Monday, October 28, 2013

Provo Halloween Half Marathon

I have been looking forward to running this Halloween Half Marathon for months now! The day finally came this weekend and I was so happy things worked out with McKay's football game being moved to Wednesday so we could head down on Friday night and stay at a hotel so we didn't have to get up so stinkin' early on race day!  Even though we did get stuck in rush hour traffic and a million cars heading to a BYU football game which meant it took us three hours to get to Provo! But when you are with fun friends, it doesn't matter.
Our first stop was to the Packet Pick Up and Race Expo to get our bibs and shirts.  We had to stand in three different lines to get it all, but once we did we headed out to Carrabba's to carb load!  I was looking more forward to that part of the weekend than probably even the race!  I ordered the Lasagna (thee best!) and after we ate our main course the waitress asked us if wanted dessert.  Do birds fly?  Do zebra's have stripes?  


Do we want dessert?  That is WHY we came!  When we told her we wanted the Chocolate Dream Cake (aka Sogno Di Cioccolata) she asked if wanted to share one.  Umm....NO!  We each wanted our own!  Of course, while we were eating it we decided we probably should have shared one.  We couldn't finish it all and so we took the rest with us to our hotel and happily we had a fridge!  
Jen and Heather had a little battle over the biggest piece.  They were trying to make the other one take the biggest one.  Lol.

We got to our room at the Day's Inn and that place was packed due to the game.  We asked our interesting check in guy who was clearly from India if we could get a late check out so we could shower after the race.  After a little negotiating he told us we could.  We were VERY happy about that!  We got all settled and hung around the room talking when we decided we needed to get some safety pins to make sure our candy bar costumes didn't have a wardrobe malfunction in the morning, so around midnight we headed to Walgreens.  We had a blast shopping in that fun store.  It's amazing the fun you can have when it's midnight.  Heather even bought some stocking stuffers and prizes for her little ones.  We all bought matchy comfy leggings to sleep in too.  No photo - dang!

We were so happy the race start wasn't until 9 a.m. which meant more sleep!  We had to be to the bus load spot by 7:30 am and so we got on our costumes and off we went.
What else were you expecting?  Perfect costume for me! 

 When we arrived at the bus load place we got in line and got on and off three different buses because they were already full.  All the buses left and there were still a ton of runners that didn't get on one.  We kind of panicked until a man told us that they didn't have enough buses for all of us and so the buses would go drop off the first loads and then come back for us.  We didn't mind because it's always colder at the race start and we just as soon wait where it's warm.    

Avatar getting her chocolate for the day!

We went back and waited in Jen's car with the heater on.   After about 30 minutes the buses finally arrived and we loaded up and headed for the starting line.  

We noticed on the way up that there was a lot more UP hill than we planned on.  But that thought quickly dispersed when we approached the start and noticed that the gun had just gone off and the race had started WITHOUT US!  We were watching the start of the race while we were riding on the bus!


We could not believe it!  There must have been 10 more bus loads of runners that still were not there yet and they started the race?  Instead of waiting for everyone, they choose to start on time which meant we started about 10-15 min. after the gun went off!  To make it worse the bus dropped us off at least a half mile away from the start!  CRAZY!  There were not a lot of happy runners at this point.  Mainly because even though your chip won't activate until you cross the start, if you wanted to run with a pacer, they were already long gone!  Or so we thought!  Come to find out a lot of the pacers were on the late buses!  That meant that even some of the ones that got to start on time, didn't have pacers!   
The course WAS gorgeous though and so that made up for the insanity at the start.
Sorry these are blurry, but I took them while I was running.

EYE see you...
Those hats are giant eyeballs!  Kind of freaked me out at first. 

It was a tougher course than I planned on, mainly due to the up hill, but I really wanted to finish at a sub two time.  I didn't have a pacer and so I just pushed it to where I really couldn't push it any harder and pretty much kept it up the entire 13 miles.  I was feeling it at mile 10 and was just so ready to see that finish line.  UGH.  Those last three miles were really hard for me and my hamstrings were killing me.  About mile nine, I see the 1:50 pacers pass me!  I asked them if they were actually going that pace and they said that they were on the late buses and so they were just pacing their time but wouldn't finish at the 1:50 gun time.  They said they were doing an 8:23 pace.   I kept them in my view the last three or four miles because I knew if I stayed with them I would be finishing under two.

I did!  Yippee!  

I finished at 1:56:00 and came in 5th in my age division out of 43.  I was 203 out of 1028 In the overall woman division.  So I was very happy  with my time!  

There were some awesome costumes and it was so fun to see people running in the craziest get ups!  Here's a few of my faves: 
The couple on the top left got engaged at the finish line! 

It was a party after!

With the famous Halloween Hearst!

We didn't have a lot of time to party after because we had to get back to our hotel and get showered before our check out time.   

On the way home we stopped and did some Trick or Treating at Krispy Kreme in our race shirts!

I loved the medals!
 Overall it was a super fun time even with all the problems with the race.  They need to get some people on board to get it a bit more organized at the expo and better fitting shirt sizes and of course, the bus situation needs to be fixed.  But other than that, it was a ton of fun!  It's always more fun when you get to do it with great friends too!  And our costumes were pretty saweeeeeet as well!  I loved all the cheers I got during the race from people yelling how much they loved chocolate or saying things about Hershey Bars.  The best was seeing the little kids eyes get all big as I ran past them.  I think some of them really thought I had a giant Hershey bar inside that costume.  I guess if you actually did the math, over the years, I probably have much more than that inside this body of mine!  haha


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