Hershey Half 2016

Date of Race : October 16, 2016 at 7:30 am.
Temperatures: Cloudy, starting temperatures of 45. No wind.
Race Website: Chocolate Town Challenges
Goodies: Tech shirt, two tickets to Hershey Park and an $8 coupon, reusable grocery bag, recovery lunch bag.

Before the Race

So, I have this issue with arriving late to work... even though they pay me to arrive on time. But I have a weird tendency to arrive at races 1 hour before they start. We arrived to Hershey at 6:15 am. I have told myself to think of work as an all day race, a race of sitting down, and pushing buttons on a computer keyboard, but something about not getting a shirt and a banana, makes it not feel like a race at all.

We picked up a bagel and coffee before the race, and ate while waiting for the sunrise. I had a feeling that this would not be enough, but kept reassuring myself that I would be fine.

Race started promptly at 7:30.

The Race

I start out half marathons really slow, I want to try to save the energy and excitement for the middle and end of the race. My plan was to think of it as a progression run, and run it by feel. Roger took off fast and I lost him right away.

I always love the sea of runners in fluorescent colors in front of me at a race!

The first 2 miles went by quickly, but as I was getting ready to go into the park, I started to feel hungry. I tried to push those thoughts out of my head and tell my stomach that I wasn't hungry. I seriously reviewed in my head what places we would be running by and the possibility of buying food. But I didn't have cash or my credit card with me.

Around mile 2, I passed Roger. I wanted to run by him and give him a high 5, but I was in the far left, and he was in the far right, with too many people in between us to cut across.

 Last year there was a band playing I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) and it made me smile. This year, there was no band. But the song came on my playlist!

(If you are a Doctor Who fan, this video is THE BEST EVER. If you are not a Doctor Who fan, go watch the show and come back in 3 months, you will appreciate the video more)

The first 5 miles of the course are somewhat flat, compared to the rest of the course. Mile 3-4.5 go trough Hershey Park, it is so amazing! I love running through places that I normally can't run!

I grabbed a water at mile 5 and somebody did a full stop in front of me, it forced me to do a full stop, to keep from slamming into them. Do we need to review coming to a full stop on a race again people?

I sang quietly to myself the first 5 miles, it helps me keep my breathing on check. I sometimes even do hand gestures to go along with the song... so, yes, I look like a mad woman talking to myself while I'm running. I could care about what others think of this, but when will this person see me again in their lives?

I started to feel a little bit of pain on the back of my left heel/ankle, but I kept pushing through.

 Around mile 6, after the biggest hill of the race, the song Tragos de Amargo Licor came on my playlist. And this became my sing out loud song of the race! I used to listen to this song with my Dad when I was little, it made me teary eye...  I almost started sobbing right there, on mile 6 of the Hershey Half. Or maybe I was almost crying because I saw a woman with a tray of cookies, and I couldn't cut across the street to grab some! I was hungry!

This section of the Half Marathon go through the Milton Hershey School, a philanthropic boarding school. And a lot of the kids are out cheering the runners. We get lots of High Fives and cheers from the kids, it is really quite emotional. It is also a bit hilly. There is a DJ at mile 8 and cheerleaders at mile 9. Last year there was also a school marching band, but not this year.

I got really excited for mile 12, because that's where my son and my sister would be spectating! but around mile 11, I had to stop and walk 3 steps, because the pain in my heel was really nagging at me. But I ran up the big hill at mile 11.7.

I grabbed all the chocolate bars they were handing me, and although I was really getting hungry at this point, I didn't eat them. I don't like chocolate that much, but I saved them all for my son. I had about 6 small Hershey bars in my hands, and when I saw my son and my sister, I approached my boy, gave him a big kiss, said I love you, and I'll see you soon and kept running. This energy lasted me about 4 minutes.

I crossed the finished line and the clock read 2:08 and change, but with chip adjustment, it came to 2.03.15. I walked around dazed and trying to calm my breathing. I walked over to get a water, a space blanket, my medal and my recovery bag. Then I tried to sneak back in to the finish line and find Roger.

Finish Line, Waiting and Congratulating

I walk smack into Jodi, who had just crossed the finish line. Without any second thoughts, we gave each other a big hug, then we both apologized because we were all sweaty. Isn't it funny how you become such close friends with those you run with? She beat her goal by 2 minutes!


I sent all the appropriate text messages to announce to my family and friends that I was done. I did my mandatory Instagram and Snapchat post and kept waiting for Roger.

Roger came out of the crowd with a big smile on his face. We gave each other another sweaty hug and tried to stretch a bit.

While we were talking about the race, I heard somebody call my name, and when I turned around there was Emily, who had gotten a bib at the last minute. We gave each other another big hug... it was a morning of sweaty hugs!

We left and went to get breakfast.

Eating and Recovery

My sister had headed to the nearest Bob Evans and ordered for us. So it was a purely magical experience to arrive at the restaurant and sit down to hot food and coffee. I could not thank her enough for his!

Hershey Half Shirt
My medal, and My son's medal from the Kids Run

Negotiations with my mother to come over and make us dinner didn't go well. It must be payback for the times I refused to eat her food as a child, or she might really be busy having a real life, and not being forced to cook for her grown daughter... I guess we will never know.

So we made burgers, they were amazing.

Last short story, I bought this comfy warm sock last year, as a treat to myself for after I finished the Hershey Half Marathon, but didn't put them on, because I was in so much pain. I finally removed the tags and put them on, while I sat on the couch watching TV.

We arrived on time and I didn't eat enough food
I ran this half as a progression run
We ran through Hershey Park, it was amazing
The first half is flat-ish
The second half is hilly, with the biggest hill at mile 6
We ran through Milton Hershey School
The kids are the best audience, giving high fives to everybody
DJ mile 8
cheerleaders mile 9
My ankle hurt
I almost started crying at mile 6, while singing really loud
My son was at mile 12, I gave him all my chocolate
I was hungry for half of the race
I met my 2.03 Half Goal
Roger beat his PR by 2 minutes
We gave other friends sweaty hugs
Having somebody waiting for you with a hot breakfast is the BEST THING in the world after a Half Marathon

Tell me about your experiences !

Do you have comfy recover clothes/ socks / food?
Do you get high fives from all the kids?
Do you do sweaty hugs with running friends?
Who do you text first after a race?


  1. I love high fiving all the kids around. Sounds like a great race which is now officially on my bucket list.

    1. Kids on Races are the awesome!! Hershey is an awesome race!!

  2. Yay, I've been waiting for this race recap! I'm glad everyone had a great time. I love the shirt and the medal! This makes me so excited for the 10K this spring!
    Great job on a hilly course!

    1. Thank you Meranda!

      The 10K is great! It skips most of the big hills of the Half marathon, and it goes through the park. I already put it in my calendar, we will have to connect when you come to do it!!

  3. Dang you rocked it!!! Awesome speedy race. It is great you and Roger both had good days. Your sister is too sweet! That is a treat to have breakfast waiting for you. The medal is so cute, it makes me want one. I usually do try to high five if I am on the outside lines ;)
    You know i am chuckling because i like to barely eat and run so my tummy feels good lol

    1. Thank you Karen!! I feel that I am hungry most of the time, and if I don't eat, I'm pretty cranky! But I think part of it was nerves too.

  4. It sounds like a fun race! Too bad the bands weren't there this year but it sounds like your playlist did the job :) That's awesome your sister went ahead to the restaurant and ordered for you so the food was waiting.

    1. It is a super fun race! I really missed the bands, they gave an extra level of energy.

      We got lucky with timing on the food!

  5. Congrats on beating your goal! And boo to that runner who stopped in the middle of the course. Race etiquette, people!

    1. Thank you Wendy!

      Nobody ever pays attention, stop on the right, keep running on the left. But most people stop wherever their heart desires.

  6. Congrats on making your 2:03 goal and congrats to Roger for his PR! What an exciting day! How are you feeling now? What do you think that pain was? Breakfast is the best post race food. :)

    1. Thank you Megan!

      I am feeling good now, even the day after my legs were not sore. The only sore spot were my ankles/back of my heels. I think it was the shoes, they are a tiny bit big on the heel. I need to find Nike Frees soon!!

    2. OKay good, glad it was just the shoes!

  7. Wow I am so dang in pressed with your time in HR zones!!! My coach has me paying attention to my HR and I can not do this yet! I'm usually in the 155-160 range mostly :(
    Congratulations to you both! That medal is totally awesome and I'd run this race for it alone!

    1. Thank you Tricia!

      I worked on the hr zones in the summer... I guess the running in the head paid off?

      The race is amazing!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS! I love that you were singing to yourself!!! So awesome. And I love how you saved the chocolates for your son. <3 Best mama ever.

    1. Thank you Suzy! that is me, a crazy level of singer runner!

      Thanks! he loved the chocolate, my sister and he made smores while spectating.

  9. I love getting high fives & all the love from the little kiddos. It's my favorite & they get so excited!

    Hunger during a race is the WORST. I remember during my last marathon in 2015 someone had big pretzel rods & I grabbed FIVE because I was so hungry!

    1. Oh my god! I would have totally taken pretzels too!! I hate being hungry when running!

  10. Congrats on a great race! That course sounds tough. Hills in the late miles = no bueno in my book. I love your comfy socks. So fun!

    1. Thank you Marcia! Hills were steep, but that is where the training came in!

      Comfy socks are the best after a half marathon!

  11. WOW! What an amazing finish time. It sounds like you had such a perfect race. Don't you love half marathons that you can run a million times and just never get sick of?

    Also, you don't like chocolate much?!?! Send it my way! :)


Post a Comment