Final thoughts on the Country Music Half Marathon.. I think.

This post is a continuation of my Country Music Half Marathon recap post from yesterday.  

Here are my stats

I was 17th out of 561 in my age group – top 3%
I was 697th out of 19,057 half marathoners – top 3.7%

Honestly, I think this was my best race to date.  I credit TJ for running with me and being an excellent pacer and my mountain runs for getting me in shape.  Thinking back, I have really only been training for this for about 2 months.  Between injuries and other things that got in the way of my running, that was all I could do to train.  But the mountain gave me strength in my quads and took the pressure off my back and my calves.  It also helped me be able to pick my speed up and be able to handle the hills on this race without slowing down.

RS did well.  He struggled a lot though.  He had honestly not been running much until the last few weeks before the race.  His longest run before the race was 7 miles and he went out and completed a 13.1 mile race.  His time was slow because he had to walk to finish the last few miles, but it is amazing to me that he could complete that distance with so little prep.  This was his longest milage run in over a year.

TJ had been hurt leading up to this race; thus the reason he paced me rather then trying to run a PR himself.  His last half was completed in under 1:30 and he was in coral #1 for this one.  His choice to pace me was huge for me and I hope fun for him, though being a huge competitor, I’m sure he wished he was running his own race.  He is back in the saddle now and talking about another half in the fall and maybe running the Jacksonville marathon with me in December.

I had fun meeting my running friends @BigBigGeek and @David_Topping before the race.  They did well and I think were happy with the result.  This was @David_Topping’s first half marathon.  He has lost a  lot of weight and really been doing the work that made his run possible.

I was really concerned with this race.  I have never run with so many people.  My experience was a great one overall.  Not just the run, but everything from package pickup at the expo to parking at the race went very smoothly.  There was the obvious traffic, but I purchased a reserve parking pass and it put us right at the race with very little waiting.  The police presence was clear, but not over done.  Other then the helicopters flying overhead, there was very little that I noticed outside of the normal presence at any race.

The bands were great.  A few were loud (one was so loud it affected my hearing for a minute), but they helped overall and the crowd was awesome.  Being that we hung with the 3:30 pacer, there were a lot of cheers as we ran by.

Overall I rate this race very high.  Perfect weather, great attendance, plenty of food and drinks after the race.

Top notch.

Tom

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16 thoughts on “Final thoughts on the Country Music Half Marathon.. I think.

  1. Great review. I have yet to do a huge race myself so I really enjoy hearing about your experience. And top 3%?! Incredible. I think that mountain running was a wise decision for what you were trying to do for sure.

    • Thanks. I think that this race was about as well done as it could be. In fact the one marathon I ran had 1,000 runners and was pretty much a disaster. To be able to take probably upwards of 30,000 people and having things run that smoothly, is impressive to me. Thanks for the encouraging words. I think that dreaded mountain has changed my running completely. 🙂

  2. I’ve liked my larger races that I’ve don’t so far. My half this past weekend was 15000 women. I love the crowd support at bigger races.

    I’m glad your race went so well. What’s up next?

    • I liked the support also. Just to have people on overpasses cheering is on was wonderful to see!!!

      I think we mainly have 5Ks in the future. We are going to look at another half in the Fall. How about you?

      • I’ve got my full marathon this Sunday, then a 10k later in May, the hat trick (5k, 10k & half) for Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill festival, another 1/2 two weeks after that. Um, a pretty full schedule through mid-June.

        I’m not big on 5ks, I guess. I feel like I’m not warmed up until after mile 3. I weirdly run faster after 10 miles. I think my fastest mile has been at the end of a 15 mile run, a 6:50 vs a 7:30 when run alone. I’ve read that short people (like me) are better suited for distance than short races.

        Maybe a little more mountain running and you’ll be ready to BQ.

        Btw, I’ve been using ACV including my race on Sunday. It seems like it helps. I’m glad you turned me on to it.

        • So cool on the ACV! I haven’t come across anyone yet other then me who has really given it a try. I’m glad to hear it isn’t all in my head. 🙂

          Wow on the schedule. A half, full and then other halves. Crazy. I’m glad you handle long distances well. I wish I did. I’ve just started to get to the point where I can recover fairly quickly from a 13 mile race. Hopefully I’ll get there one day. I’ll just keep doing that mountain and see what happens.

          Good luck on your marathon this weekend!!!

  3. A well organized race can make or break a race, not necessarily in terms of a PR, but in terms of enjoyment and running again or not next year. I have a feeling you’ll come back to this one.. 🙂

    • I think I will too! The hills were the only negative and there isn’t much to do about that. Actually I think hills are becoming my favorite place to run, I just need to be able to keep my pace without feeling like I’m going to die. 🙂

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