Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Westward adventures - Grand Tetons Half Marathon (Race #8)

Saturday morning was an early morning (5:30am) to get ready for the race and be outside in time to catch the shuttle to the start line. My roommate, Franci, and I went out to the main parking lot and waited, and waited, and found some other people to wait with, started chatting, wondering if we were in the right place to catch the buses, started to get a little worried that somehow we had all missed the buses and then 5 huge school buses pulled into the parking lot and we were on our way to the start line!

The starting line was a great setup for the weather and number of people at the race - there were a ton of porta-potties and a heated tent so that we could get out of the cold morning air. There were also drawings every 5-10 minutes for random prizes, most including a digital image package and the grand prize being a free entry to another Vacation Races event in the next year.
  • Mile 1 - 10:57
  • Mile 2 - 10:51
  • Mile 3 - 10:03
  • Mile 4 - 10:45
  • Mile 5 - 10:58
  • Mile 6 - 11:34
  • Mile 7 - 11:28
  • Mile 8 - 10:16
  • Mile 9 - 12:19
  • Mile 10 - 12:37
  • Mile 11 - 12:15
  • Mile 12 - 14:41
  • Last Mile - 11:56
Official time: 2:35:19

The scenery for this race was amazing! The race had an overall elevation gain of a little over 400' but with the elevation change coming from the east coast, I felt winded pretty early in the race (I was told to expect this, but it's still a little bit of a shock when it happens). I did a 4:1 run / walk ratio again, starting after the first mile and adjusting for the times when I stopped to take fun pictures - miles 9-12 were the most scenic part and I definitely stopped to take lots of pictures.

The finish line festival was at a local golf club and we got free pictures from the race photographer with our medals (above). The finish line festival was relatively small, but as you came across the finish line, there was an announcer who tried to get everyone's name as they came in and after getting our medals, we went into another tent that had our boxes of goodies, bananas, water / Nuun and lots of folding chairs to sit down if you wanted to. Since this was a point-to-point race, this was also where we could pick up our drop bags. After grabbing some food, I headed back outside, got my free finisher picture and randomly saw some guys holding a "You're in Steelers Country" sign and I immediately ran over and asked if I could photobomb their picture! They were happy enough to oblige and as soon as I got my picture, another woman came over and asked if she could get her picture too because she was blogging about her experience for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). 

After the race, I caught back up with Franci and found out she had gotten 3rd place in her age group and beat me by about 5 minutes! The age group winners got a gold / silver / bronze version of the same medal that everyone received and they looked really awesome!

The only complaint I have about the race is the miles that we were on the dirt road, while they had sprayed to try to cut down on the dust, it wasn't closed to traffic, so it made it hard to breathe when a vehicle would pass and kick up a bunch of dust. Plus, about a mile or less from the finish line, I had a bus do about a 15-point turn in the middle of the road in front of me which required me to stop until he got situated and facing the other direction. That part was really frustrating since the bus driver could clearly see that there were runners still coming down the road and because this was someone that the race organization had hired (the buses took us back to the start line / original pick-up location).

Overall, I would definitely do this race again, if nothing else to have another excuse to head back to the Tetons! 


Post a Comment