I went into this race wanting to have a good time – and I did just that. With my surgery only 2 weeks before the day of the race, I still had some recovering to do so I was not able to run it (and get the sub 2 hour PR I was hoping for). My doctor told me that I could walk it and run (at a much slower pace) a little bit of the race if I was feeling up to it.
Waking up the morning of the race was so different. I didn’t feel nervous or anxious like I usually do before races, which was really refreshing! We headed out the door around 6:15 to head to the starting line. Our hotel was closer than we thought so we got there pretty early. After a bit of back and forth, I decided to run the race with my camera in hand so I could get lots of pictures :)
Luckily Chelle and I were in the same corral to start so that made the wait much better :) and Lance waited with us until the race was about to start.
Sometime after 7 we started to move forward and slowly inched our way to the start. About 30 minutes later we were off!
I decided to start off running along side Chelle and was going to try to run until the 5k mark..or until I was tired/didn’t feel up to it. We cruised along and did a bit of weaving in and out of the crowds. Around the 5k mark we saw a group of people dressed up as super hero’s waiting in line for the bathroom. I ran right over and asked them if they’d take a photo with us – they happily obliged.
I was still feeling really good at this point so I decided to run a little more (we were averaging a 10:20/mile pace). Once we passed the water station at mile 4 I said good bye to Chelle and wished her luck. I was still feeling pretty good, but I really didn’t want to aggravate anything from the surgery. From here on out it was only speed walking for me!
And let me tell you – speed walking is no joke! I wanted to maintain at least a 15 min pace for walking, so that I could challenge myself a little. I got into a groove and was clocking in miles around the 14-15 min/mile pace. Not too bad but I didn’t feel any pressure to finish fast so taking photo’s became a priority :)
There were so many gorgeous homes as we cruised along St. Charles Avenue!
With beautiful wrap around porches and giant trees
Some of which, were covered in beads!
Once we headed to the French Quarter area I came across some firemen running with a flag! It was cool to see them!
I stopped in the French Quarter for a picture at St. Louis Cathedral too
Along Esplanade Ave during the last 3 miles I saw tons of great race signs – these spectators were hilarious! Here are a few of my favorite signs:
Around mile 12.5 I saw a couple that I had passed a couple times throughout the course. I’d pass them when they would walk, then when they started running again they’d pass me. This is where my competitive side came out and I decided that I should just pass them once and for all…so I jogged right on past for about .1 of a mile just to be sure I would keep my lead.
When we entered the park the marathon path split off from the half marathon route (although I didn’t see anyone in front of me merge over).
I stopped for one last photo in from of the museum and kept up my speedy walk until I saw the crowds of people watching at mile 13 to the finish line. I decided to pick up the pace and jog the last .10 to finish line!
I finished in 2:46:51 – and I’m pretty darn proud of that :)
A few minutes after I had reunited with Chelle and Lance I saw that couple I passed at mile 12.5 come out of the finisher shoot – we exchanged congratulations since we’d seen each other so much throughout the race :)
This was such a fun race! It was a beautiful City to run through (although the roads are poorly maintained for about half of it). The bands were spaced out well and the fellow runners were enthusiastic and ready for fun (I saw numerous people running with cocktails in hand!!).
Another winning shirt from the RnR folks – cute and a great fit!
And a freakin awesome medal – it was on beads instead of a ribbon! Absolutely perfect for this race!