Huntsville 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Half Marathon #23
Alabama 1/2 marathon #3
12 in 2012 race #11

P and I signed up for this race a few months ago to join his brother M, on his first half marathon. This race was only $26. P is from Huntsville, so we always have a free place to stay.

Pre-Race

I totally forgot to take pictures, but packet pickup was at the Huntsville Fleet Feet. No frills, very easy. You didn’t get your race shirt, but you did get a free GU in your packet. Interesting. We had dinner at M’s house with the family and devoured home made spaghetti and meatballs.

I swear I was asleep by 10:30. The race wasn’t until 8 and we didn’t have to go far. I got up around 6:15. Had the usual: bagel with peanut butter and kona kola NUUN. We got dressed, picked up M at 7:15 and were at the race by 7:30. The race was capped at 1000 runners and there were a ton of volunteers to help with parking (race started at a church). I was able to catch up with Suzanne and grab a few pics before the race.

M and P, Me and P, Me and Suzanne prerace

No corrals, but every runner seemed to know the deal. Start where you should, not all at the front. A very nice change! A prayer (yes, we are in Alabama), and several USA songs sung (Veterans Day theme yall), and a gun was shot (yep) and we were off!

no frills start
yep. that is a big ole gun in that ladies hand.

Miles 1-8

The first few miles were in a neighborhood with lots of turns. I was worried about starting too fast and my lungs were a little off. I apparently didn’t notice I didn’t have any puffs left in my inhaler before the race and went without my medicine. I haven’t had an actual attack in years, but I sometimes struggle. I ALWAYS take my medicine before a run to be safe-so mentally, this was a challenge. Also, the race is very, very strict on no headphones. I used my ifitness belt and put pandora on today’s hits and had music that way-not as good to zone out, but it still was better than silence. Several runners commented early on how smart that was. I try. 🙂

I will admit, no headphones led to lots of conversations with different runners.  I enjoyed chatting with so many different people.

view of the course
apparently very happy to be running

Around mile 4 we turned onto a long(er) road that gave beautiful views of the mountain. I knew at some point the race would get to a greenway, and this is where an out and back would start. M’s wife and kids were there to cheer us all on and snap some pictures.

terrible posture 🙁

The greenway was nice and shaded and about half way to the turn around the leader was already on his way back. I loved that I had something new to look at, and runners to cheer on. I saw M on his way back (yep, for his first 1/2 marathon) and knew the turn around was up head and so was mile 8.  I felt good. Legs weren’t too tired, breathing was good, just nice and steady.

Miles 9-13.1

I loved mile 9, partly because of the wedding on the greenway. Yes, two runners got married on the course and the aisle was made of old running shoes. Pretty stinking cute. I didn’t get to see any of the wedding actually happen, but I did pass P and Suzanne around this point.

photo from Suzanne-wedding happened when she ran by!

I was also getting a TON of “love your sparkles” and “love your skirt” cheers and the man next to me said he was going to get one for his next race. We ran together for the next mile or so and I was thankful to have a distraction.

We were out of the greenway and back onto a very long, straight street with no shade. I was thirsty and bored. I went with my same plan as the past 1/2 at the last water stop and took half of my GU. I checked my watch and knew if I could keep it together I would beat my goal.

The last 2 miles were back in the nice, shaded, neighborhood and I pretended like I was at a relay race and began to count my kills. I have forgotten now, but it had to be at least 15 or so people.

A small uphill to the finish and I was done!

I was ready to be done.

Official Results

Below 1:50. I am thrilled with how easy this seems to feel without really training. Loving the small race and the high AG rankings.

1:48:25

142/811 overall

24/393 Females

5/76 Females 30-34

 Garmin Results

Post Race

I grabbed my medal, shirt, water, and banana and went back to wait and cheer for P and Suzanne. BOTH of them PR’d! P had about a 5 minute PR-which is huge, considering how little he trained. I’m really proud of him. Oh, and M ran a 1:41! Huge first 1/2 marathon. After P finished, I was actually getting a little hungry and took advantage of the Dominos pizza. They also had bagels, granola bars and soft drinks. I was really, really impressed with the post race!

Loving P’s form at the finish!
“just married”
and the post race shots!

We went back to Ps parents house to shower up and then went to the Space and Rocket Center for the afternoon. I’ve been to Huntsville several times and we finally made time to go. If you are in the area, you need to go. I LOVED it. They had a special math exhibit that included lots of updated type of math-like how many cameras it takes to get a 360 photo shot (think red carpet E news stuff), how your height and arm span can effect your abilities (athletic), and many other cool math things.

I definitely learned a lot. It’s sad to think that space and this type of science is not as big/important anymore.

After getting my nerd on, we went and got our drink and football on. Nice post-race activities!

Overall

Favs: 

  • cost
  • volunteers
  • water/gatorade stops that had been chilled with ice!
  • post race
  • location

Not so much:

  • could’ve used 1 more aid station
  • shirt doesn’t fit well

The Bling:

For the cost, I am totally fine with it. And, since the race has a Veterans Day theme, I kinda dig the red, white, and blue ribbon and the dog tag shaped medal (not sure that is on purpose or not).  The shirt doesn’t fit well, at all. I had to get a unisex Medium.

white, long sleeve, tech tee

Final Thoughts:

I actually loved this little race. Very organized, great post race, iced water stops, great volunteers, really pretty scenery and even a decent amount of cheering and spectators. MUCH better race than the Monster Dash a few weeks ago. If you live near Huntsville-DO THIS RACE. Again, $26. $26!!! For a 1/2 marathon! I’m not sure I would make this my Alabama race if I was racing the states, but if it fits into your schedule, I wouldn’t tell you not to do it. I would definitely run this one again!

 

 

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Elizabeth

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15 Comments

  • I LOVE that there were people saluting in the picture during the National Anthem. That is a cool pic. Also, a LS tech tee for a $26 race? That is pretty cool. Sucks that it doesn’t fit well, but I LOVE my LS tech tees from the few races they give them out at. Also, seriously, 1:48, on only a little training?! When you and Jess get the training plan going, you are going to be SMOKING fast!!!

  • I loved your recap, I feel like you always touch on things that I either miss or don’t think to write about. Pretty sure this and Oak Barrel will be on our race calendar every year. You can’t beat $26 for a well-run half on a beautiful course!

  • I loved your recap! You had a great race – I think your pace was smokin’ fast! Sucks that the shirt doesn’t fit very well, but for $26 I probably wouldn’t complain much 🙂 Congrats on such a strong race.

  • $26 for a 1/2 is unheard of! That is an awesome price.
    I love the 5th picture down of you running. You really do look like you love running. I don’t have that many race photos where I look like I love running. I swear I do, I don’t know why I always have a pained expression on my face.
    Great time too! It looks like you are well on to your way to having a successful 2013 🙂

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