I finished the half marathon yesterday, yesss! And it was tough! It was mostly a mental challange but oh so physical too. There were so many points along the course where I just wanted to stop and call it a day. I was even tempted to call it quits and stop at mile 11. I was done with running and wanted nothing more than to walk to the finish. But I pushed along, stopped only once to take off my long sleeve shirt, and finished in 1:46 (8:08 per mile pace). My legs felt heavy and I wasn’t able to PR but I’m still happy that I pushed it and have no regrets! 😀
Alright, let’s talk Hartford. Here’s a quick recap of the day:
Distance Options: 5K, half, and full marathon. Perfect for groups of all levels. Our group had 1 running the 5K, 4 of us ran the half, and another completed the full marathon (Go Brian!).
Course: The course for the half marathon was mostly flat, fast, and beautiful. We ran through the vibrant neighborhoods of Hartford and West Hartford, through a park and finished right past the arches.
Music: Live bands and DJ’s are everywhere. They had 12 groups lined up along the half marathon course which was a very pleasant surprise for me. They included: Acoustic Folk, Acoustic Rock, Latin DJ’s, Rock & Roll, African Drums, Bagpipes, Funk, and Blues. Great lineup!
Parking: With over 13,000 athletes you would think parking might be an issue but it was not at all. Parking garages and open lots were all over the place and within a short 5 minute walk to the course.
Spectators: Are everywhere! The streets were lined with so many enthusiastic crowds. It felt like the whole community was out there for the race and it was awesome having them there. There were cute, lil’ kids all over the place cheering us on and waiting for high fives from everyone.
Post-race: Mike (who PR’d yay!) cheering on the full marathon runners
Swag Bag: So.Much.Free.Stuff!
Water Stops: There was plenty of water/ Gatorade stops along the route… I believe 9 in total. There was also a stop for GU energy packets which really helped me out.
And lastly, the “After-Party”: There’s nothing better than a cold beer after running 13 miles, right? After we quickly stretched and changed into warmer clothes, we made our way over to the beer tent to enoy some Harpoon beer. Each runner gets 1 free drink ticket included on their bib and can purchase more beers for $5 each. There was also a huge food tent but I never made my way over there.