Only 1/2 a Hoedown: the Little Rock Half Marathon

In the quest to hit a half marathon in all 50 states, this weekend I headed out to Little Rock 1/2 Marathon in Arkansas. I’m working outside of Kansas City, KS at the moment so instead of spending $500 on a flight, I drove 6 hours to Arkansas for state #14 (I think?).  I left Friday around 3:45 (about an hour plus after I wanted too) and didn’t get in until around 9:45.  This is why you got to love the Plains states and a speed limit of 70 mph on the highway.  Originally, I was going to meet up with a friend of my (Amy), but she ended up going on a medical mission trip to Haiti (jealous of that one!).

I stayed out by the airport (3ish miles from downtown) and Saturday morning, headed to the expo to pick up my gear.  This is the 11th annual LR Marathon and 1/2 Marathon (with a 10K and 5K) and you have about 10,000 runners. They use loaner chips so give em back at the end of the raise or pay up $30! I ended up volunteering in order to get a free long sleeved shirt with a cowboy (or cowgirl) vest looking thing on the front.  I also found my new favorite socks (swiftwick, head over here to take a look cause they’re awesome!) at the expo which excites me and my small feet.  That and it was buy 3 get 1 free :-).  I did some Little Rock site seeing (the Old State House, the Peabody hotel ducks), got some lunch and headed to Central HS, where the Little Rock 9 went in the 1950s during the integration of schools.  Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel for a shakeout run of my own (missed Bart Yasso’s in the morning) and ended up missing on the 50 State 1/2 Marathon Group photo (sorry guys :-().  I found a 4:30 church and at the the end, the priest makes an announcement to the effect of:

Priest: “tomorrow, thousands and thousands of runners are going to take to the streets in subfreezing temperatures to take part in something I really don’t like doing. Running.  Would all those running the marathon (and 1/2 marathon) please stand.”

We stand and the priest says: “You’re Crazy.” Yes Father, yes we are (and we know it too).

After some dinner in town, I headed back to the hotel to get my stuff laid out and hit the sack.

I love 8 am starts, it means I get more sleep but I’m guessing I should have stayed down town.  It took me 8 minutes to get from the hotel to my exit and then I spent 20 minutes looking for parking which I somehow found for free.  Not sure it was a valid lot, but I got no ticket so there you go.  I worked my way to the front of the open corral and we were let loose about 15 minutes in.  For the first time in awhile, I ran a sub 9 min mile as my first mile (woohoo!).  I ran the first 6.55 miles in an hour and thought I was going to PR, but the 28 degree weather said otherwise.  That and work drained me some.  For the most part after my first 3-4 miles, I was running about a 9:30 mile or better.  Miles 8-10 were rough and I was well over 10 minutes.  Stupid mild elevation, but what can you do.  The last 3 miles I was at least under 10 minutes with my last 2 miles under or about 9:30.  During the last 2/3 of a mile, the lead runner for the marathon passed me.  Gotta say that feels good (riiighht).  We were cheering him as he passed and he gave us a wave which is always exciting. As I got to the finish, my favorite person, Bart Yasso, was doing shoutouts.  Needless to say, I got my high 5 and my name called as I’m yelling out “Philly!!” while running by.  Always a plus, that’s for sure!  I loved the costumes at the race, plenty of cowboys, cowgirls cowspidermans and who knows what else that I missed.  I had 2 signs that I laughed at while running:

1. I gave up Running for Lent (why didn’t I think of that)

2. Around mile 11: Finish the race like you’re finishing a piece of cheesecake (hey, I was starting to get hungry)

This is a good race to come out and do, especially if you end up doing the marathon.  They have an 8 hr time limit and if you’re walking and planning on finishing between 6-8 hrs, you have a early (read 6 AM) start time.  It is pretty flat (I started wearing down more so due to sleep) and I can’t complain about an 8 AM start time.  Need more reason to come this: Bling…

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but the thing is huge. The marathon medal?  Even bigger.  Probably best medal I have.  Only complaint I have is 28 degree weather. It didn’t warm up until later in the day (as I was leaving).  I had 3 long sleeved shirts on and didn’t warm up and kept my ‘throw away’ gloves on the entire race.  I know we don’t have a Pope at the moment, but that shouldn’t mean Little Rock was suppose to freeze over.  Good tim

Day 2 of Holiday Giving

It’s December, which means it’s currently Hanukkah, almost Christmas and almost January.  Who wouldn’t mind some extra money in their pocket anyways??

  1.  Swiftwick– my new favorite running socks. 10% off with HOLIDAY12 through 12/24/12
  2. Run Rock n Roll: on 12/12/12, save $20 off race registration from 12 AM PST-11:59 PST
  3. Women’s Half Marathon: $20 off race registration on 12/12/12 from 12 AM-11:59 PST
  4. Ringing In Hope 10k/5k/ 1K (Brambleton, VA): Race date 12/31/12 at 11AM; 15% off with RING15HWR through 12/31/12
  5. Potomac Running Club Holiday Party: held at their Falls Church, VA location from 6:30-7:30 on 12/11/12. The first 25 RSVP’ed guests to arrive get an addidas gift, there’s a fun run and free massages.  20% of sales of addidas products go towards “Our Neighbor’s Profit”

Enjoy!

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