Monday, September 2, 2013

Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon–Race Recap

August 31, 2013


This was the third year for this half marathon and there is also a 5K option.  Early registration was $40.  It is still growing and they are still tweaking it and – in my opinion – there are still some improvements they could make.  The race benefits Back on My Feet (BoMF) which is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved population by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. The organization does not provide food nor shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership.  You can read more about it here:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Packet pick-up took place on Friday, August 30th at the Downtown Hyatt Regency from 11:00am – 8:00pm.  (there is also race day pick-up.)  The expo is titled “Just For You!” so along with packet pick-up and registration, there was also a tea & fashion show from 11:30am-12:15pm and then again from 5:30pm – 6:15pm. The area was laid out much better this year and everything was contained in one area.  Last year it was a hodgepodge on two different levels and didn’t flow well.  This year they opened more of the adjoining meeting rooms and everything was in one location.  Much better.  One thing different about this race is that the shirt is NOT included…and EVERY YEAR I forget that and have to buy a shirt at the expo.  A few more vendors than what they had last year but hopefully they can continue to add more.  I checked out most of them but wasn’t tempted (luckily I guess) to buy anything.  Although there was one tank I liked but it was black so I passed.  The event shirt is long-sleeved so I was going to have to come up with a Plan B for the race.  Personally I like to wear the event shirt…even though I recently read on two different Facebook forums that 1.) it is bad karma and 2.) you look like a newbie doing so.  Most of the people said the shirt HAD TO BE earned before worn.  My opinion is that I bought the shirt; I earn the medal.  Thus I stopped at JC Penney on the way home and picked up a really cute pink shirt and it was only $10.

Saturday, August 31st

I set my alarm for 5:00am.  I usually sleep in a separate room the night before a race so that the dogs don’t get me up in the middle of the night.  I had planned on getting downtown a little earlier than I normally would have because a Half Fanatics photo had been scheduled for 7:15am.  I left the house around 6:30am and thought that it would be plenty of time but sure enough, I had to stop and use the bathroom about 15 minutes from my house.  UGH!  But I’m glad I stopped on the way because the lines for the bathrooms are so long race morning at the Hyatt.  I got to the photo meeting area right at 7:15am but only found one other Fanatic.  Took the photo and then we headed to the start area which was just on the other side of the building.  Shortly after the National Anthem, the race began.  I didn’t look at my watch but I’m pretty sure it started close to  7:30am which was the scheduled time.


Half Fanatics pre-race photo

As luck would have it, the unseasonably cool weather we had been having was gone and the heat & humidity were back.  Every year this race has seen really warm weather. Last year we had to deal with threats from Hurricane Isaac so the humidity was even worse.  I kept a paper towel with me to help wipe the sweat from my face during the race.  Super glad I did.


These temps don’t look too bad but this doesn’t show the high humidity percentages

I didn’t take any pictures along the way.  Since this race takes place in my town, I’ve seen all of these sites.  And I was hoping that my finishing time would be a smidge better because my camera was put away. The course starts and finishes downtown.  You can read the description here:

I was officially drenched in sweat by mile 2.  Starting at mile 5, I began taking a water to drink and a water to pour down my back.  I rarely, if ever, do this but it was so hot.  I stopped at the aid station just prior to the 6 mile marker and had a Vanilla Bean GU and drank 3 cups of water.  AND they were handing out big cups of water!  Another long stop at the aid station just after the 9 mile marker to again consume a GU-Chocolate Outrage this time-and 3 more cups of water.  Mile 10 was when I really started to struggle.  The sun was out in full force beating down on our backs and we were on an “unshaded” part of the course.  Thus I started taking some walking breaks other than at the aid stations.  Then at mile 11.36 (according to my watch) I felt something POP around my middle toe on my left foot and it HURT!  Had to walk a bit to shake that out but tried running again as much as I could.  However the next stretch of road was directly IN TO the sun.  Man, it was getting even more difficult out there.  Turned the corner and knew the 12 mile marker was up head.  But what else did I see?  My friend SJCP at the mile marker cheering me on.  But dang…she saw me walking.  Sad smile   The funny thing was that early on in the race (and a couple of times throughout) I saw kids with signs for their Mom and I thought to myself that it had been awhile since someone had come out to cheer for me.  It was a super nice surprise.  She hopped on her bike and said that she’d meet me at the finish line.  Although there was only 1.1 left to go…it was a mental struggle.  But as I approached the last stretch and saw the finish line, I kicked it into a higher gear and passed the girl that was in front of me.

There were people at the finish line placing ice cold towels around each runner’s neck but we didn’t get to keep them because they were reusing them.  I asked to just wipe myself down and that I’d give the towel right back.  Saw my friend and she took a couple of pictures for me.  Got my rose (every finisher gets one!), water, a banana and my medal and then we walked over to the Celebration Plaza area.  Over here you could get Bloody Mary's and Mimosas, massages and it was being catered by Oaken Bucket.  I read somewhere that they had shrimp cocktail.  Sadly, I’m never hungry right after a half marathon so I don’t take advantage of all that’s offered.  But I did grab a chocolate milk!



I think this was an “action shot” from my friend while trying to get my phone ready for her to take my picture.

SJCP walked with me back to my car.  She was really impressed with the event,  the after party, the fact that it is WOMEN ONLY and is contemplating doing it next year.

According to my Garmin, I finished almost 11 minutes faster than last year although that was not a half marathon PR for me.  But according to the official race results, there is a 3 minute difference between their finishing time and mine.  Still faster than last year but wonder why my Garmin is so far off?  Once home I immediately took a shower, put on my compression shorts and socks and went back to bed.  Time to chill for the rest of the day.

I will definitely do this race again next year.  Its fairly inexpensive, so close to home and has a great medal.  I’d still like to see them make a few more changes.

  • move the start time to 7:00am.  It is ALWAYS hot during this race and I really think moving it up at least  30 minutes would help.
  • tweak the course again and get rid of the area where we have to “jump the curb” just before the 13 mile marker.  I think that if they had us run further west and then come up from behind the zoo or behind IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium it would be better.  These areas are slightly narrower than being out on the road but since it’s the finish area, the crowd would be more spread out & I don’t think it would hinder anyone.

This is what my toes looked like when I got home.  I think the problem might have been that I had on “newish” socks.  Although it’s the same brand that I always wear for races, I’m not sure this pair had gone that distance yet.  So with the heat, my feet probably were swelling and didn’t have much room to expand.  Thus a blister formed and then popped.



This is the one that “popped” during the race. Sexy, huh?

Two sided finishers medal this year.



Event shirt, finishers medal and rose.

1012 women finished the half marathon and 378 completed the 5K.

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