Temperature: 58 degrees at start, partly sunny
Official Time: 2:22:18
Place in Age Group (30-34): 25/51
Place in Gender: 116/284
Overall Place: 272/515
Racing With Friends: One of the main reasons I ran this half was that I knew I would get to spend the weekend with some of my favorite running friends. Erika, Rene and G (who was later unable to attend) were all planning on running the Blue Ridge Half. Instant girls' weekend.
|At the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain on race eve|
We had so much fun catching up and obsessing over the race. And we were luck enough to meet up with our Tough Chik teammate, Lauren, pre-race.
|L to R: Erika, Rene, me and Lauren|
It was awesomesauce.
The Bling: Although I failed to take a picture of it post race, the medal was fantastic. Simple and clean with a skyline of the mountain range on it. Maybe if you zoom in to this picture, you can get a glimpse. But trust me, it's sweet.
Post-Race Festivities: I've been to a lot of races. I've experienced a lot of post-race setups. And I have to say this race had the BEST post-race spread that I have ever seen.
Kiddie pools full of water, soda and chocolate milk.
Tables full of bagels, fruit, pizza, shrimp cocktail and barbeque sandwiches.
It was epic. Add that to the fact that the finish area was located in downtown Roanoke, home to numerous shops and restaurants and it would be hard to top.
Overall Race Organization: I cannot express how well run this event was. Everything from packet pickup to the finish line festivities was smooth and efficient. If the course wasn't so INSANE, this might have been my favorite race to date.
My Training: I never intended for this race to be anything but a fun run. I knew that coming off of Half Ironman training that I would be fit enough to run, but I also knew that six months of indoor treadmill training was going to do me a disservice on the climbs. Obviously, zero hill training equals pain on the climbs.
It hurt then and it hurts now. Two days post race and I am just as sore, if not more sore, that after Ironman 70.3 Texas.
Hotel Location: Do you know one thing you should not do when running a very challenging race?
Book a hotel on the race course.
The race passed our hotel right as you got to the mile 9 marker. I won't lie, when I approached that point in the race, I considered taking a DNF. But, my inner Honey Badger took over and dragged me to the finish.
Mill Mountain: The first six miles of this race were absolutely brutal. The first two miles were uphill at a moderate grade without any break. Miles three and four were a SEVERE climb up Mill Mountain, where I saw pretty much everyone around me walk at one point or another.
|Mill Mountain from our hotel at mile 9|
Then miles five and six were straight down hill. Like "hard to control yourself, burn up your quads" kind of downhill. It was all kinds of ugly.
With that said, this race was beyond FANTASTIC. Every other aspect of this event was so stellar that under the right conditions, I would do it again. And if you are looking for an uber-challenging course, beautiful locales, and an amazing experience, I would HIGHLY recommend it.