Thursday, January 22, 2015

Race Report: Charleston Half Marathon

As you may remember, I registered for the Charleston Marathon quite some time ago, around the same time I registered for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon. Eleven weeks apart was no problem to this non-planning, sometimes injured runner. Well, Raleigh came and went, and I limped away with a sore hip that just won't quit. I decided to step it back and run the half at Charleston, and try not to make things worse.

Switching down to the half allowed me to not feel so bad when my runs around the holidays were less consistent, and when I took a few extra days off after driving 12 hours to/from Michigan (wow, did that make my hip sore!). It also allowed me to not make a real plan, and arrive at the starting line with a vague idea of what I wanted to do that day.

My initial thought was, of course, to run fast. I knew close to my PR (1:39) wasn't happening, but maybe 1:45? Luckily, I thought better of that plan, and settled on something closer to 1:50.

Amy, Lara and I before the race.
Searching the crowd Saturday morning, I found Lara and Amy, ready to run Amy to a new PR. The goal was a few comfortable minutes past my 1:50 idea, so I decided running a 1:55 with friends would be a much more fun time than potentially struggling through a 1:50 alone.

The first few miles of the course were very pretty, along the waterfront and historic section of Charleston. We ran through the shopping district on King Street, where I started in envy at the latte-clutching spectators. Someday, I'd like to have a coffee mug that I can run with.

After maybe mile 6, the course gets not so scenic, which may have contributed to Lara backing off a bit. Amy and I chugged along, hitting or exceeding the pace for a 1:55 finish every mile.

But... we noticed that our miles were not matching up with the course markers... at all. After about mile two, our watched beeped exactly .3 miles before the mile marker was posted. And so did everyone else's. Since I wasn't going for a PR, I didn't think much of it, and chalked it up to someone putting the signs in the wrong place. But the mistakes continued all the way through the finish line, where we hit 13.4. Let's just say Amy was not pleased.

We finished just under 1:55, for an average of around 8:33 per mile for the 13.4 distance. Shiny PR for Amy, frothy beer for Kendra! Lara came in soon after, and we found our guys up to no good cheering us on at the finish.

As for the extra distance, lo and behold, the lead car took us down the wrong street in the first few miles, adding distance. To the race's credit, they are certifying the course we ran and adjusting our times soon. I know Amy will be happy with an even shinier new PR!

We had a great weekend in Charleston, and I had a fun time running a race with friends! Cheers!

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