March 23, 2016

Wrightsville Beach half marathon race report

Waking up on race day is especially fun when you are heading to the start with your neighbor and the big race is almost in your backyard,  This was my second year to run the Quintiles Half Marathon, the last time being in 2013 when I earned a PR.  In 2014, I ran the marathon course for my Boston qualifying time and last year, I ran with my friend Lynda for the last 10 miles of her first marathon. Christie was running the marathon this year and since my plan was to run a 2:05 half as a training run, my 9:30 pace would be perfect for her first eleven miles.


The morning was really chilly and waiting at Wrightsville Beach near the town hall, our group huddled together to try to stay warm.  We got a little drizzle during this time but luckily it never started to rain while we waited. At 6:30, the National Anthem was played, a prayer was said and soon it was time for the 6:40am start.


Race day outfit, never got a photo running since my phone was in the car and it was too cold at the finish line!
Miles 1-4  The first three miles of this course are a loop around Wrightsville Beach and a place we locals spend alot of time.  It is a pretty area and even when it is gloomy outside (it was) the smell of the sea and the bright colored beach houses are a welcome sight at the start of a race. Christie and I kept a comfortable pace starting out slowly and trying to avoid alot of steps passing people. After you finish the loop, you head across the bridge back to Wilmington for the next portion of the race.  We started getting warm here and Christie managed to leave her jacket with her husband at the Wolfpack aide station.  Did I mention that because of the March Madness basketball tournament, there were aide stations representing many NC colleges including mascots and plenty of cheers.  It was at the Wolfpack aide station that we missed our running buddy Lynda who was giving out water.  Big fail since she was yelling both of our names!
Mile times: 9:44, 9:26, 9:24, 9:26

Miles 5-8  Soon we were taking a right turn on Military Cutoff which would be a 2 mile stretch before entering the Landfall subdivision.  This area had plenty of cheering and also plenty of wind. While it did not feel cold, it was not exactly easy running this stretch.  Finally we entered the Arboretum gate and the temperature immediately felt warmer due to the lack of wind. I knew Tom would be cheering at some point in the next mile so I was excited.  We continued on the winding roads, turned onto South Moorings and soon I spied Tom on his bike.  He asked if we needed anything, but at this point, we were both fine.  Motoring on through the neighborhood was fun as I saw my friends, Katie, Sheila, Tracey, John (missed Patty) and others.
Mile times: 9:22, 9:30, 9:28, 9:37

Not my running clothes, but my only photo with Christie
Miles 9-13.1  The last couple miles in Landfall went quickly and Christie and I soon would be parting at mile 11 when I turned off for another trip up Military Cutoff to the finish line.  She was running really strong and asked me for some words of advice for a section of the course that would be a little tough mentally.  We said our goodbyes after a couple more easy paced miles.  When I turned back onto Military cutoff the wind had definitely picked up and I pushed through to keep my 9:30 ish pace. After a couple harder miles, I turned into the Mayfaire area in search of the finish line!  It was fun passing more cheering spectators and I rounded the bend and put on the jets for the last little bit.
Mile times:  9:29, 9:28, 9:34, 9:33, 9:37 8:43

Finish Time:  2:05.34
2/14 60-64 AG
414/1155 females
799/1809 overall
1st place left, Sue in 3rd, and me


Loved adding another growler to the collection
Final thoughts.  I loved the small change in the half marathon course to include the Radian Rd cul-de-sac in Landfall that eliminated the extra turns in Mayfaire towards the finish line.  The spectators were awesome on a rather nasty weather day.  I was lucky that I did not get caught in rain, but by 10:00am, there were several downpours and it was cold.  After changing to my dry clothing and getting some food, I stayed to cheer with several other friends for our marathon runners.

Diana (left) rocked her first marathon including an AG award, Christie (top right) had huge PR and Chad over an hour PR! 
Despite the cold and wind, there were some Boston Qualifiers, PR's and some amazing times for first time marathon runners.  I just loved spectating at the finish line and seeing so many friends do so well in their first marathon, yes I mean you Diana, Ryan and Alicia. This is a great race if you are looking for a flat and fast course.  Come to Wilmington next March and earn a PR!
(Pam)


27 comments:

  1. Congrats on another strong race, Pam. Even with you treating it as a training run and running with a friend for 11 miles, you still managed to get that age group award. A growler sounds like a great award. Way to go!

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    1. Thanks, I do like my race prizes Kathryn and Tom especially liked this once since I let him the choose the beer for the grolwer!

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  2. Congrats on another AG award! And congrats to your friend for placing AND. Running her first marathon!
    My last few runs have been done in high winds and it has not been that fun. Looks like you handled it well though!

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    1. I was so excited for my running friends. There were some great performances out there and our group is so supportive of each other.

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  3. I'm so impressed with your pacing! That is something I need to work on. I always have a goal of starting out slower and finishing with negative splits but I seem to just fall into my usual pace no matter what. Holding back for my next couple of weeks of training (so as not to aggravate anything) is going to be a challenge!

    Congrats on the AG award!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. I haven't always been the best at pacing, but I knew it was important for us to stay close both for Christie and me. I absolutely could not race that one per coaches instructions and this made it much easier.

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  4. Great race & congrats on your award!

    I sometimes wonder what it would be like to sleep in my own bed for a big race. The closest I've gone is my 15k last year -- since all my halfs are travel! But at home you've got all the usual chores to do; so I think traveling is more fun. :)

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    1. It is nice to have less stress on race morning, but honestly I was running around the night before the race because I did not have to pack a suitcase.

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  5. I love running big races and sleeping in my own bed. I've done it quite a few times. My next half is only an hour away so I will again.

    Glad the rain held out for your race. Looks like a great race...wish I lived closer.

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    1. I wish you did too Darlene. This is a really fun race and I know you would enjoy it.

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  6. Congrats on the 2nd place age group finish! That's great that the race is so close to your home. And amazing that your friend had a PR of over an hour!

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    1. Thanks, I was excited with my prize and more so my husband when the growler was filled with his choice of beer! I know you have alot of races close to your home too, but we are not a big city, so this race is very special.

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  7. Congratulations on a great race! I've been lucky not to have a race in rough weather like that so far, so kudos on handling the wind and cold like a champ! And can I also say I don't believe you're in the 60-64 age bracket??!

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    1. Aww Janelle, you absolutely made my day. Yes, I am already have way through that age category. I hope to still be running in 10 years! :)

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  8. Great job, look at that pace AWESOME!!!
    Have to say, that is one nice looking race shirt they gave ya!
    Windy races are never fun, unless the win is at your back, LOL Which I find rarely happens! So kuddos to you for pushing through and doing so well in that kind of weather.
    Also fun that this is a race right near where you live, even better!
    Congrats on your great finish!!!

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    1. Thanks Kristy, it really was a fun day. Yes, I love the shirts they give at this race and I actually wear them alot!

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  9. Sounds like a great race! Congrats on your AG award!!! And I LOVE that Lulu skirt! I bet you looked fabulous in it!!!

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    1. I really have a problem with the Lulu website. It is called buying too much!

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    1. Thanks, it is one most runners would enjoy apart from the rain.

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  11. Woohoo, congrats on an another AG award and a strong race, even despite the less-than-desirable weather conditions. Awesome job!! :-D

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    1. thanks so much Jennifer. It really was such a fun day despite the weather.

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  12. That's a fun AG award. I like the idea of running with someone during a non-PR race. A 9:30 pace sounds great - and I'm happy to hear your running partner PRd her marathon. Congrats on a solid run in weird weather!

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    1. I agree, a growler is better than another medal especially since there were participation medals.

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  13. Beer & growler as an award!? I would run faster if I had a chance to win that! I'm so impressed by how even your pacing was! & Congrats on placing 2nd in your age group!

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    1. The funny thing was I did not think I had a chance of placing since it was just a hard training run. It was a great surprise.

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  14. Congrats on a great race in less than stellar conditions.

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