ING Hartford Half Marathon
October 12, 2013
State: #14 - Connecticut
Lifetime Half: #39
This past weekend I ran the ING Hartford Half Marathon as part of my 50 States Challenge. I was excited to check a state of the list and it gave me an excuse to spend the weekend with some family (my aunt and uncle live outside Hartford).
While I did have a good race day, let me just say the overall race experience was a bit of a comedy of errors. When I initially made the decision to do it, I booked an Amtrak ticket to Hartford. It was schedule to arrive at 8:21pm which would have given me plenty of time to get to the expo before 9pm (expo and train station are only a couple of blocks away).
But...that was before MetroNorth got all screwy. I was watching train statuses all week and every day the train I was scheduled on was arriving after 9. Not good for me. Then on Friday, my friend Pam told me she was going home to CT and wouldn't be that far from Hartford and she'd drive me to the expo and then drop me off at my aunt and uncles. Great, cancelled my train ticket and went with that.
Then it took us twice the amount of time to even leave the city. Traffic was insane. We quickly realized I would not make the expo. But they do allow someone else to pick up your packet. Before I cancelled the train, I had already sent my aunt and uncle all the paperwork in case the train was delayed. So I made the call to my uncle and he said he would pick up my number.
He was able to pick up my number, but by then they had run out of the pretty ING Hartford official numbers and I was issued a generic number. They had also already run out of shirts. They are apparently going to mail me one, but who knows? I'll keep you posted if it arrives. I'm confused on how you run out of shirts and numbers for people who pre-register? Shouldn't they be guaranteed a shirt?
But I digress. I finally make it to my aunt and uncle's house and Pam drops me off. I spent a little bit of time catching up with my aunt and uncle before heading to bed. The race started at 8, so would need to be up early.
Race morning was pretty standard for me. I had my oatmeal and some water (hydration is key!) before getting ready. I didn't know how the weather was going to be so I brought enough clothing for all outfits. It was a little chilly at the start, but would be perfect for running. Since it wouldn't be too cold, my running skirt and short sleeve shirt would be perfect. I had a long sleeve throwaway and heatsheet for waiting around.
We headed out of the house at 7am to head into Hartford. My uncle so nicely drove me in and then went back and picked up my aunt and they came back to cheer. Thanks guys!
I got dropped off only a couple of blocks from the start and was able to use the bathroom one last time and checked my bag. Then I got into the start area. Not official corrals or anything, just line up by pace. They had a tribute to Boston right before the start (a group sing along to "Sweet Caroline") and off we went.
The half and the full share the same course for only about 1.2 miles so it wasn't too crowded for long. I warmed up quickly and ditched my throwaway shirt at about mile 2.
The course was mostly flat with some rolling hills thrown in. It was quite pretty along the way and went through downtown, neighborhoods and parks. There were also bands along the way and some DJs. The miles ticked away pretty easily and before I knew it we were heading to the finish!
Crossing the finish line, I got my medal and made it through the finishers chute. We got a reusable bag with some fruit, a protein bar, granola and some other items I am blanking on. We also got a nice finishers water bottle filled to re-hydrate with, a nice perk.
They also had a separate tent with food for the finishers which was very nice. They had banana's, bagels, grilled cheese (I passed on that one), tomato soup, apple cobbler and chocolate milk. All quite delicious.
I was planning on doing this as my long run, so was not going for time. Even so, running comfortably was putting me under my planned pace. I guess it's good that I am naturally faster now and it takes less effort, but it's still something I am not used too. Guess I should get used to it!
The medal was nice, not my favorite but I like the fall colors in it. So happy to check another state off the list!
Special shout out to my aunt and uncle for housing me and being my chauffeur for the weekend! CT would not have been possible without you!
Official: 13.1 mi, 1:57:43, 8:59 pace
Garmin: 13.3 mi, 1:57:42, 8:51 pace