While I was running the Hilton Head Half Marathon I came up with all kinds of really great titles for this race recap. Do I remember any of them now? Nope.
This morning I nearly didn’t get to run the Hilton Head Island Half Marathon. Everything first thing in the morning went well though I did have to go back to the room to get my 1/2 protein bar.
We didn’t know exactly where Jarvis Creek Park was (aka the starting line) so we followed google directions but got really thrown off when the exit we wanted was blocked off for the race.
We made a whole bunch of wrong turns and ended back up on the parkway so Mom turned around and we slowed down to ask the cop blocking the exit for directions. Cops are supposed to be helpful right? Not this one. He was one of the rudest individuals I have ever met. I rolled down my window to ask and all I got back was yelling. I was already flipping out about possibly missing the race.
We ended up at a gas station where he attendant was much more helpful. Mom pulled up and dropped me off. I had just enough time to hear some of the opening information, bum two safety pins off very helpful runners (I forgot to grab them at the packet pick up!) and get in line before we started.
What a start.
When the race first started I almost immediately started telling myself that this is my race. Time doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if the one hill nearly kills
me my time. I’m not going to look at my pace on the Garmin once. I’m here in my favorite place in the world and I’m going to enjoy it!
The half marathon, 10k and 5k all started together. I thought this wouldn’t work but I didn’t notice any problems.
The first 2 miles consisted of an out and back loop. When we came back by the starting line I looked to the sidelines wondering if Mom and Laura had made it back.
They did. That was awesome to see them there since I didn’t know if I would see them until the end.
About a mile later we entered the cross island parkway and I saw the cop that almost made me miss the race. It took all I had to not stick my tongue out at him or worse. I refrained. We quickly reached the 5k turn and then the 10k turn.
Then came THE hill. Hilton Head (and the entire Lowcountry) is very flat. The only hill we had the entire race was the bridge over the lagoon that runs through the center of the line. Turns out training on the “Hill of Death” back home prepared me well for this hill. While I listened to Katy Perry belt out “Firework” I couldn’t stop looking at the magnificent beauty of the nature all around me. (I planned to take a picture but we ended up taking another route off the island.) Halfway up the hill I wondered when it was going to start getting hard. Then I laughed. It wasn’t hard at all. I couldn’t wait to do it again on the way back.
I tried something new this race. Walking. I walked through each water stop after the bridge. I walked while I at my 1/2 protein bar though it was hard to walk while I watched other runners pass me. Walking worked.
The bridge on the way back was so much easier. I had MercyMe’s song “Alright” playing on the downhill. I danced a little as I listened to “Hold your head up and just keep dancin'”
After the bridge we had just under a 5k to run and I knew I could rock it! I kept up my steady pace until mile 12 when I really started to push it. I felt tired but I knew I had it in me. Plus I looked at my time and was completely shocked to see that I might actually make it under 2 hours again!
Finally I rounded that curve and sprinted to the finish.
(Sorry for the blurry photo. Mom’s still adjusting to being the race photographer.)
See that split clock? There’s a one at the front!
I loved that race. I also love how wonderful red grapes taste after 13.1 miles. I had to go back for anther huge handful.
Mile 1 — 8:29
Mile 2 — 8:35
Mile 3 — 8:47
Mile 4 — 9:05
Mile 5 — 9:10
Mile 6 — 9:21
Mile 7 — 9:09
Mile 8 — 9:42
Mile 9 — 9:16
Mile 10 — 9:38
Mile 11 — 9:28
Mile 12 — 9:24
Mile 13 — 8:43
Average pace: 9:08
This race was only 12.98 according to my garmin but I know I finished stronger than Spinx.
This will definitely be an annual race for me.