Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday 1/2 Marathon - Race Recap

December 15, 2013

Holiday Spirit was definitely in the air at the Holiday Half Marathon 2013!!!

I ran this race as a pace mentor with Foot Traffic University so after we parked the car (a bit further away than we needed to because we hadn't really done our homework researching the area) and made our way through the throngs of people, I headed into the WARM Adidas building where FTU had a table set up for us to meet at.  Shining smiling faces were gathered closely together - barely containing our excitement.  These runners had put in the miles and were ready (for some of them) to run their first half marathon!  Amongst the first-timers was my co-worker and friend, Kris (who hit it out of the park with a sub-2-hour first half marathon!!!):
Kris and I post-half-marathon wearing our medals and smiles!

The first couple of miles found us in a close pack, searching the crowds for the friends we were running with - our pace group numbers pinned to our backs on pieces of paper seemed to draw runners that were not part of FTU.  After a few twists and turns through the neighborhood the course opened up a bit and runners spread out more.  We found our grooves and I ended up with a couple of FTUers running with me.  I was pacing for the 10:30 min group and stuck with that time (finishing at a 10:24 overall) but lost all of my runners along the way - some dropped back and some sprinted forward.  The Holiday Half marathon is a great course to PR if the weather and your training/physical health allows. The course is mainly flat - with an out and back component that may be a little confusing if you haven't previewed the course.... it's further to get to the "out" than half of a half - we did our turnback way past the 6.5 mile marker due to that little tour of the neighborhood for the first bit.  But, the weather was great, the spectators cheered loudly, water stations were plentiful and festive and the DOWNHILL finish made for an elated feeling as you crossed the finish line.

One of the best parts of the Holiday Half!?!?!  What you wear!  
FTU pace mentors all join in the fun.

After the race there was a raffle - we were inside the warm building again - and I won a visor.  Perfect.  My first new piece of running apparel for the spring/summer season. :)

Things I love about the Holiday Half?  The outfits, the the camaraderie, the holiday spirit, the course (an area I rarely run), and how hard Foot Traffic works to improve the experience every year.  There were lots of porta-potties, heated areas, great food (hot black bean soup on a cold December day after a race is DIVINE).  Can't wait for next year!!!