Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Delaware Running Festival - Half Marathon 2017

Before I get on the details of the race, I dedicated this race to Dawn, a woman from another agency my office worked with. She passed away last week, after a battle with Cancer. I met Dawn in 2006, when she came to audit my files for another program, although we made mistakes and our files were not always perfect, Dawn was always kind and worked with us on corrections. Dawn, your bright smile and kind spirit will be very much missed here.

Race Details
Cost: $95 ( I registered late)
Goodies: long sleeve woman's cut tech shirt, running hat, post race beer, snacks and medal.
Weather Conditions : Sunny start of the race 45F (7.22 C), 55F ( 12.77) at the end of the race.
 
I do not remember how I found this race... but knew that a Mother's day race sounded like something awesome to do. My sister agreed to watch my son, and I signed up. The registration process was super simple and was done on my phone, while in line for coffee<- True Story.
 
Bib pick up was on Saturday, and confusing. When we showed up, there were about 20 tents, and none of them clearly marked Bib Pick up. We walked around by the park, until I asked a couple who was carrying what looked to be bags with bibs and shirts. They pointed me to where the Bibs were. There was no expo the day before the race.

 

Day of the Race

We left my parents house at 5:30 am, cutting it real close. (We stayed at my parents, and my Mom gave my niece a bath at 11:00 the night before, she screamed and cry for most of it and kept us up for a while. I only kept telling myself that I loved my niece and my mom over and over. This caused us to oversleep Sunday) After grabbing bagels and coffee at Dunkin, the drive to Wilmington was smooth and quick.

Parking was at the train station, and the race started at the Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park. There were about 1500 runners, the half marathon and marathon started together at 7:00 am. The Half marathon relay started at 7:10 am.

The Running section of this recap

We ran through the Riverfront park, and the Delaware River, which was beautiful and crowded. After looping the park, we ran by a very shady looking part of town, I normally don't get scared of being mugged, but I kept telling myself that criminals couldn't possibly mug 100 people at the same time... and that there might be other runners with watches more expensive than mine... Insane thoughts, I know!
 
 
That man looks really tall!
 
We then ran through downtown and into Brandywine Park by the Brandywine River. This section reminded me a lot of Kelly Drive in Philadelphia with the trees, the river and the road. Because of the trees this entire section was shaded and the most beautiful and scenic. I was feeling pretty good and energized, but knew that some hills were coming ahead.

Along the course, there were several signs marking the mileage. One was for the Half marathon, another for the Marathon and one more for the relay. Each went with the color of the bibs, but this didn't click and frustrated me for half of the race.
 
 
 
 

I started to struggle at mile 6, after the slight uphill and I stopped to walk a few steps. I walked and ran without rhyme or reason, feeling tired and a little defeated. I considered just stopping and snap chatting whomever, because I was losing motivation and felt tired. But I reminded myself that this race was for Dawn, that  I'm a badass mother runner and because I paid a lot of money to run this !

To keep myself motivated I stared singing whatever came on my playlist... I sang Greenlight by Pittbull, Green Light by Lorde <- at which point the questions on my head became why do I have two Green light songs on my music? What the heck people? Do we not pay you to be creative and come up with different names for your songs? Get Your act together!

We turned into a beautiful neighborhood full of gorgeous homes! Some of the residents there came out to cheer on people, and some had a few cups of water and signs. There was a kid with down syndrome giving high fives and telling everybody they were rock stars, he was precious! His high five lasted me another mile.

After this we ran through "Little Italy" There was a man giving out Italian water ice, and I took some because I was hot. I held on to that cup for about 3/4 of a mile, until it got tossed. Around this neighborhood somebody had a sign that said "You are awesome!" and I said to myself out loud "Heck yes, I am!!" (<--that's a lie, it was more like, Fuck yes, I am!)

I started to feel blisters on my toes, and on the side of my foot, they hurt and felt like they were going to be huge and bloody, but I told myself to acknowledge they were there, feel the pain, and keep running. Nothing else to do but keep running. We looped back to the Riverfront. Around here, there was a woman running the Half marathon relay who was wearing a thick sweater and ear muffs!! I was struggling to keep all my clothes on and she was wearing earmuffs!!

I took my longest walking break at mile 12, because we it was a steep (ish) hill. I was tired and was starting to get hungry, and as soon as we hit the top of the hill, I started to run hard. My brothers told me they were planning to come see me at the finish line, and I wanted to come in close to 2:05.

As soon as I crossed the major intersection and turned to the finish line I saw my brothers. It feels so amazing to have somebody waiting at the finish line! It was wonderful to hear them cheering me on at the end. I can still hear my brother shouting "Finish strong! Stay with it!".

I crossed the finish line at 2:01 on the clock, and 2:00:26 on my watch. My race fishing song was just wrapping up, I timed it perfectly.

My brothers came over and I gave them a sweaty hug. While we waited for Roger. Brother#1 said that he was planning on doing this same race next year and he was going to beat my time. I can't wait!

Roger finished at 2:25. We walked around the running festival, got some water, chips, bananas. I grabbed a pretzel and a pizza slice and bought a shirt at the merchandise tent.
 
 
Happy with my pizza and pretzel!
EDIT : I forgot to say that this race offers free race photos.. here are my favorites. 




There were two pictures that were only of my bib and somebody's chest, and a few in which I looked like a turtle with no neck, I'm not posting those because I didn't like them... but they are in FB.

Post Race Thoughts
 
I loved this race! Other than the weird Bib pick up, it was well organized with a beautiful start, a gorgeous course, plenty of water stops and portable toilets.
 
I did better than my own expectations, but I was sore and tired the next day. I didn't put enough training going into this race, and didn't go enough hills or speed training, but my time tells me that a little more effort would have gotten me a better time. I might be back next year.
 
Have you raced on Mother's day ?
Which family members have come to cheer you on at the finish line?
How was your mothers day?
What is the most scenic race you have done?





 



4 comments:

  1. I love this! The weather looks amazing too! That sucks about your niece crying so late at night. That's a late time to be having a bath! So cool that your brothers watched you finish and that you inspired one of them to come back next year. Such a great recap! Congratulations to you and Roger!

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    1. The weather was perfect!! I only regreted the capris 2xs!

      My poor niece didn't want a bath, but Gramma is in charge of that! My mom doesn't like timelines, so she just did what she needed to do.

      Thank you!!

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  2. You look bad ass in your race photos, girl!

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    1. Thank you! I should have posted the double chin ones too... but I hate those!

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