What a gorgeous day we had for the race! Mike didn’t sign up to do the 1/2 marathon this time, mainly because he thought I was going to do the full marathon and he didn’t want to go that far. However, since I dropped down to the 1/2, he walked/ran it with me (unofficially). I had my own personal coach for the entire race!
We got there about 6:45 to pick up my timing chip and wait around until my race started at 8:15.
What’s a sure fire way to tick a bunch of neighborhood residents off? Hold a marathon for 650 people at a park with 3 parking spaces!
There were cars all down the main street so only one car could get through at a time. It was in the mid to high 50’s when we first got there but both Mike and I were starting to freeze by the time the race started. Ever notice how the National Anthem is one of the slowest songs ever sung? Well, maybe other than Amazing Grace.
At 8:00 they lined up all of the marathoners. They got a 15 minute head start to help alleviate the congestion on the trails. There was one gentleman there who was running his 300th marathon, an 82 year old marathon runner, a couple of people completing their 100th marathon, and a guy that was finishing his 50th state marathon. Imagine running a marathon in all 50 states! I think I’ll pass, but it is definitely impressive…as are all of the others.
We waited for another 15 minutes to allow enough of a buffer before we were lined up and being sent through the shoot.
There were several people wearing costumes of some sort. The sequin lady and I had a back and forth on the trail, but I was victorious in the end! Her jacket was so shiny my camera didn’t handle it very well.
As most of the other 1/2 marathoners were filing through I heard someone call my name. Suddenly there was my friend Samantha in front of me!
Samantha and I worked together for a few years at a jewelry store while she was studying for the Bar exam and I was finishing up my Masters. We chatted for a little bit, then she went to catch up with her Mother and her Mother’s friend. I was running intervals (3 running/2 walk) so when I first started running I passed a lot of people…it felt great! Of course, many of those people passed me again at some point (including sequins).
The race was done completely on the greenbelt trails and was an out and back of 6.55 miles. The 1/2 marathoners made 2 trips while the marathoners had 4. There were aid stations at miles 1, 2, and 3, which means it ended up being an aid station at every mile. I decided to use the aid stations this race instead of carrying my water bottle and this race was set up perfectly for that. There was even a small loop around a pond.
They put every racer’s name on a sign that hung all down the trails. This keeps your mind a little busy as you try to find your name.
The tradition is to pull your name off the tree on your last loop and take it home with you. This was kinda neat because you could tell who was finishing up the race by the pink piece of paper in their hands! Mike and I made the loop around and was heading out for my last loop when I ran in to Samantha and her clan again.
My knee started bothering me at mile 4 so I had to slow the running down and do shorter intervals but I kept pushing through. I had two goals with this race 1) finish under 3:39 and 2) finish under a 16:00 pace. With that in mind I did what I could to keep my pace up without causing too much damage to my knee.
Mike was running loops around me and was probably bored going at my pace but he enjoyed taking action shots.
There she is!
Those two guys behind me…would.not.shut.up. If you can talk that long without breathing then you’re not pushing yourself! There was a guy (1 of the people finishing his 100th marathon) that would cheer me on every time I passed/met up with him. It was nice! Congrats to him. (see update)
Race Shots’ Proof
As I got to mile 11 I started to realize that I may actually beat my time of 3:39 and pushed it a little harder. The closer I got to the finish line the more I could hear the cheering and it motivated me to go a little faster. As I ran past the finish line the announcer said “In her first ever Texas 1/2 Marathon, Tammy Salo” which kind of surprised me. There were a few people cheering as I came through.
I was trying to find Mike in the crowd. He had gone ahead to get the finisher picture. I finally saw him, after the picture (of course!). I look a little goofy here but I was happy with my time.
I picked up my pig. Everyone got a pig with their finishing place. I finished 303 out of about 350 1/2 marathoners.
I also got my HUGE medal. This sucker weighs
at least 1.5 pounds 3lbs!
We waited for a little while to cheer Samantha at the finish line.
We were there for about 30 minutes and I didn’t see sequin lady at all. Not sure if she stopped or what, but I had passed her about mile 10 and hadn’t seen her since.
All in all it was a fun race, very low profile and low key. Everyone was supportive and just there to have a good time!
I will probably do this one again next year. Let’s hope it’s the Year of the Tiger or something equally cool! My unofficial time was 3:24:13 (15 minutes faster!!) with an average pace of 15:44. I reached my two goals! I’ll update once I get my official finishing time.
The older gentleman that kept cheering me on was Steve Boone.
My official time was 3:23:34 with a pace of 15:32!! That was 16:19 faster than Angie’s…over a mile ahead of that race!!