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Huntersville Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Huntersville, North Carolina
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 1h 53m 57s
Overall Rank = 49/182
Age Group = 40 - 49
Age Group Rank = 13/56
Pre-race routine:

I've done the Thunder Road Half two years in a row and fell in love with it. Of all the races I've ever done, Thunder Road was the most FUN! Huge crowd of participants, lots of spectator support, the route went through nice neighborhoods all decorated for Christmas, and a lot of people wore Christmas costumes. I planned on doing that race as a tradition year after year; but it moved to November! Great, another Turkey Trot! I'm still wrapping up triathlon season in November, so Thunder Road would be out of the question, and besides, it would be no fun without the Christmas theme. I could find no other desirable HMs in this timeframe; until the inaugural Hunterville Half showed up on the schedule! I knew it would not compare to Thunder Road, but hoped it would be a suitable replacement.

Had coffee, and 1/2 PB & J sandwich (all natural PB and 100% blueberry spreadable fruit). Stretched a bit and had a serving of Infinit Mud in my second cup of coffee. Could not figure out what to wear (was supposed to be in the 30s, then 40s). Decided on running tights and my heavy long sleeved Nike shirt, thin gloves and ear muff. Went to truck at 7:00 am and realized it didn't feel as cold as I thought and went back to room to grab more clothes to bring with.
Event warmup:

Got to race site all bundled up with sweats over my tights and a heavy sweatshirt over my nike top. We planned to strip down right before race start. We looked for Bill and his group from the Huntersville-Concord Triathlon Club, but did not find them. At 7:30 we went back to the truck to make final decisions on clothing. This was when I decided to do a complete change! My friend Carol's last words to me were, 'Don't overdress!" So I removed ALL of my clothes and put on Tri shorts and a long sleeved tech shirt. No gloves, no ear muff. My fuel belt had one bottle of Infinit and one bottle of plain water.

Headed back down to race site and got in line for the porta-potty, but the line was too long and there were not enough porta-potties, so we gave up and went to the start line. FINALLY found Bill!
  • 1h 53m 57s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

This was an inaugural race with only 200 5K participants and 300 Half participants, both starting at same time, so we decided to start towards the front of the line. I did not see a chip mat, so I figured it was totally gun start time.

We're off! Both Pete and Bill took off harder than I did, so I just found my pace and plugged along. I think it was around mile 4 when I finally saw Bill again, but it took me a really long time to catch him. On a race this short, I doubted I would be catching Pete.

The houses were all decked out for Christmas! The spectator support was more than I expected for a small inaugural race. The course was HILLY! I've done Thunder Road twice and it is heavily advertised as a hilly course saying 'Flat Is for Sissies!" I was thinking that if I can do Thunder Road, to be sure I can handle THIS. But Thunder Road has tons of little rollers that you just roll right over, this race had REALLY LONG curvy inclines!

The hills were becoming disheartening. At some point I honed in on a lady who I swear runs EXACTLY like I do. I felt like I was following myself. At some point I passed her and she followed me and we eventually ended up side by side so I decided to speak to her. I said, "wow, you're an awesome steady runner!" And she said, "No, YOU are; I'm pacing off of you!" We kept each other going, but I was pretty sure she was in my age group and that I would have to try to ward her off at some point. The moment she paused to grab a cup of water was the moment I made my move to get in front of her before the finish line. There was one other lady running fairly close to my pace that appeared my age group, but she was a pinch faster and I didn't have enough left in the tank to pass her.

Heading down the finish chute was downhill, so we were able to enjoy those last few moments of coming in. I saw the clock was closing in on 1:54 and that number resonated with me for some reason. Wasn't that my goal time for Tobacco Road? (flat course). I think so! I think I'm going to beat my Tobacco Road goal if I can hit the chip mat before the 1:54! WHERE is that chip mat!?! There were no "visible" chip mats in this entire race. But I finished in 1:53:57!

Finish Line Video! My finish is at 53:10.

What would you do differently?:

I don't think I could have done any better; if so, not by much. I did wish for my thin gloves during the race, but was thankful that I changed clothes at the last minute. I have absolutely no hill training, so that's the only thing I could have done differently to prepare.
Post race
Warm down:

I looked for Pete but did not see him, so I grabbed a bottle of water and started walking it off. Turned out he was watching me hunt for him! We went down by the vendors just to keep walking when I suddenly remembered the lady I ran with and wanted to find her. At the very moment, she found me so we hugged and congratulated each other. I told Pete that this lady saved me; she runs exactly like I do! And she said, no that I had helped her! So now I looked at her bib# so I could find her name on the race results. She finished right behind me.

Pete, me, and Bill after the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing really, other than absolutely no hill training, and the fact that I'm coming down from Ironman Florida. I had no idea how long it would take to recover from Ironman and was afraid this race would be too close. I would have rather had more time inbetween, but this worked out fine.

Event comments:

TOTALLY AWESOME INAUGURAL RACE! This race is going to grow exponentially over the years. The swag bags were re-usable lunch totes with goodies inside, there were long sleeved tech shirts, nice medals AND hats at the finish line, great course, awesome timing results!

This was all new to me. There were NO visible chip mats, but I knew we had chips in our bibs. I have no idea what was triggering the chips. There was a tent with huge monitors showing AG winners, etc. There were two more computers where you could type in your bib#, it would pull up your results, then you could hit "print" and a little grocery store type receipt pops out with your printed results!

AND.. a few hours later we were having lunch and talking about the race. I decided to check the results. There was ALREADY a link on the race website with complete AG results! AND (yes, there is more)... there was a link to Finish Line Video! The video was on the entire time and you could scroll it to find your finish! I've never seen finish line video on anything other than an Ironman.

I hope this race can stay in December and be heavily promoted as the MUST DO holiday race. A Christmas Half Marathon keeps athletes training right up to the holidays, before we have to face all of the holiday goodies! I always feel good going into the holiday season after just completing an HM.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-10-25 12:00 AM
01:53:57 | 13.1 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/56
Overall: 0/182
Performance: Good
Course: HILLS! Long ones!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2011-12-04 6:07 AM

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, North Carolina
Subject: Huntersville Half Marathon
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