Sunday, March 4, 2012

Honeywagon Runs Half Marathon - Race Report

The Details
  • Date: Saturday, March 3, 2012
  • Location: Everson, WA
  • Price: free for Greater Bellingham Running Club members, $8 (4 miler) or $10 (half marathon) for non-members
  • Course: primarily flat with a few insignificant changes in elevation, not closed to traffic
  • Weather: upper 40s and windy
  • Other: chip timing, ribbons for all finishers, raffle prizes

My Thoughts
This race was intended to serve as a long training run but I forgot to charge my Garmin after last weekend's race so I ended up running "naked". Even if I had my Garmin I don't know that I would have been content to run at a slower pace when I was feeling good enough to go faster. I guess rather than being a long, slow training run, it was a race pace training run. Which actually kind of makes sense since I'm training for a 30k (18.6 mile) race. 

Start of the Honeywagon Runs.
I'm on the right in the purple and blue with the white hat.

I had a hard time finding the right pace at the start and kept leap frogging with other runners. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as large races, but the course felt a little congested until the 2 mile mark when the 4 mile and half marathon races split. From there it was a little easier to run my own race, although I still had some worry about whether I had started out too fast. Around the halfway point I was passed by a couple women and didn't know whether I was slowing down or they were speeding up.

I had some GU chomps that I planned to take at mile 7, but I felt like I needed the caffeine boost earlier so I had two chomps at mile 5 and two at mile 7. 

Since the course wasn't closed, we were told before the race to stay to the left of the road and run facing traffic. There were a few points on the course where this meant running to the outside of the curve. I'm so used to running the tangents during a race that I actually did cross the road (after checking for cars of course) to minimize the distance, but I noticed that the other runners around me didn't. It made me wonder whether I was shorting the course because I don't know if the course is measured based on use of the entire road or based on sticking to just the left shoulder.

It was very windy the entire run. There were times I had to fight to keep myself from being blown sideways. Like last week, it seemed that the worst wind hit towards the end of the race. I was watching the guy in front of me and he looked like he was running in slow motion. There was nothing to do but keep trying to move forward, one step at a time.

About half a mile from the finish.

To reach the finish line, the course sort of took a U-turn behind a building where we finally had some protection from the wind. I was able to give a strong finishing kick and passed one guy right at the end. With the chip timing, the results were posted pretty quickly and I was very happy with my time... much better than I expected!
  • Time - 1:45:19 (8:03 pace)
  • 38 out of 179 overall
  • 6th female finisher
  • 2 out of 21 in the female 19-29 age group

I guess this is just further proof that I don't need my Garmin to run a strong race, but I wish I could see my splits and distance ran. I'm curious how much my pace varied throughout the race.

I stuck around for the raffle because I'm always a sucker for the possibility of free stuff. This time my patience paid off and I walked away with a $35 gift certificate to the Pepper Sisters restaurant in Bellingham. That means my $20 GBRC membership has now more than paid for itself... and there are still several more free races that I'm planning to run later this year.


  1. That's so neat, that your running club puts on small events like this! I wish we had something like that around here.

    Congrats on your 2nd place AG!!

  2. CONGRATS!!!! Ah it must've been such a sweet surprise that you ran such a great pace "naked"!! ::Hug:: Great job, you kicked ass!