Thursday, 2 October 2014

Darlington Half Marathon SC

Half number 9 for 2014 was the Darlington Half Marathon in SC.

Tunnel onto the track
An early start at 4am to drive an hour and twenty minutes to Darlington SC. I had some bread, PB and coffee for breakfast before leaving. No problems along the way and we arrived at the Darlington Speedway close to 6am and parked really easily in the infield of the track. There were a few port a potties but best of all a set of real restrooms.
Nice plate

Race morning packet pickup was easy to find and quick. The t-shirts were unisex (I think) so my usual medium was huge. The packet also included a nice black race bag, beer coszie and mini towel. 
Since my training schedule called for 16 miles, I ran 3 easy miles before the race. I started with a zip up top and dropped it after a mile once I'd warmed up. I was sweaty before even starting the race.

 The race started with a 3/4 lap of the track and then we were off out the tunnel and onto the streets of Darlington.
The course was a mix of park trails (paved) and Darlington's streets.
There were a few hills. Not an overwhelming amount so I wouldn't call it a hilly course. The pack was spread out so I spent most of the second half alone. I did talk to one really nice lady for a while who also runs in Columbia. Maybe we'll run into each other again. It was a quiet race, my impression is that there were only a few hundred runners so not too many supporters out on the course and I think all the locals were in bed (can't blame them) but the volunteers made up for that.

The aid stations were pretty spaced out, the first one was at three miles. One thing I liked was each one had a different flavor gatorade, variety is the spice of life after all! Especially liked the Orange flavor. I didn't see anything other than water or gatorade but I didn't look too hard so I might be wrong. Special props to the lady who re-clipped the top of my sports bra (must get a new one). The kids at that aid station were especially cute. I took gatorade at most stations as well as drinking my own water. I also took some Gu chomps at mile 7 of the half. 

I stuck to an easy pace which dropped a bit as the race went on especially as it heated up. I walked many times in short bursts, up hills and maybe a few other times :( I was feeling a bit sore and didn't want to injure myself. Most of the time the course was very well marked and had lots of volunteers. I think there was only one point where I was a bit confused but then two seconds later a volunteer waved me on in the right direction. There were also lots of photographers, so they caught a few shots of me...some not looking like a zombie for once.
Eventually I made it back to the track and a full lap later (1 mile) I crossed the line at 2 hours 13. Not my  best time by a long shot but I finished the full 16 miles with an average pace of 10.08 min/mile.

I like the medal and ribbon a lot. 
After the race there were lots of drinks. Not so much food; cereal bars and bananas. Don't know if I missed any by finishing late or if they were holding some back for full mararthoners. Either way it didn't bother me I usually can't stomach food for a good hour after a long run but in the interest of a full review this was the least amount of food I'd seen after any half this year. One really nice touch was the computers at the end which provided a print out of your results.
I think this was only the second year of this race so overall it's doing great. A bit more food at the end only thing I would say could improve. It was a cool experience to get to run around a nascar track. A really solid local race, I'd highly recommend the half.

We headed home to Boomer and I spent most of the rest of the day in bed. After an early start and a hard week of running a good rest was needed. Exhausted and sore so yoga was the cross training of choice on Sunday.  Hope you all had a great weekend. Anyone racing?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! You did a great job making it in to your LR! It sounds fun to start and finish on the track! :) I like the medal, too!

    I hope you got a new bra! :P