Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon

Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon

Jason and I got to run the Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon this morning — and it went better than either of us expected. We’ve been running together for over ten years. And even before that, our friendship goes way back. It’s one of my longest and best friendships, in fact. We were roommates together in college. We were groomsmen in each other’s weddings. One might say that we’ve logged a lot of miles together. But this morning’s 13.1 miles seemed extra-special.

There was a four-year stretch, from roughly 2018 to 2022, where Jason was unable to run for a few different health reasons. Nothing life-threatening. Just aging, really. He went through a couple of surgeries and months of rehabilitation, and he’s finally been able to consistently run throughout 2023. We ran with some other friends in the Glass City (Toledo) Owens Corning™️ Half-Marathon back in April, but our fitness levels were different enough at the time that we ran in different groups. So, for this Fall, we decided to pick a race that we could do together, with no particular goals for pace. We just wanted to have fun and do a race together. And the Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon fit our schedules well.

Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon

So, it felt like a privilege to be able to make this happen. Also: the Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon was a perfectly-run small-scale race. Definitely different from a Cleveland or Pittsburgh race — but really enjoyable. The concept was to run from an industrial-era steel-trussed drawbridge by the Lake Erie Harbor to a 19th Century covered bridge over a river canyon inland, and back. There were maybe more hills than we would have liked, and fewer of the big-race amenities like mid-race gel packets and port-a-pots and crowds. Still, it was a distinctive race in its own way, and I’m glad we got to experience it.

Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon

And they may have had the best post-race chili I’ve ever had: a kind of spicy beef brisket chili.

Ashtabula Bridge 2 Bridge Half-Marathon

There were a lot of rain clouds passing through the area throughout the morning, but we didn’t actually get a single drop of rain during the race (even though there was rain both before and after)! And believe it or not, even though we didn’t have any sort of real goals for the race, we ended up finishing faster than expected. So that’s a promising sign.

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