Before the end of summer I decided to sign up for a half marathon. After participating in RAM, I knew I was capable of running at least 11 miles at once, and having run more than that during the day, was pretty confident that I could do even more. So I decided to sign up for the ODDyssey Half.

The ODDyssey is named such because people are encouraged to dress up in costume. I was going to be running for time so I opted to go with a singlet and shorts instead of being outlandish. Contestants were also given a decorated pint glass and a beer upon completing the race. As an underage eighteen-year-old, that was also out of the question. Lastly the ODDyssey had obstacles and games on the side of the race course for runners to hop off and try out. I wasn't going to be doing any games either as they'd just add time to my race.

So, essentially, I wasn't getting my money's worth out of this race.

Running a 6:57 pace is
something I don't normally do for
more than 5 miles.
My costume was a Michigan student, and I received several boo's for it before the race went off. I did my usual routine of waiting in line for a bathroom, tying my shoes three different times and tucking in the laces, and stretching somewhat. When the race did go off, I found myself near the 7-minute pacer and his entourage. I quickly ditched, knowing that I would be better off running fast now and hurting later. Wearing a Michigan thing turned out to be a good idea, as people recognized the logo and would cheer me on by my school, if you ever run a race and want fans, wear a school logo.

The miles went by. I passed the familiar Belmont plateau's Parachute Hill course. I ran on either side of the Schukyll river. I crossed bridges. I drank from almost every water station. I ran every hypotenuse I could measure. The first three and last five miles were shaded nicely. The middle miles were more hilly but not unbearable. The course passes some statues and buildings but nothing spectacular.

The half mile before the last half mile is uphill. I knew it was coming because it was essentially an out and back course, but it was still a huge slap in the face. When I go halfway up my family was waiting for me. My dad decided that running with me would encourage me to keep going. I really did not want to be running with anyone or look like I was using a pacer, so I sped off. I guess it did help that he was running with me, but it only helped because it was annoying.

I sped around the last two turns and through the finish line. I was in the top three boys of my age, and in the top thirty men, os something.

A photo posted by Peter James Flanagan (@pjflanagan1) on

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