- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
This was a race that changed my life. The expo was convenient (free parking, easy location) and I enjoyed the swag we got (I really love my shirt, and especially love that they had a women's cut). The corrals were nice and smooth, and I immediately found the pacer for my group. I talked with her and discovered they would be doing a run:walk pattern through the race, which was ideal because that's how I train and race. I thought this might be the day I set a new PR!
The race started right on time, and I immediately fell into a great rhythm. Less than a mile in, I started talking to a girl named Melissa, and we ended up not only talking through the entire race, but became great friends, and she's now my running buddy. The pacers were fantastic, and were very encouraging throughout the race. They told funny stories when the course got rough, and were great leaders through the 13.1 miles. There were water and powerade stations almost every mile, and everything was cold when we ran through, which is a fantastic! I hate drinking hot water mid-race.
Starting at mile 3 we started to climb little hills. I really don’t remember at what miles the biggest of the hills were, but I remember them being there. I had worried a bit about the hills before the race, but people had made comments about it being flat so I tried to put those worries aside. Well- I train on almost completely flat roads, so to me, this course had HILLS (of course if you train on a really hilly route, they would likely seem like very little hills to you- all about what you’re used to). Our pace group walked up a few of the bigger ones which was helpful because there’s no way I could’ve run up all of them. I know I lost time on the hills, and I wouldn’t have lost as much time if it had been completely flat (like the monumental course). Running these hills was yet another new experience.
Around mile 9 we hit a trail which helped to break things up a bit. There was shade, which was definitely pretty nice at this point. There were other people out on their normal Saturday morning runs, so it was sort of weird to race next to others who weren’t racing. We were only on it for maybe a mile before popping back out on the main road. The last 2-ish miles were through Carmel, and it was fun to see all the little shops, statues, and fountains. I loved that the route was as scenic as it was, but I really missed having lots of crowd support. I ended up missing my PR by about 30 seconds, which was definitely disappointing, but I ran the race so well that I was on a very happy post-race high anyways!
The food afterwords was great, and they even had pizza sitting out at the finish line.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this race. The course was great, it was well organized and everything went smoothly, and the pacers were fantastic. Plus, who knows- maybe you'll meet your running buddy on the course as well!
To read a full race recap, check out my blog: http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com/carmel-half-marathon-race-recap-2014/