Monday, February 4, 2013

Groundhog Day Half Marathon: race report!

On Saturday, I ran my first trail half marathon.  In a blizzard.  It was epic :)  The whole goal of the day was to have fun and not break anything.  Fun was had.  Jury is still out on whether anything is broken.  KIDDING!  Well, sorta. But I'll be fine.

This is a very photo-heavy post and I figure I'll let the pictures speak for themselves with a little captioning because I can't not say anything.

We had a good 12+ inches of fresh powder and the snow was still coming down at 7 am when I met up with my friends at the parking area.
photo credit: Molly
I was Miss Sunshine and Jenny was 6 More Weeks of Winter.  We also had 2 groundhogs, The Mayor, a weatherman, spring, and a couple of shadows.

With our costumes, we managed to win "Best Group Costume" and each of us got a free Groundhog Marathon hat!

Credit - Molly
Snowy start/finish/turnaround line.  The course was a 4.4 mile loop throughout Kent Trails.  We were able to run through a couple deep groves created by the faster runners, but it was in no way plowed.  I'd also forgotten about the little hills back there.  The half marathoners made 3 loops and the crazy full marathon folks did 6.

This is probably one of my favorite race photos of all time!

I love these people.  Nuff said.

You have to appreciate the beauty that is West Michigan during a snow storm.  The ice flowing down the Grand River was pretty amazing.  

Chasing Groundhog Jenn :)

About 1/2 way and still smiling!  I love how relaxed we were.  No stress about pace, running or walking, just a group of friends having fun in the snow.  Also, having so many runners say, "Hello, Sunshine!" to me as we passed each other was very fun.  
Aren't we cute!

The sun (well, besides Miss Sunshine) finally made an appearance!

The bridges were hard to run on - this wasn't one of them, though. It was just pretty.

Judi, Jenn and I stopped around mile 9 or 10 for a little warm up ;)  These two ran and walked with me the entire race.  I couldn't ask for better friends.
Happy to almost be done

Look close and you can see the cardinal that kept us company on part of loop 3.
I don't think I've ever smiled during a race as much as I smiled during this one.

Happy Bling Whore!

I was really stressing about how slow I was going to need to run this race, but in the end, it really didn't matter.  We ran the first lap in about 59 min and then realized on the 2nd lap that it was just more fun to walk and throw in a little running here and there.  The 2nd and 3rd laps took 1:14 and 1:15.  We stopped and socialized at aid stations.  We took pictures.  We had fun.  I can honestly say this was one half that I smiled on the entire time.  It wasn't easy by any stretch, but it was fun and I had a great time.  

I set a PR in fun :)

Got some pretty sweet swag, too!

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