Even though today was my wedding anniversary, I was up early and out the door for the North Face Half Marathon. I had hydrated all night so was pretty much recovered from the previous day's 50K crewing efforts and was ready to go again.
|Daddy Crew from June 1|
We had to take a shuttle bus to the start at Great Falls. The bus ride was when the hilarity ensued. Our bus was the first one into the park. An overzealous ranger attempted to tell the bus driver that we would need to pay $5 per person to get into the park. After a bit of back and forth and some phone calls, that silliness was resolved. I was the first bus in so I had really good access to the portapotties and got everything taken care of early. This was a good thing because the potty lines got extremely long and ended up delaying race start time by 10 minutes. It was pretty warm and there is a 6.7 mile stretch on the course with no aid stations so I had elected to wear my Nathan vest. The goal for the race was to get in around 3 hours, to feel good, and have fun. Due to the heat, carrying 50 oz of water, and extensive single tracking sections, I had no plans to try for a PR.
I met up with some moms from local Moms Run This Town chapters.
We messed around getting into our proper wave and were rewarded by getting to snap a photo with Dean Karnazes.
We all started in wave 8 so we were near the back and expecting some crowded conditions. It actually wasn't too bad in the beginning. We ran what was supposed to be a 2.4 mile loop on carriage roads and fairly wide and flat trail. This spread the field out a little.
|This smile on my face was pretty much the story of my race. I was having so much fun that nothing was going to ruin it.|
Splits: Mile 1: 10:14; Mile 2: 11:04; Mile 3: 13:37 (includes short stop at aid station)-Time: 34:55
Next up was a brutal 6ish mile section with no aid. The Nathan pack was a lifesaver at this point. I was hydrating well and feeling strong. During this section we came out of Great Falls and hit the Potomac Heritage Trail. Parts of the trail were so narrow that it felt like we were in a corn maze.
|Best race photo ever because it shows how our group worked together all day. We even picked up a random woman runner who wanted to pace with us.|
|Shortly after this section we passed a bonfire that was some kind of weird hobo camp...very creepy.|
Three of us were feeling pretty strong so we picked up the pace a bit out of this section. We knew there was a brutal hill coming so we wanted to make the best time on the flats that we could. We were still thinking 3 hour range based on what our Garmin readings were. We hit the killer hill and hiked up that pretty well given how far into the race we were. We were able to take off running again after that and hit the Sugarland Aid Station at what was supposed to be 11.7 miles. All of our Garmins read almost 13 at somewhere around 2:54. We actually thought that they had gotten rid of the aid station because we were so far past 11.7 miles.
Mile 11: 18:06 (lots of walking due to last major ascent/descent); Mile 12: 13:19; Mile 13: 13:19-Total time: 2:54
|Loved the water monster at the finish festival|
Run Amuck and EX2 Off Road Half coming up next weekend so it was important not to burn the legs up too much.
|Here's the elevation chart.|
Total mileage 14.5; avg pace 13:38 (includes aid stations and photo ops!)
Mile 14: 11:07 (strong finish); Last 0.5; 10:02