In the past 6 weeks, I have spent 3 of them on our race courses and the other two on my sons’ cross country courses. On the 6th one – what do I do? Test my own legs with a half marathon!
I haven’t raced a half in 2-3 years, I haven’t even run longer than 7 or 8 miles since June. But the Race Director for this race is just a great guy, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about his races. So I wanted to give it a go – both to see what I have personally and see what he has professionally!
I feel that I have to continue to race other events so I know what works from a participant point of view. While the runner doesn’t care how the aid stations get set up at 4 am, they do care what side of the road they are on, how protected the course is, how much fun the post race festival is and what kind of medal is given out.
So my expectations were low for myself and high for the race – both proved out to be awesome! The race was a great course of beautiful back roads and neighborhoods. I don’t think I passed a car on the whole course. It helps that it was FREEZING and early Sunday morning – but both work for me as a runner! While running, I was looking at both how the race is logistically executed and how I should execute my own race! I picked up a few good ideas for our races but ended up having a great day of running of my own.
The finish line was in the parking lot of a mall, but he had it decorated so wonderfully with barriers, pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks – you forgot you were in a parking lot instead of a farm! Lots of music and excitement greeted you as you came home. I was 12th overall so it was still a bit quiet when I arrived but ramped up quickly after I ran back to my car to get my jacket. The finish had pie, cider and beer as well as a few vendors. Very fun!
Personally – I PR’d by nearly 5 mins, finishing in 1:32 and 3rd overall female. I enjoyed a yummy DownEast Cider (beer at 9:30a on a Sunday seemed wrong – Cider is practically Apple Juice, so that’s ok!), I hung out with some of my Rhode Island Runner peeps and headed home to shower and warm up.
I have been running for nearly 30 years, I thought my day’s for PRs were behind me – gave me a new confidence to think there are still some ahead of me! I focused on feeling positive and without pain, feeling light and fast. This article hit home because it epitomized how I focused on feeling comfortable.
So in the end – a well executed race, I picked up a few ideas to improve our races AND I had a self-confidence boost with a new PR. Winning all around!
For a really fun race – check out the Narragansett Half Marathon Summer race in Easton, MA!