What a GREAT race! It is always easier to say this when you actually have a good race :), but this was really a very well run event!
Here are a few of my thoughts…
1. It was very well-organized and put together.
2. Plenty of porta potties and no lines :). It was a smaller race so that helped, but there were also plenty of volunteers.
3. Speaking of volunteers… GREAT JOB! There was plenty of super friendly volunteers :).
4. Great medals. The medals were handmade from a local pottery shop…I love that 🙂
5. Really nice shirts with your choice in color. (Choice is based on a first come first serve basis. Since we didn’t get our packets till race morning, I only got to choose between blue and yellow, but I love the yellow :)!
6. This course is BEAUTIFUL, but in my opinion hilly. Miles 3-8 were full of straight up and down hills. These hills were through Anietam battlefield so that was neat! I would not necessarily go into this with a PR mindset. The first few miles were on a trail and there are a bunch of turns in the very beginning, but it is such a historic and scenic course!
7. This race was only sort of chip timed….basically the chip recorded your finish time. The start time was the start of the race for everyone. This didn’t bother me too much because I was pretty close to the start line (within a few seconds)…my husband got stuck a little farther back though.
8. There is an event for everyone! There is a kids run, 5k, 10k, half and full. The runners of the full were amazing! The full meets up with the half so that some of those hard hills were coming for them at mile 16-18ish (I honestly can’t imagine). I heard great things about the scenic views for all the races.
9. Lots of great food after from pizza to bagels. If I had to make a suggestion it would be to add chocolate milk :).
Here are some pictures of the course that my husband took while he was running:
Now that you know all about the race, here is how it went for me. I went into this race with no real-time goal. You know though whenever someone says that they must have some number in their head. I was hoping for somewhere around 1:35-1:38. I have been running some longer tempos in the 7:10 range, but I also knew this was a hilly race and I wanted to go out conservatively. My main goal was to end fast and to try to stay pretty even paced. I did not want to get caught up in super fast race mode in the beginning and then feel defeated by the end.
Before the start picture :)…..
Mile 1: 7:02
Mile 3: 7:12
Mile 4: 7:37
Mile 5: 7:01
Mile 6: 7:10
Mile 7: 7:46
Mile 8: 7:42
Mile 9: 7:10
Mile 10: 7:23
Mile 11: 7:25
Mile 12: 7:08
Mile 13: 6:44…..This mile makes me so happy!!!!!!
I am terrible at reading elevation charts and everyone has different definitions of what hills are hard or not. Sometimes I don’t think a course will be that bad until I am running it and other times I think it will be so hard and it doesn’t seem as bad. On my husband’s Garmin it said in mile 4 there was 169 foot elevation gain, an 86 foot gain in mile 6, and a 75 foot gain in mile 7. I know that the 75 foot gain in mile 7 must have been in a very short span because I remember looking up that hill and thinking you have to be kidding me. I just kept telling myself not to think about it too much, just put your head down and put one foot in front of the other (for some reason looking down when I go up hills is easier for me…maybe it has something to do with not seeing how hard it looks). Apparently mile 13 had a decent amount of elevation (119 feet), but it really didn’t feel nearly like mile 6 or 7 because it was so spread out. I handle gradual hills way better than the straight up and down stuff.
All in all though, this was a GREAT race. We are pretty sure we will try it again next year too!!!! If you are in the area and looking for a beautiful race, FREEDOMS RUN is a great choice!!!!
My final time was 1:35:06….maybe a few seconds less just because I wasn’t right at the front, but I am very happy with it. It really actually makes me want to race a flat course half again. The first half I did was a totally flat-out and back Chicago course and I got 1:32 and I feel like my fitness is better now than it was then.
I am getting super anxious for Richmond and now I am really wishing it was closer. I am making a few adjustments to my training per some advice I received, but I am very excited for November and I am already praying for a nice day!!!!
Marathon season is in full swing, who raced? How did it go?
Did you long run? how far?