If this camera man didn’t catch such an epic finish….I don’t know her but I think we’d be fast friends!
This past weekend was mine and Adam’s last long race of the season (we’ll probably do some 5k’s over the summer but nothing over that). The fact that I had just run the Diva’s Half two weekends ago and that it was going to be literally so so hot, we threw the goal of a PR out the window and set out to just have a good time.
There were 400 runners, which is a relatively small half. I believe this was only the second year of this race. There was a triathlon on Sunday as well for this event, but I heard it was cancelled due to rain.
The expo was Friday from 2-6 (though I think you could pick up your bib race morning), which was kind of inconvenient. I like to usually go during my lunch hour and spend some time perusing the vendors. However, I just popped over at 2 to grab our numbers and shirts. Let me just say I LOVE the shirts we got.
There were a lot of vendors set up outside of where packet pickup was, but since it was pushing 90 degrees that afternoon, I skirted out pretty quickly. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.
The course itself was nothing we hadn’t seen before. It started in Travelers Rest and did about a two mile loop before heading down the Swamp Rabbit Trail towards downtown Greenville. The only difference between this course and the Swamp Rabbit Half we did back in February was the beginning loop and this race did a loop around the Furman Lake, which included a massive hill but it was a nice change of pace from the Trail. Otherwise, it was a pretty familiar run for Adam and I. It was no surprise around mile 11 when we ran head on into a snake making its way across the trail. They are out in full force right now so I was half expecting it. Luckily there were a handful of people around and it was right by an aid station so I felt better than if it were just Adam and I. It was probably just a harmless black snake but honestly we didn’t stick around to find out. Adam handled it like a champ (despite snakes being his biggest fear) and led a group of lady runners across the threshold. He picked up the pace a little after that ;).
We gel’d twice, once at mile 5.5 and then we split a gel at mile 9.5. There were also aid stations about every mile/mile and a half. I think there may have been more setup than the race website originally said, which was good for the heat. They also served gatorade and water at everyone and the website said there would only be water. We got water at every stop to make sure we didn’t dehydrate and like I said, we weren’t going for time.
The sky stayed pretty overcast most of the race but by mile 11.5 the sun was out in full force. We pushed through the last leg. At the finish shoot we saw a couple in front of us and I looked at Adam and said “let’s beat ‘em!”. So we ran ahead and the woman decided she didn’t want to go out without a fight so she kicked it into gear also. We raced across the line neck and neck hearing the crowd cheer us on. We crossed with huge smiles on our faces, laughing and gave a big high five and congratulations. That is why we run.
Post race was awesome. They handed out waters at the finish line along with our medals and then it was just a short step over to the fuel tent. There were plenty of post-race recovery options, along with a ton of food and BEER! Each runner had a food ticket and a drink ticket and everything was also available for sale for spectators. We didn’t use our food ticket because we had planned to eat afterwards but we used our drink ticket!
I think we’d be interested in doing this one again next year. As long as you’re prepared for the heat, it’s a fun run and it was well supported (logistically, not so much crowds). But that’s the good thing about running with Adam. We don’t necessarily need the crowd support because we have each other. This was my 8th half marathon and my 6th medal this year #irunforthebling. It was a great finish to the season, especially after starting the year not really knowing where running was going to take us. I am proud of how much we’ve accomplished already this year and am excited to find out what miles are next!