Usually, I write my race recap the night of my race so that the details are still clear in my mind, but on Sunday, I was so tired after my first half marathon, that I couldn’t do it. All I managed was a quick post that said “Yay, I’m a half marathoner!” OK, so I’ve rested enough now to be able to write this race recap.
The race packet pickup was on Friday and Saturday at the Local Shopping Mall in Niagara Falls. I took my husband and my son along with me, and then treated them to a Chinese Buffet as a thank you for the encouragement and support they’ve given me throughout my training. I have to say that this race advertised great swag, and it sure delivered (see bottle of wine).
My morning on Sunday started earlier then my usual Sunday, or any normal race day. It was 5:00 a.m when my alarm went off. Despite the early time, and the rainy morning, I was feeling bright, sunny and motivated to get my first half marathon under my belt.
My half marathon gear included my new Pearl Izumi visor, Nike Lean Fuel Belt, Old Navy Active Capris (I love, love, love them) as well as my Old Navy sports bra and socks, Body Glide (which saved my feet) and my all important fuel: Clif Shot Blocks.
I quickly walked my dog, got dressed, had my usual breakfast and headed out the door by 6:00 a.m. I did have some doubts in my mind about how well I’d do. I decided my goal was to have fun, take pictures to document my first half and use this race as a building block. I was afraid to set unattainable goals that would lead to disappointment. I figured 2 hours & 15 min would be a reasonable time to expect based on my training pace.
I got to the Niagara Falls Start/Finish Wine (not a typo) by 6:25 and the racers were starting to pile in. There was plenty of parking (for a $10 fee). I lined up in queue for the Pink Port-A-Potties (several times).
After waiting around for 1.5 hours, we were finally invited to line up at the Start Wine. I made my way to my proper start zone, the 2:00 – 2:30 hours, where I had lots of opportunities to chat with the lovely ladies that surrounded me. We were really packed tightly in the coral. There were many speeches and we were anxious for the race to start.
Gotta love a race that has a Start Wine. Read about the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon here!… Click To Tweet
Finally, the race started! My first 4 to 5 km was all downhill, and my time was super fast, average 5:20 per minute. I kept thinking that I’d be paying for that on my way back… and I did. I passed Niagara Falls twice. I get to see them whenever I want to, however, there are so many people who use this race as a destination race a.k.a. as a racecation, and as a tourist running the race, I think this would be a super cool thing to do.
The first 10 km went really well. Just past the half way mark, I received a text from my husband that he and our son had arrived. It’s shortly after that I started to feel tired and that my speed was slowing down. My average pace dropped to 6:20, and I wouldn’t improve for the rest of the race. When I hit the 14 km mark and we did a turn around, I felt slightly encouraged again. When I passed the 16 km mark, I could hear some of the marathon walkers, who were walking in the opposite direction exclaim “Yay, we are at the half way mark.” and I was super happy that I closer to the end. From then on, I texted my husband on my whereabouts every 1 km interval. This helped me get through the most difficult part of the race. With 500 m to go, there was a beauty station (to fix your self up for the finish?). I just ran past and was so happy that I was close to the end.
My husband was able to catch my finish on video, and I’m so grateful to have it as a memory of my first half marathon.
I was quite pleased with the outcome of my first half marathon. With a final time of 2:08:27, I surpassed my goal by about 7 minutes. Overall I was 344 /1825, and 80/353 in my age group. I always aim for middle of the pack, so when I see myself in the top third I feel like I’ve doing very well!
I’m totally doing this race event again. I found it well-organized and parking was very efficient even though it was expensive. I loved the crowd support and the relatively flat course. There were women from all over Canada and the U.S. that attended. What would I change? Next time I’m hoping to bring my twin sister with me!
I’ve heard some ladies say they were inspired to train for their own first half marathon, what do you say, are you in with me for next year?
Join the conversation:
- Now you know how my weekend went how was yours?
- What’s your biggest half marathon hurdle?
- Are you in with me next year?