Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Are You Half Full?

A recent heatwave may have us thinking otherwise, but the fall racing season is upon us! For many, our goal races are just around the corner, and we're putting the finishing touches on our training cycles and tapers. One question I get asked more frequently than you can imagine is "what good races are there?" and "what races are you doing?" Since I always have an answer, I present my:

Top 5 Reasons to Race Half Full

1. A Race for Everybody!

The centerpiece of the weekend is the "Half Full Triathlon" - a 70.0 mile swim/bike/run - but new for 2013 is the Half Full 5k. That's great news for those who may not be comfortable in the water or prefer not to pedal. In addition to the 70.0 mile edition (which is basically a half iron distance event), there is the shorter, closer-to-Olympic distance race.

2. The Course

The races are held at Centennial Park in Columbia/Ellicott City. Close to home and on familiar roads. It's challenging, but fair, and it's a great venue for racers and spectators alike. And the time of year is perfect - October 6th is the race date, which makes it the ideal tune-up race for those running races in October and November.

3. The Race Organizers

In a joint effort between the Ulman Cancer Fund and the amazing team at REV3, you can be assured of a top notch event that values every competitor and volunteer, as well as a rewarding day for families and other spectators.

4. You Don't Even Have to Race!

Seriously! Racing is cool, but you know what else is cool? Volunteering. There is nothing - and I mean nothing - like volunteering at an event like this. The competitors are so grateful, and it really becomes a fun day as you help others realize their dreams. Plus, it's important to give back to our sport, so if you don't want to race but are available that day, considering signing up to volunteer! (Plus, I may need it when I end up in the med tent with a body temp ~92 degrees)


I know, it sounds cliche, because many races benefit a cause these days. But, where UCF and the Half Full differentiate themselves is that they truly live this mission every day of the year. In 2012 they organized a Run Across America. Earlier this year they led a ride from Key to Key (Key Highway to Key West). This summer was 4k for Cancer, another ride across the country with many cancer survivors leading the way. This group doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk.

Each year approximately 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer. I would be hard pressed to find someone among us who hasn't had cancer touch their life in some way. The mission of UCF is to enhance the lives of these young adults, as well as their loved ones, through support and education, as well as to provide them with the resources necessary to thrive.

I competed in the Half Full last year, and it was an incredible day. Every day I take for granted my health, and my ability to do this thing that I love. Like many others, I get caught up in training, in racing, beating myself up over "poor" performances. I'm a competitor, that's just what I do. And for me, the race is able to provide that outlet without taking away from its true purpose - to show that those affected by cancer can go out and live their life.

If you're looking for a race, do this one. If you want to support a great event and more-than-worthy cause, do this one. If you want to show your support for others and see a lot of smiles, come down to Centennial Park on Sunday, October 6th. You can read more about the race at either or If you want to learn more about the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults and how you can become involved with this great organization, go to


Andy said...

Most importantly, Ryan McGrath is doing it! IN A SPEEDO!

I hope...

RM said...

Ha, well that question was asked by someone on Twitter and that will be a game time decision.

Last year my wardrobe choice was a substantial error that led me to the med tent, and this year I want to compete for the win, so I'll do what's in the best interest of the race rather than what's humorous.

///MM said...

Green Speedo is always a winner.

RM said...

I can also add now that you can race with Mike Mashner and it's his BIRTHDAY that day so we'll celebrate (hopefully not in the med tent) after the race.