At about 9:00pm the night before they finally made the call to go ahead with the race despite the weather. There had been some concern about the freezing rain making the bridges on the greenway course a bit icy.
This was the first year for this race so I knew it wouldn’t be huge. But I was glad someone was finally doing a race longer than a 10k in Raleigh in December. I had been keeping an eye on this race for a couple of months. I had held off signing up because there didn’t seem to be a lot of advertisement like a lot of half marathons in the area. Finally I bit the bullet and got excited.
Raleigh and Wake County’s new Greenway along the Neuse River will play host to this inaugural race with runners crossing over 50 bridges in the half marathon (anywhere from 20’ to 200’ long). Runners will begin by making a loop on the road (4 miles for half marathoners and 1 mile for 10K runners) before entering Anderson Point Park and beginning this unique experience on the paved Greenway. Music will be provided along the route, keeping the tradition started with the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon. Some will be live and some will be DJs.
Due to the weather the music along the route didn’t happen sadly. My car said it was 35 degrees at the start and it was slightly drizzling. We started on time at 8:00. I didn’t have an exact goal in mind but I knew I wanted under 2 hours. But I didn’t feel like this was a PR day. I started off feeling pretty good. The first four miles went through a neighborhood and office building area. Not exactly an exciting course. After a four mile loop on the roads we entered into the greenway. Other than the first big hill going in and coming out of the greenway, it was fairly flat with some rolling hills. The bridges did seem a little slippery so since I like to fall I got a little nervous. The first nine miles I averaged about a 8:35 pace. After that I could feel the temperature drop and my legs started to slow. At the turn around point I tried to count all the women in front of me to see where I was at. I was in 12th place! I tried to keep the pace but as the temperature dropped and the rain picked up I started to slow.
I did the calculation game in my head I always do in a race. “If I keep XX pace I can still finish in XX time”. At the same time I saw mile marker 13 another girl came up behind me and passed me. I swear she came out of no where! So I picked up the pace. I finished in 1:56. Not my best but not my worst. I was happy that I got 2nd in my age group and I was 13th female. That’s my best as far as placing! That’s one reason I like small races! 🙂
Overall, I think I would do the race again. The race organizers were so nice and accommodating. Afterwards there was bananas, cookies, and bagels. They weren’t doing the awards ceremony because of the weather so they’re going to mail them. I was ready to get home and warm up too!