Sunday, November 23, 2014

Race #18 - Thunder Road half marathon

I've finally done one of Charlotte's biggest races! Most of the races I've run in Charlotte have been 5k to 10k distances, with only one local half marathon under my belt (RaceFest earlier this year), so it was fun to participate in a local race with 6,000 other runners between the marathon, half marathon and 5k races. 

This is one of the marquee races that the Galloway training group that I participated in last fall and winter train for, so they invited all current and former program participants to meet uptown, break into pace groups and then head to the start line together. An added benefit was that we had a warm place to meet up and hang out before the race, which was an awesome perk for a 28 degree morning (Garmin says it felt like 21).  I got up there around 7:00am and we all hung out together until a little after 7:30 before we headed down toward the start line for a 7:45 start time. It was perfect timing, with only a handful of minutes standing around in the cold before the race started. 


The program director recommended that we not start our run / walk ratios until we hit the bottom of the first hill since the majority of the first two miles would be downhill and that would help us get spread out from the crowd a bit. I knew I wasn't going to keep up with the 10:00 pace group the whole time, but I thought it would be good to start with them and just see how it went. We definitely went out way too fast and when the group decided to start their watches for their 5:1, I decided I would stick with 4:1 and just go at it on my own. I actually started my watch when we started the race, but just ignored the walk breaks until we hit the bottom of the first big hill.

  • Mile 1 - 9:15
  • Mile 2 - 9:06
  • Mile 3 - 9:48
  • Mile 4 - 10:54
  • Mile 5 - 10:21
  • Mile 6 - 10:37
  • Mile 7 - 10:41
  • Mile 8 - 10:33
  • Mile 9 - 10:16
  • Mile 10 - 10:54
  • Mile 11 - 10:12
  • Mile 12 - 10:18
  • Mile 13 - 10:45
  • Last .1 - 8:39

Official time: 2:16:00

I slowed down a bit in mile 13 to take some pictures of uptown (including the one in the top right) and then I wandered around the finish line area for a bit, but after I stopped running, I got cold quickly, so I didn't stick around too long. The race had very good crowd support throughout the race with several bands and people in every neighborhood that we went through. My favorite was around mile 9 (I think) where there were a ton of people dressed up for Thanksgiving - turkeys and pilgrims and tons of high fives!

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this run and I definitely want to do more of Charlotte's longer races in the future. I also want to start volunteering at some of these races - there's no particular reason that I haven't in the past, but since I know I'll be traveling for races next year and won't necessarily be able to do all of the Charlotte ones, it would be fun to give back to those who come to my locale to run!

Have you done all of your big local races or volunteered for them? 

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