- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
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My first encounter with the half marathon distance was the Freedom's Run starting in Shepherdstown, WV. The parking was not on the college campus where the event started, so there was time to warm up in transition to the start line.
The energy was high and the anticipation made for a great race start. What is really neat about this race from the start is the local scenery that you run through. There were no down and back sections that scream boredom. Running the half took me across the bridge leaving town, overlooking the Potomac River separating Maryland from West Virginia. The race took to the C&O Canal which was probably the only portion of the run that was flat. Leaving the C&O canal toward Antietam Battlefield involved a large ascent that was exceptionally challenging. The rolling hills of Antietam Battlefield passed statues related to the Civil War which was a great experience. The run redirected through the town of Sharpsburg and back towards the finish in Shepherdstown. Those that had adequate hill training stood out by mile 8-10. The cumulative effort of racing through hills was challenging for a novice half marathon runner. The best part of the finish was running through the Football stadium and hearing your name announced as you crossed the line. What a feeling!
The race management did an excellent job and you could tell there was a lot of thought that went into what was done. It was professional with a small town vibe that was great to be a part of. I would recommend this race to friends and would consider it again for myself. Two parting words: hill training.