It all started at packet pickup on Friday afternoon. I usually don't pick up my packet early for races that are over 15-20 minutes away, but there was no race morning packet pickup, so I didn't have an option. There was an expo this year though, so it made having to drive downtown a little bit more worthwhile. First stop at the expo was to pick up bibs. My brother and Sister in Law came into town for the race, and my Sister in Law that lives here also ran the race, so we had lots to pick up!
After grabbing the bibs we had to go pick up the rest of our stuff. Hospital Hill has some of the best race goodies. This year there were tech shirts and reusable water bottles before the race. After the race you get finishers flip flops and your medal of course. Here's a couple pictures of the pre-race goodies.
After getting all the race stuff it was time to look around the expo for a bit. First stop was the bondiband booth. I LOVE my bondibands. They are awesome at absorbing sweat and water, I have pictures from the race to prove it! I got 3 new bondibands, a blue 13.1 band to match my half fanatics shirt (pictured later on), and the other 2 below.
I also signed up for a new 15k race in the fall. It was $10 off and you got a free gift for signing up. I had been holding off on signing up since I thought the price was a little high at $40, but $30 seemed a lot more reasonable. I like that it's a 15k, not a distance you see often. This is the gift I got for registering.
After looking around a little longer nothing else caught my eye, and so packet pickup fun ended.
I went home and laid out everything I would need for the morning. I didn't want to forget anything since I had to get up so early in the morning!
Ok, fast forward to about 6:50 Saturday morning. Race day is finally here!
We got to the race plenty early, but made the mistake of not getting into the starting chute until the last minute. My best attempt to get into the starting area near the sign that designated the 10 minute/mile pace runners was to stand outside the actual starting area near a fence someone had opened up. I think this race would benefit from having corals. Last year the 1/2 started 15 minutes before the 5k & 10k, so there weren't as many people crowded into the start area at one time. Here is my view of the start, and the people behind me. There were 7,600 runners this year!
I was trying to run slower than usual so I wouldn't lose steam too early, and still managed to run my first mile in under 10 minutes. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with that pace, and tried to slow down even more, especially with the first hill coming up fast. Shortly after the marker for mile 1 was hospital hill, the hill that the race is named after. I am fairly certain this was the only hill that I ran up in it's entirety the whole race. I shouldn't have pushed myself up that hill so early on. I managed to keep a good pace for about 4 miles, and then my energy started draining fast. This was around the time that the 2:15 pace group passed me, and I gave up on that goal. It was super hot, and humid. At every water stop I grabbed 2 cups of water, one to drink and one to pour over my head. I would cool down for a couple minutes and feel good, but then I would start getting hot again all too soon. The rest of the race was kind of blur from that point. I was pretty miserable, and just wanted to finish the race. I was very thankful for all the people who were cheering us on with their garden hoses to cool us down and bags of ice. The spectators were so awesome for this race!
Here are some of the pictures I took during the middle of the race. There were several bands along the course, this was the only picture that you can kind of see the band in.
When I got to the next water stop I poured 2 waters over my head and ran through the sprinklers. I felt like a drowned rat, but it was so hot. I didn't really care that my outfit was soaking wet, and had been soaked for several miles. The cool water was so refreshing. Check out how awesome my bondiband is! I don't know how I managed a smile for this picture, maybe I was thinking about the fact that there was only another mile to go...
Finisher Flip Flops
We saw this guy as we were walking to the car. He runs a lot of local races, and carries the Flag for the entirety of them all. Google Strides of Pride, he has a website about what he does!
Here are some pictures of the medal this year. This year along with the medals for the next 2 years are supposed to fit together to form a super awesome medal to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the HHR in 2013. I'm hoping I can run the 1/2 the next 2 years in order to complete my collection!
My medal hanger is starting to fill up. All the medals on the left are from my 5 1/2 marathons, the others are from shorter distances and one of my age group awards.