Last Seven Reviews
America's Finest City Half Marathon
The last in the Triple Crown series, I put this race off because, well, a half in August never really sounded like a great idea. However, it's a nice point-to-point race ending in Balboa park with some awesome volunteer support. Multiple misting stations as the course runs you from Cabrillo through downtown. That last mile is completely uphill, and as I ran into Balboa Park the organ was playing,...
The Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon and 5K
This is a well organized race all in all - I like the registration and that they will mail the bib and jacket (very cool jacket btw) to you in advance. Easy to get to start line in Grant Park, and a great course along the lakeshore trail. Flat and could make for a nice PR if you were so inclined. Enough people wore costumes to make it fun themed and the volunteers were very cheerful. Downsides -...
Soaring Wings Half Marathon
I have never been to a Half where there were enough of everything. This race had it, enough port-a Johns, water, Gatorade, GU, cookies, snacks, volunteers, scenery, and great end of race food. No problems, started on time, no jam ups, just perfect.
Great Turtle Half Marathon
Nice jacket and finisher medal.... You earn it with the hills! Water and Gatorade on the course. This year rained just after the start and was very muddy.
JenAbby Memorial Run
Very small, inexpensive, no-frills race with only about 40 runners. Most of the route I was running alone, but that was fine because I finished with my best time this year. The course is almost completely flat on county roads, with the only significant (short) hill the overpass above the Ohio Turnpike. Only three aid stations along the way, and the last three miles we joined the 5-K and 10-K...
The Other Half - Half Marathon
Well organized smaller race (about 1,000 runners this year) on a beautiful course with red rock mountains and mesas hugging the road and adjacent Colorado River. Aid stations were great with sufficient volunteers support. There are some hills the later part of the course, but the drummers at mile 12 helped motivate for the last mile. Great post-race food and beverage. Loved the long sleeve...
Beat the Blerch - East
I enjoyed the theme of the race very much, with lots of "Blerch" activities and swag. I also realize this was their first race in this location, so there were bound to be some snags. Packet pickup was about 40 miles from the race venue, and pre-race communication was almost non-existent right up until the week prior. While this was advertised early as a trail race, it wasn't presented as a truly...
- Category: 25 in 25 Club
- Created on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 03:04
When I was getting myself back into shape after my first child was born, I stumbled onto the site and the concept of running half marathons in half the U.S. states. The half marathon distance was appealing as I had "retired" from marathon running after experiencing too many injuries (runner's knee, tibia stress fractures) despite using relatively low mileage training. Once I joined the Half2Run group, I made a few rules: no distances other than 13.1 could "count" toward my total, previously completed races did count, and no time limit to reach the goal. So with two states to my credit (MN and UT), I began this quest in earnest in 2009.
With my new goal in mind, I was scanning for half marathons in association with every conference, every family trip, and every reason to be out of state. (With my job as a faculty member at Ohio State University, I typically travel several times a year to different domestic locations for conferences.) I also promoting my agenda to my running buddies in hopes of finding those who might be willing to drive a few hours for a "change of scenery" race in a nearby state! I also talked up friends all over the country to find out about their local races, so I could combine a race weekend with a friend meet-up.
My favorite course has to be the Canyonlands Half Marathon as it was by far the most scenic – 12 miles running through a spectacular red rock canyon on a gentle 2% grade along the Colorado River. Unfortunately, I also had the world's most annoying fellow runner: A man who insisted on shouting out cheerful encouragement ever minute or two through the ENTIRE race. I wasn't the only one who found this guy irritating, as a fellow runner confided to me, "I'll grab his legs, and you take his kidneys..." Needless to say, I tried to drop the guy any way that I could, but he even beat me in the finish! I've run 6 women's half marathons, and have loved the wonderful camaraderie of women getting it done in such a positive and encouraging environment. In a Kansas women's half, I pushed my six month old son in a running stroller – my friend and I got lots of cheers of "You go Mama!" as encouragement for that feat! Not every race was bright and cheery: the race day in Maryland turned out to have some brutal wind, so a friend and I contemplated bagging the event and going out for brunch instead. Nevertheless, we both braved the 19 mph headwind and won our respective age groups! And earlier this year, I tackled one bucket list activity: I raced in a costume (Pot of Gold) in a Texas trail race over St. Patrick's weekend. Honestly, it's my best race photo ever.
Spectators often make races interesting. In Montana, I watched a woman run willingly into the water spray from a well-meaning spectator's pesticide applicator – I wasn't desperate enough to get doused with watered-down weed killer to take part! I've seen loads of "Worst Parade Ever" signs, high fived countless cheering strangers, and got pumped up by the music and antics of energetic aid station volunteers. Thank goodness for those spectators and their patience, they help us make it through to the end, even if they have no idea that we aren't actually "almost there" at mile 7!
And the swag? Well, I have a range of medals from the discrete to the overcompensating. I've gotten two race necklaces as medals (hello Tiffany-designed Nike Women's Half – the clear winner), one locally-sourced horseshoe (Kentucky), a medal that is also a bottle opener (for all those times I need a beer when I am walking around wearing my race medal...what were you thinking, North Carolina?), and many others which are run of the mill medals, but still hang with pride on my "13.1" medal race in my home office office.
And for the next most frequently asked question: What's the next goal? Since I plan to continue running through many more days of my life, I'm OK with slowly accruing additional states as opportunity allows. I don't feel compelled to try to hit all 50. For now, I am happy to continue running the half distance, and maybe I'll add a few more states to the map I've got hanging in my office.
- Category: 25 in 25 Club
- Created on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:36
We are about ready to roll-out the new and improved method of completing your 25. Here's how it will work:
- When you have entered all of your races here, you can initiate the award ceremony by going to our soon to be very efficient H2R Upload Center
- You will be required to send us your story and some images of you all sweaty and happy
- We will review your stuff and if all goes as planned, you will be giving your own permanent spot in the H2R Winners' Circle
If you would like to read more details about this, you are welcome to pretend you just finished #25 by clicking the link below. While this isn't quite 100%, it's darn close. (we have one form to add that should be done this week)
Check it out: The Half2Run 25 Club Upload Center
- Category: 25 in 25 Club
- Created on Saturday, 09 November 2013 10:06
10 years ago 2003 I entered the world of endurance sports, running my first marathon, the inaugural PF Chang's Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon.
I got hooked.
I continued my endurance running journey, by completing a grand slam, a series which is part of the Rock n Roll events. Nashville half, Arizona half, San Diego full, and Virginia Beach half. I have started 3 Ironman races and finished 2, Arizona and St. George Ut (2010).
I have numerous Triathlon finishes OD all the distances, 7 marathon finishes, with one BQ, and am now up to 41 half marathons, on my way to the 100 Half marathon challenge. I finished the 25 state challenge during the Center of the Nation seri
I have taken on the personal challenge of running/racing/triathlon in every state. Really do not care how long it takes, just so I remain healthy and happy during the journey.
Carry On! Enjoy your journey!
- Category: 25 in 25 Club
- Created on Monday, 14 October 2013 15:40
Huge Congrats Laura!
Half marathons in half the states. When I told people of my goal most of them thought I was crazy. 13.1 miles is a long way to run, over and over and over! What helped me the most is my boyfriend/husband signed on with me. I couldn’t have accomplished this goal as easily or nearly with as much fun if I didn’t have a partner training with me and going with me to the races.- Laura
Advice tidbit #1…FIND A PARTNER. Share the load, share the glow!
I was pretty successful in finding fun and different races because I utilized the resources available on the HALF2RUN website. The review of the races and the links to the website really helped steer me in a race direction. Add on the fact that you only had to choose 25 states, you could pick and choose which destinations you wanted to explore and forget the other states you may not want to visit!
Advice tidbit #2…TACK ON A VACATION TO THE END OF YOUR RACE. It really helped motivate me to get my training done because I knew I had a really neat vacation as a reward at the end of the race.
As I got closer to meeting my goal I felt myself slacking off on my training and motivation. I had trained for just about 10 years, off and on, and I was ready to do something else. What kept me going was not only actually completing the goal, but the encouragement and continual questioning I received from my friends, family and co-workers.
Advice tidbit #3- ENLIST A SUPPORT CREW. Announcing your goal and updating your friends and acquaintances really helped motivate me to finish it. I had a lot of people asking where I was going next and how many races had I completed. I really enjoyed the amazed looks and words of encouragement people gave me when they heard of my goal. They thought it was a really neat goal and it helped remind me of that fact too. It is an awesome goal and many people may start it, but how many actually finish something like this? I wanted to be one of the people who finished.
Advice tidbit #4…DON’T STOP! I cannot explain how thrilled I am to have accomplished this goal. Traveling our great country and meeting amazing people, seeing amazing scenery AND accessing sites not normally open to the public has been tremendous fun. Planning vacations in the dead of winter was a real mood and training boost. Displaying my medals has reminded me that if I set my mind to it, I can accomplish it. You won’t be sorry that you kept going, but you may regret it if you stop!