For years I was the race pusher of my run club, but the tides have changed my friends Haha!
Those darn Slumbrew Happy Soles got me again when they coerced me into running the Newburyport Half Marathon (October 23)!
Okay okay we all know it doesn't really take THAT much convincing for someone to get me to register for a race. Thankfully my BRF Page is just as easily swayed to register so she was game.
Neither of us had run the Newburyport Half before, but I knew Newburyport was pretty so I expected a gorgeous course... that would definitely involve some rolling hills.
And I was definitely right.
Page and I drove up morning of and found easy parking on a nearby side street. With heavy rains the night before, the start area was moved off the field it was originally planned for. It was luckily right next to the field in a parking lot. The bib pick-up was easy. I opted to pass on the t-shirt since I didn't need another t-shirt. But I did take the pint glass. :)
We were feeling lazy so we didn't walk back to the car to store my pint glass. Instead I hid it behind the truck wheel which was located behind bib pick-up. I figured if the pint glass was still there post race it was meant to be. If not, it wasn't. :)
We met up with some other Happy Soles while in line for the port-o-potty. A great way to pass the time. I was happy to see that people were lining up in front of each port-o-potty instead of single line for multiple port-o-potties.
After taking care of business, we headed over to the start line. I was wicked excited to spend a couple hours catching up with Page. Additionally one of my new hires from work would be running as well - it would be his first half! I was really hoping to run into him on the course.
My friend Sue was singing the National Anthem, but we were too far back to hear it. I wish they had added some extra speakers so we could all hear how awesome she sounded. I know she crushed it.
Now this race happened the day after my phone went for a swim while I was doing a pool workout. :( As a result I was forced to use a cheap android phone for the race. I know I know! How did I make it through? :P Well I suffered through... and poor Page had to listen to me fumble over how to use an android phone since I am an iPhone user normally.
While we didn't hear the gun from our spot, we got the indication that the race was starting when folks in front of us started walking.
The race started on Merrimac Street. It was a gradual incline for the first 2.5 miles or so. It was certainly one way to wake myself up. :)
Now one problem with the cheap android phone? It wouldn't let me take pictures while moving. Haha. So if I wanted to take any pics, I had to stop or slow wwwaayyyy down until the phone would focus and let me snap a pic. I know I know. I could've skipped the pics, but where is the fun in that? Plus there were some gorgeous spots that I knew I would want to capture.
I mean hello Fall in New England. Am I right?
Plus I love capturing the folks working hard during the race! Hey! I like to take a moment sometimes to cheer on my fellow runners.
It was just after this spot where I saw my new hire, Drew. He was running with two friends and kicking some serious butt. Glad I was able to run with him if even for a few minutes. :)
Mile 1: 9:02
Mile 2: 8:21
Mile 3: 8:09
Mile 4: 8:48
Mile 5: 7:41
Now when it comes to fuel and water breaks, be sure to get enough water in your mouth! When I first started running I would try to run through the water stops and most water went up my nose or down my chin rather than in my mouth.
So now I take the time to walk through the water stop while taking water and/or fuel.
Plus it gives me a chance to take a pic of my kick ass BRF. Isn't she awesome?
Plus Page was wicked excited to start up another incline. :)
We easily passed the time chatting with each other and catching up. But I finally looked down at our pace and realized we needed to bring it back. We were so caught up in our conversation that I didn't realize we were picking up steam. Page hadn't done a half in awhile so we needed to keep that in mind. Even though she is a beast and can finish a half any time she wants.
There were some women near us that apparently did not enjoy how Page and I were running the race: run, stop, take a pic, smile, laugh, enjoy the experience and continue running/ repeat. Now I know my style of racing isn't for everyone, but I am about celebrating everyone's race style.
There are some races where I want to focus on time/pace and others where I want to enjoy the experience with friends.
Basically: you do you my friends!
Plus I got to stop and cheer new folks on each time we took a pic. But if I had my normal phone I wouldn't have had to actually stop so many times for pics. Usually I can take mine on the move.
I needed to document our next incline as well.
Gotta love New England and our never-ending rolling hills. :)
Mile 6: 10:26
Mile 7: 8:27
Mile 8: 8:28
Mile 9: 8:14
Sometimes you need to celebrate getting to the top of a hill.
While I never get tired of water views...
There is something about running by a Quaker Cemetery. Am I right?
Oh is this not something you see on the norm during your runs?
Since I couldn't get an action selfie of Page and I, we did the next best thing.
Can you tell it was a tad windy? I love the air Page's hair is getting.
Mile 10 featured this odd out and back on a side street, which featured a ridiculous wind tunnel. We ran down the street and it was windy, but oh man we turned around it was like running into a freakin' fan. I was telling people coming the other way to just keep running forward and not to turn around. :P It was a really odd little addition to the course. I mean I get they were trying to get it to 13.1, but it seemed like a random spot/way to do it.
So you can say we were wicked excited when that part was done.
During Mile 10 I was texting with my boss who was going to be in Mile 12 cheering with her family. Woo! I was looking forward to meeting her husband, daughter and pup.
We turn the final turn on to the rail trail for the final mile and right on the corner was my boss and her family. We stopped to chat with them. She didn't want to keep us, yet I was ready to chat it up with them. We took a quick pic. She gave us some homemade rice krispy treats and we were on our way.
I know some people don't like running on a rail trail, but I enjoy it.
Page was ready to be done so my job was to keep her going, remind her there was beer at the Finish and count down the amount of time we had left out there. Oh and now we had rice krispy treats.
Mile 10: 9:05
Mile 11: 8:22
Mile 12: 9:55
Mile 13: 8:15
As we headed into the Finish, it was a cool experience as both sides of the trail were packed with spectators, volunteers and finishers.
FINAL TIME: 1:54:13 (8:43 min/mile pace)
We crossed the line and headed straight to the beer garden. But first I had to make sure my pint glass was where I left it... and you know what? IT WAS!!!
With your entry you got 2 beers from Newburyport Brewing Company. Since there was no line when we finished we sailed through, grabbed our beer and headed to listen to the band play.
Cool medal, right?
Half #44 did NOT disappoint. Beautiful scenery. Great company. Delicious post-race beer.
We went back to get our second beer and the line was a cluster. Since the line was growing and we still had friends out on the course, we used one of the beer tickets a stranger gave us to save a beer for our friend Colleen since she was still out there. The race definitely needs to work on the beer line situation for next year. It wasn't the best set up for folks finishing after the 2 hour mark or people coming in for their second beer. Yes I know we should've just grabbed 2 at once, but still.
Overall it was a great morning and I would definitely run this race again!
Have you run the Newburyport Half?