Woot Woot!!! I just met one of my 2016 goals!!!
Run two half marathons this year
On Saturday April 30th I ran the Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon in High Point, North Carolina. It was a beautiful course and I ran a personal best!!!
I found this race in my Runner’s World Magazine several months back. I had no idea about it all! I signed up for it just before my last half.
This race was about two hours from my house so we decided this time just to get up early Saturday and drive down. The race didn’t start until 8:30 am and they had packet pick up before the race that morning. I had a pretty rough week leading up to the race. The Saturday before my planned 12 mile run turned into a complicated 5 mile run and I only ran two more miles on Monday that week. I spent the rest of the week, tired and emotional and started my monthly cycle on Friday… Needless to say I did not have high hopes for this event considering my condition… By Friday however I started feeling a bit better and while through the week I found myself not looking forward to the race I was beginning to get excited! I told myself that I would run this race for the joy of running and take it easy if I needed to! I got my stuff together and was ready to run!
My friend Bridget ended up going down the night before and so she actually picked up my race packet for me! We arrived into High Point around 7:15 am and had really no trouble finding parking or the race start. There were plenty of portable toilets there so I had no trouble finding a bathroom either! This was a relatively small race, compared to the others I have participated in, there were 433 people who completed the half marathon and 150 that ran the 5K. Smaller races tend to yield less than exciting goody bags and this was no exception. There was a reusable grocery style bag with the Carolina Brewfest Logo (you know the kind you can buy at the grocery store for your wine or groceries and use again and again), I will use it to toss stuff in I am sure at some point, a sunscreen stick and the T-Shirt. The T-Shirt is also not the most amazing shirt ever. What color is that? Regardless I will wear it I am sure, it is super soft! The point of all this is to say, do not run this race for the swag… It’s a bit underwhelming. The race however makes up for that!
The directors did a great job getting everyone on to the course to line up for the start and they had pacers which I love!! The pacers carried a flag with their pace group time on it and so they were easy to find. Bridget and I lined up with the 2:15 group right after a quick photo op!
The race start was a tiny bit congested but quickly spread out and we were off running the beautiful streets of High Point. We stuck with the pace group for the first 5 miles or so and then fell a little behind as we stopped for water and fuel. The race was an open course meaning there were vehicles along the way. There were police at the large intersections controlling traffic but there were many times throughout neighborhoods where we’d find ourselves racing cars too!
This race is quite possibly my favorite course so far! High Point is beautiful and the route was a large loop, no out and backs which can drive a runner mad. We ran on the main roadways, through gorgeous neighborhoods, onto their greenway, on the campus of the gorgeous High Point University and back through town. This is a hilly course and the last two miles were pretty tough but the best part about the up hills are the downhills and there were a few of those too! There was not a ton of crowd support along the course which is fine with me. Crowds tend to distract me. It was like any other nice long run with 400 friends. The weather had not been as I expected, it was overcast and there was a constant mist the entire race. At first I was worried as I had never completed a long run in the rain but by about mile four the mist was a welcomed companion and kept me cool!
We finished in record time for the both of us at 2:27:33!!! I was super excited! I really didn’t have a goal time but throughout the event I kept watching our pace and time and thought “oh my, I think I might PR”. My first half in April 2015 I finished at 2:29:59 and my second half March 11, 2016 was 2:44:34 (yikes) (Bridget and I both ran this one and that was her first half so she seriously PR’d at this race). I am pretty happy about this! The one thing that kind of stinks is I know we were on track around mile 10 to finish closer to 2:15 and I know we could have if we had pushed ourselves just a tad bit harder… Next time!
The finish was great, all the supporters were there to cheer us on and we got these super cute medals. They apparently gave the runners a cooling towel, we missed that, we also missed the post-race food and water station, it was there somewhere but we just didn’t see it. We found ourselves in the line for the beer lol!! Post-race priorities right lol! There were several local breweries there and we each got two free beers, that was pretty fun! My favorite vendor 73 Threads was also there and since I was kind of cold after I bought a super cute hoodie! In addition to my hubby my college girl Madie came to cheer me on, she lives only about 20 minutes away so that was pretty awesome!
Afterward we headed to a local Pizza place and replenished those lost calories!
It really was a great event and I will put this one on my list of “will run again races”! If you are in the High Point area next April I suggest you put this one on your list too!