|That's my Dad in the red jacket taking pictures|
Since we were basically running around the block, my Dad was able to walk up the street and get some more pictures of us passing. I again tried to stay on the left side so he would see me, while still weaving through as many people as possible. Here is the one pic my Dad was able to snap before I zoomed by.
I began to feel better and then we hit a nice long downhill that felt like it lasted for over a mile. This was when the euphoria hit and I felt like I had the biggest smile on my face. I was enjoying every minute of the downhill and felt like I could run forever. Then we got to mile 5 and the uphills started, just a few at first and one big one I powered up but then it felt like we just kept hitting more and more uphills and I started feeling sluggish again. We crossed the timing line at the 10k mark and I realized I had just ran my fastest ever 10k at 54:39. This gave me a nice push when I needed it and I knew I was still on target to meet my goal of finishing under 2 hours.
|Crossing the bridge over Sanford Stadium|
|Heading up the first of the last 3 hills|
As I was nearing mile 12 I passed what used to be my dorm my sophomore year and sadly it no longer existed. A new building was going up in its place, this made me a bit sad but that quickly passed as I zoomed down the hill and headed towards the stadium and what would be the final leg of the half marathon.
I pushed through the last 3 hills and finally headed downhill towards the entrance to Sanford Stadium. This was the part of the race I had waited all morning for! Actually I had been waiting months for this part of the race and it was so much better than I thought it would be. Running a lap around the hedges, being on the jumbotron, not once, but twice...So amazing and the perfect way to end a race.
After leaving the stadium, it was just that final tenth of mile left and I was making great time. I was even kicking myself for not pushing harder and getting an even better time. So my goals were to set a PR (my first half marathon time was 2 hours 5 minutes and 37 seconds) and to finish under 2 hours. Here are my results:
So there is my recap for the race course. Overall, it was a great course, some of the hills tried to kill my spirit but I made it and I am stronger for it! Stay tuned for part 3 where I will review the finish line set up, post race food, and the race aftermath.
|The hills of Athens|