I wish I hadn't waited so long to recap this race but here goes....from what I can remember.
This wasn't on my radar to do initially. I had done it back in 2013 and in an effort to try to tackle different races I was going to pass and go to Pennsylvania and do the Hershey Half instead. But got an email from the event organizers that 2015 would be their last year. Here is a brief snippet from their email: With attendance down nearly 60% from our peak years and sponsorship moving onto newer events, we are at the point where we are not able to sustain our charitable giving. We as a race committee decided that year 20 was a great milestone year to celebrate the event and retire while still successful and before sustaining financial losses. That statement made me sad for them so I thought I should stay in town and support this local race. And as you may have already read, that meant I had to find a different race to take place instead of Hershey. You can read about that here: Rock The Canyon - Day 1 & Rock The Canyon - Day 2
So I registered on June 30th (probably the last day to do so before the price was to increase) and with taxes and fees, I paid $65.40.
Fast forward a couple weeks after registering and we get notification from our credit card that our account had been hacked. Although my husband contacted them and disputed the charges that weren't ours, we got something in the mail stating that they had suspended payment to this race and another that I had registered for. I immediately emailed the race and told them what had happened and to not cancel my registration. Sadly, I never heard back from anyone (bad customer service) but I did later discover that i was able to verify my registration on their website. Thankfully, crisis was averted for both races!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16th:
Packet pickup took place at the Sterret Center in Fort Harrison State Park. This was a different location from years past and not necessarily close to where I work but I (and a coworker) took an extended lunch and went early rather than fighting the stupid 5:00pm traffic up in the area. Packet pickup for this event has always been on the scaled down side of things but it was even more so this year. Thus we were in and out in about 10 minutes.
Race start time wasn't until 8:00am so I didn't have to set my alarm too early. However it was important to try and get parked prior to some of the road closings. Also, the Mini Ambassadors had decided to do a group photo prior to the race. We were to meet at 7:00AM
I didn't park where I did in 2013 but took a chance on a parking lot just east of the start line. This turned out to be a prime location and much closer.
While waiting on a few more Ambassadors to show up for our picture, I saw my friend A.L. walk by. She was trying to locate another friend J.D. to get her packet but wasn't finding him. As luck would have it, I saw him about 5-10 minutes later, called her (he didn't have his phone with him) and was able to get the two of them together. They both got in the porta-potty line so I waited with them. We are all also scheduled to be down at Space Coast although JD is contemplating not going. The line wasn't moving very quickly and although there was still about 10 minutes before the start of the race, I when ahead and ventured over to the start line.
It was such a better day than in 2013. THAT year it was cold and there was a drizzle almost the entire time. Although it was cold/cool this year...there was no rain!
This is such a beautiful course
The course has its first incline at this sign and yes - I walked up it. It isn't really that big of an incline but I'm so not in half marathon shape. The only shape I'm in is Outta Shape!
When a kid in a pepperoni pizza onsie passes you, it could be a long rough day.
Seriously, it was a perfect Fall day for this event.
Mile 7 is the most fun....it is almost all downhill!
I saw a lot of my running friends along the course. I even caught up to another Mini Ambassador. He was doing the full. I saw a guy that had an Ironman tattoo on his calf so we chatted about the ones he had done and which ones my husband has completed.
For the first time ever, I saw a dead snake on a course. I contemplated taking a picture of it but by that time (it was between miles 10 and 11) and had put my phone away.
This half marathon will be back next year - there will no longer be a full marathon - but under a different race management company.
Will I be back? Not sure...time will tell.