Well, my first reaction after running in the 2nd Annual Cheshire Half Marathon today was – “What a course!” The 13.1 miles was relatively flat as advertised minus a few gradual hills during the final four miles, but even a few extra hills thrown in would not have hurt this course.
The race starts out near the the high school football field and after about a 2.5 mile run through some scenic neighborhoods you turn onto the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail which was the highlight of the run for me. The small paved trail was wide enough for runners to pass if needed, but tight enough to enjoy running with other people. For first time half marathon runners I would think the trail is perfect to enjoy your first half on.
A little past the 7-mile marker you head off the trail and turn onto Brooksvalle Ave to head back toward the high school field. You then head back on the trail for about a mile which is great to experience again before you finish the final segment back on the road. The race culminates with a lap around the track in front of the cheering spectators. I had one person yell out to me “finish strong big guy!” during the last lap. The encouragement did help me move my 195 pounds a little faster.
I crossed the finish line in 1:42:08, about 5 minutes faster than my Danbury half time earlier this month. The complete results should be posted on jbsports.com soon, but as of 6 p.m. Sunday they were not up.
The layout and organization of the event was smooth and the health festival with numerous booths and plenty of stuff for the kids to do was great. It looks like this race will be around for a long time, which is good to see. There were also plenty of water stations on the course.
I also have to give a shout out to Dawn Nemeth, my daughter Lauren’s second grade teacher at Hop Brook Elementary School in Naugatuck, who I bumped into before the race at the starting line. She finished her first half marathon strong!
To all the runners in the half marathon and the 5k – congrats on another big day.