Sunday, 9 November 2014

Governors Cup Half Marathon

Governors Cup Half Marathon, Columbia, SC 11-08-14

A hometown race to finish out my half marathon season. Originally billed as the twelfth of the year it ended up being lucky number 13. The race had a small expo in the Conventon Center in Columbia. Registration was pretty cheap, I can't remember exactly how much but I think it was $45. The packet included a long sleeve t-shirt (seems like a cotton-tech blend) and a 13.1 sticker.

The start was pretty low key with the usual anthem. The race started at the state house and so did the rolling hills of Columbia. Immediately we ran downhill and faced our first big hill. For the first 3 or so miles I ran well concentrating on breathing, especially on hills, and keeping a reasonable pace. 
Every 2-3 miles we hit aid stations with water and Gatorade. Since I didn't bring my water belt I tried to take in a good bit of liquid so I walked through each one. At mile 3 of the race (mile 6 total running) I took 2 shot Bloks and some water. About a mile later my stomach didn't feel so hot. I'm guessing I didn't take enough water with the Shot Bloks. That or the half a large pizza the night before was a bad move, won't be doing that again. Every aid station afterwards I doubled up with a cup of water and Gatorade. That settled my stomach for a while but at mile 8 it started cramping, so at the mile 9 aid station I took a quick pit stop. I felt much better and stayed ok for the rest of the race. I didn't take any more Shot Bloks or solid food, not ideal on a 20 mile run but better than the alternative ;) 
We ran through familiar neighborhoods, including old Shandon and around Lake Katherine, very pretty. There were some awesome spectators and lots of volunteers but the spirit stations were the best. I think there were over 15 station including a steel drum much fun. One neighborhood dressed up in costumes to cheer us on, kids and adults alike. All of this kept me smiling the whole time. 
The hills continued, none big but they almost never stopped. I knew these streets and for some of them the roads are really crowned. I ran right in the middle not chancing any problems with my knees or hips. We came to mile 12 and here it came, the climb I've been dreading. The race finished near the university in an area I know well. A long climb up Blossom Street and just when you think it's over you turn right for a long, less steep, climb up Sumter Street. I ran the whole thing for the first time, yeah!!! As it levels out the finish is in sight....sweet relief. 

I crossed the finish got my medal and grabbed some water. There was a good variety of food; bagels, fruit, Gatorade and someone was there giving massages, right by the finish. I didn't hang around I had another 4 miles to finish my running for the day. I wrapped up my medal and headed towards home (downhill, thank goodness). 
My second half in Columbia. Another one in March and I will have completed the Trifecta. This one is probably my favorite. The course is not one to PR on but the atmosphere can't be beaten. After over 40 years of this race, they've got it down. 

Governors Cup Half Marathon 2 hours 8 minutes. 


1 comment:

  1. Congrats! And cool medal! It's nice you had that insider knowledge about the street camber so you knew to run toward the center! That can really mess you up!

    So fun when people dress up to spectate! :D