Official Finish Time:
61/79, Female 30-34
Official Finish Time:
Official Finish Time:
61/79, Female 30-34
The Indy Women’s Half Marathon really happened by chance. For the second year in a row, I’ve taken part in a friends local music fest called Sweatpants and Trucker Hat party. They’ve had this party for 14 years and each year they bring in some great bands and in order to attend you have to wear old style sweat pants and a trucker hat. It happens just outside of Indianapolis and Friday night there is usually a pre-party at a local venue with one of the bands in Indy. I planned to attend both this year. I know I had 14 miles on the agenda for the weekend and when I saw the Indy Women’s Half was also taking place, it was a no brainer to sign up. It’s a repeat state but was slated as my 48th Half.
The race weekend started with the expo on Friday. They had no race day bib pick up option so I had to hit the expo. It was a little bigger than I though as they did have some local booths but nothing crazy. I did get a chance to meet Lindsey Hein from the I’ll have Another Podcast and see Michele Gonzalez. The first time I met Michele was actually in Alaska two years ago.
After the expo, I grabbed dinner and went to the pre-party for a bit but called it a night half way through the first artist. I know it would be an early Saturday and a long day with the party that night. I was probably in bed around 10:30pm and had the alarm set for 6:15am. The plan was to get out of the door of the hotel by 6:45am since I had a good 20 minute walk to the start line.
I slept pretty well on Friday but woke up maybe 2-3 times thinking I had missed my alarm and I over slept. It was weird but when my alarm did go off I was up and out of bed. I left the hotel room at 6:36am. I figured I’d make up my breakfast on the way over. I stepped outside the hotel and stepped right back in. It was cold and windy and I decided to go to the breakfast room and hang out for a little longer. I ended up not leaving the hotel until right before 7am. I had plenty of time still to get to the start line and try to stay warm before we started at 7:30am.
I have taken part of other women’s races but they allowed men to run, just not win. This race though no men were allowed to run. It was interesting. I’ve never been at a race with so many sparkly skirts or running skirts in general. I was still having some major knee pain from my lock out the week prior, so I wasn’t sure how the knee would hold. My doctor said to give it go though.
It was chilly and windy on race morning. I wore a tank and shorts but was glad I brought my arm warmers and gloves. I ended up keeping my gloves for the first mile and my arm warmers until about mile 4.
The first two miles of the race looped you around downtown. I never felt too cramped on the course and in fact in the back half I felt that I was running a lot on my own. With about 2500 runners, it spread out nicely on the course. I tried to just take it easy these first miles. There were some brick roads we ran on downtown, so I certainly didn’t want to take a tumble.
After leaving downtown we headed more northwest of the city for most of the remainder of the course. The water stops were nicely spaced and had water and Powerade. I really used them as reminders to take my own water. I tend to not drink as much when it’s that cold out. I also tried to stay on my fuel every 30 minutes while I was out there but I certainly didn’t take as much fuel as I normally do during a race.
Around mile 4 I could tell my knee was starting to get stiff. Every time I’d transition from my run to walk, I’d hobble a step or two. Otherwise during the run intervals, I was in pain, but it was moving. My watch by mile 5 was also off by 0.11 from the mile markers. My mile 1 was spot on and then was off by 0.6 for the next few miles but from mile 5 and on was consistently 0.11 off. I found that to be interesting since there weren’t many tall buildings after mile 2 to interfere with GPS. At least it stayed consistent.
These were some nice miles. We did a quick out and back in mile 6 into mile 7. It was shady as well which was nice because some of the later miles were a little more exposed in the sun and it was starting to get hot. The out and back was nice because most every other lady out there was cheering you on. People were giving high fives and giving lots of encourage to anyone they passed. I’d like to say you see this in every race, but I do really feel like it was the spirit of the race as well.
After mile 7, we ran through a park until after mile 9. It was a gorgeous area and the road out of the park was not closed and while people waited in their cars, they were cheering us on. Most of the course was not necessarily fully closed, but I never felt that it was an unsafe course. They had plenty of officers out blocking intersections.
I wasn’t at all paying attention to my time, but I felt that I was doing a bit worse out there on the course. Just before mile 9, I ran into some ladies who were also running 3 across and also blasting music. I honestly just hate that. It’s rude and not necessary. I definitely pushed a little harder than I needed to get past them, which was not helping how I was feeling necessarily. As we came to the back end of mile 9, I could really feel the heat and from that point until almost mile 12, we were the most exposed to the sun during the entire course.
Just after mile 10, I turned on my phone to let Nikki know that I was about 35-40m away from the finish line. She was coming up from the hotel to see me finish so I wanted to give her a heads up. When i turned on my phone, I had a message come through that something was broken at one of the restaurants. Here I was in the last 5k of my race and now trying to trouble shoot. It was actually comical. Finally at mile 11, I told my vendor I had about 25 minutes left and to just hold tight. While it wasn’t ideal, it actually helped get me through mile 10 pretty easily, so I was okay with that.
Around mile 11.7, we took a left turn onto New York St to head back into downtown. Once we got across the bridge, we were back in the shade and on our way to the finish line as mile 12 was not far over the bridge. I was so excited to get to this point of the race. Again, it was interesting for me that I was passing more people than people passing me. I wasn’t necessarily feeling great, but apparently I was doing something right out there. I could tell I was getting closer to the finish line as I slowly started seeing runners with medals walking toward me. Slowly but surely, I saw that I passed mile 13 and then all of a sudden there was the finish line. I didn’t see Nikki until after I finished, but it’s always great knowing there are people there waiting for you! I was given my medal and a bag full of yummy goodies and then a rose from these younger guys. I was going to just get a selfie with the one who gave me my rose, but more wanted to jump in.
Overall, I had a much better race than I thought I would have. I ended up coming in at 2:32:xx which was an absolute surprise! I honestly thought with my knee and having a crappy week, I wouldn’t cross the finish line until 2:45-2:50. The best part about the race for me though were my split times. My first split came in at 1:16:05 and the second half at 1:16:35. While it wasn’t a negative split (I’ll blame those 2 small walk breaks through water stops in the back half), it was a consistent race for me! Usually I go out way too fast and pay for it the back half.
I had heard such good things about this race going into it and every single of them was true. It was very well put together and the course was fantastic! I had run the Indy Monumental 2 years ago so it was nice to run in a different part of the city. The volunteers on the course were absolutely amazing! They had cups ready to go for every runner and cheered everyone on as you went by.
The bling for the race was pretty sweet as was the race shirt. In fact, it was actually a tank top which is something I’ve never gotten for a race. I was worried it wouldn’t fit, but when I tried it on, it was a perfect fit! The finish line party was also pretty sweet. The runners got to try some champagne and mimosas. The other negative I would say is that your friends/family should be allowed into all areas of the finish line party and then just use the bib for the runner’s drinks.
Once I got myself together, Nikki and I walked back down to the hotel. We stopped at some donut shop on the way there and they did not disappoint! Perfect post race noms! It was nice to relax a little and not rush to shower and get on the road to Shelbyville for the Sweatpants and Trucker Hat party that evening! The year before I had run the Air Force Marathon so it was nice to still have some movement in my legs having just run the half that morning.
Even though I already have Indiana, if timing works out, I would absolutely go back to run this race again! While the registration price is a little higher than I’d like ($75.57), there is great swag to make up for the price. And you get free pictures if you take the time to look. I only found the one of me at the finish line so far. Otherwise, they do offer up some pictures to buy of course. This group really does put on a great race and hopefully I’ll have a chance to run it again.
Official Finish Time:
99/150, Female 30-34
I am definitely a little late on this recap, but as I always saw with my race recaps, they are better late than never! The New Bo Half Marathon was the second part of my Labor Day double weekend. This race came after running the Rockin’ Chocolate Half and would count as my Iowa race in my 50 state quest. It wasn’t necessarily the first Iowa race on my list, but it worked out too perfectly and was glad I did end up choosing this one!
Mel and I got into Cedar Rapids just before dinner time and with the late lunch I had, I was pretty exhausted and wanted to just pass out. Luckily Mel ordered the smallest gluten free pizza ever and we ended up splitting it. The delivery guy was pretty amusing when he brought the pizza to our hotel room. While it might have been the smallest pizza ever, it was actually all I needed. We had another early race morning with a 7:30am start and had to get our bibs before the race, so I was not upset calling it an early night and getting as much sleep as I could.
We got into downtown Cedar Rapids pretty easily and found a close parking spot to the NewBo City Market. We pretty quickly snagged our bibs and I grabbed my t-shirt. I guess when I signed up, I opted to purchase a t-shirt. I am glad I did because it was the super soft variety, fits well and is yellow, which isn’t a color I have a lot of! One of the reasons I was absolutely okay with running this race was because it only cost me $30 to register. On top of that, you got a hand made clay medal as well. We took my shirt to the car and then headed to the start line. We actually ran into Angie and Josh, who are the only other Iowans I know, so I was happy to see them.
I knew walking up to the start line for this race that it wasn’t going to be stellar. This was the first double weekend I had attempted in over a year and the heat was only getting worse. Mel was awesome again and said she was going to stick with me. Even more than the first day, I was even more grateful to have her along for this race. The race was pretty much broken up into 2 sections. The first part was headed out of town on some country roads and the second was headed back into town on the Sac and Fox Trail.
Once we got going, I knew right away it was going to be a long day out there. Luckily before the week before the race, Angie had warned me that we went over a few train tracks and that they were live tracks. We had a chance of getting stuck on the wrong side if the timing was off. I definitely didn’t want to get stuck on the wrong side. To get out to the Sac and Fox Trail, we had to pass by the corn processing plant at the beginning of Prairie Park. The sun was still coming up which made for a nice setting, but even by mile 2 I could feel the heat getting worse.
At mile 3 we turn some turn and headed out on some true country roads. There was road kill, corn and farm animals. We even had some roosters say hi as we went by. There was zero shade though. By far this was the worst part of the course. While this was a good race, it would be so much better in 50 degree weather.
Just as we got to mile 6 we actually crossed over runners below us on the Sac and Fox Trail. As I looked down I saw Angie waving up. We had about another half mile before we got to the trail head. However, just before the trail head, we crossed over this one lane bridge. I immediately noticed how bouncy it was. There was a photographer there and was just laughing probably at me, but was telling me with me. Mel thought I was crazy, but I at least got him to verbally agree that it was bouncing too.
Just at the trailhead we saw some spectators. This was really the only spot we saw spectators besides the finish line. It was certainly not a great race for that. I love this part of the race because it was under tree cover and much cooler. It was a beautiful part of the course. It was a very fine crushed limestone that we ran on. This was also the part of the race that I started losing it a bit more than normal. Usually around mile 8 of a half marathon is where I would stop at a water stop and grab gatorade. Well, here is the one biggest gripe I had with this race. There was no gatorade. Again, the amazing Angie warned me of this, but I just don’t see why this was even a thing. It couldn’t be that hard to even put a thing of Gatorade at the later water stops. Maybe it didn’t need to be at all, but perhaps the last 2 would have been nice, especially since we were pushing 70+ in the temperature scale. I really could have used those extra electrolytes at this point in the race.
Just after we hit the 10 mile mark, we headed back through Prairie Park and on our way back into town. I was very done with this race at this point, but doing everything I could to keep moving forward. I wish we could have run more in that park and then we maybe could have done less on the country roads. The 10k racers did get to do a loop around there.
Right before we turned out of the park, I saw a train started moving. We were maybe 500 yards away and I literally stopped and threw my hands up. I was so mad. I wanted to scream. Then all of a sudden Mel yelled that it was just the engine and he was probably moving forward to then back up to the rest of the train. Luckily that was exactly what it was so we easily passed over the tracks. This threw me off though and made for a long last mile. We had less than a mile and then one more turn until the finish line. We didn’t know it at the time, but Josh was hanging out at the finish line waiting for us to cross. When not knowing a lot of people at a race, this was such a nice gesture. He caught an awesome finish line photo of us finishing our 2nd race in 2 days.
Once we got our awesome hand made medals, Mel and I went over to get our finishers kolache. I had no idea what this thing was, but Mel was an expert and based on her description, I was amped to try it. We got there and all we had were empty boxes. Not a single one was left. I know we were not the fastest out there, but come on! You promise a kolache, give me a kolache! Luckily though, Mel was determined to get me one, so we found one later. After hanging for a bit with Angie, Josh and their friend, we decided to get back to the hotel to shower and then on the road to Des Moines after hitting the arts festival in town first.
Overall, the New Bo Half was the epitome of a small race. It had a great appeal and amazing volunteers! You can’t beat the registration price at all. You also get free race pictures. Even with not getting my kolache and not having gatorade on the course, I was glad I picked this race for my Iowa race. It’s definitely one I’d still recommend to just add to your race calendar or if you’re on the 50 state quest. Just hope for better weather!
Official Finish Time:
84/94, Female 30-39