Sunday, February 24, 2013


Saturday's "Tough A Nails" Colchester 1/2 Marathon was, in a word, brutal.  From the weather to the course to the beating my body took. On the upside, I freaking did it and the course was, besides freaking hilly, gorgeous.  The race director was out in various spots running down the hills to run up the hills with us.  I have no idea where this man gets his energy from.  Amazing.

I had the privilege to run with him twice.  The first time we chatted and I mentioned I loved his race description however I had not seen any cows yet.  He assured me that the second half there would be cows.   The second time I saw him there was 0.3 left in the race and I said, "I"m coming I'm coming as I hobbled/ran."  He laughed and said, "Just another 0.3, oh yeah and it is all up hill."  I smiled and he said "You're smiling through the pain, that is a good thing."

Let me get some order to this before it becomes a disorganized brain dump.

The race started at 10, in a town about 45 minutes away from where I live, so I hit the road by 8:30 giving me enough time to be sufficiently awake and biologically balanced.  The start was at a school called "Bacon Academy"  Unfortunately it was not an academy dedicated to the study of bacon, instead it is a school started by a donation from Pierpont Bacon in the early 1800's.  I'll spare you the Cliff Clavin monologue.

Checking the weather it was expected to be cloudy, mid 30's, slightly windy, and 30% chance of rain.  It misted pretty much the entire drive over and the bigger mist, what I'd refer to as spitting held off until after I was off the course.  Talking with a running buddy after the race he did confirm that it felt like it got progressively colder during the race.  I thought it had.  The weather history isn't confirming anything other than the wind speed increasing, and being sweaty and tired that would make it feel colder!

Handy dandy weather thing from the Garmin!

I was really not feeling this run, my 3 miler mid day on Friday was pleasant, I felt good and was looking forward to Saturday's challenge albeit a little apprehensive about the distance, hills are hills, you just get over them (famous last words).  As I ran I figured a good yoga session would help relax and went to Friday night Yoga, new instructor, different sort of class, complete violation of the nothing new rule.

Cutting to the chase:  out of 501 finishers I came in 489 and 157 out of 164 for my age group.  Chip time of 2:40 12:15 pace.  Yes you read that right.  The hills did a number on my back, specifically my SI Joint and I ran walked the last three miles.

Pace / Elevation at about mile 10 after that long down hill it started falling apart...  

Some fun facts about the Cochester 1/2  Marathon besides 2013 being the 21st running!

2013 Colchester Half Marathon Fun Facts:
  • 10:00 a.m. sharp start time – Saturday February 23, 2013 (always the last Saturday in February)
  • USATF Certified course (CT112001JHP) certified 13.10938 hilly miles
  • Volunteers on every corner
  • No t-shirts
  • Lots of hills
  • No Awards
  • Pre-race & post race massages
  • Bacon Academy cafeteria post race hearty carbo re-load party, open to runners, volunteers, and their guests
  • Mile marks painted on the road
  • Some dirt roads
  • Bacon Academy High School for a warm & sheltered area to register, pick up your race bib, stretch, and to shower after the race
  • Cows & donkeys too
  • Professional timing and results
  • Rural scenery
  • Three Gatorade & water stations out on the course
  • More hills
  • Camaraderie, tales of woe, and a great bunch of runners
  • An Awesome bunch of volunteers
  • A loud and encouraging race director
  • Sweep car - just in case someone needs a ride back, (f you do hitch a ride you’ll be the last one back!
  • The run has a total ascent of 351.05 ft and has a maximum elevation of 620.08 ft. 
Will I do it again?  Hell yes!  Just need to work on strengthening my back although I wonder what hand the  vigorous yoga played in my demise....  It was brutal, it was also fun.  Next time hubb and I go out to Colchester I will drive him around the course, I'm kind of glad I didn't drive the course or study the elevation profile prior to the race.

Some of my favorite things about this race:

The volunteers at the bottom of a big hill, as I was coming down one hill just after mile 10 the volunteers at the bottom were directing me to turn right and the woman yelled:  "You are making this look like too much fun, stop smiling."  That made me laugh.  I do love to run and that helped remind me of this bizarre passion I have. 

Another set of volunteers had a big blow up monkey and was blowing a vuvuzela from a distance it looked rather strange and I welcomed the comic relief.

The cows.  They just stood there looking at me, like, I was crazy, I giggled and greeted them good day.  What else could I do?

Fellow runners, nearing the end I was getting passed, about 6 people passed me, one noted I had cute socks.  They had cupcakes on them.  I wonder if this is why I was craving a donut through most of the race?  Never fear there was a Dunkin' Donuts on the way home.  This is New England you can't swing a dead mouse without finding a DD.  (I had a brownie batter filled donut, it was yummy)

The volunteer that said, it is just a nice walk in the country.

Yep it is beautiful!
Beth, who's back is not happy, but overall she is glad she didn't wave down the sweep van.

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