing too steep.  We ran down to the Mill and worked our way back to the Old Log Cabin and on to downtown.  On my way back to the city, I talked to a real nice Warren runner named Walter I've known from running around Warren and going to the Mocha House.  He's real upbeat, so I enjoyed his company and conversation through the huffing and puffing.  I told him I forgot how quick these short road races were.

I ended up finishing in 42:34 (6:52 pace) and was very pleased.  The finish line was great with a live band and tons of post-race food including Dunkin' Donuts!  At the finish I also saw Dan Kuzma who was cheering on his wife who ran today.

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone and plan on hopefully doing it again next year.  The course is beautiful and Ted Rupe does a great job directing such a large race with over 1200 runners.

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