My friend Colleen picked me up at 6:00 this morning to make the one hour drive to Trenton. She was running the Half and we needed to be there early for her start! I was running the 10K so I had a little more time. We parked and got a shuttle pretty quickly, got through bag check quickly, went to the bathroom pretty quickly. And then we waited. The email said the Half would start at 7:45, the DJ said 8, and it started at 8:30! Crazy! This is the first year, so there are bound to be errors. They didn't get all of the roads closed down on time, and the police escort was late because of it.
Several of my friends were in the Half, and I met some amazing Half Fanatics before the start, so it was no hardship waiting, although it was very cold! I even got to finally meet someone I "know" through several facebook groups. We have been at a bunch of the same races and never met, and she came over and introuduced herself to me because of my Half Fanatic shirt. I didn't realize it was her and she actually made the connection wayyy after the race and facebooked me! SO funny!
After the Half started, the 10K runners filed into the corral. There were lots of amazing ladies there from Black Girls Run! They had such energy, and we all ended up doing the Electric Slide in the corral! They all stretched together as well, such a supportive group! Have you ever seen them at a race? They are right up there with Team in Training as far as support goes!
And then we were off! We only had to wait 15 minute for the Halfers to get going, which was nice. Did I mention it was cold? The first 2 miles for me were rough. It was very hilly, the whole time, and my shin was *screaming* and then it was *crying*. I stopped twice to stretch it and it helped a little. What finally loosened it up? Running over the bridge!
Something about the grate on the bridge was good for my shins I guess. My timing was only so-so, I knew I could PR, but wasn't sure how much I could knock off. Every time I felt like I was ahead, I would lose steam on some ginormous hill! A couple times we met up with the Halfers, and that really charged me up because they were the *fast* Halfers! Yay! That definitely helped my time!
The last leg of the race was also uphill, as we entered the stadium. We ran into the stadium, and got to run around the warning track and the Finish was Home Plate. SO COOL! My time was 1:09:09, a new PR! I beat my old time by 3 minutes! Woohoo!
There were some nice teenies handing out the medals,
so I grabbed mine right up and went to look for my friend Michelle, who finished about 15 minutes ahead of me. We waited with the ladies from Black Girls Run and cheered on the racers as they entered the stadium. I got to see my friend Josh come racing by. He finished the Half in 1:52, a new PR for him! Woot!
We went in search of food next, and had to walk up a flight of stairs, across the stands and down another set of stairs to the parking lot. We did stop to take pics of each other with our medals first!
Down the stairs we went. What did we find? Chaos.
There weren't enough volunteers and people were just grabbing anything that wasn't nailed down. I managed to get a soft pretzel, but there was no other food there. I later saw people walking around with whole bunches of bananas (which I hate, but so not the point!), people were giving food to their young kids and other family members. I saw racers carrying whole boxes of pizza and later found out that we were supposed to get pizza. People found boxes of leftover shirts and magnets and were taking handfuls of everything and walking off. It was insanity!
I walked back up the stairs to try and see my friend Colleen finish but I planned it poorly and she was already done! We did manage to get her a pretzel and her bag and then we went to the shuttles.
The line was sooooo long. After 10 minutes of waiting, and not seeing any bus, we found out that we could walk there faster, so we walked back to the car.
All in all, it was a great race. There were plenty of volunteers on the course, and the scenery was amazing. It was my first race that started in one state, passed through another, and then ended back in the original state (NJ-PA-NJ), which was cool. The medal is amazing! It is beautiful and heavy and looks great on my bling rack. The tech shirt is comfy, fits well, and will be great for cold weather training. It wasn't the RDs fault that the crazies ransacked his post race party. AND I got to meet some awesome Half Fanatic ladies.
If they hold it next year, I won't be doing the 10K. I will be doing the Half!
Are you running for Veteran's Day this weekend?