I hadn't really planned on doing this half marathon again but then...I saw the medal! Celebrating their 55th year, it was going to be a 5 dollar bill and 5 pennies. It looked amazing and naturally I needed that for my collection and couldn't pass it up. I think I was able to register prior to a rate increase. Where I had some initial difficulty was with the hotel. Springfield, IL doesn't have too many options and I wanted to stay at the host hotel - where I had stayed before - since it was super close to the start / finish lines. But the group rate was full and if I still wanted to stay there, they had rooms available but I had to book at two night stay. Ummm....NO! I did go ahead and reserve a room there because I could cancel it and I was hoping that I could call back closer to race date and something else would be available. I then also book a room at the other hotel as well.
I got lucky and I was able to get into the preferred hotel and didn't have to have the two night minimum. I didn't get the group rate but I felt like I got a win out of the situation so I was pleased. Later I learned that the other hotel wasn't in a very nice section of town so I'm glad I didn't have to stay there.
I worked half day on Friday and then left from downtown Indy to Springfield. They are an hour behind us so that helps. I arrived at the hotel around 3:00 PM local time and was able to pull up right in the front and go check in. If I remember correctly, I somehow got upgrade to a suite. It was nice!
I had some time to kill before packet pickup opened so I went and checked out the Old State Capitol. It was closed when I was here for the race the first time. So much history in this building!
Went back to the room and unpacked a little before heading down to get my bib. Packet Pickup = what a cluster. People were standing around kind of nilly willy and it was tough to determine where the true beginning of the line was. And it only got worse as more people showed up before they opened.
Later in the evening I met some of the 50 Staters at a restaurant near by for dinner. It is always super fun getting to know club members that I'm meeting for the first time. J and her husband were the only people I knew but really enjoyed all the folks from Springfield. (And I have now been to several other races with these ladies and they are awesome!)
We gathered pre-race for the 50 States Half Marathon Club photo.Since this was only my 2nd half marathon of 2019 and I'm still not doing ANY training or other races longer than a 5K, I was pretty sure that my finish time would be over 3 hours but I got it in at 2:56. I'm pleased with that because this course has some hills. I got my post-race picture with Abe and Mary Todd and then hurried back over to the hotel to shower and load everything back in to the car to head home. I'd be losing an hour going back to Indiana.
Across the street from where I had parked was this cute popcorn shop so I got a treat for the ride home.
But one last stop at Lincoln's tomb for the medal photo shoot.