End of the Road Half Marathon Race Recap

18 Nov

On Sunday October 29, I ran the End of the Road Half Marathon in central Pennsylvania.

The morning of, I woke up to it pouring rain outside. A quick look at my weather app showed it wasn’t planning on letting up anytime soon. end-of-the-road-half-1.pngAs my dad and I drove to the race location I mentioned that I felt like with the hot weather in Baltimore the weekend before, and the predicted rain for this race, I felt like  I was paying for the IDEAL weather I had at Wineglass. haha.

We also discussed the possibility that we may not finish the race because it was cold, and really really wet. We made a plan in case either of us decided to turn back early.

When we got to the school where the race started we easily picked up our bibs and sweatshirts. I love that we got a sweatshirt – it really fit the overall “cold, fall” theme of the race. 🙂

End of the Road Half Shirt.jpg

As we hung out in the school to stay warm and dry until starting time we were amazed at how many runners had actually showed up to run 13.1 AND 26.2 in the rain.  We all hung out inside and tried to get psyched up for a long run in the rain!

I wore capris, a short-sleeved shirt, arm sleeves, a rain jacket, hat, old running shoes (so I wouldn’t destroy my brand new ones) and a headlamp.  The headlamp was required, but more on that later.

End of the Road Half (2).jpgI pinned my bib onto the side of my SpiBelt so that if I got overheated in the rain jacket I could easily remove it and tie it around my waist without messing with my bib.

At 8:30 the marathoners headed out and a little bit before 8:45 we were sent outside into the rain to wait to start. Once everyone was out there, there was a quick countdown and we were off. I appreciated that they didn’t make us stand out there for a long time before starting to run. Every minute we stood idle and just got rained on felt like an eternity.  Despite the rain, I was pretty pumped up and excited for this race, so I reminded myself of how lucky I was to get to run 13.1 despite the weather conditions.  With the number of other runners there, it really felt like we were all in it together – and a bit crazy – so I knew I would have to do the whole thing.

The first 3 miles were on rolling country roads. From there we turned onto an old segment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was so cool to run on the old road, though you did have to watch where you stepped because parts of it were uneven.  After about a mile on the road we got to run THROUGH the mountain and into an old turnpike tunnel.

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(Photo from the End of the Road Half facebook page.)

This was the portion of the race that required a headlamp because it was pretty much totally dark in there. It was really awesome and fun to run through it, and there was even a water stop part of the way through. The miles through the tunnel were some of my fastest because it was just so cool!!! It was mostly quiet and you could see the headlamps of runners behind you and in front of you. That experience alone made it worth it. After about a mile and a half in the tunnel, we exited, ran about another half mile, and then turned around for the run back.

I wish i had more photos but since it was raining so hard I opted not to carry my phone. All the more reason to do the race again. 🙂

The second time through the tunnel was just as fun, and then we were back out on the country roads. My legs were feeling a bit tired now, mostly since I had run Baltimore the week before.  So my pace slowed a bit, especially on the uphills, but I enjoyed myself and appreciated the scenery and ran through puddles when I could because I wasn’t going to get any dryer anyhow!

When I was within a mile I knew that I could finish right around 2:30 so I decided to use all I had left and see what I could do.

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My watch time was 2:29:51, official time was 2:30:05.  Good enough for 7/17 in my age group.

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(Thanks for the free race photos guys! Proof is obviously needed if you ran a half marathon in the pouring rain!!)

I was so grateful for the heat sheets that the race provided, and grabbed a quick selfie while waiting for my dad.

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After warming up I dried off as best I could (forgot a towel-doh!) and changed into some dry, warm clothes for the drive home.  I was so grateful I had the foresight to pack a change of clothes!!

My dad finished and when they announced the awards we realized he placed 2nd in his age group! He was pretty psyched.

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Despite the crummy weather conditions I am so glad I got to do this race. It was such a cool, unique experience to run on the old turnpike!!  I hope to go back and do it again. 🙂

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3 Responses to “End of the Road Half Marathon Race Recap”

  1. Melissa November 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    That looks like a super-cool race!

  2. danaelizabethx February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

    FUN! I am adding this to my must do list for sure!

    • Becca February 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

      Yay!!! Do it!!! I hope to be back in 2019 to do it again. 😊

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