The Cox Marathon and United Healthcare Half Marathon was held on Sunday May 12th, 2013. There was also a 5K I think on Saturday. I don’t remember the total cost of registration since I signed up half a year ago, but it was cheaper than a RnR race but not as cheap as a local trail marathon. I think the cost was pretty high if you signed up last minute.
Anyway, Tony and I had great hopes of making it to the expo, getting our numbers and relaxing in Providence in our AirBnB room. Than this happened:
Not the best photo, but basically bumper to bumper traffic nightmare. What should have been an hour drive took more than two. Why is 93S always a nightmare? I don’t know how people who live south of Boston survive. Please share your secrets.
Since we missed our number pick up, next order of business was food. I got to meet fellow DailyMiler Sara (who was running the half) and her husband for dinner at Spumoni where we shared in their tradition of carboloading.
I’m sad this photo doesn’t do complete justice. Its basically a seafood pasta dish made for 8-10 people that me and Sara split. Tony had such a blast that he wants to add pasta dinner to our potential new pre-race tradition.
We kept the night short after dinner. Since we missed getting our numbers on Saturday, we had to wake up earlier. I even had time for coffee, a kind bar and half a bagel while I waited for Tony to get ready! Our room was an 8 minute drive from the start and we found parking about 2 blocks away. Score! Getting the number was easy but I got a little cranky when it came to getting our shirts. They only had LARGE for half marathon and Extra Large for the full. Yea, clearly making people pick their sizes at registration had no purpose. I wanted to complain (because I love me a good rant) but I knew complaining to the kind misguided volunteer would be mean and pointless. Instead, I took the shirt they had and decided I could always use a new running dress instead.
I felt pretty great and excited for someone who ran 20 miles and broke her butt the day before. Marathon 7!
Now when I first signed up for the race, I thought the half and the full started together and ran part of the same course. Since I knew I was not going to race this, I was hoping to have Tony for company. Well that plan was spoiled. The marathon and half marathon are two separate races that start at separate time. The full at 7:30 and the half at 8. I also think that for the most part they run totally different courses.
I got into the starting line around the 8 min pace area. I was even a little bit early just to be disappointed. The race start about 10 minutes late. Tony told me the half was even worse and started about 30 minutes late.
The course started a little hilly that had more downs than ups for the first 5 miles (also meaning more ups than downs for the last 5 miles since it was an out and back course). However, the next 16 miles or so were pleasantly flat and mostly on a really nice bike trail I would one day like to bike.
Sometimes the mile markers felt like they were forever apart like mile 14! I’m pretty sure my Garmin is correct. Luckily by the course end my Garmin and the finish line mostly agreed. I was only .2 miles off which between me walking a bit off course after mile 20 for water breaks and all the turns probably made sense.
The good part about not racing a course, is that I got to enjoy the views and take some photos. Seeing mile 20 as my final stretch really lifted my spirits.
I think this hill was around mile 22… yea not going to lie, this felt painful! The last 5 miles were worse than Boston. While most of the course is flat and easy, the last 5 miles are anything but! After this true heartbreaker, I downgraded to a complete run-walk approach. I walked most hills and ran all downhills or flat areas. I called Tony around the start of the hills telling him I should be done in an hour with only 5 miles left. I knew that as soon as these started, my pace and race was over.
I did try to finish strong though! Although I walked a little on mile 26, the .2 was a full on sprint of kicking to pass as many people as I can. Also, I think I should get some extra brownie points of being the idiot who ran with a wet hoodie holding her waist down the entire race. There was potential for rain and I had a great fear of being cold when I hit my wall so I dragged the ugly old thing through the whole race just in case. It would have been smarter to wear my arm sleeves instead but eh I’m not too bright at 6AM in the morning.
Looking at my splits, I think a part of me prematurely gave up running after mile 20. Since I wasn’t racing, and I wasn’t going to PR, my mind convinced me that I didn’t really need to try too hard or really at all and just took the last 6 miles easy. I was tired, but there’s no real reason why my pace dropped 1-2 minutes per mile just because of the hills.
After the finished line I was completely drained. Although surprisingly my legs are champs and did not hurt, my back was killing me! I must have had some weird posture on the last 5 miles. As soon as I met up with Tony, I put the stupid hoodie I dragged all race to use by laying on it and stretching on a curb. I kept it classy.
The food at the end was greasy pizza and bananas. I happily ate my slice and celebrated myself. We also had beer tickets but after walking to the car to get my license, I just really wanted to shower. Actually I’m lying, I was just too lazy to walk the two blocks back for the beer at 11AM. I’m sad I missed meeting up with more Daily Mile friends but it was Mother’s day so we had to return back to Boston.
Overall, aside from anger issues with the shirts, I thought the race went great and was pretty well organized for a medium size race. The course is flat and fast (for New England). The volunteers on the course did a great job. I swear I think I saw GU or bananas available every other water stop (which were about 1.5 miles apart). I wish the roads were more closed off but since most of the race was on the bike path, dealing with cars was only a few seconds at a time. Although some of those few seconds were a little scary. I think if all goes well, I might come for this race next year in hopes of a PR.
Now the stats because I just like knowing them.
Total Time 3:41:47
Pace – 8:28
Overall Place 269/1,267
Gender Place 65/616
Did you race last weekend or this weekend?