Post-Race Report: Raleigh Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon

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Post Race Report:

Race Date: Sunday, April 8th
Race Name: Humana Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon
Location: Raleigh, NC
Race Distance: 13.1 Miles
Finishing Time: 1:59:58
Mile Split: 9:09/Mile

Place: 822/2904 Overall, 72/140 Division


Special Recognition:

Special thank you to the volunteers and emergency personnel who made this event possible. In addition, there were a number of local musicians that braved the cold playing all sorts of music (from marching bands to Asian drum troupes) for hours while the runners jogged by. Finally, a special, special thank you to the Rock N’ Roll planning team for placing Port-a-Johns every couple of miles…they were well used. Conversely, a special anti-thank you to the person that left four of the six Port-A-Johns locked up at mile six on the course…not nice.

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Race Recap:

Brrr…it’s cold out here…and I need to pee.

The Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon should have been a beautiful April morning in Raleigh, North Carolina (yes, that’s the one supposedly located in the South). Instead, snow flurries sputtered in the area overnight prior to the race and hundreds of would-be racers waved the white flag on showing up bright and very early Sunday morning.

This was my first ever half marathon and the coldest race I have encountered thus far, with a temperature hovering around 35 degrees. To combat the chilly weather (…mmm chili sounds good), I layered up with two long-sleeve shirts under a third t-shirt on top. I wore insulated long pants and a soft beanie hat to protect my ears and add some pizzazz to the outfit. My hands took the brunt of the cold for the first few miles, but began to warm up as the sun rose higher.

Ah yes…the having to pee part.

Ever heard of breaking the seal? Well…the seal was smashed wide open on this morning.

I’m still struggling with the balance of being hydrated for a race versus having a bladder ready to explode on the race course. Arriving 45 minutes prior to the race and neglecting to hit the bathroom right before the start probably didn’t help either. In the end…mile two and mile six turned into unplanned pit stops for some relief.

As I wrote in my pre-race report, this event was far more training than racing for me. It provided an excellent opportunity to get a long run in on the weekend in a much more unique setting than my normal greenway route. The finish time was not all that important, which made stopping to pee…twice…a luxury I could afford.

Just under two hours is a respectable time for my current training results. I am in the build-up phase for summer races and my long runs are designed to be at a comfortable pace. I sped up as the race unfolded and ran a strong final mile under eight minutes…in a fledgling effort to look athletic coming up to the finish line.

I am still undecided on my thoughts on the half-marathon distance. I know my strengths lie in longer, and hillier, races as I no longer have the speed…check that…I never had the speed to perform well in shorter distances. A half marathon is right on the edge of shorter speed race vs. long distance running. With the long term goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I do need to continue taking on shorter, speedier events in training to bring my mile times down under the requirements.

Overall, this was a fun and unique course winding through the empty streets of downtown Raleigh. I appreciated staying completely off of the greenway during the race and being greeted every few miles with musical entertainment. Sadly, this will be the last Rock N’ Roll event in Raleigh.

Onto the next challenge…

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