Tag Archives: Cap City Half Marathon

Jeff Baldwin, Cap City Legacy Runner

As we get ready to celebrate the 15th year of the Cap City Half Marathon on April 28, I think it is important to look back at the history of the race.  And what better way to do that than by asking someone who has run every single one of them.

Jeff Baldwin 2017Fortunately for me, I work with one such person.  Jeff Baldwin, the vice president of franchising and development at Donatos Pizza, has completed every Cap City Half Marathon dating back to the first one in 2004.  And what is amazing about Jeff is his consistency.  He finished the very first one in 1:48:25 (which is still his fastest finish) at age 32 and 13 races later finished the 2017 race (pictured at left) in 1:50:26 at age 45.

I decided to ask Jeff about his history with the Cap City Half Marathon and running in general and included some questions from my social media followers who had also chimed in.  This is what I found out:

Was there something specific that made you decide to start running?  “I started running after college when I started working and needed that release.  I tend to daydream when I run longer distances and it seems to give me a break from day to day.  Running gives me time to reflect on things going on in my life now, which is kind of cool since that was never the intent.”

Jeff Baldwin 2004Why did you sign up for the first Cap City Half Marathon in 2004?  He’s pictured at the right in the inaugural race in 2004.  “It was called the ‘Commit to Be Fit’ race, so it was perfect for me at the time.  I didn’t have enough drive to stay fit and I wasn’t playing any other sports.”

What kept you coming back each year?  “I joked with an attorney friend that it was a verbal contract to run the race every year with a sub 2-hour finish, so the joke has just kept going all these years!  Twice, I have been so close to two hours I felt like I could pass out trying to finish strong.  Those memories make me train a bit harder as I get older!  I also joke with my girls that I try to stay in shape so I can keep up with their kids someday.  They just laugh!”

At what point did you realize you had a streak going and is that streak important to you?  “It only dawned on me a few years ago when I realized how different the pre-race atmosphere was than back in the first year.  Music and local celebrities are everywhere.  There are so many runners now and it has turned into a huge event.  It’s very cool to have been part of it from the beginning.”

Which year was your favorite race and why?  “I think 2009 was the first year my older kids were there to cheer and actually understood what was going on.  I stopped to give my wife and kids a kiss.  Today, they understand the value of health and fitness and watching Dad has been a small part of that.”

timesWhich year was your least favorite race and why?  “The second year in 2005 when the race was in early April and it was 32 degrees with driving sleet.  I wore a hat very low and had to look down the entire race.  It was really tough running conditions which I think helped move the event later in April and even sometimes the first week of May.  I also had a bad IT band issue one year.  Running injured is never fun.”

What kind of training do you do each year to get ready for the race?  “I play ice hockey and tennis and normally run 10-15 miles per week throughout the year.  Starting in January and February, I will start to build to 20-25 miles per week with a few races over 10 miles.  I concentrate on pace and also speed training.  When I run distance, I wear a watch so I don’t have a set route and I don’t have to stop!”

If you could change one thing about the race, what would it be?  “I wouldn’t change much really.  There have been several race routes over the years – some good and some too tight for the volume of runners.  It was fun to run to OSU and around The Horseshoe several years back.  The most recent route is fair and interesting, but nobody likes the uphill climb from German Village to downtown near miles 11 and 12.”  (Note:  Jeff and everyone else will be thrilled to run on the new and improved course in 2018.)

What makes the Cap City Half Marathon so special that you do it every year?  “I enjoy the fact that this is something I have done for so many years, longer than jobs, age of my kids etc.  Knowing it’s on the horizon keeps me honest the balance of the year with training and exercise.  There have been a few near misses such as a daughter was born April 7 and a couple of weddings out of state near May 1, but none have disrupted race day.”

I can’t wait to see how Jeff does in 2018.  If you want to join Jeff and I at this year’s race, make sure to register now.  Use code 18VOCDAVE at checkout to save $10.

The Road to Cap City

It gets hard to imagine spring and warm races when it’s cold and snowy in Ohio in January, but we are now just 102 days away from the 15th annual running of the Cap City Half Marathon along with the Quarter Marathon and the Commit to Be Fit 5K.

VOCCHighResOver the next four months, I have the privilege of being one of eight ambassadors or “Voices of Cap City” for this year’s race.  What that means is that I’ll be posting about the race on my blog and social media and would love to answer any questions you have and also share some stories along the way as we all journey together to get to the starting line on April 28 geared up for a successful race.  As a way to encourage you to sign up to join me, register now and use promo code 18VOCDAVE at checkout to save $10 on any race distance entry fee.  Do it now before the prices go up!

One challenge that all of us are having these days is battling the weather to get our runs done.  I’m typically a predawn runner and freezing temperatures and slippery snow or ice-covered roads and paths definitely pose a problem when trying to run outside.  While I would always much rather run outside, I have come to value the treadmill as a necessary part of my training especially when trying to get speed work in or just trying to stay safe in the conditions.  If you don’t currently belong to a gym or have access to a treadmill or indoor track, you might contact a gym in your area to see if they have trial passes that you might cash in for a weekend long run if you can’t get outside.  If you do run outside, make sure to bundle up and stay very alert to traffic since the conditions aren’t always great to stop quickly.

26804815_10100125315185810_7851032349514182247_nOne other suggestion I would have as you begin to ramp up your miles as race day approaches is to not do too much too soon.  The general rule is to only increase your weekly mileage by 10 percent of what the previous week’s mileage total was.  This will help keep you from getting injured.  You still have plenty of time to log miles as you train for race day.

Also, cross training is a very important aspect to running that we all too often don’t make time for.  Take a spin class at your gym or try out one of the CycleBar locations where typically your first four rides are free.  If you have access to an indoor pool, go for a swim.  It’s a great workout and your legs will thank you for giving them a break while still getting an awesome workout.  Strength and core is also an important component of any running training plan.  You don’t have to belong to a gym or have a personal trainer.  You can do pushups and planks in the comfort of your own home.  It will make a difference and you’ll feel stronger if you do it regularly.  Finally, buy a foam roller and start using it daily after runs.  It will help get you to the starting line injury-free.

We can all do this together.  Feel free to comment below with any questions or send me a tweet at @dponthego.  There is a race distance for everyone at Cap City, but if you feel like you aren’t ready to run this year or maybe are battling back from an injury then consider volunteering as a way to get involved.  You’ll be inspired by all the runners and I guarantee it will be rewarding.

Until next time, enjoy your miles!