Since my last blog entry, I completed my final four training runs (which included a 12.4 m run) and was feeling pretty well-prepared for today's race! I was not prepared for the STEEP climbs and descents, though - all I can say is WOW! I thought last year's HM had some steep climbs, but they were no comparison to today's course. There was lots of hiking during this half-marathon! Here's a pic from my runkeeper app showing the elevation changes (total climb was 2602 feet):
Along the route, I got a kick out of this group of volunteers that dressed up for the event:
Also, this event is called "escape from prison hill" for a reason - here's a pic looking down onto what used to be our state's maximum security prison:
Here's my proof that I made it to the summit of prison hill (elavation of 5695ft) as well as a picture looking south from the summit:
After cresting the summit, the fun was not over - next, came the "south hills" - a combination of steep descents and ascents so steep that, when I leaned into the hill to go up it, I was touching the trail ahead of me with my hand!
Finally, after the insanity of the steep ups and downs mellowed out, I ran for awhile along the most beautiful part of the course - the Carson River. At one point, the course even took us over a very unique single track experience:
Another steep ascent, and then it was free sailing to the finish! The best part was my cheering crew at the finish line. They actually volunteered to go with me at 6:15am to the race!
Even though this course was more difficult than my half-marathon last May, I liked the trail surface much better! On the steep descents, I was running mainly on sand (it actually felt like I was running down sand dunes). This was much kinder on my feet than last year's sharp, loose shale rocks:)
I didn't have a great finishing time - but I really don't care. I'm proud that I completed the race!
13.1 miles in 2:47:12 with a 12:45 pace