Monday, April 06, 2015

Scoutin' Routes: Flower City Half Marathon

Click to embiggen a legend for the series
of pics that follow below.
Just like old times, this past Saturday my wife and I headed out to scout a route, or more accurately a section of a larger one. As it was a bright (if not very warm) morning, it seemed a good time to get out in the sunlight and take a closer look at that part of an upcoming race course.

In just three weeks, I hope to finish the Rochester Regional Health System Flower City Half Marathon, and a touch less than three mile section of the course (miles 7.5 through 10.2-ish) winds through the picturesque Mt. Hope Cemetery. My wife, I, our kids and late dog had often walked the local cemetery, though without much recognition of the road designations. With the half marathon in the near future, I wanted to walk that section of the course to allow for better visualization during the race.

As we took turns interpreting the map (which lacked the names of all the streets) and walking the cemetery, I took pictures of some key visual reminders reading this part of the course. While I am confident it will be extremely well marked on race day, given my habit of getting lost on easily marked trails, and to serve my own neurosis about it, the pictures will help me process this more completely (at least that was the thought at the time).

1. Enter the cemetery through the North Gate entrance on Mt. Hope Ave. after
coming down Robinson Drive. (4/4/15)
2. Once in, stay right up the short incline. (4/4/15)
The 1862 chapel and original crematorium will be to the left. (4/4/15)
3. Directly to the right after reaching the crest of the incline is Susan B. Anthony's 
final resting spot. (4/4/15)
4. Taking a left continue forward, staying to the left. (4/4/15)
Just one of the many beautiful monuments that make Mt. Hope
such a popular walking (and thinking) destination. (4/4/15)
 5. The course continues uphill on Indian Trail Drive, making for a slightly more 
challenging incline than one might expect. (4/4/15)
6. A brief downward slope before turning left at the fork. (4/4/15)
7. The view as you take that left continuing down. At the bottom, the course 
goes right, as you move into the less complicated portion consisting primarily of 
longer straightaways. (4/4/15)
8. Go right and back up. Today, the potential right was blocked off by snow fences 
left over from winter. (4/4/15)
9. Coming back down, at which point a small pond (the only one in the park) will be 
to the right. (4/4/15)
10.  Continue past the pond... (4/4/15)
11. ... and take the second right onto Grove Ave. to begin the longest, most 
direct straight-a-way of the cemetery section of the course. (4/4/15)
12. Told you it's pretty straight! (4/4/15)
As one might expect there are quite a few beautiful and interesting monument 
throughout the cemetery including The Jewish Poor Lot. (4/4/15)
13. Much of this portion of the course looks similar. (4/4/15)
14. As a beautiful (new?) mausoleum where Adlington Ave. meets Grove comes into
view ahead, the course moves into it's final length. (4/4/15)
15. Stay right on Grove as you pass Adlington on the left. (4/4/15)
16. The next decision is easy as this road ends at Firemens Avenue
straight ahead. (4/4/15)
Rest in Peace Mary Ann. (4/4/15)
17. The Firemen's monument will be on your left as you turn left on 
Firemens Avenue. (4/4/15)
18. The Civil War plot is directly to the right across from the Firemen's Monument. Quite
number of beautiful monuments to see in the portion of the route. (4/4/15)
G.A.R. monument. (4/4/15)
19. Straight on Firemens Avenue. (4/4/15)
20. Firemens Ave. bends slightly with the Strong Hospital visible through 
the still nekkid trees. (4/4/15)
21. Spanish-American war plot to the right and World War 1 plot to the right,
continue to the right past Oak Ave on the left. (4/4/15)
22. Just past the car ahead is Wilson Drive, where a very sharp left run is taken. (4/4/15)
23. "[Sharp] Left turn, Clyde!" (4/4/15)
24. Told you it was very sharp! (4/4/15)
25. Take the left coming up at Adlington Drive (again). (4/4/15)
27. There it is. (4/4/15)
28. Continue down Adlington, until you see the Mt. Hope Cemetery Chapel, built in 1912,
come into view to the left. This is the primary entrance to the cemetery by car. (4/4/15)
29. At Fifth Avenue take a right and follow it until it ends. (4/4/15)
30. While the end of the photographic tour, this does not conclude the run in the
cemetery. The remainder is pretty start forward: follow Fifth till it ends then
take a right onto on Wilson and out (to the left) the Elmwood entrance and back 
onto the race course. (4/4/15)
While the winds and cool temps prompted my wife and I to turn back prior to the "official" end of the cemetery part of the course, I had seen enough to assure my familiarity with the more "complicated" aspects of this segment. It was great to leisurely walk the course, taking time to view monuments and plots. Of course, if I have time to do this during the half-marathon, it likely means things have not gone too well for me.

I am looking very forward to running the race in a few weeks and being able to cover parts of the course in advance continues building my sense of comfort, and by extension, confidence.

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