All the things that I worked on for this race had come together. Gary Allen was the guest of honor, there were cool finishers medals and there were unique overall winners awards.
I felt attached to the race because of all the work that had been put into making it happen. So many people other than myself had so much more to do with it, but I really felt like this was my race, cause I was a part of making it happen.
We had over 70 runners preregistered for the half and 110 for the 5K. Plenty more came that morning to register on site. I got to the registration at 7:00 a.m. to help check people in and sell t-shirts. There were so many volunteers for this event that my help probably wasn't needed, but I was glad to be there anyway.
I got to see Gary and snap some photos before things got too crazy. Gary had just flown in from the Burning Man Ultra in Nevada. Yes, folks. He ran a 50k (came in 3rd) and then flew across the country to run this half.
And meet up with my friend Jim too. He won the race entry for his donation to my Tri for a Cure fundraising earlier in July.
between the blues and yellows, we all match very nicely
The day was more humid than what we had been having, but thankfully, the sun stayed away and it remained overcast and cloudy until the afternoon. Good thing, because a little heat would have made an already challenging course so much more difficult.
ok, truthfully, this elevation chart does not do the route justice. It was God damn hard and hilly.
pre-race shenanigans. The dude photobombing won it all.
The race got started right on time at 9:00 a.m. My plan was to run with my friends, Lauren (#27) and Jim (#5) until I couldn't anymore. My legs had been feeling very fatigued all week after Lauren and I ran the race course last weekend. I had two 4 milers during the week, and both felt labored and hard. In hindsight, I probably should have either taken the whole week off or run the course two weeks before the race rather than just one week before. 13 miles is still a long distance for me and is not really a training run, but rather a LONG ASS RUN. And thus, my legs told me so.
Mile 1: 8:48 We rock! Running is great! Maybe this is too fast? Nah. We rock!
Mile 2: 9:14 Still rocking! I love life and running!
Mile 3: 9:16 Ran by my family at the end of my driveway. Still love running! Loving the notes I wrote in the road with chalk last night. Saw the one my son wrote--Go Mom! Love it! Feeling great!
Mile 4: 9:31 Lost Jim here. He just took off and that was the last of him.
Mile 5: 9:28 Nothing memorable.
Mile 6: 10:41 Walked the first hill of death. Had to run again when the volunteers at the top were taking a picture. wtf. Told them they needed to delete that walking photo.
Mile 7: 10:14 Starting to lose Lauren here. She is feeling bad about leaving me behind, I can tell. But I tell her to keep going.
Mile 8: 10:38 I'm walking all the hills now. I cannot even make my legs slog up any more hills. Walking feels good. Until I'm getting passed by everyone. ugh. The sheriff keeps driving back and forth and finally I tell him through his window that he's making me feel like I'm the last one. He assures me that, no, I am not, and there are WAY more people behind me. I think he's a big fat liar.
Mile 9: 11:22 Mentally, I have checked out here. I'm done. Legs are done, body is done, mind is done. I want to be done. I try to convince myself that I can do anything for 3 more miles. Then I realize how shitty my math is in that moment cause there is actually 4 miles left. fuck. 4.1 miles to be precise. I hate the notes I wrote in chalk on the road. Suck it up buttercup, is NOT what I want to hear right now.
Mile 10: 11:07 Hating all things running right now. People who were nowhere near me are now catching up and passing me. I'm cursing myself cause I can't/won't go faster. Cramps everywhere--leg, stomach.
Mile 11: 11:40 Fuck you running. I hate this race and I hate this course. Oh goody. Another fucking hill. Who the fuck designed this course of hell, anyway? Walking more than running. Even slogging feels like hell.
Mile 12: 11:32 One more mile. I feel a bit happier now because if I could slog through the last 5 miles, I could certainly slog through just One. More. Mile.
Mile 13: 11:40 The end is near. I can see the entrance to the brewery where the finish line was last year. But wait. There's more? I don't finish here???
Mile 13.1: F'n pissed that I have to go down the road, THEN turn, THEN up another f'n hill to finish. WTF. Worst look on my face. So mad. So done. So sore. No time cause I didn't shut off my watch for another 30 minutes.
Official time 2:15:58
I crossed the finish line, got my finisher's medal, grabbed a water and basically died on the grass. I stayed there for probably 15 minutes. Not moving. Cause my legs didn't want to.
finishers medal when I could stand up
Really cool medal if I do say so myself. Since the race was sponsored by the brewery and ended at the brewery, they were kind enough to put a token in each race bag for a beer or flavored soda for after the race. I had the blueberry soda and it was delicious! Jim and Gary had beers and I believe that they thought the beer was delicious as well.
I hung around to hear the awards even though (surprisingly!) I was not one of them. The fastest man was 1:25 ish and the first woman was 1:40 ish. Upon getting their award, each of them mentioned how tough the race was. The third place man said it was the 2nd or 3rd hardest race he's done. That made me feel a little better about my time and my race. Even the fast guys thought it was hard.
Gary giving out the awards
One cool extra prize they had was a raffle for the Trek bike you see in the picture above. Whoever won the bike raffle also won a beer glass and a free beer for life if they rode in on that bike! Now that's a pretty good deal! I don't think a local won which is good for the brewery. They could lose money on that depending on who won!
Once my legs had recovered a bit, and I was feeling a little less crappy, I actually felt a bit proud of my result. The time is not too embarrassing and I didn't quit. I did the best I could that day with the legs that I had. Another day, I could do better. But that day.... that was my best. And I didn't quit, even though I wanted to so many times.
Thank you so much to Gary Allen for coming and making this event a special one. It turned out to be a very good first half marathon and I hope that everyone comes back next year and brings a friend!