Why was I so happy at 5:30 in the morning? The day I’d been waiting for since April was finally here, that’s why!
And I’d just checked the temperature for the 7 AM race start, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!
Everyone in our group had snagged Lot A parking passes (the lot closest to the race start), so we thought it would be easy to find each other. Problem was, there were a lot of runners and it was still dark when we got there! Thanks to texting we all found each other. Julie and Cassy were the first ones we met up with, and then I found my blogger friend Meagan (this was the second race we’ve run together) and her husband Barry in the porta-potty line . How appropriate; but why-oh-why didn’t I think to get a picture of us with a porta-potty backdrop?
I snapped a picture of the sunrise about a mile into the race…
And Meagan and Julie got to see my version of what I call, “long run fartleks.” I sprint ahead so I can turn around and take pictures of my friends running, or I stop to take a picture and then sprint to catch up with the group.
We ran past my favorite place to hang out on fall Saturday afternoons (Lane Stadium in the distance)…
I stopped to take a quick picture of these tiny cones. They absolutely cracked me up, but they did what they were there for and signaled to us that there was two-way runner traffic for about half a mile…
Bill, Julie, Meagan, and I ran together for about eight miles (Barry was way ahead of us), and I kind-of-sort-of thought we’d all run together the whole time, but we agreed in advance that we’d each run our own race. It was a beautiful day and I just wanted to enjoy the day and the company; however, my legs felt differently! Just after mile marker eight and a porta-potty stop, we started a downhill section and I just let my legs do their thing. I glided down the hill easily, and when I got to the following uphill I kept up the pace and surprised myself by feeling great. Bill picked up on my urge to pick up the pace and moved along side of me and we were off.
Bill and I finished pretty close together and saw Barry cheering us in as we crossed the finish line (Bill was about 15 seconds in front of me). We collected our finisher’s swag and walked back with Barry to watch for Meagan and Julie.
Pretty soon we saw Julie approaching the finish line. It was very exciting since she had been fighting an Achilles injury and hadn’t been able to train for several weeks during late August and early September. She finished looking great and with no pain!
Next we saw Meagan coming in, who after the race and “victory lap,” would be running her longest run to date! Meagan will be running her first marathon in November, and she was pretty much treating this race as her weekend long run.
As soon as we crossed the finish line we got our Hokie Bird medal… And then a finisher’s shirt… And then a magnet for our cars! All of this finisher swag kind of makes up for the wrong sized race shirts!
Meagan and I posed for a quick picture before we did our “victory lap.” I’ll explain that shortly…
We got a group picture with everyone but Barry (he took he picture) and Hokie Bird. Hokie Bird was there, but we didn’t see him… 🙁
Meagan was scheduled to run 14 miles for her long run this weekend and decided to either run it before the race or tack it on the end of the race. Barry and I took off with her after pictures, etc. and we called it our “victory lap…”
After we all got back to our cars, we realized that we had forgotten to go through the food tent! It was well stocked with Gatorade, water, sodas, apples, oranges, bananas, bagels, candy bars, crackers, and both turkey and veggie chili!
From my Run Keeper:
Finish time – 2:06:45, with an overall pace of 9:38
Mile 0 to 1 – 9:51
Mile 1 to 2 – 9:30
Mile 2 to 3 – 9:45
Mile 3 to 4 – 9:59
Mile 4 to 5 – 10:06
Mile 5 to 6 – 9:55
Mile 6 to 7 – 10:36
Mile 7 to 8 – 10:43 (porta-potty stop)
Mile 8 to 9 – 9:40
Mile 9 to 10 – 9:15
Mile 10 to 11 – 8:53
Mile 11 to 12 – 8:46
Mile 12 to 13 – 8:34
Mile 13 to 13.1 – 7:24
Here’s what the course elevation looked like…
They had the age group prizes lined up at the food tent… And I just found out that I won my age group! Someday I’m actually going to get my age group prize at the race, and not have to chase it down later!
Overall I’d give the Inaugural Hokie Half Marathon an A, and Bill and I definitely plan to run it again next year! The only reason I didn’t give it an A+ was the sizing of the race shirts, but the finishers’ shirts almost made up for that! 🙂
- Have you ever shown up for a race dressed exactly like someone else?
- Have you ever added mileage to the beginning or end of a race?
- What’s the best post-race food you’ve had at a race?