Erie Runners Club at Presque Isle State Park

Erie Travel Blog

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My second half marathon with Tom Presque Isle, Erie, Pennsylvania

My second half marathon was in Erie, Pennsylvania, which is a few hours drive from Cleveland.  Since all my family is in Cleveland, I go there often and combined this marathon with the ending of one of my TravellingAuntie trips with a niece. 

I had always wanted to see Presque Isle, which is a "National Natural Landmark" - a sandy peninsula that is Pennsylvania's only seashore - or lake shore - as it's on Lake Erie.  Besides running through a gorgeous State Park, I figured it would be flat and easy running since it's a peninsula, with beautiful views of the water, beaches, boats, and kite flying.  The State Park also provides safe habitat to a wide range of endangered, rare and threatened species of birds and is known as one of the best birdwatching destinations in the US.

  Additionally, I had always thought the name was pretty cool. 

So, a few days after we returned from Italy, my dad and I drove to Erie.  I had tried to convince more family members, including nieces and a nephew to join, but Tom was the only one who agreed.  It was his first half marathon and my second, so we were both novices.  As always before a run, I spend the night locally since they usually start early in the morning.  Who wants to drive from Cleveland to Erie at 3am when you could be sleeping?  Luckily, area hotels usually provide group rates for marathon events and the entire community supports them - especially in a small town like Erie, which is under 300,000 people.     

The Presque Isle State Park turned out to be as beautiful as I expected, and the course as flat.

My best time ever!!!
  The Erie Runners Club who sponsored the run is extremely well organized - they do several running events annually - so they had it down pat.  Because the Club sponsors so many races, this one was only a half-marathon and rather small, with under 1,000 participants.

The Park road was closed down for the runners, but the paths were still open for non-event roller blading, biking and other activities.  I enjoyed seeing the park in action - we ran by kite flyers, picnics and other folks enjoying the day.  The Club had set up the required water stops and the Park supplied the potty stops.  Every few miles there would be a car with its stereo blasting - different members of the Runners Club chose these stops and each chose a different type of music so we heard country, rap, classical - you name it.

Just in case...paramedics are ready & waiting

Tom & I did great, it was my fastest time ever and I credit his competitive spirit urging me on (even though he's got at least 20 years on me!)  At the end of the race, again as with all races, there was a celebration - food, beer and camaraderie.  They announced the winners for each gender and age group, but neither Tom nor I won, and despite it being my best time we still crossed over just before they took down the race clock and pulled up the finish line!   

As this race was so close to home, the usual sightseeing before and after didn't really occur.  There are two main attractions in the Erie area - Presque Isle State Park, which we became very closely acquainted with during our run, and a local wine trail - which, had we visited, may have made the drive home impossible.  As it was, both Tom and I took brief naps before the drive back, exhausted from our exertion and the beer at the post-run party.    

So, now I have another excuse to visit Presque Isle.

smuffygt says:
Congrats on the race and your new best time! It's crazy to see local TB's!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
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My second half marathon with Tom
My second half marathon with Tom …
My best time ever!!!
My best time ever!!!
Just in case...paramedics are read…
Just in case...paramedics are rea…
Erie Hotels & Accommodations review
Perfect location for visiting Presque Isle State Park
The Comfort Inn is only 5 miles from the entrance to the Presque Isle State Park. It is a comfortable hotel with friendly staff and a wonderful break… read entire review
Erie Sights & Attractions review
Beautiful coastline, sandy beaches, great facilities
Presque Isle State Park in Erie is a great place to spend a day, weekend, or longer vacation. This 3,200 acre peninsula extends into Lake Erie from … read entire review
photo by: smuffygt