Okay - I didn't finish last.
On Sunday - April 28th - the morning began early (not as early as a runDisney Race but early all the same). I woke up, got ready and drove down to Everett from our home which took me about 25 minutes (door to parking lot). Lots of other participants were already there and making there way to the start area. I parked and made my way to the nice flush toilet restrooms nearby. It was a little cold and had rained a bit on my drive south. The restroom even had a hand dryer which was a good warm up. I had no idea what to expect on number of participants... I knew this would be bigger than any of the runs I had done in Arlington but would it rival Bellingham? It did... big numbers... I think almost 800 people participated.
It was cold... and had been raining. I brought my hat but chose at the last minute to leave it in the car. (bad choice) I did bring along my thin running jacket (not waterproof). Note to self - buy a good water proof running jacket - you live and run in the Pacific Northwest silly!
I walked the short distance to the staging area. They did not organize anyone into corrals for this race. They did ask for people who categorized themselves as "walkers" intending to walk the Half Marathon to begin at 7:30am.
Photo courtesy of Heroes Half Facebook pageAfter a little military fan fare and a pre-race warm up - (this race was benefiting Military Families and honoring First responders) - the walkers were off. There were two distances represented... 10K and Half Marathoners... all of us began together. This course was an out and back along the Everett waterfront and then down the flats on the Northbound side of Hwy 529 (which was closed for the race). There were volunteers holding signs to stage the runners... per minute mile signs. They asked for anyone who intended to run faster than a 7 minute mile to line up at the front and then the higher the number the farther back you should start. It seemed like a free for all to me. Whatever. The 10K participants were all mixed in... at the 5K mark they turned and started back and the Half participants kept moving north until Marysville.
When we reached Marysville they had a few loops through a few business parks and then a longer loop at the water treatment plant. One of the groups of volunteers had constructed a balloon arch for the "half way point"... a really nice touch and good to know you were half way!
Photo courtesy of Heroes Half Facebook page
These are not the best photos but I was excited to see my kids and my great husband! At this point of the race (half way) I was excited that I was doing it... running a "real" half marathon! I had run the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland in January but this was a real test - away from Disney and in the real world. I had kind of convinced myself that maybe the Disney miles were not "real" miles.
As I started back towards Everett I began to regret the decision to hand my husband my jacket. The rain began to come down again... not just a drizzle. It was full on raining. My hands were so cold that I just couldn't feel my fingers anymore. At one point I was messing with my Gymboss interval timer... it clips on like a small pager. I could not for the life of me even pinch it hard enough to clip it back on my arm band. I had to ask a nice lady at one of the water stops to clip it back on. Thanks - who ever you were.
Other than being a bit cold... and swollen hands I was feeling alright. I had changed my intervals to 1:30/1:00 by about mile 10... which was fine for me. I had a goal to try and finish faster than I had done the Tinkerbell. My time at the Tinkerbell had been 3 hours and 4 minutes. So I would be happy with anything under 3 hours. As I hit Mile 10 my music beeped in my ear... I had been using my music shuffle directly on my phone and realized that my battery was spent. I hadn't thought about it but using the music along with my Nike+ app was too much for my battery. My phone died at about 10.30 miles. Dang... so much for recording my 2nd Half on my Nike+! Oh well. So I ran in the last 3 miles with no music.
I paced myself with some other runners ahead of me and without their knowledge they "pulled" me in. I felt great at the finish! My family was there and yelling - Go MOM! I had done it! Half Marathon #2 in the record books! The big news... my finish time - 2 hours and 42 minutes! I had crushed my Tinkerbell time!
After the finish they held a Kid's Race which all three of my kiddos participated in and loved. It was a bit far for my 4 year old (I think they ran over a mile) but they all made it and received their medals too!