Winter Blast Half Marathon Recap!

Saturday was supposed to be prep day, making sure I had all my stuff packed, eating properly, hydrating and just staying relaxed for the race Sunday morning.  So I spent all day not getting my stuff around and drinking water!  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to wear at the race so I just didn’t get stuff around.  <–new level of laziness right there! 
At 6, my friends and I had a dinner to have our last bit of carbs put into our system and enjoy ourselves before the race.  We had pasta, pie, salad, pierogies and bread!  The evening was a typical one with all of us together lots of laughs and entertaining conversations. 
The hubs and I got home around 9:30 or 10 and I had to still figure out what I was going to wear, so I checked the weather grabbed everything I thought I might want and went to bed.

I got up at 4am, had some peanut butter on a spoon, Gatorade and got dressed.  I double checked my bag and made sure I had enough warm stuff since it was 10° out.  Shortly after 5 I was out the door to head to Kari’s.  I got to her house, ate a bagel talked for a few and when Jade and her family got there we picked up our last two runners Amy and Alaina before heading out of town.
We arrived at the race just after 7 and race time was 8 so it worked out perfect for us.  We had enough time to go in, get our packets, use the restroom, put all of our stuff away and be done before race time.  Pics are limited, my phone shut off numerous times due to the cold temps.  I had to try to warm it up before turning it on again for pics. 
Kari, Amy, Alaina, me and Jade!
The race started just outside a high school so they kept all the runners inside before the race so that everyone stayed warm, at race start I think I was around 15°.  We headed toward the starting line and crossed about a minute after the official start.  Only a few hundred runners but it still was a slow pace starting out.  The girls had told me they wanted to finish in under 2:30, so I told them to not worry and I would watch our pace so they could enjoy everything about their first half!
Heading to the start!
Miles 1-3:
These wound through neighborhoods where people were watching from their driveways and some from inside their homes (we even had a lady make her dog wave to us).  Pace was great, we were laughing and having a good time.  The roads were mostly clear with very little bits of snow and ice of them so we all had pretty good footing too which was a big relief!!
At about mile 1
Miles 4-6: 
Somewhere in here Amy and Alaina started dropping back a little as Amy wasn’t feeling good and had woken up with the crud!  She was a tough cookie for even running!!!  It was also at this point we started to see the 2:20 pacer ahead of us.  This was enough motivation for Jade, Kari and I too push on and start the head hunt!!  Also we started running most of our miles on a paved bike path at this point.  It twisted through wooded areas and then we moved onto the roads again for a short time.  Jades family also had found a spot on the course to stop and cheer for us!  It was a great boost to have them cheering for us as we went by.
6 mile selfie
Miles 7-10:
This is where we paced the 2:20 group.  We were doing a great job at keeping pace and holding it steady.  This was also the most hilly part of the course.  It had some small rolling hills in the early miles, now they were a little bigger but nothing too extreme.  The path was winding through woods and very very pretty at this point too.  The trees were covered in snow and it would occasionally blow off the limbs and land on us and other runners.  I took my Gu here as well and felt strong.  I was trying to be careful to not let the pace get too fast as the last few miles are the hardest, especially when it is your first half.   
Miles 11-13.1:
The last couple of miles were quiet, and I kind of expected that.  We were pushing a good pace to hold steady to finish close to 2:15 and soaking up the scenery.  We also passed Jades family again as they cheered for us in a second location which was just what we needed to keep pushing!  In the last mile I started letting them know every .25 miles how much further so they could push the pace if they wanted too.  We all stayed together and made it count.  At mile 13, Amy and Alaina’s family was gathered and just after that was Jades again.  They were cheering and ringing the cow bells!!  We held hands and crossed the line at 2:16:19….not too shabby for a half!! 
.27-2:26 (I came out just a little long) 
Avg. pace 10:16/mi.
We did it!  Me, Amy, Alaina, Kari and Jade
The medals are cute too
Overall this was a great race, they had a great atmosphere with great aid stations.  They were actually having a contest for best aid station so I think that helped keep them involved and entertaining.  At mile 11 they gave away gummy bears too so they won my heart with that!  <–I voted for them primarily due to this as well!  I mean who doesn't love gummy bears?? 
As soon as we were done we talked and then left so I am not sure what they had as far as post race food but I am sure it was great.  I had seen some Moe’s being brought in before the race which is pretty yummy.  This race was fun and enjoyable in all the ways races should be.  I would definitely participate in it again.  Plus, it was nice to do a longer run with friends, I have been doing so many alone this was a breath of fresh air.      


13 thoughts on “Winter Blast Half Marathon Recap!

  1. Way to go pacing your friends to their first half finish AND with negative splits!

    I love when aid stations give out gummy bears – they did that at the Portland Marathon. I also ran a race once that gave out fresh pineapple and that was AMAZING!


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