Check out my review on a fantastic half marathon, relay and 5K race venue called Rock CF. It’s located on a secluded island near Detroit Michigan and benefits people with the genetic disorder Cystic Fibrosis.
This past weekend I participated in my 8th half marathon, although this one was “unofficial” which I’ll explain in a bit. Dan and I both ran Rock CF which is an awesome local race in Grosse Ile, Michigan. It offers a half marathon, relay (split between 2 people for the half marathon) and a 5K.
This was both our second time participating in this race. We have both run the half marathon in the past but this time we ran the relay together. Originally we each signed up for the half marathon but training quickly slipped away (which can easily happen if you’re not paying much attention) so we switched races to to run the relay together (leg 1 – 7.7 miles, leg 2 – 5.4 miles). Thankfully the race director allows you to switch races up to a week before race day without any additional fee.
- Several options for packet pick up – even on race day.
- The running route is a nice tour of Grosse Ile island and provides nice views of the Detroit River.
- Excellent post-race goodies including Panera Bread bagels and cookies!
- Smaller number of race participates = better parking options.
- Nice long sleeve tech shirts -although I seem to have a hard time choosing the right size since mine is way too small.
- Our triathlon club (Infinite Multisport) also had an awesome set up including an enclosed tent with a heater, egg burritos, fresh fruit, coffee, hot chocolate AND even a 5 tap beer cooler. Yes our tri club is awesome!
The only issue I noticed was they ran out of water cups at mile 6 by the time I got there. Of course, since I’ve had experience working behind the scenes volunteering at races I understand that it’s impossible to estimate everything exactly right. This is just a good example to NOT rely solely on hydration from the race.
How I ended up running a half marathon
The day before the race the thought occurred to me that I could run the full 13.1 if I felt like it. My longest run in recent history was only 7 miles however, so I was obviously hesitant to consider the idea. But considering neither Dan nor I were “racing” it, meaning there was no way either of us were looking for PRs (personal records) why not consider it?? I ended up making the last minute decision to keep running when I met Dan at the relay spot instead of take the bus back to the finish when my relay section ended. I’m happy to say we had a great time running together (1 hour of uninterrupted time!). Of course this is NOT advisable to do and I do NOT recommend running that far when you haven’t trained for it. I took it very easy and have enough running experience to know not to push myself when I’m not trained well. This basically means we ran/walked much of the race which was the plan to begin with. A good rule of thumb is to increase your running by about 10% each week, particularly to avoid injury.
Cystic Fibrosis and the ROCK CF Foundation
Rock CF Foundation is a foundation dedicated to increasing the quality of life for those with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Here is a great description of Cystic Fibrosis from the Rock CF Foundation’s website.
“Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that causes the body to produce thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and pancreas making it hard for patients to breathe and absorb nutrients from the food they eat. This thick mucus causes recurring lung infections, loss of lung function and eventually premature death. Life expectancy for patients with CF is 37 years old. When coupled with the proper treatments for CF, exercise and running has been show to help maintain lung function in CF patients. Please visit www.cff.org for more information about cystic fibrosis.”
My first experience with CF was when I was a dietetic intern and worked a few days in the University of Michigan clinic for CF patients. At this time the degree of the disorder and the seriousness was quite eye opening. Then several years later I became pregnant with my first son and had all the regular blood tests completed. When test results came back my doctor called and told me I was a carrier of a CF trait. Since I understood what this meant I was a bit concerned since we didn’t know if Dan was a carrier of the trait. He was tested and thankfully the results came back negative. For someone to have CF they must inherit a CF gene mutation from both parents (if we both had the gene mutation we would have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child with CF). Thankfully CF research, treatment methods and organizations (like Rock CF) have come a long way in improving not only the quality of life but also the longevity of those living with CF.
If you’re looking for a smaller half marathon or 5K race in the Metro Detroit area definitely check out the Rock CF races. You won’t be disappointed!
This Rock CF Half Marathon, Relay & 5K Race Recap post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.