Next year if what I heard on the loudspeaker before the Start, it will be 5,000 strong with it coinciding with something called the Firefighter challenge...I don't know what that means but it would grow the 1/2 to a much larger number!
I have never done this race mostly due to previous years it was later than March and I didnt really want to run 13.1 in warmer temps plus I was always so focused on running the shorter Spring set of HARRA races (5K-10K)
This year when I found out it was going to be in March, I really wanted to do it due completely to the fact that I wanted to be out there with 2 of my dear friends Nicole and Melissa who have done it since its inception because of the charity it donates to. Then I saw that it was the same weekend as the Dallas RnR Half, which I loooooooooooove, but I still chose to stay close to home this year...Hoping it doesnt fall on the same weekend next year because then I could do both if I wanted to, and that remains to be seen. There were a few things about this race which you will see that I was not a fan of.
Packet Pickup - Nothing fancy here. Small race, not a lot of hassle. Only thing is that their pick up locations were scattered around and not very convenient for most. But then again I am spoiled living in the city where about 98% of race packet pick ups are within a 5 mile radius of me.
Race bag - Fail. Not only were there no goodies other than a bite size Lara bar, they were in the Sun and Ski bags you get when you buy something at the store. Come on Angie, get with the program. I was hoping for a reusable! Be green!!!
There was a cap in there too, which is awesome if you like caps. I however, do not wear caps. Rare. Like 2-3 times a year rare. And never running.
|Before the walker start at 6:30|
Course - The course itself is fine as previously mentioned. Most of it is the same as what the Fall series 10 mile warm up race is, so its familiar. For some reason though this time I didnt hate it. I ran that 10 miler a few times and all I can remember is that I wasn't fond of it to say the least. Maybe I liked it more this time around because I am faster? I was passing a lot of people throughout the entire race and the fact that I felt pretty darn good the entire time except for the life sucking humidity! :O)
Post Race - Here is where the overall experience of this race is a big fat FAIL. Let's start with the fact that when you finish they hand you a bottle of water. Awesome. But then guess what? That is ALL there was. There were no sodas anywhere, no additional bottles or even CUPS of water. Are you freaking kidding me? Fail. Fail. Fail. It was DAMN hot ... there should have been additional fluids.
In addition to that they ran out of towels and we never saw hide nor hair of any awesome mugs as were promised and advertised. I had heard they ran out of medals in previous race, but as far as I know not this year.
I still cannot get past the fact that there were no liquids around!!! And the fact that I was supposed to get a mug for finishing is not cool.
The food was not a fail, but nothing to write home about; I saw orange slices, and I think I remember my friend Melissa wanting a banana instead and there was some remark/issue made about that? I stuffed a hot dog down my piehole and called it a day. But there were mini Lara Bars (which I took about 10 and stuffed in my bag) and Girl Scout cookies ... oh and some kind of Icee thing which they gave a teensy amount to you and it didnt taste all that good.
The band was good. Cheesy looking motley crew, but they weren't half bad.
Oh and somehow my time was not recorded. I am nowhere to be found on the results page. I have emailed the race director and the guy who runs the timing. Oh well, at least I have my Garmin. And had this actually been a PR I would be a lot more upset about it. :O)
I am hoping that some email from them comes out with a survey. Or at the very least possibly letting us know about the mugs?
Also I have knowledge that last year not one $ was donated to the melanoma cause as it is advertised because "they didnt make any money". I know this because either they told everyone, or my friend Nicole just has inside information.
This is not cool.
Maybe thats why there was so much less 'perks' like nothing to drink after a hot ass race? To save money? Eh, I dont buy that really. And if you aren't going to go through with what you advertise then you shouldnt have advertised it in the first place. Advertise as no frills...or lower the winning $ amounts ... You aren't pulling any of the big (local elite) guns in anyway...maybe 1 or 2 here or there, but this year I sure didnt see it.
Anyway, I will wait and make a decision on whether to run again or not based upon if $ is donated or not, and if any participant improvements are made.
For a hometown half marathon, its ok I guess. The single reason (and the best one in my opinion) is that I got to spend time with 2 of my dearest and well you just can't put a medal, dollar amount or rating (other than DUH! WINNING!!) on that... :O)
On a personal level, I am overall pleased as punch with the way it turned out. Let's face it, the past 6 weeks have been hell on me; sure I ran a couple of 11-12 milers but if you go back, you'll see that they sucked for the most part. And speed training? Eh. You see my blog; couple of speed workouts in the gym. Compared to past Spring's this one is down right embarrassing I suppose, but honestly I am cool with it. Some things are just more important.
I went out there not knowing exactly what I could do. I hadnt run that far since the end of January and certainly not at any pace other than training on Saturday (and that again hasnt gone well); nor had I even come close to simulating race day...and then factor in that I really havent run in hot/humid for quite some time.
Honestly I think it just shows me the kind of shape I am in. Which is way better than I might have thought.
The hot yoga has given me some ammunition when running outside in the hotter temps...I have lost some weight and just gotten overall stronger due to more strength training.
I could have very easily run faster yesterday...even thought about it a time or 2 early in the first half. After each mile I kept thinking "any moment its going to hit me" and I am going to bonk; so I kept at the pace thinking 'get it while you can' mentality. However I also didnt want to finish by doing the death march in the last 1.1.
I had said all along I just wanted to use this as a training run...supported....with some extras; and also the benefit of my girlfriends and I sharing it together.
Sure I am sore today...My quads hurt like a mo fo...and my hip flexors are cranky. Again I havent run at that distance and pace for a while; I am not surprised that I have some repercussions...
I will take it easy by doing nothing tonight...I figured I could take a day off :O)
How about some random pictures from the weekend?
|A few pictures taken from where we ate dinner on Saturday night: Top Water Grill down in San Leon|
|I ate one whole grilled shrimp taco, and the insides of the other; smushed black beans and rice together; had a few bites; started with a small dinner salad.|
|Nicole and I|
|I just thought this sign was funny. Like who would do a meet and greet for Jim Beam's great grandson? I never liked Jim Beam...had a friend who drank it like it was water though.|
|And a few from the car on the drive back to Nicoles after dinner; Galveston Bay|
|Outside Kemah Boardwalk; huge tourist attraction; this picture actually is pointless :)|