Saturday, April 5, 2014

Race Report: Chick Fil A Inaugural Half Marathon 2014

Today was my birthday Half Marathon and it was a FANTASTIC race! The weather was absolutely perfect - low 50s at the start but it didn't get super warm, either. We'd been having a heat wave this past week with highs in the 80s and I was concerned that it would continue today, but it didn't! There was a little bit of cloud cover which made the weather even more conducive to running.

Since today was my birthday, I didn't want to push anything. I knew the course was going to be a bit hilly and I haven't trained on hills due to time constraints. Also, I need to practice keeping my pacing under control since I'm technically still on the base-building phase. So while I knew I wasn't shooting for a PR, I still had a goal in mind!

My friend, Crystal, made a special shirt for me to wear in honor of my birthday - it is sparkly and fantastic!!!

Flat Niffercoo

The back of the shirt

Before the race this morning!
I met up with some of my friends from Moms Run This Town, including another Birthday Girl! :D We took pictures, had a potty break, and then went to the corrals - or, as they are called, Cow Pens.

Only 3 "Cow Pens" - the slowest one being 2:30 pace, for a race with a 4:30 time limit. There was a lot of crowding back here!
The race started on time (and the drive/traffic was uneventful as well - surprising for an inaugural event!) and we took off. I didn't start my walk intervals immediately due to the crowding on the course. But that was OK since I wasn't breaking any land speed records anyway. I just went with the flow and enjoyed myself, especially with folks constantly wishing me a Happy Birthday!

We wound through the city of Athens, starting in downtown and going all over the place, including the University of GA campus and past the football stadium (which seems smaller in person). My husband swears it holds more people than the one on my own University's campus and that it just looks smaller at UGA due to its location. Who knows! It was neat to see it though since so many of my friends are UGA fans.

I loved the course and how pretty of a city Athens is. There were a couple of significant hills which I mostly walked. I am the birthday girl, after all, so I can walk the hills if I want to! :D I'm glad I didn't wear any headphones because I got to really interact on the course and take in my surroundings! I definitely want to race in Athens again because it's so beautiful!

Overall, the race was good! The medal is very generic with no date or anything else on it. Nothing is even noted about it being the Inaugural event. They could easily use the leftovers for next year's race. That is No Bueno. But I loved the location of the start line and expo - it sure was nice to be able to use actual bathrooms before the race instead of portapotties. The finish line was inside the same location, where the Expo was held and that was different but interesting. And we got a Chicken Biscuit as part of our finisher's food which is a great way to get the protein back into our bodies! :D

I don't have a picture of me in the finisher's shirt because I came home from the race and immediately went back out to practice in the open water with my wetsuit. And I've been super lazy the rest of the day! :D I am wearing the shirt, but just too lazy to get makeup on and do by hair! LOL

Tomorrow I'll write up the wetsuit practice and post the pictures!

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