I ran my 4th half marathon this year, so far I'm on track to do to 13 13.1 milers in 2013, hopefully I'll keep it up and finish strong.
This time it was the Heroes Half in Everett Washington. Thankfully this one was super close, just about a half hour drive away. The Heroes run is dedicated to our service men and women, a lot of them were running the race as well. Overall the event was small, compared to what I'm used to. Even though they called it a pre-race Expo, I wouldn't really call it that, it was just a room on the bottom floor of a hotel were they had set up a station for picking up your packet and across was a station for race registration. There were no booths or sponsors there or anything like that. But that's okay, that's not what the races are about anyway.
There were two starts to the race, the walkers started at 7:30am and the runners started at 8:00am, the reason for the walkers to go first was so they can get the streets back open by 11:00am. Because it was my husbands birthday weekend, I decided to start with the walkers so I would finish earlier and be able to get back home and celebrate with him. I think there were about 1000 runners registered, they also had a 10K run as well, so very small compared to runDisney races that have about 26,000 people.
They did a little pre-race warm up and then the walkers lined up at the starting line. I was up front with others who were going to run as well, everybody behind us were going to walk. As the gun went off so did we, unfortunately there were no signs telling us where to go, as we got to the end of the parking lot, we all looked really lost and we asked a guy who looked like he was working there where to go and he said just head towards Marysville. Huh???? I was really disappointed in the lack of signs that they had out, there were several spots during the race where I wasn't sure which way to go, thankfully there were three friends running with me who had ran the race last year and they knew what to do, so I just let them go and followed them.
The course was so beautiful, it was kind of a gloomy day, it had been raining by my house when I left but by the time we starting running it had stopped. We ran across three bridges, mostly on the highways until we got to Marysville, we got off and ran through the streets and neighborhoods, to the water treatment facility and then all the way back the same way as we went there. That was another thing that not all the runners were respecting the side of the street that they were running on, so as we were running back, there was some confusion where we should go and what not.
They had ton of water stations on the way to the half way point, but they didn't set them up on both sides of the street. As we were running back we had to cross over the people who were still running the other way to get water and it was kind of a mess, a lot of people just chose not get any or go the every other water station. I was proud of my work, one of the branches in Everett had volunteered at the water station there and were so excited for the runners and gave high fives to everyone!
Also, if you like people to cheer you one, there was a lack of that as well though out the course, except for the finish line, because the streets were closed it was hard for people to get be all over the course, so most decided to stay at the finish line, which was fine with me.
The best part about the race for me was that I saw so many service men and women running themselves, there was even a guy running in his full military uniform including a full backpack!!!! How amazing is that, we all encouraged him on as we ran by him. There was another person running with a bulletproof vest on, I'm pretty sure those way a bit as well. The most amazing thing is that the winner of the race ran with his one year old daughter in the stroller, I saw him pass me and I was thinking to myself how fast he was, there was no competition for him. I read after the race that he was going for a Guinness Book of World Record with it and unofficially he did it. I believe he finished with 1:13. It took me twice as long!!!!! Not that I compare or anything.
Overall it was a great experience, it was hard of course with no training, I had done one 3 mile run since the Mercer Island half and that's it. I'm kind of glad though, because my knee did not heart me at all and my tendonitis was only just a bit sore, other than that I did as good as you can without training.
I've learned from my mistakes, my next half is only two weeks away, that's the Portland Rock'n'Roll half. I've been training pretty well for it, not as much as I would like of course, its hard to get the long runs in for me. I do the 3 mile runs on my lunches at work every other day and then I work out my legs and arms the other days at the gym. I'm trying to get back to my best time at the last Seattle Rock'n'Roll, so we'll see.
Keep checking back for more of my running stories,