Thursday, September 19, 2013

RiverRat Half Marathon - April 2013 - 1:47:14

2013 meant a big year of 13.1!  I signed up for three races in three months.  The first race was in Yankton, SD at the end of April.  The RiverRat Marathon, Half Marathon, Bike Ride, and 5K start and end at the river front area of the Missouri River in Yankton.  My cousin Michele ran this race last year, and I decided to give it a try.

My mom and I drove up on Friday night to pick up my packet and eat a pre-race meal of Pizza Hut!  I find that hand-tossed supreme pizza is a good pre-race meal.  I also indulged on the salad bar!  Packet pick up was easy at the Ace Hardware store.  They handed out shirts, race maps, and other information in a well organized fashion.

Race morning weather was PERFECT!  It was absolutely ideal.  I think every runner would agree.  It was in the 50s, no wind, and the sun was shining.  I got up and went through my pre-race ritual.  At this point my standard breakfast was Peanut Butter Cheerios and a banana.  I also had a Gu with me for right before the race.
My FAVORITE flavor!
Drinking a Celsius for some energy!
The half marathon route was an out and back, starting at the riverfront, out to the marina, and back.  This course is great, with one exception.  This MASSIVE hill at mile 10.  The fun part is going down the hill at mile 3!  It is a long, steep, hill.  For the marathoners, it falls at mile 20 in the course.  Talk about a wall.  I knew about this hill, knew exactly where it would be and how I would need to handle it.  I gauged my pace at the beginning of the race based on the energy I would need at the end.  Overall, I felt like I ran a smart race.  I had enough to get me up the hill and finish strong.

Taking off!

Finish line!  The 5K finished at the same place, hence the sad boy...

I was so thrilled with my time!  1:47:14 was over a 10 minute PR from last September!  I was very emotional during this race.  Maybe the beautiful weather, I don't know, but I started crying at mile 3!  I cried for a second at the finish.  They were definitely tears of joy!

The best part was finishing and seeing my good friends finish the 5K!  Angela and Eric and their family ran, as well as Rachel and Sarah.

I decided to check the results on my phone while we were standing around, and to my SHOCK, I placed 2nd in my age group!  I was 20th overall out of 144 total runners.

Runner's high!
This race will always have a special place in my heart.  The weather was perfect and it was so awesome being surrounded by my mom and friends at the finish.  I would do this race again, since it's small and close to home.  My only issue is the finisher dog tags... really.  Dog tags.  I wish they were actual medals.  The full marathon only had 56 runners.  I hope they are able to grow that race.