This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to be an official pacer for Marathonpacing.com for the 2013 Wineglass Marathon half marathon. The Wineglass Marathon Weekend events included a 5k, half marathon, and marathon. This year was the 32nd running of the marathon and the third year of the popular half marathon. The Wineglass Marathon is advertised as “flat, fast and scenic 26.2 miles starting in Bath, NY and finishing in Corning, NY on historic Market Street”. I had never been to the Finger Lakes region of New York, so I signed up immediately when the opportunity to pace the race presented itself. I love traveling and I love racing, so it was the perfect combination.
On the way to the Wineglass races, I made an overnight stop in Binghampton, NY. It was an adorable little college town that just happened to have a tiny, local 5k Saturday morning. I couldn’t help myself and signed up on a whim. I ran in the Run for Our Futures 5k. I wanted to practice my race pace for Sunday (pacing 2:30 half marathon), so I ran a quick 4 miles before the 5k at my race pacing pace to warm up. The 5k itself was in a lovely park, the Otsiningo Park.
The park had lovely paved trails, playground areas, and soccer fields. The 5k was run on the paved trails and it was a lovely, but humid fall day.
I didn’t run my fastest 5k, but I did win a prize, so I was happy. After the 5k, I hit the road for Corning, NY, home of the Wineglass Marathon.
Corning is an adorable small town. With only about 10,000 residents, it’s a small town with a big river through the middle of town. The town was bustling with marathon activity.
I enjoyed a few hours walking around Corning’s old fashioned downtown and taking in the local sights. I ate at an excellent deli and then headed over to the race expo. The Wineglass Marathon expo was in the local YMCA, a large new building on the river. The expo was well organized and efficiently run. I got a lot of great swag – a string pack bag, a pretty purple long sleeve shirt, a wineglass, and a tiny split of champagne. The expo didn’t have many retailers, but they made up for that with Bart Yasso, the mayor of running, who was on hand to sign books and take pictures.
It rained off and on overnight before the Sunday race. Sunday morning, I woke up at 4:50am to the sound of pouring rain beating against my hotel room window. Not exciting for marathon/half marathon day. But, the weather cleared and left us with a warm and humid, but rain-free start. The races are point-to-point, so race morning involved a short bus trip to the half marathon start. At the start, gear check was well organized and there were ample port-potties. I didn’t have to wait in line for a porta-pottie for perhaps the first time ever at a race. A starting line announcer offered continuous instructions for runners. I found the start to be well organized and efficient.
The race course itself was well marked and easy to follow. The half marathon course was a straight shot from Campbell, NY through Painted Post, and on to Corning. It is a fairly flat course. Coming from hill country, I was impressed by how flat the course was. There were only a few inclines on the course, one at mile 1.25, but it was otherwise flat or downhill.
The course featured well-maked mile markers and lots of water stops. Each water stop was staffed by cheering volunteers and everyone seemed organized and prepared for the runners. My pace group and I had a nice run through the countryside, through the small town of Painted Post, and on to a bike path. All the roads were even and the varied scenery was enjoyable to run through.
The real highlight of the Wineglass half marathon and marathon is the finish line. The last little bit of the race winds through Corning and across a large bridge. In the last half mile, the course turns on to Market Street, the anchor street in the old fashioned downtown, and finishes right in front of a cute clock tower on a little square. There are tons of cheering spectators and it’s a great finish. The finish chute was well organized and the food was amazing. There was soup, fresh pizza, cookies, fruit, and Coke products all delivered by friendly volunteers. In a nod to Corning’s glass making industry, the medal was beautiful, hand shaped glass.
Overall, I loved the Wineglass Marathon half marathon. As promised, it was a flat, fast, and scenic course. It was a well organized race and a friendly location. I highly recommend the Wineglass Marathon, particularly if you’re looking for a BQ or PR race!