Over the weekend, Husband and I ran our half marathon. It was pretty awesome getting to run with him. I have never run a race with someone before, and it was really helpful. Granted, we didn’t chat as we ran, but it was great to have that support system. At around mile 7 of the race, there was a ridiculously terrible hill. It was about .25-.5 miles long on a pretty steep incline. Husband doesn’t do well on hills, so I mentally pushed him up the hill and kept him going. Then, at around mile 10, my ankle started to feel pretty terrible. I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish the race. However, Husband was there to keep me going. Even at the end, when I didn’t think I had a final push left in me, Husband grabbed my hand and we cheesily ran across the line together. We were those disgusting people. Vomit. I know.
The race itself was a great experience. However, some of the logistics surrounding the race got me thinking about race reviews. These are things that can either make or break a race (in my mind):
- Having enough port-o-potties. The race on Saturday definitely did not have enough. There were 30,000 runners and maybe 30 port-o-potties at the start. We got to the start at around 6:45 for a 7:30 gun. What time did we actually get to our corral after going to the bathroom? 7:29. The lines were ridiculous.
- Corrals/wave start. These are great. It’s nice for the faster/middle of the pack runners to not get bogged down with walkers (sorry, walkers). But it’s SO frustrating to get in a groove and then have someone stop dead in front of you and start walking. It’s such a pet peeve of mine.
- Quality finish/chute areas. Running the Baltimore Marathon was an absolute NIGHTMARE because of this. First of all, they started the Half halfway through the marathon. Therefore, for the last part of the marathon when you’re semi-delirious, you have to fight for resources with the half-runners. I wanted to cry. Then, at the finish, there were horribly long lines to get medals, water, and sustenance. After I ran Baltimore I couldn’t find anyone and was incoherently asking people if I could use their cell phones because I couldn’t find my family. It was awful. The Philly marathon and DC Rock ‘n’ Roll half did a really good job with the finish chute area. I was able to get my food, water, medal, and blanket in a timely fashion.
- Competent gear-check people. The Rock ‘n’ Roll half did not do a good job with this. There was going to be a mutiny if we didn’t get our sweats soon. Philly did a fantastic job.
- On-course support. Sometimes you’ll kill a man for some Gatorade. Baltimore wasn’t great for a lot of things, but their on course support (refreshment-wise) was great. Philly also had some great cheering.
- Cool course. The Annapolis Half that I did last year was beautiful. Would totally do it again. Any race in DC is pretty awesome because you run by the monuments and major areas of the city. Baltimore sent you through some SHADY areas. Granted, a lot of Baltimore is shady, but I definitely would not go to those areas again if I weren’t in a giant pack and running. If you’ve ever seen The Wire, you’ll have a good idea of the areas we ran through.
Based on these points, my rankings of my “major races” are as follows:
The Good: Philly Marathon, Zooma Annapolis Half
The Ok: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half
The “I would have to win prize money for showing up again”: Baltimore Marathon
Things to ponder!