Gar Williams Half-Marathon: race report!

For weeks I said this would be a “run” – not a race. I would just enjoy the 13.1 miles, take it easy, and save the legs for some upcoming Long marathon-training runs.

 Then it got closer and closer, and I toyed with the idea of a PR. One of my fellow racers predicted a 1:45 finish and I literally laughed and said “no way“.  My PR (1:43:19) was on a course with 5 miles of downhill running. I have accepted the fact that I’ll NEVER touch that – and have used my next best time (1:47) as my “PR to beat”.

 Anway – we made a little bet; I could not have been more positive that he was going to lose (i.e. I would not get close to that predicted time)…..


 I did not even approach this as a carefully-planned Long Run, much less a race. The night before? I went for a 4 mile run with some friends, had a glass of wine while cooking, went to the bars for a little while, went to bed at a decent hour. The morning of? I let myself sleep in a little bit too much, barely had time to slap some Pb on some toast, and headed out the door hoping I had everything I’d need for the crazy weather forecast!

 Let’s just say it’s a good thing that someone else was much more prepared than most of us and brought Extra winter-gear. Gloves and a light water-proof jacket? Would not have survived without them.


 On the starting line:

 We’re all soaked from the rain, already. The trail is just one puddle after another, and we all know the Snow is coming soon. The Garmin was hidden under my “extra” jacket – not to take a risk of water damage, and not really caring what my splits would be anyway….

 My iPod died and my shoes are wet. So, this will be FUN, right?! Here we go…..

Miles 1 -3: 8:22 – 8:06 – 8:01

I did not see ANY of these. I had no idea how fast I was going, I was just trying to keep it EASY while I went back-and-forth in my brain about what I was doing. Running? Racing? Avoid that puddle!!! Oh, eff, it’s just one after another anyway. Running on….

Miles 4-5: 7:59 – 7:44

I’ve been playing the same 3 songs in my head over and over. Music would be AWESOME right…NOW. geeze.

About to reach that turnaround and I have only seen about two runners thus far! Where is everyone?! I can’t be that close to them…..right?

Miles 6-9: 7:43 – 7:32 – 7:48 – 7:40

I finally saw some of the front-runners (from our group) and let me just say – getting high-fives from 10+ other runners that you know on the course? That is one adrenaline boost after another! With every runner-friend-sighting I got a surge of happiness and energy: we’re all out here, despite this freakin’ Crazy-Awful weather, we’re all kickin’ ass as we keep running, we’re All looking strong and happy to see each other! Seriously, this group-running thing can’t be beat…

I looked at my watch ONCE during the entire race : I saw that 7:32 split and thought “WHOA….”

Miles 10-12: 8:03 – 7:52 – 8:07

My face is numb, I’m sick of “dodging” puddles so I’m just running right through them (my feet are soaked anyway…what is there to really avoid?), three snowflakes have gone right INTO my eye (uh, that hurts)!


I reach a mental block during these miles: my mind is tired of the fact that I’m still running, but my muscles still have energy, so somehow we compromise and keep moving. I ran out of songs that I wanted to sing in my head! I was a little bored, REALLY cold, but still feeling strong. Gah. The one thought that really kept me moving? The faster I run, the faster I can change into dry clothes and sit in that heated car!!!


Mile 12- the finish line: 7:52 – 7:21 (0.1)


Right at the mile “12” marker – a race spectator said to me:


Third female so far! You have about a mile to go…”


I’m sorry, WHAT?! That’s all I needed to hear. My legs felt just fine picking up the pace and getting across that finish line as soon as possible! Seeing the clock? Yah that was another little boost…..




Clock Time: 1:43:42
Garmin time: 1:43:44 (avg @ 7:54 min/mile)
Gender Place: 3
Age-group (20-29) Place: 2

That “untouchable” PR? I got close.

Which I really Never thought would happen again….

The “other” PR – I beat by 4 minutes!
YES, I’ll take it.


Some pictures to document the shoe-damage and Garmin loooove…..




2 responses to “Gar Williams Half-Marathon: race report!

  1. Pingback: Running Strong: The Missing Links « Dietitian on the Run

  2. Pingback: Back to DC! | Dietitian on the Run

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