Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Strides of March Half Marathon...

Since it's been over a month, I should probably tell you about the half marathon I ran last month.

What could be better than a half marathon that is dirt cheap ($45!), well run, and practically down the street from your house? It's the trifecta of running, in my opinion!

We knew it was going to be a good race, when we went to packet pick up and the wonderful volunteers were more than happy to get us the size race shirt (technical!) that would fit us the best. The volunteers at packet pick up really set the tone for the event I think.

Woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning, met up with some of my favorite running peeps and we took the 15 minute drive to Draper. There was plenty of parking, though my only complaint of the day was that there were only five port-o-potties at the start of the race. While we were there in plenty of time, we missed our window and the lines were way to long by the time we got over to them. Note to self, use the bathroom as soon as you see it, especially if the line is not long.

It was a beautiful morning!

The race started right on time, and we were off on the rolling hills around the lake. While I was looking for a little half marathon redemption, I was not out to PR this race. After running strong in Tulsa, I was just looking to do the same but maybe do it a little faster this time.

Rochelle, Sarah and I settled into a comfortably hard pace. We chatted along, talked to a few other runners and the miles just ticked off. Before we knew it we were at the turn around. I loved the out and back course, and the route support was fantastic. They had water at about every mile or so and the volunteers did all they could to get it to everyone that wanted it. It was nice to cheer on the other runners after the turn around, and the guy that were pulling up the rear gave us a good laugh.

At the half my official split was 57:06. At about mile 10 we picked up the pace a little. Sarah and Ro headed off and I pulled out my iPod at mile 11 and pushed it to the finish line. The rolling hills were tough on the way back, but the downhill to the finish was a nice reward for the had work. I didn't look at my watch the entire race, and crossed the finish line in 1:52:37, well beyond my expectations for the day. It was not a PR, but it's my fastest and strongest half since I PR'd at Cowtown two years ago.

We didn't get pictures at the start, but we had plenty at the finish line.

Carrie, Sarah, me and Ro

My three speedy friends all finished top three in their age groups. I was fourth, and they had me in the right age group so no unexpected trophy for me like at the Sooner State Games. They were able to pick up their winnings quickly and we headed off to brunch.

I cannot say enough about how fantastic this race was. I almost hate to tell everyone how fantastic it was because I love the small local races and when word gets out this race will definitely get bigger. Well organized, fabulous volunteers, and plenty of food and water at the finish line. We will definitely be back next year.

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