The Sunburst Half Marathon, also known as the Hall of Fame to Notre Dame Half Marathon, provided some highs and one pretty good low light. The NET NET, what a fantastic place, cool race and one for the memories.
The College Football Hall of Fame & Kicking Prowess
The Sunburst Half Marathon starts at the College Football Hall of Fame (which, I learned is now closed). Its an incredible place with lots of memories from all the great schools and players. Anyone who wants to geek out on college football will love visiting. There is also an agility course with nine or so stations! They give you a sheet of paper and a pencil to track all your scores as you wind through the speed, agility, balance, throwing and other obstacles. The final obstacle is kicking a field goal.
The field goal obstacle was the time to show my new girlfriend Amy just how much of an overall badass football player I was. I sat the ball down on the kicking tee, took three steps back and two to the side, lined up with the goal post and BOOTED the ball. Wait, I missed the ball. The ball dribbled up about ten feet really never leaving the ground. It was followed by the kicking tee which went about seven feet. With the hopes of getting the ball airborne, I kicked under the ball and flushed the kicking tee which I think was made of lead.
My eyes immediately began to water. I had never been in so much pain before! Amy started to laugh as I hopped around the obstacle area uttering four letter words. She quickly realized that the time to laugh was later. For now, she just watched me as I coped poorly with the pain and embarrassment (not sure which was greater). The pain eventually subsided but every step I took re-aggravated it, should be an interesting race tomorrow!
Note: It is worth noting here that Amy always brought a hard shelled suitcase and then left it open in the middle of the hotel room. Every time she did this I would trip over it. What do you think I did with my sore foot later? Yes, I tripped over it. Needless to say, the suitcase was soon there after replaced.
The Race – Midwest Humidity Experienced
Ah, race day. The first thing I noticed upon waking up was my throbbing right foot. Second thing I noticed upon exiting the hotel was the crushing humidity. The race was a wandering course through the residential area of South Bend, IN. It was early summer but the humidity was so high that my shirt was soaked though by mile two. Neighbors along the race had turned their sprinklers on in the front yards so we could run through them. I was resistant at first but after my first cold water drenching I was hooked and aimed for them for the remainder of the race.
This race is all about the finish. As you round the final corner of the race you start to notice Notre Dame stadium. The race path runs you right up and into the tunnel heading down onto the field. It was so cool. They pumped in crowd noise to make it feel like you were running onto the field to play a big game. Throw your hands in the air, channel your inner “Rudy” and enjoy the moment.
My time was commendable considering my foot and the unbelievable humidity. Goodbye Notre Dame!