Last Sunday I finished the Mercer Island Half Marathon with a time of 2:21. Not too bad for me, since I had not trained for this since my last half in DisneyWorld 4 weeks ago. My tendon was just hurting me too much and I didn't want to irritate it even more.
Just a quick race recap:
I picked up the race packed at a small expo at the Mercer Island Community center the day before. They had some vendors selling shirts and local businesses and sponsors there. I didn't buy anything while I was there, but did pick up some freebies, like an emergency kit and some tote bags.
I was a little worried about race day transportation because parking on the Island is very limited and they started the half marathon walkers before the runners at 7:00, my race was at 9:00. I didn't think that there was going to be any parking available by the time I got there so I just decided to park at the closest Park and Ride and then take the bus from there. The buses were free for all the runners, which was super nice, so I didn't have to worry about carrying change on me or anything.
Once I got to Mercer Island it was just a short walk to the Community Center where the starting line was. They did offer gear check, but I try not to deal with that if I don't have to since the lines are always so long. They had bagels, oranges and bananas before and after race. Odwalla was a big sponsor, they had a tent set up with free samples and goodies. After that I made my way to the starting line, they didn't have corrals, just different colored flags to stand behind depending on what your pace was going to be. I stayed towards the front though.
Once the race started I was feeling great, I was blasting "This Girl is on Fire" by Alicia Keys on repeat for the first three miles to get me started and it really made get a good start, I think :) I love that song, its really inspirational and makes me want to run faster and do better. I had brought two packets of energy gummies with me. I had the first pack at about mile 4 and was feeling good and the second pack at about mile 7. They had lots of water stations all thru the course and the best part was that we were running around an island that is mostly residential, a ton of the residence were out in front of their homes cheering us on. Some even had set up their own mini water stations and were handing out candy like twizzles and skittles. Two little girls set up a lemonade stand in front of their home. It was so sweet and it was amazing to see the support from our community.
At mile 8 is where I normally start crashing, I was actually feeling great. I was even thinking to myself, what am I doing different this race that I feel so good that this point, but I could not figure it out. Oh well, I was happy and just kept going, the course was quite hard, due to all the hills there. At mile 5, 8 and the finish were all steep uphill battles, but you always know what goes up, must come down, so there was always a reward of going downhill afterwards.
Overall I really enjoyed the race and I would do it again in a heartbeat. This was the 41st year of the Mercer Island Half!!
See you there next year :)
Oh, FYI they had major discounts for other races in the area after the finish, so I signed up for the Heroes Half in Everett at the end of April. We'll see how I do! I'm officially three for three for half marathons this year (one every month) and now I'm registered for the fourth.