June 7, 2014
This was the 4th year for the Indy Women’s Half Marathon and I have participated in the event every year. As with all of my races, I make a calendar reminder as to when the price increases and sign up just before that deadline. However, at the Expo for the Carmel Half Marathon, they had a booth and if you signed up there, you saved $10 on the registration fee. Plus this also meant none of those annoying taxes or processing fees. My total cost was $40.
While its the 4th year for this race, it is under new management this year and the course itself has also changed. One reason was to have it run along a more shaded area. The course is similar to Santa Hustle so it will certainly be different from running it this past December in the ice and snow! Also, the race date was moved from August to June; this was done while under the former management company. The hope is that the weather will be better and that it will not get black flagged.
FRIDAY, JUNE 6th: Packet pickup this year was at the Radisson downtown. This is very convenient for me; just across the street from where I work.
I think I got there about an hour or so after they opened so there wasn’t much of a crowd. Maybe its from working retail while going to college but it irritates me to no end when people wad up the event shirt and cram it down in the bag. I always stand there (first making sure I’m not prohibiting the next person in line) and refold it properly.
I didn’t really see anything from any of the vendors that I wanted to purchase but saw a friend and stopped and talked to her for several minutes. As you entered and exited the expo, you walked through a Indy Women’s merchandise area. I wasn’t tempted as I walked IN but for some reason (maybe because I didn’t purchase anything at the Expo) I stopped to take a second glance. 33 dollars later I am leaving with a sweatshirt and a red top. I didn’t think that was too bad.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7th: The race start time was 7:30am and the Half Fanatics were taking a group photo at 7:00am. But in typical fashion, I didn’t make it down there in time; missed it by two minutes! I guess I shouldn’t have stopped to fill up my water bottle first before driving downtown. Parking was a breeze for me since I parked in the building where I work and the start line was LITERALLY on the west side of that building. I saw my friend A.L. as the Half Fanatics group from the photo was breaking up and walked around with her for a little bit to kill time. We went to the porta-potties and talked about potential upcoming races. Then it was time to line up.
As I stated earlier, I was mostly familiar with this course as it was similar to what Santa Hustle does but starting AT the circle was different. Although when the race first began back in 2010, this is where is all started…literally and figuratively.
I’m pretty sure that the race started on time. We ran north on Meridian street turning right at the library and then ran south down Pennsylvania street back toward the circle. As I made the bottom loop of the circle and was headed east to turn on to Illinois street, out of the corner of my eye I could see a bicyclist coming my way. It was the escort for the 5K race. I knew they were going to merge with us but I guess I didn't realize it would be at that point. This seemed like a really bad idea for those speedy 5K ladies. They had to shuck and jive past all of us slower half marathoners. If they want to keep the merging of these two races, they need to section off the street and designate an area for the 5K runners for maybe a mile so they can thin out a little better.
The first hydration station was near the 2 mile point and my husband and one other guy from our Hendricks County Runners club were working. Luckily I saw him and got a fist pump as I passed.
I kept my phone in its holder. I was familiar with the route and was pretty sure that I would “need/want” to get a photo of anything in particular. However, I did see one sign that was awesome. I restrained and just kept running. However, I saw it again near the 11 mile marker and just had to stop and take a picture of it. It is very telling of the weather we’ve had in Indiana this year. Plus, it was nice to see an original sign out on the course.
The only other “point of interest” that I can remember from this race was from the area where there is a hill between miles 7 & 8. It isn’t very long but it is somewhat steep for those of us from (flat) Indiana. There was a lady I saw that had on a pink shirt that said COACH and she would wait at the bottom of the hill for another pink shirt runner and run along beside them to encourage them up that hill. Then she would run back down and wait for the next pink shirt to come along. Pretty awesome to have that support, I would think. But other “examples” of support that I saw out there: some guy was basically running (bandit) with his wife. He wasn’t right next to her but would stay on the sidewalk and while I never saw him take anything at an aid station I have to wonder if she grabbed anything for him because he wasn’t carrying a handheld bottle. This is a women’s only race and I take a bit of an issue with him “running” with her. Another example (and I don’t remember the group’s name on their shirts) but they had people – again, I saw guys doing this – on bicycles that would give runners gels, chews and liquids during this race. Those are totally DQ-able offenses. I don’t point these out because I am jealous that they had this support and I didn’t but rules are rules and everyone should have to follow the same guidelines.
Once again, I wasn’t really feeling “the run” today. Some of it may have been that this was my 4th Saturday in a row doing a half marathon and these ol’ bones are a little tired. Plus, the longer we were out there, the warmer it got.
The finish line this year seemed a little less spectacular than in years past. I DID like the fact that men from the US Army presented us with our finishers medals. However one of the nice touches in the past has been that we were also given a single stemmed rose. I’d forgotten about this until I finally saw another lady with one. I had to ask where they were and was directed to an area on one of the tables. They were just laying there like they were a bottle of water, or banana or bag of pretzels. They didn’t seem “special or meaningful” at all.
They did have many snack food options to choose from but as with most races, you aren’t given anything to carry stuff in. I need to begin taking my own in my race belt.
I saw my friend MYMW’s husband and we waited until we saw her cross the finish line as well. She and I then stood in line to have our picture taken on the finishers stage. This was a nice touch as these pictures will be complimentary.
I kept trying to reach my husband and then eventually heard back from him that he had left. Well….THAT was disappointing!
I WILL do this race again next year; I’m hoping they do something for legacy participants. I’ve heard that they will either keep it in June or move it to early fall. I’m not sure I have a preference but I need it to be decided soon so that we can plan our anniversary trip to Tahiti.
I’m also glad that they listened to the “voice” of the women participating. Back in late April/early May, they posted a picture of the finishers medal and needless to say, the vast majority HATED IT! It was a complete 180 of what the medal has looked like in the past and to be honest with you, I didn’t care for it either. So they did a quick redesign and it was much better.