Tuesday, March 15, 2016

St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon 2016

This is a race that I’ve enjoyed and completed for the last three years. It’s fairly close and easy to get to which is nice when so many are a fair ways away.
Dennis, Me and Erik pre race

I also like the fact that it’s not so big that we have to start in waves. No matter how hard races that size try, people sign up for waves outside their actual pace. It seems like a small thing, but it really effects the smooth flow of starting a race.

I’m always kind of lame in the “race costume” arena but I did manage to buy and remember to wear some leprechaun socks I picked up earlier. BUT I forgot the head band with the shamrocks and left them on the counter.

I also managed to forget to charge my Garmin BUT remembered I forgot in time to plug it in and charge it on the drive to the starting line.

It’s the little things.

Erik also picked up our packets the day before so we didn’t have to worry about that on race day.

If there was anything about the race that I disagree with, it’s the fact that they charge $5 for day of packet pick up. I think its price gouging and I hate it. And when I say I hate it the most, I mean I hate it more than I hate running up Proctor Hill AND down the same hill later in the race.

But the runners are all friendly, the volunteers are effective and cheerful and there are first responders at several locations. It would be nice if they had one more station with Gu or something else to eat. Right now there is a table at mile 7 that you double back and pass again at mile 10. I prefer to eat every 3 miles although I might push that to 4 miles during a half. But, I don’t actually eat Gu, because I think it’s gross. But I did pay for it in my registration fee and I know other runners who do like it, so I grab them for later. I also use them to make things like this:

I was pretty darn sure that I was going to get drenched during this race, due to the sound of rain pounding on my roof for most of the night. I made sure to pack an entirely new outfit for after the race. I just really didn’t want to be freezing and soaked on the drive home. It’s all in the details.
Post race, showing off our bling!

It was cold when we were standing around waiting to start. I started to regret my decision to not wear gloves but knew that it was highly likely that I would warm up and then end up carrying them for most of the way.

And it turned out I was right. It warmed up and the sun came out and it was a beautiful day! Dennis, Erik and I ran together and had a great time chatting to each other, the volunteers (I try and be sure to thank them for their time) and other runners. We also saw Chrissy's Shannon pacing!
Shannon is Chrissy's dad's life partner which is awkward to explain. She's her stepmother/stepgirlfriend? Whatever...she's Chrissy's Shannon!

We met a really nice woman named CeCe who was running her first half marathon after knee surgery from a skydiving accident. She also told us about running a marathon in Korea when she was stationed out there with the military. We would have stayed with her but we could tell that we were running just slightly faster than was comfortable for her. So, to make sure we didn’t undermine her strategy we continued on.
Dennis struggled with his gimpy hip once we hit the hills but he powered on. Erik got a little loopy and started calling out cheesy pick up lines to the volunteers. It's always nice to run with high energy friends...just not TOO high energy;)
Since Erik and I are Half Fanatics we got VIP access after the race which meant we got some chocolate milk and some chips. There were also some massage therapists and Erik paid for Dennis to get a little work done on his hip so the drive home wouldn't be quite as rough on him.
Even though he struggled on that last hill Dennis finished with his trademark sprint and got 3rd in his age division!

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