Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hendricks County Half Marathon

This was the fourth year for this race which takes place in Danville, IN. 
However, I did it back in 2011 - when it was called the Greater Indianapolis Half Marathon which means it should be the fifth year for it - but I guess it is now considered a completely different race. Technically from a course standpoint, it was not. One of the best things about this race is that it takes place less than 15 minutes from my house. WIN!!!

Now registering for this race had its challenges. I had a calendar reminder to sign-up the night before the price increase which was June 1st. The cost was $40. However when I clicked on the link which directed me to, the price was $50. Now what? Sure its only $10 but when you do a lot of races in a year that adds up and you need to save money whenever and wherever you can. I posted on their Facebook page and sent an email but for MONTHS got no reply back. I had a friend that was working on the planning committee (or something like that) so I emailed him. He said that he discussed it with the main guy and that this guy would get back with me....still nothing. I finally got a email August 14th which gave me a code to be able and register at the original $40 cost.

Thankfully packet pickup was offered on Thursday until 8pm. The job that I have now is an hour from my house and they are crazy about leaving early and since traffic is a hot mess, I never would have made it to anything that didn't stay open late. Friday packet pickup was available as well but only open until 5:00PM. There was also the option to get it race morning but you know I like my stuff the night before.

Small race = small packet pickup. I was in and out in less then 10 minutes and that includes taking a few pictures!
I think the guy that was working packet pickup thought I was weird for wanting to take pictures but I told him it was for my Blog and that I'm not a serious runner and take pictures during my half marathons...blah, blah, blah. He said that he would be working the water station at Mile 9 so I said that I'd b sure to say hello!

Saturday, September 12th: Race start time was to be 7:30AM and since I live so close, I decided that leaving my house at 6:45ish would be plenty early enough. I could have even left at 7:00AM but just in case parking was limited, I didn't want to hassle with that so I left myself more wiggle room.

And even though I had such a short drive, I stopped at a Hardee's restaurant to pee before I got to the event. I figured it would be a cleaner nicer option than a porta-potty.

It really is a shame that I haven't - ONCE AGAIN - trained for this race because the weather was perfect! Hey it's only the 9th time I've said that; one time for each race I've had so far this year.
I saw a friend from the Hendricks County Runners Club. He was originally going to do the half but had last minute doubts and only signed up for the 5K. He was lamenting that decision right then and there. I then saw my friend A.L. from Half Fanatics and we chatted while she waited in the porta-potty line and then another HF friend arrived (J.D.) so before the race started, we took a picture.
A.L. said she hadn't been training much since she and her husband moved back in May so she was planning on mostly walking the course. I think J.D. decided to do that with her. We all started toward the back. From what I remember, the race started on time.
We were so busy chatting that I didn't take the picture at the Start!
The course started exactly as I remembered from 5 years ago. At first, it heads south through Danville, past the Middle School and then out to the country roads.
 There is something to be said about running in the country on a beautiful morning.
I saw some goats as well but they were too far a way to get a picture.

This course had quite a few rollers and once we got into the longest stretch (between miles 6 and 9) and I found myself walking more and more. During this portion I took this picture:
Sure, technically there is "more" to this sign ^^^^^ but I cropped it so that it represented me. SLOW RUNNER

I met a dog named Harley at Mile 7. He was very friendly and happy. It was also at Mile 7 that I finally stayed in front of some guy that I had been doing "the dance" with up until that point. And...I'm happy to report that I remember the guy from packet pickup that was working at Mile 9 and said hello. Once I retold the story, he remembered me as well.

As we were back in the neighborhood south of the Danville Square, the course changed a little from 2011 but only slightly from what I remember. There was some random "down a hill, make a u-turn, head back up the hill" at this point. Couldn't they have just routed us down another street for a little bit? U-turns are annoying.

There were three women closing in on me these last 1.1 miles and I was determined to stay in front of them. Especially the one that was being paced my her husband(?) who was riding a bike. I know it shouldn't but...that stuff totally grinds my gears! 

I did finish before all three of those women.

Crossed the finish line, got my medal (a sticker medal = disappointed) and then went to the end of the block to take a picture of the museum. 
Just as I was finishing up, I saw A.L. and J.D. heading toward the finish. I barely got a picture!

We all chatted for awhile but A.L. needed to get back home.  This half marathon took place the same weekend that the town was having their Fair on the Square so there were all sorts of things to do afterward. J.D. and I went over and checked out the dogs and cats they had up for adoption.
This little dog was adorable and her sign said it all; she did not like being in that crate. She barked and barked and barked but the minute someone took her out to hold her, she was quite and sweet. Oh how I wish I could adopt and save ALL THE DOGS! 

After walking around for a bit, I decided I'd better get in the car and head for home. I wanted to drive the course and get the medal photo shoot done no matter how lame the medal was. I had predetermined the location while I was on the course.

Final thoughts on this race:

  • If you sign up early, its rather inexpensive to do
  • It's a small race (126 Half Marathon participants & 37 for the 5K) but aid stations were at every mile and had water AND Gatorade. Although one had only Gatorade.
  • I didn't "hate" the course but I think the cooler weather helped with that. 
  • For me, I can't beat the fact that its so close to my house.
  • I was really disappointed with the sticker medal. 
  • I would recommend it and if it works out will do it again next year.


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