Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 race #5 - BB&T Corporate Cup half marathon

This is one of the Charlotte races that I had never done before, so when I was offered a free race entry, of course I said yes! Even though this would mean a race 4 weeks in a row, I figured I could use this as my last training run for the Backyard to Vineyard Challenge and just take it easy if I needed to. RSM sponsored the free entries and asked everyone to wear their awesome team shirts during the race.

I met up with Beth again before the race and we found her running group before the start of half marathon. I got my new Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta hydration pack after my race the weekend before and wanted to try it out - I figured a local half marathon would be good test run in case it was completely uncomfortable, I could ditch it much more easily. I was looking for something that had actual bottles instead of a bladder so that I can refill them and clean it more easily. This one came with the added benefit of soft bottles that deflate as you drink from them, two additional pockets in the front and then 2 small pockets and a large pocket that could also hold a bladder in the back. I love having pockets for everything, so this was exactly what I was looking for! 

The morning of the race was cool, but not too cold and it warmed up into the 50's by the time we finished. As we jogged to the start line, I was very aware of the extra bounce I had with the bottles on my chest - I made a few minor adjustments to the vest and it helped quite a bit, though when the water bottles are full, it's still noticeable. 

The run starts in uptown Charlotte and wanders down to Myers Park and through Dilworth before coming back uptown to finish. There is a long climbing hill near the end of the race, as it is with most races that end uptown, but knowing where it is doesn't make it any easier to get through! Our group of 6 that started out together slowly drifted apart over the last 3-4 miles with one girl taking off and finishing well ahead of the rest of us and then I partnered up with another girl, finishing at 2:27:28 and the other three coming in just behind us. I like meeting up with this group to run with and they've adopted me, even though I don't officially run in their club, but it's been nice to have some friendly faces to run with on these local races. 

It was very windy when we finished the race uptown (the wind whips through all the buildings), so we took a few pictures with our medals in front of the Disco Chicken and quickly made our way back home. 


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