Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marine Corp Historic Half Marathon Race Report

Ahhhh Race morning.... the best feeling in the world even if I was only using the Marine Corp Historic Half as a way to get my long run in for the day.

Anyhow, we stayed at my cousin's again on Saturday night so we only had a short 20 minute drive to Fredericksburg Va's Central Park, where the race started at. We were on the road by 5:45am giving ourselves plenty of time to park, walk, and use the bathrooms before the 7am race start.

It was nice that the stores let us park in there parking lots, so parking wasn't an issue and we only had a short half a mile walk to the start line. We lined ourselves up by the 2:00 hr start coral.

 Before we knew it, we were walking up to the start line and pressing start on our garmin's.

Miles 1-3: 9:10, 9:17, 9:13
* Me: The start of the race was fun and I loved seeing all the people lined up along the road cheering for us. They also had some people playing live music which was fun. Once we made it out of Central Park the crowds thinned out and I realized it was hot out! I had wished I wore my visor instead of my sparkly head band, but oh well, what are you going to do?

* Jason:  I didn't really get to stretch as much as I wanted so I was a little panicked.

I also forgot my compression socks so I was a little irate about that. People started running at the start of the race, but I decided why the extra effort I'll just start running at the start line. I think I ran faster out of the gate because people were around me and I didn't want to get passed by everyone. The first 3 miles were pleasant enough especially with all the people cheering and the line of classic muscle cars  on display.

Miles 4-7: 9:31, 9:35, 9:38, 9:37
* Me: The course actually was filled with rolling hills and Jason wanted to run slow on the down hills and fast on the up hills. This is not really my style so I had a hard time slowing down on the down hills. Anyhow, some girl wiped out as she turned around to talk to her friend and tripped over a big orange cone. I felt bad for her, but at the same time watch were your going. I think mile 7 was my favorite mile as we ran through historic down town Fredericksburg. There was lots of crowd support for this mile and more music. Music always seems to give me an extra pep in my step when I hear it, especially because I never train with any music. They were also giving out sport beans and it looked like the Easter bunny had came because there was jelly beans all over the road. I laughed and smile when I saw them.

* Jason: I just let gravity pull my Clydesdale self down the hill and then my legs powered me back up the hill kind of like I do on the bike. Around mile 7 my back started to tense up so I was in a little pain but just ran through it. The scenery was nice through this part of the course and I liked all the crowd support in town. There were a couple bands playing and people singing so it made you almost forget you were running a half marathon.

Miles 8 -11: 9:27, 9:48, 9:48, 10:10
* Me: Jason was still in good spirts and was singing to me since he had music with him. It was cute. I was just having fun and enjoying myself running at an easy pace for me. Actually I have discovered I actually like running slower, it's so much easier. I might never want to try to run faster again. At mile 10 we ran by Mary Washington Hospital. My aunt had stayed at this hospital over x-mas and when I ran by it I got very emotional and started to think about her. Before I knew it I had tears running down my checks and I was sobbing while I was running. Jason put his arm around me as he knew why I was crying. I love my aunt so much and miss her every day now that she is gone. I didn't expect myself to start crying though when I saw the hospital. And of course right at the same time I start sobbing we hit Hospital Hill, which is suppose to be the big scary hard hill on the course. Everyone says this hill is so tough - as it is a mile long and pretty steep - but it didn't feel that way running up it. I guess all my Capital Hill repeats payed off because we were passing people left and right, but I guess our pace did slow down :(

*Jason: Once we hit mile 8, I knew we were more than halfway finished with the race so I was relieved. However, I still had a pit in my stomach because we were about to run up hospital hill. I looked over and saw Sarah crying so I put my arm around her to console her. We passed a race photographer and Sarah put a smile on to wave at the camera. Hospital hill came and went in short fashion, we were passing people left and right that had passed us before. I think all my biking helped me actually with some of the race. The pace did slow down a little due to the fact we were running up a very long continuous hill.

Miles 12 - 13.25 something: 9:55, 9:05, 1:47 (7:17 pace. Go Jason)
* Me: Since I am selfish and ran this race with Jason instead of playing cheer leader, I ran ahead of Jason so I could stop and get at least one action shot of him running :) Jason was still looking strong and we continued to pass people as we made our way to the finish line. I was happy to see Jason pick up the pace the last mile and I went with the flow. As we approached the finish line we decided to hold hands and well then Jason decided to sprint. It was great crossing the finish line together and I loved every minute of our run together :) Plus I am so proud of my M, he finished with an 11 minute PR!!!!

*Jason: I saw mile marker 12 show up and knew we were right around the Central park shopping center and that the race was almost over so I got excited. I started to run a little faster and had some good hip hop tunes on my mp3 player to help guide me along.

Once we had hit mile 13, I picked up the pace and started to sprint. I picked out a person in a Chicago white sox shirt that was running and decided to sprint past them to beat them. Sarah and I finished holding hands :) and proceeded to get our medals and hydration. I forgot to stop my watch so it was off by 40 seconds, but Sarah did so I was happy to see my new PR time. However Alice Sweeney beat us by 1:30 !

Final Time: 2:06 (9:30 pace)

Overall thoughts from Jason: It was a good race and I am happy to train for it. The crowd support was good and the scenery and music playing added to the atmosphere. I may run the race next year (as long as it is a different weekend then the Capitol Hill 10k).  With the remaining races on my schedule, I will start biking and swimming more eventually refocusing on running later in the summer when I will kick it in to high gear for the Marine Corps Marathon.

* Jason forgot to mention how excited he was for the beers at the end of the race! as he ran towards the beer tent :)

Anyhow, it was a great day for both of us !

Happy Tues All :) 


  1. Congrats to Jason on the PR! I like your recap he said/she said format :)

  2. I'm glad you and Jason were able to run together! Sounds like a lot of fun. And congrats to him on the new PR!

  3. Congratulations to you both on a great race! I'm glad that he was there to comfort you when you needed him!