Field: Less than 1000 runners between the half and full marathons
Spectators: Not many along the trail but there were a few groups at various trailheads along the way and the volunteers were very friendly.
Start/Finish: Starts at the Mableton Amphitheater and finishes at the Floyd Rd Bike Depot.
Course: The first 1.5 miles are on rolling roads and the rest of the course is an out and back on the Silver Comet Trail, a paved rail to trail with 2% grade.
Schwag: Soft cotton t-shirt, medal, and free finisher's photo.
Other: The time limit for the half marathon is the same for the marathon (5.5 hours) so this is a great option for walkers. There is plenty of free parking at the start as well as a free shuttle to/from the finish for any spectators.As I mentioned last week, build up to this race didn't go exactly as I hoped. Originally I had planned on this race as my goal for the fall to make me super strong and super fit and super crossed trained* setting up for perfect marathon training cycle where every step would feel like magic and I would smile through each mile like some mythical marathon goddess we all hope to be. Cue real life. *Crosstraining was never actually attempted
While many things about training for this race went well (successful integration of speedwork, improved tempo workouts, etc), a misstep moment on training run left me a bit of a nagging calf issue. Combine that with feeling overtired and small family crisis (thanks Hurricane Matthew), and you get a very light month leading into the race. Or as I like to think of it, nailing the taper element of the training cycle.
Going into race day I wasn't really sure what to expect from my body. My last double digit mileage run had been over a month before and my workouts since then had been variable due to everything that was going on. I went in with the goal of running a comfortable push effort (whatever pace that may be), knowing full well that depending how my calf was feeling, I might have to shut it down and turn it into one heck of a nature walk.
I didn't take any pictures prerace as it was the week before the time change and it was so dark that I was just happy I didn't fall in a port-o-john. Prerace I did my usual standing around, trying not to burn calories, and half heartedly stretching because other people were doing it.
Most of the race was pretty uneventful, but here's a short recap of how it went:
- By the time we got on the trail, I was kind of 'done' with the people that started around the 2 hour sign. No offense to them, but they were super chatting and their conversation topics didn't do anything for me, so I went on about my merry way.
- In an effort to 'use the aid on the course,' I ran without my handheld only to find the first water stop was well over 3 miles into the race. Thank heavens it wasn't hot because my well tapered self would have suffered.
- Though the pre-race instructions were a little confusing talking about different aid stations for marathoners and half marathoners (even though it was the same course), volunteers were happy to giving water to whomever needed it.
- I found a nice group of people to tuck in behind for the second half of the race who were talking about the Kyle Pease Foundation, a group I've always wanted to run with and was happy to learn more about it.
- No major pains or issues during the race, but I definitely was feeling my lack of fitness in the later miles.