Syracuse Half Marathon 2015

by Joanne on March 22, 2015

Race day jitters and all that. Not sure why but it happens. I was travelling out to the race with two friends.   We are well matched in pace for training runs but when Amy hits the race course, Shirley and I are left eating her dust.   We have fun.

Before the race

The support and information regarding this race was outstanding.  Here it is, almost word for word. *Make sure to check out the post race eats.  There is a live band as well!

Syracuse Half 2015 Race Weekend Information


Syracuse’s largest and most popular road race. 3499 runners will hit the streets of Syracuse Sunday, March 22 and here is all the information.

1. Early Packet Pick-ups Encouraged: Fleet Feet Sports Syracuse , the official running store partner of the Syracuse Half Marathon, on Friday March 20th and Saturday March 21st. Hours of packet pick-up will be 11am – 7pm on Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday. Here’s what’s happening at our packet pick-up:

• Bib, ¼ zip running top, and Red Bull pick-up.
• Brooks Run Happy expo with blowout deals from Fleet Feet
• Photo booth and candy bar!

2. Race Day Packet Pick-up: On race day between 6:00 am and 7:45 am inside the OnCenter.

3. Race Day Parking: The parking lot and parking garage across the street from the OnCenter are FREE.

4. OnCenter Restrooms: There will be plenty of restrooms available inside the OnCenter. The restrooms in Exhibit Hall B, Exhibit Hall A, and adjacent to the Grand Ballroom will all be open for your convenience.

5. Course Restrooms: Porta-Potties will be located at aid stations #1, #2, #3, & #4. Each set of porta potties will be placed slightly (100 – 200ft) PAST each aid station. Kitty Hoynes (Aid Station #5 on the 11th mile) will also have their doors open for bathroom breaks!

6. Ready, Set, Go…. The race will be starting at 8:00 am sharp. *Due to extensive Porto Potty lines, the race began at 8:15 am. Not all roads are closed to traffic. Up front we will have the elites and the sub-7 min per mile pace. This will then be followed by the 7-min to 9-min per mile pace, 9-11 and 11+. We have an on-course time limit of 4hrs at which point the course will be closed and re-opened to traffic.

7. Aid Stations & Medical Support: There will be five (5) aid stations on the course. These are approximately located at mile markers 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 9.0, and 11. Each aid station will have Gatorade and water. Aid stations 3, 4, and 5 will have GU energy gels (Lemon Lime Sublime, Espresso Love, and Roctane Chocolate Raspberry).

8. Yoga: We are pleased to welcome AsaunaYoga by Heidi Panek. Heidi will offer several opportunities to help you stretch prior to and after the race. Warm-up sessions will be offered at 6:45am and 7:15am inside Exhibit Hall A.

9. Awards Ceremony: At 10:20am, we will present donation checks to the Shamrock Animal Fund ( and Priscilla Mahar Animal Foundation ( Following this presentation we will be presenting awards for the top 3 overall and top 3 in each age group.

10. Pre- and Post-Race: Before or after the race, make sure you stop by to see some of our sponsors and other local races. Once you finish, head back inside Exhibit Halls A & B for the TOPS Post Race Party and a hot pancake breakfast. Here you can also enjoy the music of Hard Promises! Menu for runners includes:  Thank you Tops Friendly Market!

• Pancakes
• Bacon and Sausage
• Pizza from OIP
• Bagels / Cream Cheese / Butter
• Cookies
• Fresh Fruit (Apples, Bananas, Oranges)
• Capri Sun / Hi-C
• Granola Bars
• Yogurt (Byrne Dairy)
• Chocolate Milk (Byrne Dairy)
• Gatorade
• Water
• Red Bull
• Coffee
• Soda

11. Coffee: Complimentary coffee for runners will be served OUTSIDE of the Oncenter at the Café Kubal truck. Thank you Café Kubal!

12. Pictures: Official photographer is Trent Wellott photography. Photos can be purchased when they are available (approx. March 25th)

13. Results: Live results will be posted at You may also visit our results computer kiosk stations location in Exhibit Hall B.

14. Runner tracking: Have your friends or family track you at the 5k, 10k, 15k, and finish via facebook, text message, twitter, or email here:

15. Bag Check: For those who would like to check a bag, we provide this service inside of the Oncenter in Exhibit Hall B. Please ensure that your items are in a clear plastic bag.

16. Spectator Food: Non-runners may purchase a hot food ticket at the RACE INFO booth for $5.00

17. Weather / Course: The most recent forecast for Sunday is not the best (it’s Syracuse!). Syracuse has endured the coldest February on record and is currently top 5 for coldest March temperatures. You will be able to enjoy the warmth of the Oncenter prior to and after the race, but we ask that you dress WARM and wear LAYERS. We are working with the City of Syracuse and DPW to give special attention to our course for the best footing we can reasonably provide.

Both Shirley and I were nervous about this race. I was undecided whether to really put myself all out there or just use it as a training run for Boston on April 20th.  Since I’ve never run a race with a friend who is close to my pace, I decided it would be both mentally and physically good for me to stick with Shirley.  It worked out GREAT!

The race began at 8:15 am, a little off schedule due to the backlog at the bathrooms.  Temperatures were at about 19 degrees with 9 mph wind.  It was cold and the roads had minimum slush.  Shirley and I set off faster than we really wanted (this happens to us in training ALL    THE   TIME!).  Surprisingly, we held steady. 

The course is rolling.  Within the first 2 miles, runners tackle a long uphill.  There are about 3 or 4 hills to consider along this course.  To look at the elevation results from my Garmin, it really doesn’t look that bad. Believe me, it FELT that bad at times.



This year, the course changed a little so that we didn’t run beside the water.  That was a good thing since the surface most likely would have been slippery.   It rained the day before then we had a considerable temperature drop with a little snow.

Shirley and I had some short but good conversations as we were more focused on our race.  We stopped at all but one water stop to take in fluid.  *I skipped the Gatorade and went for only water. Had 1 gel at the 7 mile aid station.  My pre race meal was a Clif Bar at 4:30 am, half a banana at 5:30 am, and 3/4 of a 5 Hour Energy shot 1 hour before the race.  I think if I was trying to push harder, I would have needed 1 more gel.

The course never really thinned out.  We found ourselves focusing on navigating around people when it came time to pass.  It was a course of fast runners.  We only encountered one guy walking at around the 12 mile point.  Who DOESNT want to walk at the 12 mile point!!!

I kicked it once I heard the loud speaker and saw the finish line arch, finishing in a respectable time of 1:48:38.  Shirley ran a personal record within 10 seconds of the same pace.  As for Amy, she ran a completely A-MAZING race with something like a 1:39:XX.  We are going to keep training with that little speed machine for sure!

All that nervous energy was wasted. No need. I ran with a good friend. Had a fun run, pushing the pace without over doing it.  Everything feels good, not sore. I’m ready to face a tough week of training coming up. Just hope I can deal with it mentally.  UGH!

Medal time

Syracuse Half Marathon: A recommended race for beginners and advanced for sure!


What’s your favorite half marathon?

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  • At 2015.03.24 18:49, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

    Sounds like a fun race, except for the usual jitters – I get them, too! Congrats on your fast time!

    • At 2015.03.25 22:56, Mary said:

      Sounds like it worked out very well for you to race with Shirley. Best of luck with the final push to Boston! I have just three weeks until my big event of the year, so we are on somewhat of the same schedule.

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