Oh yeah, you read that right. I ran my first (uh huh, I said first…as in there will be more) half marathon last weekend.
I ran the race with my brother and his girlfriend and it makes me really want a running partner (or partners!). I seriously need to move to Minnesota. Or at least live in a town where I can find someone to run with! Makes the miles fly by. Seriously, didn’t seem like it took nearly two hours.
Location: Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota (now, I’m probably wrong and it’s actually in St. Louis Park, Minnesota or some other town that is basically Minneapolis,but you get my drift. The course was amazing. Seriously. It was almost completely flat which was a relief for my first attempt at a half marathon. It followed the river which at one point we crossed, and then we crossed back over it at the end.
Weather: Ugh. Besides the temperature which was perfect (about 50 degrees), it rained off and on throughout the race. Most of the time it was just drizzle, which is fine to deal with, but at around mile 11 it picked up quite a bit. By then though there was no reason we were going to stop.
Logistics: Now, I’ve never done a half marathon before, but I must say, it seems like they should’ve organized certain parts of this a little better. There was no parking at the actual park where the race started so you could park in a lot and take a shuttle there. We got to the parking lot about 45 minutes before the race started and didn’t get to the actual race until 11 1/2 minutes AFTER the race started. If it weren’t for chip timing (and our awesome Garmin’s) I would’ve been highly upset.
The course was pretty crowded almost the entire way. The half marathon and 10k runners started together and when we started (11 1/2 minutes late) the 5k racers were lining up so the first mile consisted of us darting in and out of the runners who were blocking the road. A little frustrating. After the 10k racers turned off though the amount of people was reasonable. I can’t imagine if I did a huge half marathon what it would be like. Craziness! I also can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if we would’ve actually started on time – probably much more crowded.
Swag: The race tshirts were technical tees, which are cute – and I only have 1 short sleeve technical tee, so another is always nice. They also had some coupons (which unfortunately I had to use since I accidentally left my running shoes in Missouri), a free water bottle, a reusable bag which is nice, and…a clif bar? They also had $10 tickets to a Buca di Beppo buffet the night before the race which was awesome. Next time I’m in Minneapolis I’d like to go the actual restaurant, if it’s that good in bulk quantities I imagine it’s pretty amazing normally.
Company: My brother and his girlfriend (I almost wrote sister-in-law…!!) were awesome to run with. I never run with other people, so it was a nice change, one I hope to keep up. We chatted most of the time and my brother really hung with me towards the end when I almost had a panic attack. 🙂 Brothers are great sometimes!
Success: I still can’t quite believe we did it. I never in my life thought that I would do a half marathon. Seriously. Especially considering my longest “race” before this was a 5k (well, quite a few 5ks, but still).
Results: We finished the race (according to our Garmin’s) with an 8:42/mile pace. According to the unofficial results our time was 1:55:34 which means we made our goal time. My goal was to beat 1:58 originally (or under 9 minute miles). Then it was to beat 1:56 which is what my cousin got when he ran his half marathon :). I’m semi-competitive. Now I’m just afraid my brother and his girlfriend will get a lot faster than me and I won’t be able to keep up with them in the next half marathon!