2015 was the 2nd running of the female themed Queen Bee Half Marathon in Queen City. I signed up for this race after a fellow blogger referred me to it based off Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon.
The first beeline was getting my gear in check. I nabbed a pair of the newly released Brooks Glycerin 13s thanks to Rally gift certificates from my employer’s health initiative. I shopped in my closet for a matching fit.
The Bee-u-tique was held at the Duke Energy Center. I’ve driven past this building a million times going towards Detroit so it was cool to be inside. The balloon arch welcomed runners through the well designed Asics Queen Bee merchandise.
Proctor and Gamble had at a sitting area arranged and they were VERY generous with samples. Thank you!
My Mom and I snapped a costume photo at the Framester booth. Goodwill Industries did a booth with $5 sportswear items. Some items were new with tags. Mom purchased 3 new Bondi Bands. People kept wishing her good luck in the race. She was dressed the part in her Saucony and Team413 Shirt.
We browsed the other booths before we finally made our exit where the tech shirts, bib numbers, posters and lunch bags were passed out. I read a recap from 2014 that said flip flops were given away at the finish line. They did not do that this year, so I’m glad I purchased a pair for a $1. I assume they were left over from 2014.
The Horseshoe Casino was the start and finish area for the Queen Bee Half. I had my heart set on tearing up their buffet on Friday night. I was out of luck when I found out the buffet is inside the casino, so my 17 yr. old foster daughter was unable to get in. We got a voucher to Margaritaville instead and a chance to scope out the Queen Bee’s finish line area.
To wind down, I painted my nails and arranged my girl power playlist which consisted of: Queen Latifah, MCLyte, Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Rihanna, DaBrat, Lauren Hill, J.J.Fad, Dej Loaf, Salt’N Pepa, and Beyonce.
I was only 0.8 miles from the start at one of the Horseshoe Casino’s hotels, the Marriott Springhill Suites. I could have easily jogged to the start, but I wasn’t sure I would want to make that hike after 13.1 miles. Instead, I parked inside the casino parking garage. I made sure I was there early (6:20 a.m.) after reviews from 2014 stated the garage was full and caused a 15 minute delay for the race start.
While sitting in the car I was contemplating how I would pull the old phone I use only for music out my arm holder to snap photos. It would be too complicated with cords and the snug fit. I decided at the last minute to run with my Galaxy Note 4.
I made sure to have my I.D. in my hydration belt so I could use the Casino’s restrooms vs. porta potties. Some people were not allowed entry for not having I.D.
The temperature was around 48°, but the clear sky allowed sunny skies and a warm up to the low 60°s. I didn’t bother with gear check because I was in the garage, to the casino, and lined up at 7:20 for a 7:30 start.
There were 6 corrals from A-F. All men were assigned to F, although I did see a couple Queen Bee Wanna Bees (men) in Corral B.
Queen Bee Half Marathon Course:
We hit the first incline on the first turn off Reading Road onto Elsinore Place towards a news station that looks like a castle. Another left turn onto Gilbert Ave and I was passing my hotel.
We entered Eden Park and the view was scenic as we ran past the Spring Park Gazebo next to Mirror Lake.
Our first royal treat occurred at mile 2 with Krispy Kreme donut bites. I made up for all the donuts I refuse from my generous co-workers.
The HerShe-y Kiss station was at mile 3 right past the St. Francis de Sales Church turn. I was still on my donut high so I skipped the
For some reason my left quadriceps started aching. I tried to focus on my music and the fun aspects of the race but I could not shake the pain. It wasn’t a pulling, just an ache that lasted almost until the end of the race.
The next stop was the Twisted Sister Station. This volunteer gave me life. I didn’t eat the whole Twizzler, only a few bites.
At various points along the course were Powder Puff Stations. With a chilly start, it was a feminine touch to have Kleenex available for runny noses.
I always wondered what it would be like to be in a women’s themed race. Well for one, we know how to handle our bodily functions a little more carefully versus men slinging spit and grunting all over the place. Thank God for the Powder Puff volunteers!
I buzzed pass the Jelly Bee-ns and JuJu Bee Stations.
The Ohio Valley Goodwill Selfie Zone was a must stop since I was holding my phone and love taking pics. The volunteers were excited that I stopped.
I was excited to get nectar in the form of a peeled orange slice at mile 7.
Mile 8 took us along the Ohio River and I knew I would be smelling the aroma of Eli’s BBQ that came up at mile 9.
The Beeswax Station was perfectly placed to aid runners with vaseline on popsicle sticks. On the next station, I picked up a Honey Stinger Energy Gel to sample for a future long run.
I was looking forward to the Royal-tea Station because I LOVE tea. It was a very ladylike touch to have on this course.
The best water stop was sponsored by the Haunnah Meyer Memorial Fund. I could barely get to my hydration belt holding my phone. In addition to fluids, they gave me a pink lei.
The most creative race sign award goes to:
The Viva Las Vegas Chippendale Station brought a smile to my face because of my travels. The Chippendales offered Pringles and chocolate chip cookies.
I’m seeing the Cincinnati skyline come into view when a runner came up on my right side and said my name. I took my headphones out and saw a fellow Daily Miler and WordPress Blogger.
Emily found me! Her conversation was a perfect way to end this half marathon. She’s one tough lady in her career and as a runner. Check out her blog here . She coached me over a little “speed bump” incline at the end. Once we leveled out, we sprinted to the finish.
I’ve never had a medal engraved so I gave it a try to commemorate my 7th half marathon.
Overall place- 264/3025
Gender place- 234/2885
Division place- 46/513
Official time- 1:52:55
Finishers received coneys from Skyline Chilli. I tried to eat them, but I was not a fan. There is no Coney like a Detroit Coney! The mimosa, sunflower and blanket were nice gifts.
A word to the wise: All of the cute Queen Bee Asics gear was 50% off at the finish!!
I have picked out the Flying Pig Marathon if I decide to tackle a 3rd 26.2. Emily said the Queen Bee is the FP on mute. I’ve heard about how hilly Cincy is but I didn’t think it was any more difficult than running the parks in Louisville. The Queen Bee course was the same as FP on miles 6-10 and 19-26.
That sounds like a fun race!
They took care of us and it was nice to have a lot of support from men along the course. There is a 4 mile race that has a turn around right after the Krispy Kreme stop.
What a fun half marathon. One day I might have to give it a go. I’ve heard good things about Flying Pig…but not sure it’s the one I want to run in Ohio. Air Force still is on my RADAR, but I think I’ve found a new one to suit me better. Not this year though. This year is all about getting stronger and getting through the stuff I’ve suffered through. Let’s get dinner soon. I have something for you!
I still have a kink here and there so I may stay at the half distance and focus on speed. I know I can sustain a 5k pace if I really trained and added strength conditioning. I do better with Winter training so it would be a spring marathon if I’m able to sacrifice my time and energy.
You did so well on this run! And I’m glad you’ve had a fun time! You will love the Pig!
Cincinnati showed major love. I can only imagine what the Pig would be like. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about it. Plus, I like the shopping better than Louisville. I went to the Dillard’s outlet after the race.
Downtown and the surround area have a ton of great shops! This is true! And the local scene is amazing! Come up for the Pig next year, and if you make it up the Friday morning before, my running group will take you on an easy and wonderful running tour of the city! 🙂
I’m telling you, QB was the Flying Pig toned down. Hearing the finish line a mile away and having people cheering non-stop….the Pig is up there with Chicago on crowds!