Kevin Hosea

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Posted by kevinhosea on March 30, 2009 at 6:44 PM

     So yesterday I raced in the Heart Mini-Marathon 15K in Cincinnati.  This race is almost entirely on Columbia Parkway just out of downtown.  For those of you who don't know Cincinnati that well, Columbia Parkway is a very hilly road.  Here is a picture of the elevation chart of the race course:

     I have done this race many times in the past and have always enjoyed the challenge.  It has been years since I have done the race because of going away for college and having other things to do during High School.  The last year I did it was in 1999 (when I was in 8th grade) and I set the course record for wheelchairs at 45:16. 

     Yesterday the weather was terrible.  At race time, it was around 38 degrees with some wind and light steady rain.  I do not enjoy racing in the rain and do not do it very often.  Usually when I race in the rain I use stuff called clister which is really sticky and you put it on your gloves and pushrims to help prevent slipping.  The last few times I have used it I still haven't had much luck with it so I never bought new clister when I used up what I had (but after this race I think I might try buying some again).  I knew it was supposed to rain so on Saturday I went to the hardware store and got some sandpaper that I glued onto my gloves.  I have done this before in the rain and it has worked fairly well so I was pretty confident that I would be ok.  When I started the race, everything was going fine.  I had very good traction with my gloves and the sandpaper seemed to be doing the trick.  I started to slip about halfway up the first hill but it was nothing to serious.  When I got to the top I looked over my shoulder and saw the lead runners catching me which worried me a bit because I had never had them that close to me that early in the race in the past.  I figured that I would pull ahead by a lot during the downhill so I figured it wasn't a big deal.  I hit about 32 mph and definitely did widen the space between us but there was also a downside to that....The windchill made my muscles tighten up some and also the rain/water spray off the road made my gloves and pushrims a lot more wet.  I started slipping a whole lot more on the next uphill and was caught by about the top 15 guys by the top of that hill.  I passed all but 2 of them on the next downhill.  This "leap frog" process kept happening on each hill but as more and more water got on my gloves I started to slip more which caused me to be passed by more people than I was able to pass back on the downhills. 

     The first major sign that it just wasn't my day was at the first turnaround which was between the 4 and 4 1/2 mile point.  The turn around was a total 180 degree turn where you had to go around a few cones.  It was on a downhill so I started slowing down early so I would be able to make the turn.  There were people on the outside of the turn watching the race.  As I got closer I new I still wasnt slow enough so I tried pumping the brake more, then I tried grabbing the wheels, then I tried just slamming on the brake.  None of it helped and I just kept slidding on the wet road.  I went right past the turn around, almost hit a person that was watching but luckily he got out of the way and he actually grabbed my arm as I passed to help slow me down or I probably would have hit a cop car that was parked not far past him.  Once I stopped I turned around, I got going again but the traction with my gloves was next to nothing by this point.  I had to start pushing using the palms of my gloves that have cloth on them but this is a risky way of pushing because it increases the chance of injury.  I basically had to push like this the rest of the way.  Needless to say, it was getting very frustrating by this point and to make matters worse, there was a headwind now. 

     Right before the next turn around the course turns onto a road called Torrence Parkway.  This is the steepest uphill on the course.  You are only on it for about half a mile or so but it was REALLY bad.  I almost got to the point of dropping out of the race during this hill.  I got passed by a whole bunch of people on this hill which made it really bad once I got to the turnaround point because I then was going downhill much faster than them and had to shout at them to warn them I was coming and dodge/weave my way around them.  The rest of the race was more of the same getting passed by a lot of people on uphills and not passing nearly as many people on the way down the hills.  My final time was 1:11:11.  26 minutes slower than the time I did 10 years ago.  The only positive about the race is that I still have never dropped out of a race that I started despite what has gone wrong.  I have always finished races despite problems with weather, injuries, or problems with my chair such as flat tires.

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11:51 PM on March 30, 2009 
Nice post! That does see like a pretty hilly race, too bad the weather wasn't on your side... glad you didn't hit the cop car!
Reply Kristen
2:07 AM on March 31, 2009 
Sounds pretty crazy! I'm glad you stuck it out. And you didn't hurt anyone. Or yourself :)
Reply Nancy Garfinkel
1:41 AM on April 4, 2009 
Way to go Kevin! I'm once again impressed that you ALWAYS finish the race you start (remember the problems at Cesar's Creek!) Congrats! The weather was really crummy. The pictures were great, glad you made the paper! You did good!!! (It's hell to get old isn't it! 10 years is a long time!)
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