Harrisburg Half Marathon Race Recap

4 Nov

On Sunday Septemeber 11th I ran the Harrisburg Half Marathon in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I planned to run this race as part of my training for the Route 66 Marathon. It fit perfectly for the weekend of my 13 mile long run. It also marked my 30th half marathon!!!

I live relatively close by, so my dad and I just drove a bit over an hour to the race the morning of. Packet pickup that morning was a breeze and we had plenty of time to pick everything up, use the portapotties a few times, and get ready before the 8am start. Parking is free and super conveniently located close to the start, finish, packet pickup and finish line food areas.


I didn’t really have any goals for this race since I planned to use it as a training run, but I decided to try to stick with the 2:30 pacer to see how it felt, and then drop back to a slower pace after the first few miles. As I’ve mentioned before, I would LOVE to break 2:30 after coming so close in Philly last year, but it was gearing up to be a pretty humid day. So I thought I would run that pace early on just to see how it felt, and then back off. It wasn’t the day to push myself a ton, especially early in marathon training.

The race started right on time, and I crossed the start map pretty quickly. From there we did a nice loop before crossing a bridge to head back into the city.

I ran this race as part of a relay back in 2013, but ran the second leg (and man it was a tough race for me). I never got to experience the first half of the course, and though I know they have changed it from previous years, I really enjoyed it this year. I stuck with the pacer for the first 3 miles or so, but her pace honestly felt a bit fast, so I knew I would have to let her go at the first water stop, and I did. After we crossed the river we ran out along some local roads in the city before connecting with a really pretty bike path that dumped us out right along a trail right next to the river around 6.5.

I was familiar with the second half from running it previously and knew that it was going to be a bit tough. There is little shade, and you are running an out and back, so it feels like it is never going to end on the “out”part. In addition, the wind was blowing against me (but with the leaders of the pack that were heading back towards the finish) but I just hoped that I would soon benefit from it being at my back when we turned around. Temperatures were hitting the mid 70s so it definitely warmed up, but I tried to just enjoy myself and the pretty river views, and take all pressure off as far as a finishing time. This was a training run.

There were plenty of water stops on the course, but I sort of wished I had brought my camelbak. The stops just didn’t seem to be situated in the right spots for me, and I always felt super parched by the time I got some water.

Once I turned to head “back” the wind decided to switch it up too and was still blowing against me, and it felt TOUGH. Miles 9 and 10 were the toughest because it felt like we had just so far to go. But once we hit 11, I started picking up the pace a little more.

The last .25 or so involves turning right off the river front path and crossing a bridge, and you can see the finish line on the other side of the bridge. So, I gave it my all and totally emptied what I had left to give.

I finished in 2:47:18, not a time to be totally happy with, but given it was meant as a training run and it was warm and humid, no complaints here. My legs actually felt really good post run and I had no issues running the next day.

Half Marathon #30 was in the books!

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One Response to “Harrisburg Half Marathon Race Recap”


  1. Runner’s World Marathon For Mortals Plan Review | Diary of a slow runner - January 5, 2017

    […] 6 I ran the Harrisburg Half Marathon in place of a planned […]

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