To recap (no pun intended), after I ran the Philly Rock N Roll Half Marathon I was looking for an October race, before the Philly Marathon in November.
How fortuitous my running friend found one – a local one!
Just 15 minutes from my house, my hometown brewery, Victory, arranged a local half marathon. How cool is that? I was not planning on racing another half marathon before the full marathon that lay ahead. But how could I pass up such an opportunity?
I can’t! I’m in!
So my friend and I met at 5:35 in the morning to catch the bus arranged for the race at 5:40. We stretched, we talked, we shivered in the dark cool autumn morning air. We got interviewed by the local paper, shed our outer layers of clothing to our racing gear, turned in our belongings in clear plastic bags and headed to the start line for a 7 AM start.
The race started on a local high school track, and ended there. Once off the track, we went down such a steep hill….I am the kind of runner that leans into the hill. I let the hill do the work and carry a speed I can hold without falling, but really let loose. This hill was so steep I had to do what others do on hills. Lean back, slow down and keep my balance. Once at the bottom I realized there was only one way to the finish line. Back up that monster hill.
But since I had a good 12.5 miles to go before that awful hill, I moved forward and decided to worry about the hill when I came to it.
Along the route there were lots and lots of water stations. And boy, the stations were loaded with lots of people handing out water and providing lots of cheer to the runners. The stations were the best!
The course was beautiful. We started and finished by running through the streets of Kennett Square.
But most of the course was country side. Some paved roads, gravel roads and bridges.
The biggest feature of this course? THE HILLS. In hindsight, when I look back at the course map and the elevation levels of the course, I should’ve been better mentally prepared. As it was, every time I turned the corner and found myself at the bottom of some monster hill, all I could think was, “Are you kidding me? Again?!?”
My running style for this race was no different from it is for any other race. I seem to start off really well and slow down towards the end. With all of the hill and change in terrain, my bad foot was really hurting by mile 10 – although I do not think my foot slowed me down. Like most other runners, when a pain hits during a race the thought goes like this:
“I’ll worry about that later.”
I am still not hitting the time I am training for, but I am happy with my finish time of 1:54:56:
If I were to ever stick around after a race and enjoy the after party, this would be the race I would stay. Post race events included Victory beer, face painting and bounce houses for kids, live music, food trucks – the after party looked like a lot of fun. But my kids schedules called and I had to leave. I was thankful for the cool race swag, the finisher medal and overall, the chance to run this awesome event. I will run again next year, for sure!