Author: Jilligan
•7:24 PM

A half marathon for $20 can't be beat. It was very small, my cousin told be the smallest marathon in the U.S. This year there were about 50 preregistered for the half and 50 for the full. My aunt was doing the 5k. Since it started at 5:30 and was 2 hours away we went up the night before. Even though there wasn't a prerace pickup Sunday, the RD met us and gave us our numbers and shirts. We drove the course twice. Once with the race map and then once with directions from the RD. We decided on a spot my aunt could park so I could trade out my water. After we thought we had the course figured out, we headed to the hotel and to eat.

This morning we woke up to cool temps but thankfully no wind. We headed out in the dark to start the race. I had planned on running 4/1 but my garmin didn't cooperate. I started getting worried because it hadn't beeped but couldn't see well enough in the dark to know what was going on. I decided to run as far as a I could and then when I had to walk I would try to fix the garmin. I made it 2 miles which happened to be a major turn on to the highway. With my headlamp and a smooth surface I finally felt comfortable enough to fiddle with the watch. I got it going a little after 2 miles which meant it was pretty much good for nothing but intervals and mental math.

I was having serious stomach issues and so was another guy near me. He had gone into the bushes several times and got to the port-a-pot before me. I ran on cause they told us there would be another one at 6 miles. When I met up with my aunt at 5 miles, I grabbed some kleenex, traded waters, and trudged on. I was constantly looking for somewhere suitable for a bathroom. At the 6.5 turnaround, I asked what happened to the 6 mile port-a-pot. It was moved to mile 3. Ugh. I made it back to about 7 miles and used a tree I had seen earlier. It was far enough down the ditch and weedy enough to be out of the way. I prayed for 3 things: no rattlesnakes, no dogs, and the ability to squat. After I squatted, I added the ability to stand up to the prayer. I felt much better after that.

The course was pretty much a solo event. There was one manned water station at the turn around. Every 2 miles there was a case of water with an ice bag on top. The sloshing of my water was annoying to me so I ended up dumping my water and bending over for water once. I had some self doubt at mile 10 and really tried to play the poor little ole me card but there was no one to listen and no one who cared so I had no choice but to keep going. After mile 11, I felt okay again and picked my head up to start watching for the 5kers. I meet up with them at mile 12.5 or so. My aunt and I passed each other with a quick word and I headed to the finish. I got a great turtle for finishing. I bettered my last half by 18 minutes. I ended up 7th in my age group. Officially results will be mailed.

My aunt bettered her time by 3 minutes. Each race is not chip timed. It took me about 3 minutes to cross the start and it took her at least 5. We waited for door prizes but didn't win. Then we headed to the breakfast buffet.

We had a great time with lots of laughing. I am pretty sore but I think the 2 hour drive has a lot to do with that. I told my aunt racing was like childbirth and we would soon forget the bad parts of tyis run and be ready to race again. My pictures include a view from the side of the road which is how it looked from miles 2 to 10, a view back in to town from the 6.55 turnaround, the ugliest race shirt ever, and my turtle.

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