Half Marathon #32
SC Half Marathon #24
TR Earth Day Half Marathon #1
I have a habit of setting my expectations low so that it’s easier to have those expectations met than to be disappointed. I made sure to do that again with this race since, to be frank, everything leading up to the race screamed “hot mess.” Thankfully, I paid only $27 for registration. This race sunk lower than I thought it could. My expectations were managed though so it wasn’t too bad.
A grand total of about 40 people ran the half. (41 people were registered but my rough count put the total participants at 37-39.) I didn’t look at the registration totals for the other distance but Ellis said that he saw about 25 people finish the 5k. Honestly, that’s sad.
We arrived, ready for a 7:15 start as advertised on the registration page. (You would have been out of luck if you had googled the race and tried to click on the race website. Apparently no one renewed the domain.) After a bathroom stop we had about 9 minutes before race start. Those minutes ticked away and nothing seemed ready to start. The finish line banner was still at “let’s-play-limbo” level. Then we overheard someone say something about the half starting at 7:30 along with the 10k. They were having technical difficulty.
After double-checking on the adjusted start time we headed back to the truck to wait. A few minutes later we came back out, made a restroom stop and then waited for the new start. The minutes ticked away, again. With only 3 minutes to go I saw someone walkover to his friends and say something about 7:45. All we could do was laugh and head back to the truck.
Finally, we looked back at the start and saw Ed Hughes raising the finish line. Maybe we would be able to start this time. We still didn’t start on time although it was close to the twice rescheduled time. We had to listen to some course directions before the countdown and then we were off.
The course wasn’t bad. If I had been in better shape, it was definitely a course that could have made for a slightly challenging PR attempt. That being said, the course was different what was listed on the registration page. I didn’t mind since the new course was a little easier I think. I had prepared mentally for the slightly harder course so that helped.
When it comes to race performance, it was nowhere near my best. As I have mentioned in my dailymile entries and recap posts, my left leg decided to start acting up as soon as I ran for the first time after the marathon. It has morphed each time I have run but there’s definitely something off. Today it felt a little creaky for the first few miles but not too bad. Throughout the rest of the race various parts of the upper left leg felt off: hip and hamstring primarily. It didn’t hurt, per-say, but it also didn’t feel normal. As I have mentioned many times before, I am so ready to be able to just run. I’ve been in the rehab and recovery phase for months now, an entire marathon training cycle and more.
I definitely bit more off than I could chew when I registered for the half. The 10k seemed far more appealing. I think I need a new rule for myself regarding race registrations. I have to wait until after my first run post-marathon before I can register for any more races.
We managed to finish though in just over 2 hours: 2:01:07
Before I finish the recap, I want to briefly review a couple other aspects of the race.
One, the GTC did not advise to bring your own water. On the entire half marathon course there were two unmanned water stops. One had cups of water. The other had small water bottles. Thankfully the weather was not quite as hot and humid as it could have been.
Two, the portion of the course that ran through Furman had quite a few turns and encountered a few forks in the path. Most of them were marked but there were a few where the markings were not quite clear enough. Perhaps a few more arrows on the sidewalk would have been sufficient? We reached a point where there wasn’t a course monitor or arrow on the sidewalk and almost went the wrong way. Thankfully there was a course monitor up a little ways who got our attention and instructed us to keep coming his way. Also, there was no course monitor at Duncan Chapel Road so Mom and I had to stop and wait for several cars to cross.
As a (now) long time Greenville runner, the decline of official GTC races makes me sad. I love these races and see how they could be great events if things were run properly. I wish there was something that I could do. For now, I will continue to participate in as many races as I am able and contribute in any way that I can.