Thursday, May 5, 2016

(03-06-2016) Little Rock Half Marathon

Note: I wanted to do this race when they first opened up registration back in November 2014 (if I remember correctly) but I still hadn't found a job so my husband suggested that we wait. I'll be honest, I almost went ahead and registered myself anyway...but didn't. Anyway, Allison helped to talk me into going, sharing the travel and hotel expense would be helpful and I at least got a few dollars off via my Half Fanatics membership.

After having dinner with the 50 States Half Marathon Club Saturday night, we for sure wanted to do the pre-race photo.  We got there just as they were gathering for it!
Then we looked at the time. Could we make it to the Half Fanatics / Marathons Maniacs group photo too? It was a few blocks away. We took off. But we made it. Although I'm sure that we are not in some of the photos that were taken with ALL the cameras and phones.
Afterwards Allison and I went into the convention center to use the restroom one more time.

We parted ways eventually and as I headed back to my corral (or at least a "close enough" corral) I saw Bart Yasso and got a high five from him!

My Garmin took awhile to load so I jumped back out of the corral until it finally fired up and was ready to go.

The weather was perfect for a half marathon and I feel that I got lucky doing Little Rock this year since the past two years have had really bad weather.
Because so much time has passed, to follow will mostly be pictures that I took along the course because I don't remember many of the details anymore.  (I've been such a bad Blogger but hopefully that will change...once I get caught up!)
Lots of signs along the course with the GAME ON theme or game related signs:

Painted on the street outside of Heifer International
These folks were grilling pineapples. It smelled so good.
The two pictures above are from an "out and back" section. I looked for Allison at this point and I think I remember seeing her but now I'm not certain. "This is where you turn around" is what the sign on the right says. Gee thanks Mr. Obvious!
This park was very close to our hotel
Good job of incorporating the race theme on this handmade sign
The two pictures above were taken as we passed by The Root Café where we had breakfast the other morning.

I don't remember what church this was but the Priest/Father was "throwing/sprinkling" Holy Water on people as they went past. Normally I would avoid any random "getting wet" area on a course but I felt like this time it might be a good idea!  Couldn't hurt, right?
Up ahead I saw a really nice building/home but wasn't sure what it was. It reminded me of what the president of a university might live in but I didn't think there was a college near by.  I as I got a little closer, I saw people standing in line and then getting their picture taken next to someone. The light bulb went off! It was the Governor of Arkansas. From reading other blogs and such I remembered that he did this. Of course I was going to stop and stand in line.
'Ello Guv'na!
Next up was the Candyland aid station.  They had this area decked out!
If only this had been a REAL giant cupcake!!
Years from now this picture below might not make sense but it is "relevant" now in that earlier in 2016 Steve Harvey - while being the host of the Miss Universe pageant - announced the wrong winner.  Oopsie.  The internet blew up with inserting him in a million different situations announcing the wrong thing. It has been pretty amazing.  Best of all, he has done a great job of going along / playing along with all the jokes and criticism. Many people thought that would have been a career ending faux pas but it hasn't.
Then there was this random bunny wearing a kilt:
Central High School - Little Rock Nine
Always happy to see the sign where the course split and always happy to be doing the half instead of the full!
The COUCH POTATO MILE!  Again, I'd knew about this from past participants and took advantage of the slight break. I was also heckled by some guy sitting in a recliner. He wanted to know if I was there to complete a half marathon or have a fashion show.  Funny!  
Then...the Lipstick aid station. I thought it would be closer to the finish line but grabbed a tube anyway.  And then was given 2 more tubes!
The last mile or so I chatted with some other runners and we kept each other motivated. Normally I (mostly) stay in my own head and space during my half but it was a good distraction for awhile to socialize on the course with other runners.

Finally the finish!
Got my medal and was stopped by another runner asking if I'd take a picture for her. Of course I said yes but this was beneficial for me as well. She had chocolate milk and when I asked where she got it, she told me that all of the post race activities (read: FOOD) were in the Convention Center. I would have completely missed all of that had she not asked me to take her picture!

Post race in the Convention Center. They certainly had it set up in there!
Had a quick picture taken and then walked back to the hotel to shower and rest before heading to the finish line to look for Allison to cross.
Back at the finish line and another chance to get a picture of Bart! I promise, I'm not a stalker.
Then here comes Allison!
Once she finished we went into the Convention Center so that she could get some food. Sadly, they were just about out of everything. I ended up buying a shirt for myself (you know, cause I need another tech shirt) and one for my brother. They were on clearance and I just couldn't pass them up.

She had a couple of friends still on the course so we walked back to an area just before the last turn and waited on them.  Someone took this picture of us.
We eventually made it back to the hotel and her friends arrived a little while later because they needed somewhere to shower before heading to the airport. Those two ladies have done so much!  It was fun meeting them.

We had dinner downtown but I can't remember where now (it was just okay) and then it was back to the hotel to pack up and get things ready to leave in the morning.

I had so much fun at this half marathon. I still had a super slow finishing time but the laughs and camaraderie I shared were the best. I had been missing that in my half marathon journey of late.

The half marathon medal is good...but the full is AMAZING
Official medal photo shoot. Decided on using the Razorback as the backdrop
since Arkansas is the Razorback state

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