Well I have to say I had a lot of fun at this run, they are really organized and well supported.
In order to make it there before the gun fires at 7:30, we had to get up pretty early. We were up and eating our eggs and toast at 4:30, I really needed to drink more coffee. We drove to Fort Benning and arrived with just enough time to pick up are bibs and get in our spot in the starting shoot.
Once the gun was fired because there were so many people we walked for the first 5 minutes before we could actually run. Boy did it feel good to get free from the clog of people; I have trouble with claustrophobia so I was really relieved to have some space and room to move freely.
The route was very nice; I enjoyed running through the base and seeing the men and women that graciously serve to protect our nation and others. They really are HEROS.
One hill was really big, it was hard but we had some drill sergeants encouraging us to run up it. So if you need some help with those hills they will do their best to get you up and over at record speed.
There was a lot of hydration stops along the way, I stopped at each one, which I usually don’t do, but I knew I needed to since it was so long since breakfast. Which was a big mistake on my part, but you live and learn, I just wish I could sometimes learn the easy way. They had PowerAde and water at each stop, as well as GU after mile 6.
Once I got to mile 10, I was really feeling at a loss for energy, I really should have eaten something just before we got there. I was feeling sick and I was starting to wonder if I was going to finish running or walking. But I was going to finish one way or another. I figured that I wasn’t going to make my goal, but I was determined to do my best and whatever that turned out to be I would be happy. I wanted to finish as close to 2 hours as I could.
The last mile was pretty tough as my right leg was protesting to the run, I have been having some trouble with it, but I had it taped with KT tape which usually helps. By the time I came to the last mile I was limping and feeling extremely exhausted. I came in it at 2:27, but I reached the half marathon according to my IRONMANONEGPS watch at 2:21, but the finish was at 13.49 miles as my watch said.
I was pretty happy with my time since I was having so much trouble with very low energy. We decided to stay in a hotel close by next year, which should work out much better for us both. We plan on running the full marathon next year, I’m a little worried but I know we can do it. We may not reach the times we would like to but we will finish, we are like an old Timex (we take a beating and keep on ticking).
I was sick for a few hours afterwards; I may have just gotten back into the car too quickly. Ken stopped and told me I needed to drink some coke, not water or diet but the stuff I refuse to drink that’s full of sugar. I did protest some but I gave in, and in about a half hour I was feeling a lot better. So after you run on empty for a while and you find yourself feeling sick and weak, drink something with some sugar in it do yourself a favor. My brain must have shut down or something because I should’ve known better. Hope I am not the only one who does so many stupid things in a row, and can’t seem to connect the dots sometimes.
In the end we did enjoy our time at the soldier’s half marathon, as I said earlier we do plan on going back next year and do the full marathon. This was a great run and I would suggest it to anyone who is looking to support our soldiers and want a run to participate in this time next year. Let me know if you are planning on going, I would like to see you there.
Awesome race! I really enjoyed this one, everyone seemed to have fun. I enjoyed the course and seeing the place that my son went to for Basic training. I recognized a few areas that we saw from our visits before and enjoyed new sights as well. The hill was fun with the drill sergeants, the pictures are from me. I did get the comments that I could not take pictures and that it might be used as evidence against them, they gave this part “charm”.
Around mile 3 I noticed a couple running together with Denmark on the back of their shirts, I ran up to them and found out they did come here from Denmark for this race. I met my goals and pace, but the pace hit me around mile 11 and the last two were tough. Unlike Ruth I relied on my hydration pack but I still did not drink enough fluids as my calves were cramping at this time. Next year I will need to hydrate better, the long car ride did not help me either.
The takeaways from this race for me are that we need to be closer next time, so we will get a Hotel the night before. This way we can be hydrated, well rested, and enjoy everything more. One of the things we were not able to do was to get a Fallen Hero name to wear, something both Ruth and I want to do for next year. This race is large enough for all the frills but also a lot smaller than a New York, Chicago or Boston.
Let me tell you the funny that Ruth forgot to mention. I finished first so I went to watch and encourage Ruth as she came down the final stretch. After she crossed the finish line I had to work around the spectators, volunteers and the finish lane to meet back up with her. When I go to the area she should have been I did not see her. So I started looking down as she likes to lie down after pushing herself so hard at most of her races. I found her with 5 to 6 people around her, checking to see if she was Ok. Her plan was to walk away from the finish area and avoid attention, but she walked over to the corner area that was block off for the Medical tent. Her plan backfired and she got lots of attention. After I arrived and they saw her get up to walk away to find another area to recover, they realized I would make sure she was OK. We had choices of various drinks, hamburgers and breakfast burritos. I really enjoyed the Planet Pops they handed out to the runners.
Next year Ruth and I will run together and finish together for out very first Marathon. My chip time was 2:06:42, hoping for a sub two hours in February when we go to Gulf Shores for the Sea Turtle Half. We will also be able to visit my parents, who stay at my sister’s condo to avoid the coldest month of Michigan winters.
… let us run with patience the race that is set before us.