Melanie and the race organizers for the entry!
Today I'll recap the festivities using the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" format.
- Gorgeous course that ran along the St. Joseph riverfront and through many local South Bend and Mishawaka parks and neighborhoods. The finish was on the University of Notre Dame campus near the football stadium.
The St. Joseph Riverfront in downtown South Bend
The Notre Dame football stadium
- Weather conditions were very pleasant. It was sunny and breezy with temps in the 60s.
- Mid-sized races are my favorite, and I thought the half marathon field size was perfect - right around 1,250 finishers.
- Great swag - I loved the medal and the race shirt!
- There were frequent aid stations with friendly volunteers, ample medical support, and helpful, spirited police officers. In my experience, it's atypical for the police to cheer on the runners - but here, many were cheering us on with gusto!
- Amanda N and I met up before the race. Here's a picture of the us before the race start:
The "SB" could stand for either South Bend or for Sunburst. Not sure which one was intended???
- Amanda and I ran together for the first 10K or so. It was great to have her company! We enjoyed chatting and bantering with other runners on the course. HUGE congratulations to her for smashing her old PR to smithereens. She earned a new PR by a mind-boggling 30 minutes. BOOM!
- I finished in 2:12:40, which was a 71-second PR for me. (Mini-boom!?!?)
|Amanda and me with our medals at the finish.|
- While my 2:12:40 time was a solid PR, my goal for the day was to break 2:10. Going in, I felt pretty confident that I could do it since I just ran 1:37:43 at the CARA Live Grit 10-Miler in April. I was disappointed that I didn't achieve my "A" goal. I know I could have done better.
- I ran a majorly positive split. Up through about Mile 7, I was right on pace. But then fatigue started hitting, I cramped up for a few minutes, and my legs began feeling heavy. Everything deteriorated from there. During the remainder of the race, I clocked only one mile at target pace.
Trying desperately to battle through
- Around Mile 11.5, the marathoners/half marathoners merged with the 5K walkers. This resulted in significant crowding for much of the rough final stretches of the course. Thankfully, the 5K walkers branched off again near the very end.
- I wasn't expecting the long, rolling hills on the course. Most of them weren't too bad, but right after the Mile 12 marker there was an absolutely killer hill. I thought it was cruel and unusual, especially at that point in the race. Amanda F, who ran the full marathon, said it was new on the course this year. She shared this picture which doesn't even begin to do it justice:
- The course was very winding. Even though I am militant about running the course tangents, my Garmin still ended up registering 13.18 miles at the finish line.
- I wore a time-tested sports bra and socks, and I applied ample BodyGlide. Yet, somehow I still ended up with chafing and blisters. Going into the race, I already had a black toenail and it got exacerbated pretty badly during the race, too. Ahhh, the glamour!
Obligatory race photo body spasm.
As you can probably guess, this photo was taken prior to all the skin/blister issues.
- Adam wasn't able to get to the finish area to spectate. He drove around for about 45 minutes but kept getting redirected due to road closures. After I crossed the finish line, he was still circling the premises. He didn't get to see me run at all, which was disappointing.
- The ribbon on the medals lists a race date of June 5, 2015. The race took place on June 6, 2015. Oops by someone!
Despite not having my best performance, I had a great time at this race. I loved the surprisingly beautiful riverfront scenery, the finish at Notre Dame, and the friendly, genuine volunteers and staff. It was great running with Amanda N and celebrating her spectacular new PR afterwards (wow)! If I lived closer to South Bend, this would be a race I would enjoy doing every year.
My next race: the PAWS Run For Their Lives 8K on June 14, 2015