There are definitely pros and cons to running a small(er) hometown event.
1. I got to sleep in until 6:30 a.m. race morning. That’s pretty good for race day!
2. It took 15 minutes to drive and walk to the start.
3. No 30+ minute wait for a bathroom. During my warm-up 30 minutes prior to the start, I found 4 port-a-potties completely unoccupied!
4. I dropped my things at the bag drop literally 5 minutes before the start.
5. I crossed the start line as soon as the gun went off. (I made sure to start towards the front so I didn’t have to waste time and energy weaving around others.)
1. The lack of people cheering. I’ve mentioned before that there are very few people cheering along the course at most races here. It bums me out because the crowds can really carry you when you need it the most.
The Mayor’s Half-Marathon I ran on Saturday was my 11th half-marathon.
The races for solstice weekend include a marathon (which I ran in 2011), marathon relay, half-marathon, 4-miler (which Craig ran!), and a kid’s race.
It was a great weekend to run with nearly perfect race weather. (I’m sure it wasn’t perfect in everyone’s book, but I was happy with how it turned out.) Mid-60s, sunny, and calm winds.
The course started and ended on the Park Strip in downtown Anchorage. We first ran down this hill and caught a glimpse of the gorgeous views of the Cook Inlet. This was also the final stretch for the end of the race. (Seriously, every race in this town ends on a hill!)
The course then took us out along the Coastal Trail which was nicely shaded with iconic views of the oceanic waters and mountain landscapes. There was also quite a few hills along the way, which definitely slowed me down. They weren’t awful, per se, but I know they had an affect on my time. I should have been able to run about two minutes faster, but we ended up running one mile through the woods. And this mile was not a nice paved (or even well-used trail). The trail through the woods was something you would experience on a pretty rugged trail race—a lot of ruts, roots, divots, and a very steep downhill. I wasn’t too fond of this part because it really slowed me down and a lot of people passed me—including this girl.
All-in-all, it was a great race. I pushed hard and gave it my best shot. I did cut 4 minutes off my time from my half-marathon three weeks ago, and this time the course was much more difficult. I really feel like my fitness it coming around, and I am excited to see what I can do at the Her Tern Half-Marathon in July.
Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 7:15 (I had a 7:04 pace for the first half.)
Overall place: 52/1780
Female place: 8/1104
Age group (30-34) place: 5/188
I am so fortunate to have a husband who supports me and now even runs races with me. It has always been my hope that he would catch a little bit of my addiction, and I’m pretty sure he’s caught the bug this summer. I did not try to pressure him and made sure it was his choice to go for runs and run races with me.