Sunday, November 10, 2013

Race Report - Ashland Half Marathon

Fall race --- check! 

On October 27, 2013, I ran the 2nd Annual Ashland Half MarathonI'll be honest... I didn't think I was going to have a good race. (Who does, really?)  My training was "eh" and I kept hearing about the hills, hills and more hills along the course. Nevertheless, as race day was approaching, I was nervous, but looking forward to the challenge. 

One of the cool parts of this race was getting to meet Bill Rodgers and Bobbi Gibb. How 'bout that! Very inspiring to have some of America's running legends cheering for everyone and being so supportive of the race. 

The starting line was at Marathon Park in Ashland which was the original starting line for the Boston Marathon way back in 1897. The course took us through quiet, scenic neighborhoods, behind Ashland State Park, on miles 2-4 of the Boston Marathon course, up the painful Green Street Monster and down the rolling, what-felt-like-never-ending Winter Street to the finish line. A tough course, for sure. The Green Street Monster, a killer hill perfectly located at mile 11 (not perfect), was probably the hardest of them all. Picture this: you're on a flat road, you turn left and a wall is placed in front of you. That is the Green Street Monster. 

Luckily, I chatted (read: mutual grunts of frustration and understanding while climbing the hills of Ashland) with some fellow runners around me and it really helped me stay focused so that I could finish with a PR. One guy, as we were on the descent towards the finish line, asked me what time I was shooting for and assured me that I could do it. That little bit of motivation helped me push to the end. Races are great like that. 

I'm happy to report that I finished with a time of 1:57:29, taking a 1:13 off of my previous PR at the Run to Remember. And MarathonMike, the speed demon that he is, finished 2nd overall. Overall, for crying out loud! 

Race Goodies 
The course was a challenge, but I think that makes it more rewarding. Loved the Long Trail Ale at the end and the encouraging signs up Green Street. Well done, Ashland Half! 
 P.S. Kara Goucher favorited my tweet! For real! 

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