This year the Expo was at the Energy Solution Arena and was fairly small. I think with the Comicon being at the Convention Center, it was a smart move.
The back of my mom's race tee said "soon to be grandma," and somebody asked my sister how she was feeling. hahaha
Race morning we woke up at 5 (actually more like 3 because we were stoked about baby boy) and we drove to the Start Line like last year. This year the start had moved a bit so getting to the beginning by car (instead of Trax which is what a majority do) was a little more complicated with different road closures than we expected. But it wasn't too difficult and we were soon at the start meeting up with my sister, Spencer and mom.
Ben hadn't done much training for this one. He was worried about his hip.
It was 50 degrees when we woke up and probably a few degrees cooler than that up at the start. It was PERFECT running weather.
(Mornings are rough, but I promise I was super happy!)
My doctor wouldn't clear me to run, so I recruited my mom to walk with me since I already had a bib! We had a blast and walking a half marathon is NO JOKE. I was surprised how my legs felt afterwards and my heels hurt!
So kind of funny story...The course ran down City Creek Canyon this year, and at the end of the canyon I noticed the photographers packing up, some car traffic, etc. I think this was mile 5ish. I was confused and decided to check my phone and saw there was a THREE HOUR 1/2 marathon time limit!!! That's a sub 14:00 pace and almost faster than the fastest speed walk, and faster than some people can run/walk. I never checked prior to the race because nearly all races allow walkers with a 4-5 hour time limit, and there were so many people behind us! We were keeping a 15-16:00 pace by that point, but clearly we were behind!! My original time estimate had been 3:45.
At this point we went into major speed walk mode because I wanted to get through downtown SLC before the roads re-opened which would mean we would have to walk the sidewalks. LAME AS. The sweeper bus basically leap frogged us for awhile which was hilarious (nobody was going to get on that thing!! go away!!), but we realized the 3:00 time limit wasn't too strict and we were able to continue on without problem.
We met up with the full marathon at mile 10 and those streets had a 6:30 time limit, so we really relaxed at that point. It was sooo inspiring because the marathoners were 3:00+ marathoners when we met up, so we were able to see them all at mile 23 when a lot of them are struggling, but they are still rocking it and were going to finish with amazing times. It was awesome and hurt my heart a little to be walking the race, but it was just awesome and so much fun to cheer them on!! I think my mom was also inspired to start running!!!
We came across the finish at 3:39:xx and the announcer had a ball with my mom's leg warmers. We ran the final 100m as our family cheered for us. :)
Even with his hip on fire, BEN came in with a new PR of 1:35:xx! James had a 1:32:xx, Jolie a 1:59:xx, Spencer ran his FIRST race and got an awesome 2:17:xx, and my dad had been sick all week and still came in with a 2:22:xx. (All unofficial, Garmin times off the top of my head.) I know that Ben came in 12th in his age group and James came in 10th. I never looked up the results, but my sister informed me that I came in 319th out of 321 in my age group. LOL I believe there were over 7,000 runners.
The course changed last year (for the boring worst), and the course was once again changed and was completely brand new this year! It was a GREAT course. It had a lot of downhill but it also had some super killer hills near the beginning and mile 8. The views were spectacular and the Finish Line was in a great location next to the Trax station. And the weather COOPERATED! It was absolutely perfect. (One week later it was a torrential downpour. Phew.)
This was the actual 1/2 elevation which looks a bit different than above:
The finish had great snacks & entertainment and overall I'd say this was the best race that SLC has put on in the past while. We run it every year, but next year there are plans to run the Great Wall of China marathon/ half instead if we can make our schedules work. But we will be back to SL for sure!
Such an epic time. Family is the best!
Have a fantastic week!