I hadn’t signed up for this race because I wasn’t sure how I would feel after my first half marathon the week before. I felt good so Steven and I decided to head up and register for the race. This was Steven’s first half marathon!
EXPO – Steven and I attended the expo, which is where we signed up for the race. Steven signed up for half and I decided to sign up for Nut job challenge (5k & half). We received VIP passes when we signed up that would entitle us to the Outback lunch on the stage and a perfect view of the finish line! We walked through the expo…signed up with pacers, bought a magnet and were done.
We found a large comic book store in Frederick and it just so happened to be “Free Comic Book” day so we HAD to stop in. Ohhh….who am I kidding, we would have stopped even if they weren’t giving away comic books.
We had lunch at Applebees, walked around a mall for a bit and then headed about 25 minutes south to check into hotel (drawback of signing up at the last minute was that all of the hotels closer to the race with reasonable rates were already booked). After checking in and unpacking, we headed back to Frederick for my twilight 5k race. This was a fun race even though I ran it alone. I had planned to take it easy so that my legs wouldn’t be too tired for the half marathon the next morning. The 5k had a pretty substantial hill! I was relieved to hear that the hill would not be part of the half marathon course. My final time was 30:37, which was a 9:52 pace. So much for taking it easy.
After 5k, we had dinner (I think we had pizza at the mall??) and went back to the room and sat out our race gear which is always fun.
RACE DAY – After getting up and getting ourselves together, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the race. First stop…port-a-pots! We checked our bag, and then found Crystal and her race buddies. We found a spot on the street just before the start. The National Anthem played and we were off.
I waited too long to write my recap so I can’t remember a whole lot about the course. I remember Steven taking off and knowing I wouldn’t see him again. I remember Crystal being in my sights, but just a bit out of reach for several miles. I finally had to take a walk break and never saw her again. I remember rolling hills, but nothing too difficult in the beginning. I remember passing Sid, who I don’t know, but is quite a remarkable guy. He runs in honor of a fallen soldier at his races, and runs the entire race with an American Flag. I also remember passing a big American flag that was hung by a fire truck along the course. I remember running through down-town and also through residential neighborhoods. I also remember running around a lake.
I also remember that the last 3 miles were my toughest on this race. The sun was very strong. I wore a hat, but skipped the shades today and that was not smart. I also started chaffing on my arm where my armband case for my phone was rubbing my skin. I had to take it off and carry it for a few miles. I remember a killer hill right near the entrance back to the fairgrounds. I also remember the lap to the finish line feeling like it would never end. I saw Steven and Crystal rooting for me at the finish line and gave it everything I had. I was so happy to cross that finish line! I got my water and my medals (I earned 2…one “nut job” medal for completing both races and of course my half marathon medal) and then found Steven and Crystal. We found our way to the VIP tent. Here we received a free buffet full of Outback food and also free beer! I didn’t drink the beer, but had plenty to eat and plenty of water. Some of Crystals other friends also got the VIP pass so we were all able to hang out and watch Terra cross the finish line from the stage. Pretty awesome! We hung out in the grassy area for a while and enjoyed the band. Then it was time to head home.
My official time was 2:16:10…5 seconds away from a PR!! Steven crushed his goal, which was to finish in less than 2 hours. His official time was 1:58:46. Here are my unofficial splits, according to map my run:
Mile 1 – 9:31
Mile 2 – 9:48
Mile 3 – 9:35
Mile 4 – 9:35
Mile 5 – 9:33
Mile 6 – 10:12
Mile 7 – 10:07
Mile 8 – 10:01
Mile 9 – 10:25
Mile 10 – 11:02
Mile 11 – 10:49
Mile 12 – 11:11
Mile 13 – 10:45
Mile 13.4 – 7:11
Overall, I thought the Frederick Running Festival was a very nice race. It was very well organized and I really enjoyed the VIP treatment!! I would run it again!