Blue & Gray Half Marathon Race Recap (2016) 

So let me preface this post by saying I’ve never run this race before so I don’t know what it was like in previous years but I do know that the weather has always been hit or miss and is one of the reasons I’ve hesitated to sign up for it in the past – along with having to run up two dreaded back to back hills between miles 11 and 13. Today’s weather was pretty nice – although I wish it had been a few degrees warmer. It was 33 degrees at the start and I don’t normally enjoy wearing capris but the real feel was 27 and I just didn’t want to risk it with shorts. I also wore gloves which I’ve never done for a race either but it turned out to be a smart choice as my hands were cold for much of it. The course itself was great with very few “off-road” spots – my ankles were appreciative of that. For a small race, there was great support and water/gatorade stops were evenly spaced throughout. Everyone got finisher medals and the tech shirt was very nice quality! All in all, it was a great experience and I would love to run this race again – it gets bonus points because it is local! The smile on my face says it all! 

This course is mostly an out and back that starts at the top of a decline that you have to run back up during miles 11 -13 to get to the finish. I tried not to let my pace get too out of hand running down the hills at the beginning because I knew what was to come at the end. As I ran up the first of the last 2 hills I said to myself “this is straight torture!” while watching my pace creep up. I inevitably knew that would happen but it still sucked to watch knowing I couldn’t control it. Thankfully, I was able to recover from that hill pretty nicely and my pace remained consistent with the other miles during the last hill.

In the past I had run quite a bit of the race route on my long weekend runs so I was familiar with much of the smaller hills and I think that helped me a lot with overall pacing. I had so much fun seeing the miles tick away and watching my pace remain fairly consistent. It was my first race (longer than a 5k) back from injury and I was nervous that I would start too fast or too slow but I think I found my comfort zone pretty quickly. I spent a few of the middle miles trailing someone that I knew from running other local races and who has always been a little faster than me but around mile 10 I was having to consistently slow down to keep from tripping us both up so I decided to pass her before the hill and then work myself back into my own race groove.

Mile splits

Can you guess which mile Hospital Hill was a part of? Haha. Once I reached the top of the final hill knowing the end was in sight, I ran as fast as my legs would carry me to the finish line. My official finish time was 1:41:01 – a 1 minute 33 second PR from last years Anthem Half Marathon in Richmond, Va – and good enough for 2nd in my age division woohoo! The difference between last year’s PR and this one here is that I am currently training for the Myrtle Beach Marathon so there was no taper and I actually ran my highest mileage week the week of this race. I’m so impressed with what my body has been capable of lately and cannot wait to run another – slightly more flat – half marathon so I can try and get yet another PR. I am really wanting to push for a sub-1:40! It will probably have to wait until after I run my marathon though. Prioritizing my goals is very important right now!


About Runthusiast

Running enthusiast, health nut, mom, pinterest addict!
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3 Responses to Blue & Gray Half Marathon Race Recap (2016) 

  1. Pingback: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 7 | Runthusiast

  2. Elizabeth C. says:

    Wow- great job on getting a PR on a course that looks horrifyingly difficult. WTF with those hills in those places!?! You clearly rocked it and yes, once your marathon is done there will be plenty of time to break 1:40.

  3. Pingback: Myrtle Beach Marathon Training – Week 8 | Runthusiast

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