It’s no secret that the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon in Fort Wayne, Indiana is my favorite. I’ve ran about 30 half marathons so can say that with confidence. This was my 5th Fort4Fitness half and my worst performance (2:06:49) here to date. However, it’s also the location that holds my current half marathon PR (1:53:20). Great race. Great town. Amazing experience.
I used to come from the Chicago area to run Fort4Fitness but am now local, living only 30 minutes away from the start line. Big win!! However, this race is in the middle of Cross Country season, so I’ve missed it more than once due to motherly/spectator duties. It’s also on one of the busiest race weekends of the year. This year F4F was competing with the Mill Race Marathon (Half & 5K) in Columbus, Indiana, the Chicago Half Marathon and the Quad Cities Marathon (Half, Relay & 5K). Despite the busy time of year, F4F pulled 7,242 competitors to its various races on Saturday alone. That’s not counting the kids or Seniors who completed their events on Friday night.
What F4F does right
and where other races might want to take note, is they realize that events like these use community resources. Not only on the day of the race but in the months and weeks leading up to the big day. So how do you keep a community happy about events that use the resources which are bought and paid for with their tax dollars? You get as many community members involved as possible. The F4F events are focused on community health. Getting the community active and moving, not just on race day but all throughout the year. They also have made necessary changes to accommodate as many people as possible. When the race started in 2008, there was a half marathon and a 4 mile event. Since that time the following events have been added: kids and senior marathon, 10K, wheelchair events (half, 10K & 4 mile), and a Double Play and Triple Crown where you can participate in two or more events on race day. If you are really daring, go for the Triple Crown and RUN.ALL.THE.RACES. (half marathon, 10K & 4 mile) for a total of 23.3 miles of fun and 4 medals!
- Half Marathon – 2,078
- 10K – 1,887
- 4 mi Run/Walk – 3,254
- Wheel Chair Half – 9
- Wheel Chair 10K – 8
- Wheel Chair 4mi – 6
- Double Play (4mi/Half – 30, 10K/Half – 27, 4 mi/10K – 67) – 124
- Triple Crown (Half, 10K & 4mi) – 98
In addition to the runners, the community members really come out in mass to watch and cheer for the runners. They line the streets with music, signs and banners. Then the neighborhoods seem to have a competition as to which community can bring the most spirit. Oakdale, you won this year
according to my unofficial decision. Congrats.
One of my favorite things about this race is that there are long stretches where you can just run. Some quiet stretches thru parks, others thru quiet neighborhoods with big fancy houses, and a lot of street time thru Ft Wayne. It’s really a great mix for a road race, mostly flat, a few hills but nothing crazy.
F4F provides a great race that you would expect from a big city but with the ease and convenience of small town living. Packet pick up is easy & quick. Parking is within a half mile of the race start. Lots of free parking but I did pay $4 for a spot in a garage. Potties, water & Gatorade every 1.5 miles. Stadium finish inside Parkview Field with runners being announced before they hit the finish line. Huge Jumbotron for spectators to watch incoming runners. Stadium seating for spectators and plenty of room for the after party. And concessions are open, so grab a beer and celebrate with friends after the big finish!
Gender specific shirts, designed by a local artist!
Nice medals, whether you collect 1 or all 4. I only had time for one because I wanted to be present and spectate/cheer/scream my head off at Aby’s Cross Country meet.
I highly recommend making a plan to come to Ft Wayne next year for Fort4Fitness. Registration is OPEN. Race is Saturday, October 1, 2016. Click HERE to register for any of the races, including the 4 medal Triple Crown event that is only $95 during this super early bird period. Half Marathon is currently $45! It’s deal time, who wants to commit?
See you next year!!
** Run The Fort ** Amanda – TooTallFritz
Really sweet review on that race TTF! Never paid much attention to this one…in fact…this is the first I aware of this half-marathon and I like that triple crown option. I been to Fort Wayne before and it is all you describe and more. The only problem is I got this thing about signing up for races nearly a year in advance! Only one I do that these days is for Boston. But considering how nominal the fees are early on….I guess it is worth it to make commitments far in advance of race date. The Fitness Theme for the race is great way to make it a community-based race. I took note out of the 7k+ total field, nearly half of them were in that 4-mi run-walk event.
Not sure I like you referring to it as your “worst performance ever” at that race. We all know you have had much side-bars in your hectic life and you just haven’t trained to the standards you have in past runs. Soooo….the time is slower….so what…the important point is you had the courage to start and the tenacity to finish. Your experienced runner so you know how it goes when it comes to running and training…and running the race event. The goal doesn’t always have to be win the race, win the age award, place in age, or run your fastest PR at that race distance….the goal can always fall back to something lessor….that still leaves you walking away with a good sense of accomplishment. So put that run into perspective with the past year of your life and consider it awesome you ran a 2:06…and better yet….it’s your 5th time running there and that’s an awesome peg to hang your hat on!
I remain impressed with just how well you run in the face of adversity and all those sabots life has tossed into your “life machine” and you still find a way to make it happen and maybe not run your fastest….but that doesn’t mean it still can be a “best” when you consider other factors. But great review and maybe that race will give you a complimentary registration for next year’s Triple Crown….considering how much kudos and promotion you done for the event! I hope someone in the front office of that race…reads your blog!
Keep it up….the running….the bloggin!
I’ll keep that one on my radar for next year, a great reason to come and visit you!!!
Nice write up!!!