Welcome to my 4th and final blog post for the Runner’s World Festival! You can read my other three recaps here, here and here.
So, what can I say about the half marathon? I’m re-naming it the Runner’s World ‘Hills for Days’ Half Marathon. This may have been one of the hardest courses, if not the hardest course, I have ever done. By mile 3 I was over it and wanted to turn around and walk back to the start line, but I refused to let myself quit. I had already done 2 other races the previous day and I was so close to completing the Hat Trick.
|All three race medals that were definitely EARNED!|
I purposely did NOT look at the elevation profile before the race because I heard that the course was very hilly – I didn’t want to freak out and start off the course in a negative mindset. Here is the elevation profile…
|Yeah…so about those hills…|
I actually had a little adventure before the race even started. I arrived to the race only 20 minutes before it was to start (!) and I still had to check my bag. Well the bag check was about a half mile from the start line so I literally had to run there to check my bag and then run back. By the time I got to the start line the race had started! Luckily I wasn’t too late so I started about 5 minutes after the race start. I think I’m becoming a pro at starting races late as this is the 3rd time it’s happened to me. Not a great position to be in, and it’s definitely a mental game for the first few miles, but hopefully that’s the last time it happens!
The first 6 miles were tough. It also didn’t help that we were running against the wind at certain points. It felt like once you got past a hill, another one was right around the corner. Then there’s a massive hill at mile 7. I literally walked for a few minutes up the hill because my legs couldn’t take it anymore, lol. Although the course did have hills after mile 7, I would say there were definitely more down hills during this part of the course.
Let’s discuss the pros and cons…
- Pace Groups – There were 14 pace groups ranging from 1:30-3:25. I thought it was great that they provided such a great range in times for the pace groups.
- Restrooms – You could use a real restroom at ArtsQuest before walking to the start line. I saw plenty of port a potties on the course and I only saw a line at one of them and that line was short – only 5-7 people.
- Crowd Support – By far this race had the most crowd support. It was great to wave ‘Hi” and give a few high-fives throughout the course. For me, this helped to keep my spirits up when I was struggling hard.
- Medical – I not only saw medical stops on the course but there were also medical personal on bikes riding throughout the course in case someone needed immediate assistance.
- Police – It felt great and I felt very safe that police were out on the course to make sure the streets were closed. They also directed drivers for some of the streets that were not 100% closed. I’ve done races where the streets are open and there is NO police presence and it’s very scary.
- Water Stops – There were water stations every 1.5-2 miles on the course and they were very clearly marked. I ran with my Nathan Handheld so I didn’t need to stop at every station but there were plenty of volunteers and everything was well stocked. They were even giving out gummy bears at one station (at mile 10 or 11 – I can’t remember) and I enjoyed chomping on those for a few minutes.
- Cliff Shot Energy Zone – This was pretty cool! I had my Honey Stinger chews and gel so I didn’t need any Clif products, but this station had Clif shots in a bunch of different flavors. I thought that it was nice that they gave runners a nice selection to choose from.
- Cheer Zones – There were about 6 different cheer zones. I’ve never seen this many on a course so it was a nice change.
- Gear Check – I wish it could be closer to the start of the Half, if possible.
- Course – Could we just eliminate like half of the hills? LoL
|Waving to my parents coming in toward the finish|
|I DID IT!! 🙂|
|When you’re not ready for the photo…|
I have to give a huge shout out to the brands that helped me all throughout the weekend.
- Pro Compression – I literally lived in marathon socks from Friday afternoon until Monday evening. The only time I didn’t wear them was when I showered to slept. Im convinced this helped my legs a ton!
- Honey Stinger – The waffles and chews kept my fueled for all of my runs and I didn’t have any stomach issues the entire weekend.
- Nuun – I stay hydrated thanks to Nuun. The race course had water and another drink but I stuck to my Nuun. I enjoyed the lemonade and watermelon flavors all weekend 🙂
- KT Tape – You couldn’t see it in the photos because I wore capris and not shorts, but I used KT Tape on my quads, hip and knee. Thank you for holding my legs together during all 3 races.
- Morton’s Epsom Salt Lotion – I used this every day from Friday-Monday.