I must say, this weekend felt like the first race of 2016, although it’s completely not the case. With two half marathons in the same number of weeks, I can say IT’S SHOWTIME!!! I had sought out the help of Sweat Tracker to get my coaching right – so I was incredibly prepared on a training front.
I will make a note of my mental capacity before the race since I believe that it somewhat contributed to my race on Sunday. From very on early in the week, it was predicted that a second winter storm/East Coast low would hit the area on Sunday. Now, if it was anything like what happened two weeks ago, it brought with it torrential rain, flooding and crazy winds A.K.A something you don’t want to be running in, let alone running around a lake in!! I even wrote about it here..
So for the entire week I was worried, checking the race’s Facebook page (which changed from “the weather people are rarely correct” to “if the police and SES deem it unsafe then we’ll call it”) and checking the weather predictions. The night before the race they even said to “stay indoors”. Needless to say I spent the night sleeping with one ear open – if it’s was raining heavily in the morning I wasn’t going out.
So imagine my surprise when it was silent as I woke up. No rain, no wind, nothing. It was also much warmer than previous mornings, so I was thankful that I wouldn’t have to dress like I was running in the arctic (2 years ago I had to do just that, it was that cold).
I decided to play it smart and park at the train station, about 500m from the finish line – it was undercover so IF AND WHEN the rain hit, I could comfortably change into dry clothes when I got back to my car.
Running for the local parkrun team, I was able to meet up with fellow halfers on the train, about a 13min ride to the start line.
A little history on my relationship with the Bay to Bay: I completed the 12K in 2013, and set my sights on the half in 2014. Unfortunately I was injured and dropped back down to the 12K, then completely missed it last year due to illness. So the time was now to tackle the race that I felt has eluded me for two years!!!!
Right up until the start time it wasn’t raining, the start is actually along the lake near a park, which had a bunch of portaloos, bag check trucks and day-of bib pickup.The start is the same for both the half and the 12k, although the 12ker’s face north and the half runners face east, running a 7k flat loop before coming back and heading out on the 12k course. I was a bit nervous knowing that I’m on the slower side, so the fast 12K runners would be passing me around the 9K mark (2K for them).
I was maintaining good pace at the beginning, the scenery was incredibly peaceful that the spitting rain didn’t bother me one bit. It wasn’t until I was passed by those 12K runners that I realised how tired I felt.
One positive thing about the course was that the big hill didn’t feel so big today, and the course seemed to pass through faster and faster, as I made my way to the stadium trying to beat the rain that was looming. Since the race is around the bay it’s interesting that you can technically see the finish line and while it seems so far away at the beginning, it quickly catches up when you look around again!!
There’s a couple of pedestrian bridges, and a section of the course which can seem to be quite narrow with a huge bunch of people but it’s well supplied with aid stations and all the volunteers come from local scout and guides groups who were awesome!!
A bonus too for those completing the half is that you do get a medal at the end (not the 12Ker’s though) so all that effort is rewarded. The end of the race is always great – there’s an awesome fruit spread with bananas and watermelon plus companies with factories on the coast – such as Masterfoods often hand out sample/goody bags for all the runners.
I really do like this course, it’s predominantly flat, and fast. I’m glad I managed to get the half done, even if it was threatened by bad weather. It’s our local one so it’s always great to support – and running on the local Bay to Bay team meant that I was cheering (and getting cheers myself) as I continued on the course. I can’t wait for next year !
Did you race this weekend?