A Gem of a Race; Green Jewel 50K
By: Kristy Hill
On Saturday, March 8th, the 7th annual Green Jewel 50K brought in a record number of participants since its inception in 2008. The inaugural year had six 100K finishers and six 50K finishers. The race has grown year to year with the increasing interest of ultra distances and the course’s fast reputation. This year 135 solo participants and 32 2-person relay teams were on the start line. This was the first year for the relay.
The Green Jewel 50K is a point to point course running through three portions of Ohio’s Cleveland Metroparks. It takes place on an all-purpose paved path for the first 24.5 miles and the remainder on road. The course is considered flat, but it has a gradual climb the majority of the course and some rolling hills in the later miles. There’s an elevation gain of 970 ft and loss of 750 ft. For the seasoned ultra trail runner it seems flat but for a new to ultra road runner like myself, it seemed hilly. It’s relative.
Steve Hawthorne (150) and Keith Lascelles (58) avoiding some ice and snow. Photo by Ohio Runs.
The course is very straightforward and easy to follow. The path runs along side of a main road, which makes the race very spectator friendly. It is not a closed course and there are several main road crossings along the way that can cause several minutes of delay. I recommend driving the course prior to the race to better prepare yourself. I found this to be useful as I came to the first major crossing. I knew in advance and was watching the lights as I approached. When I saw the lights changing I adjusted my pace to ensure I made it across. The runners in the pack with me did not, and were stopped at that light for a couple of minutes.
Female winner Kristy Hill. Photo by Ohio Runs.
Minus some icy spots and snow later in the day, conditions were mostly fair bringing some fast times. David Hathaway was the overall winner in 3:41:30 beating all of the relay teams as well. Kristy Hill was the female winner and sixth overall in 4:01:56.
Overall winner David Hathaway. Photo by Luke Baum.