Battlefield Half Marathon Race Recap

26 Jan

On November 8, 2014 I ran the Battlefield Half Marathon in Winchester, Virginia.  Unfortunately, I cannot find their website anymore (it seems to have been taken down), but it is put on by Frederick County Parks and Rec.  This was an inaugural race that my dad and I signed up for on a whim. We were looking for a race in early November in a state close to Pennsylvania. 🙂

For an inaugural race the packet pickup was really well organized!  It was held at a sports center and there were a good number of vendors, including some where you could by Gus and other running nutrition. They also offered a *free* pasta dinner at the expo, though my dad and I had already made plans to eat somewhere else.

We also got a really nice long sleeved tech shirt.

Battlefield Half Shirt

Since this race was in early November, it was the coldest race I had run this year. However I hate being hot when running, so I planned to wear either a tank top + arm sleeves or a short sleeved tech shirt + arm sleeves and capris.  There was also only 3 water stops on the half marathon course so I opted to run with my Camelbak since I need water more frequently.  I’d never raced with my Camelbak before but trained for the Wineglass Marathon with it so I knew I’d be fine.Battlefield Half Outfit

The morning of the race it was chilly – my Garmin data is saying it was 34 degrees! So I opted for the short sleeved tech shirt instead of the tank top.

My dad and I made the drive to the race start/finish at Kernstown Battlefield.  The area was gorgeous! Since it was chilly my dad and I hung out in the car until about 20 minutes before the start time.  We then went up closer to the start line and ducked inside the visitors center to stay warm until we heard the opening announcements.  It was a smaller race so this was totally doable. 🙂

The race started on time. The first 2 miles or so required us to actually run away from the battlefield, through a neighborhood and then back across the start line. 

Battlefield Pro Photo

I actually bought the above pro photo – that was after came back toward the start line.

My plan for this race was to do 3:30/1 Run/Walk intervals.  I also really wanted to try to run the run intervals strongly.  I did know that the course would be a bit of rolling hills so my plan was to tackle the big hills and run up them as much as I felt comfortable but not exhaust myself on them.  Then I would use the downhills to make up some time.  This was a strategy similar to what I used on the hilly Runner’s World Half course last October.

The course itself was really nice – lots of rural roads and gorgeous views. Lots of green. 🙂Battlefield Half Course

There was a relay option so everytime a relay exchange point was coming up there would be a lot of people cheering.  I never felt alone running this course, but it wasn’t crowded either.

My outfit choice ended up being perfect – as the sun came out things warmed up and I felt very comfortable.  I never ended up taking the arm sleeves off until I finished.

Carrying my Camelbak was also the right choice for me, I needed water many times when there was not a water station. It also meant I didn’t have to stop. 🙂

My 3:30/1 intervals felt great as well. I felt like I could good fast enough on the run portions but wasn’t tiring myself out.

Around mile 11 I remember thinking how great it felt to be passing people! 🙂 I took this as a sign that I had paced myself appropriately.

From mile 10 on I started to really look at my watch and do the math.  I realized I was on pace to do a sub-3. Considering I have only done this one other time in Cleveland in 2011 I was thrilled!  I wasn’t sure if a PR was possible but I decided to keep following my run/walk intervals until the very end and then push myself for the last .25 mile. I knew that if I wasn’t careful I’d start going too fast and burn out over the last 3 miles.

I finished the race in 2:58:48. My fast half since May 2011, and only 2 minutes or so off my PR.  I was momentarily bummed I missed my PR but realized it was incredible that I had run this hilly course that quickly within a month of my marathon and within a few weeks of another half marathon!

Battlefield Half 2

I kept thinking about how strong and proud I felt. It was the perfect last half marathon of 2014. 🙂

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9 Responses to “Battlefield Half Marathon Race Recap”

  1. Janelle J January 26, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Congratulations on a job well done! Sounds like a really cool race – and a free pasta dinner? Nice!

  2. specialkkluthe January 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Great job! And you look great too!

  3. Jennifer January 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    Congrats!! I love races with long sleeved tech tees. That is so neat they have a free pasta dinner. Well done!

  4. Gill January 27, 2015 at 4:18 am #

    Congratulations and well done on your time! Sounds like a great race – I’m starting to really like the smaller ones 🙂

  5. Karen G March 24, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I was volunteering on this course! http://karengoesrunning.com/week-15-richmond-marathon-training-dn/
    So glad to hear that you came in to town for the race and enjoyed it! I plan to run this year, (and I even hear a rumor that they are hoping to add a full marathon in the next few years)! 😉

    • Becca March 24, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      Awesome!! It was a great race!!

  6. Kami May 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    I was at this race last year and it was FREEZING that morning! My daughter and I hung out in the car until about the same time you did and we both froze until about mile 6. This was also my last half of 2014 and it was after my Freedom’s Run marathon in October so I smiled about your comment about doing so well after a marathon. I’m also a HF member as of this year (11743).

    • Becca May 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Yea HFs!! It was really really cold, you are right! I had blocked that part out, haha

      • Kami May 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

        Haha. I haven’t – I really loved this course and it’s only about 30 minutes from where I live but I’m not sure I want that cold again. So, I’m doing Gettysburg as my last race this year. A week earlier should make a difference right? Haha!

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