Yesterday was a very long day! I woke up at 4:00 a.m. so that I could be on the road to get to the pre-race packet pick-up at the YMCA Schoolhouse Rockin' Half Marathon in Maryville, Illinois, which is on the other side of the St. Louis metro area. I ended up arriving a lot earlier than expected and was left with an hour to kill. I asked a few questions when I picked up my packet, and the volunteers said that a little over 100 runners had signed up and there was only the half marathon, no 5k. In lieu of a shirt you get a "custom buff" which was something totally new to me. The instructions on the packaging showed that you could wear it as a headband, a scarf, armband, and anything else you could think of. Think of a long sleeve not attached to the body of a shirt, made of stretchy fabric and then you have the "custom buff."
|The "custom buff"|
This race was a bargain compared to many of the other races I have run this year. In fact, I only ended up paying $3.35 per mile whereas the January races at Disney were $10.86 per mile. When you run a smaller/bargain race, you can't expect to receive the same course support and swag that you get at the larger/more expensive races. I like running both large and small races not only for budgetary reasons, but also because it is nice to be able to see both ends of the spectrum, and it keeps me grounded so to speak by not allowing me to "expect" certain things at each race. It basically allows me to still be surprised even after 30 races.
The course was set primarily on local asphalt trails so that traffic would not be disrupted. This was nice because the trails were shaded by mature trees and there were other runners and bikers using the trails so although the race was fairly small, it somehow felt larger. The course also had multiple loops, which made it easier to manage the water stops and volunteers.
|Runners at the start line|
|The turtle that crossed my path on the trail, and was apparently camera shy.|
|The finisher's medal|
I heard one runner mention that this was her first half marathon, and then there were other runners who were clearly veterans so there was a wide range of experience on the course. It was nice to run a race on the Illinois side of the metro area, and I really couldn't complain about the price after going out of town to Indianapolis last weekend. I am now half way to earning my Half Marathon Fanatic status! Until next week.....
I love it when you run a race with a big pool of different talents :) I've nominated you for a Liebster Award - you can find out all the details about it on my blog: http://runningonclean.com/2014/05/10/girls-gone-sporty-leibster-award/ReplyDelete