Half Marathon #7 is complete! This morning I ran the Go! Halloween Half Marathon. As I mentioned yesterday, my only goals were to race in costume and have fun. I was really glad those were my only goals because I spent most of last night coughing; I don’t think I fell asleep until 2 or 3am. Since I got up at 5am, this wasn’t ideal. But that’s how racing works; you can control things to a certain point but some days you just aren’t going to feel great.
We got there around 6:45 and I did a mile warm up with Jenni, Jill, and Ginny from my Big River 10-10:30 pace group. Then we stood around at the Big River table and waited for the 7:30 half marathon start.
There are no corrals for this race, just pacers holding signs so you have an idea of where you stand, so it’s a bit chaotic at the beginning. Tracy couldn’t find me, but got some good shots of other people.
I knew the first mile would be awful as it goes uphill on Market toward Jefferson, and it was.
I was hoping the initial shock of the uphill would warm me up and make the rest of the race seem simple, but somehow they found a race course where nearly every street was uphill. At least it seemed that way. I kept channeling my inner Lorelei Gilmore and saying to myself, “oy with the hills already!”
I could tell early on that this would not be my day and when mile 2 registered at 9:29 I decided to slow down, knowing there’s no way I could maintain that pace.
I think it was around 4 miles when I first walked; walking at a water stop and then up a hill that followed. The course was not that interesting; we headed north to a mostly deserted area near the dome where the Rams play and then circled back to Olive.
One good thing about the course is that in several spots there were runners going in both directions. So you could watch people pass you ahead on the course and behind. In one of those out and backs I spotted this blogger who I have seen running in my neighborhood many times but never spoken to. So the first time we said hello was in a half marathon with thousands of people.
When I got back on Olive I was on the lookout for Tracy, who hadn’t seen me start due to the crowd. She had a much better spot on Olive.
Shortly after this the 10k runners split off from the half marathon runners and it got a lot more sparse. I was by myself for a while.
Going over the god awful bridge on Tucker I did get to pass the winner of the half marathon. (He was led by a bike and a car.)
We headed south and eventually got to the Brewery, which was one of the interesting spots, but of course you have to go up a giant hill to get through it.
By the way, I was worried about my cotton shirt chafing, but I had no issues there at all. It’s was this mask that was the issue–it kept funneling sweat into my eyes. I took it off to wipe it down a few times. But I would so wear a costume again–all the little kids saying “look, batgirl!” made my heart happy. The water stations were staffed mostly by kids supervised by adults and lots of them said “want some water, batgirl?” And plenty of adults addressed me by name (batgirl, obviously) when cheering for me. It made a difficult race a lot more fun.
After the brewery we headed north on Broadway and back to the finish area. I guess this was technically downhill but these long stretches are so mentally challenging.
Things got dicey closer to the end as the one mile fun run had started and there were a lot of families in costume on the left side of the road. The volunteers were good about telling the half marathoners to stay on the right, which made it a little less confusing. I did notice some random people walking on our course, though.
Running is hard.
I had some trouble locating my medal at first; they only had 5k and 10k medals near the finish line and I had to weave through the crowd to find mine. But I got it!
Then I enjoyed some more costumes.
I do love this race, but I think I will stick with the 10k next year. I’ll still have to deal with hills but it will be shorter. 🙂