Race Review Bahamas Half Marathon

I’ve been sitting on this race review for a few weeks thanks to work (the noon to midnight shift really takes a toll on you!), but with the coldness of winter and the Polar Vortex that is the Midwest, I figured it was appropriate to think back on the Bahamas.

I went to Nassau with a friend of mine from residency, because let’s face it, it gets depressing over the winter in the PNW. One can only take the cold so much. I left Spokane on the Wednesday prior to the race. No trip is a trip without flight drama as our flight form SLC to ATL was delayed and we somehow got on a flight from SLC to KC and KC to ATL before making our flight (and grabbing lunch) to Nassau. We spent Thursday and Friday enjoying island life, taking in the rum distillery and the sites of downtown.

On Saturday, after running the Koman 5K, I showered enjoyed some beach time and lunch and then took a cab out to the expo at the Melia Resorts. The big issue I had with the expo was that the only time you could pick up your packet was from 3-7 pm. If you missed it, you were out of luck in a sense. The other issue is that it was at least 3-4 miles from downtown and not close to the start/finish or where anything else was.The expo itself was pretty simple, not a whole lot there. I was in and out in about 5 minutes.

Race day itself started early. At 6 AM sharp. I stayed about a 5 minute walk from Junkanoo Beach, so it was fairly easy to get to. Everyone started together and relay participants were shuttled to their locations if they were points later in the race. Though it started early, it was already warm and humid. You started running towards town the first mile and then went over the bridges to Atlantis before coming right back over the opposite way. We headed towards Montegue Beach before heading back towards town and the start. After 6.5 miles and getting back towards the start, we headed towards the Fish Frye and Melia. You were right on the coast, so you got good ocean views the entire time. About 10 miles, the half marathon did a U turn and headed back towards town. The heat, humidity and early hills took its toll but I finished in 2:20 or so. There was at least water and gatorade every mile or so starting at mile 2, which was so needed. Post race, you got medals, food and water as well as some beach partying. The race itself only had roughly 375 half marathoners, so it’s a good smaller destination race.

Overall, good race, but be ready for some humidity and hills. One thing I’d look at is the expo location as it’s not close to anything. If you’re looking for a good winter get away, take a look at this!

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Race Review: Citrus Heritage Run Half Marathon

The first weekend of 2019 (how are we here already?!) has come and gone and this is the earliest I’ve had a half marathon scheduled and completed. Did I nearly forget about it until like 4 days before? Absolutely. I was dealing with getting to the Rose Bowl to watch my Buckeyes play and due to a last minute flight delay causing me to switch airlines, I realized I had signed up for the Citrus Heritage Half Marathon in Cali, and had hotel/air reservations to boot. Whoops.

Needless to say, I did a quick Rose Bowl Trip and then turned around and went back for the race. I flew into Ontario, CA’s airport (so much better than LAX) and was about 20 minutes from the airport. After getting checked into the hotel, I was able to get in a few miles outside, before finishing on the treadmill and heading to dinner in downtown Riverside. I ended up calling it a night and let me tell you, 10 hrs of straight sleep does you good when you’re incredibly sleep deprived.

Friday, I went shopping out an outlet mall I found 30 minutes or so away. Did I need more thermal Nike tops? Absolutely not. Did I get some? Absolutely yes. After dropping my stuff off at the hotel, I headed over to the packet pick up, held at the Arlington Sports Complex. Quick and easy, open from noon to 5 pm the Friday before the race. All you need is your bib number and ID (or ID of friends if you’re picking up their Bib). No vendors, but I’m ok with that. Did a little shake out run while I was there (when you live in a location where it’s 30* and you dress in multiple layers, you take advantage of running in tank tops when you can).

Saturday, I was up bright and early. Bright and early enough to feel like I was working out with my trainer on days where I go into work at 7 AM. The race itself is a half marathon, 10K, 5K and kids fun run with the half marathon starting at 6:30 AM. They do have packet pick up available starting at 6 AM on race day if you couldn’t make it Friday. The race starts/finishes at the Arlington Sports Complex and parking is available there and 2 local schools close by. Weather was 40s/50s, though I didn’t feel like I needed gloves.

We started promptly at 630 AM after the national anthem. I probably headed out too fast, but what can you do. The race heads out on Victoria Ave and through the streets of Riverside before heading into the Citrus Heritage State Park. You get to run through ALLLL the citrus. The downside? About 4 different terrains that were not agreeing with me with all the switches (think roads to dirt sidewalks, to gravel to whatever dirt the oranges, lemons, etc grow in. Then there were hills. All the hills. All within the first half of the race. By the time we hit the last of the hills, my legs were shot and telling me I probably didn’t fuel right for the race. After we got out of the citrus fields and finished the out portion of the course, we headed back through the streets of Riverside and got back on Victoria, that took us to the finish line. I happened to finish as the 5K was starting and we were finishing with some 10K runners that had started around 730 AM.

Water stations on course: they were there, some with Gatorade, others with oranges, though there seemed to be no clear length between them. They were scattered if that makes sense.

Post race, water, fruit and medals were available right at the finish. There was also a post race beer tent (1. Too early at 9 AM and 2. Not a beer fan). No chocolate milk though, which is always sad.

Overall, I feel like it’s a good local race. It got me out of the cold for a few days, though I don’t know if I’d come out for it every year. Good local race to support though!

Dallas 10K

It’s been just over a month since the Dallas 10K and Marathon. I had a blast of a weekend, but never wrote about my 10K experiences. I arrived in Dallas the Friday before race weekend and was able to beat weekend traffic. I took an Uber to the hotel, got checked in and robbed off my bags. I ended up walking over to the expo to pick up my bibs, shirts and all that fun stuff. The Convention Center was about 1/2 mile from where I was staying, so it was a quick trip. I found the expo on the second floor of the Convention Center. I got my marathon bib and 10K as well as my shirts, poster and socks for doing the challenge. I as I was wrapping up, the fire alarm started going off. Not going to lie, we kind of ignored it at first. Convention Center personnel started coming through the expo and having everyone evacuate. We headed outside where we waited. And waited. And waited some more. I headed over to a restaurant that was attached to a near by hotel. I could see people being pushed back some more and then police showed up. Turns out, there was bomb threat in the convention center, leading to the evacuation. I hung out until about 530, when it was ultimately closed down for the night.

There were people who were on their way in for the expo, especially since if you were running the 5K or 10K on Saturday, you had to get your bib on Friday at the expo. What ended up happening was the Dallas Marathon organizers had bib pick up race morning and post race shirt pick up at the Expo. Then again, some people weren’t thrilled with this, but it was something.

I worked my way into the corrals, which wasn’t that well marked at the back in on where to go. Once you were in, the 10K could go to either side. The race itself started at 8 with the 5K following at 820 AM. Shalane Flanagen was at the start and gave us all a pep talk before joining the 10K. We were off and running and at some point during the first mile, I was side by side with Shalane for a whole 1/10th of a mile. Before I was next to her, I had seen someone pass me bringing out their phone, which should have been my first clue to pull out mine. Though I didn’t get a picture, I can say I ran with Shalane. I’ll take it. We went out about a mile and a half before doubling back into town and going down Main Street. We turned on Walton before coming back on Canton and Commerce Street. ¬†The course was flat overall, and I ended up finishing under 56 minutes and PRing by 20 seconds without trying.

After you finished, you were sent to medals and water. If you were doing the weekend series (a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday), you stopped by a tent in the chutes to pick up a wrist band to present on Sunday for your extra medal and your jacket. You then were directed to food boxes and then towards the exit.

Overall, a good race I think. Pretty well run for a first time event and weekend series. I wish they’d let other people pick up bibs for other runners at the expo, as I think that’d help with some of the pick up frustrations some people had. If you’re ever in Dallas, look this race up for sure!

The (Half) Boring Half Marathon

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since I did my first back to back half marathon weekend. On September 16, I ran the Bridge of the Goddess Half Marathon, which was moved to Vancouver WA due to the fires in the Gorges of the Cascades. On September 17, I drove half an hour from Portland to Boring, OR (I can’t make the name up) for the Boring Half Marathon. I was up bright and early (530 AM ish). After changing and waking up some, I was off and taking some side roads to Boring. I got to the start around 6:20 and found some parking. The start was close to one of the local schools. Since I couldn’t make packet pick up, I got my (not so) Boring Half Marathon bib and Men’s XL shirt. Don’t judge, when you sign up late and have to pick a shirt, you go with it. The marathon was off at 6:30 AM, with the half marathon starting at 7 AM. We were followed by the (consistently Boring) 8K at 7:30 AM.

Pre race, they had some food set out, bagels, bananas and some small things, as well as some water and gatorade. I also looked things up a bit on their website before the race. Water and gatorade every 1.5-2.5 miles, depending on which distance you ran.

My legs were on the stiff and tired side from half number one of the weekend, but when you’re trying to get another state off your list, you deal with it and just go for it. There were some mild inclines, though not terrible. Only you feel it when your legs are on the tired side. I was doing ok and thought I could pull a 2:05 or so. Then things started to waiver. My wireless headphones decided to cut out (with a full charge) 5 miles in. Daggon sweat. Sometimes it’s nice to get into your own head, but when there are two runners running together and having conversations over their headphones, it gets old real quick. That coupled with some people cheering in high pitched voices at the top of their lungs, it gets old real fast. After going under some underpasses, crossing a side street and hitting 6.55 miles, we turned around to make our way back, while the marathoners kept going straight. The course itself was on a bike/running path that was paved and without traffic. There were a few points where we had to cross streets and look for traffic, but it wasn’t anything major. There was also section ¬†under construction which led us to go on the side of the road for about .1 miles each way. Once we got within eye shot of the finish, people were around and cheering. Ultimately, finished in 2:07:41, not awful for sore legs.

After grabbing a water and my metal, I went to find some food. They had a food truck there and I ended up getting a slider to hold me over until I got back to Portland. I also checked with the gear people and was able to get my Men’s XL shirt switched to a Women’s Small (score!). After driving back to the hotel and downing some chocolate milk (the joys of having a fridge in the room), I got a shower to warm up and went off to find some lunch.

Overall, a decent race. Small (147 finishers for the half) field of runners and not horrible with hills. If you’re local or in the area for something else, it’s worth doing for sure.

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