August 25 – ROC Race 5k – untimed – The Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge (ROC) race was a ton of fun! If there’s one in your city, I highly recommend you try it out. My favorite obstacles were the wrecking ball (even though I fell off about two steps in), foam of fury and the world’s largest moon bounce. I would definitely do this race again!
October 6 – Mario Lemieux Foundation 6.6k (4.1 miles) – 39:28 – This was a great inaugural race. It started and ended at Consol Arena, with several Pittsburgh Penguin coaches running the race, Mario Lemieux firing the starting gun and a free practice after the race just for the runners. I actually ran this 12 seconds faster than the 4-miler in July and this race finished with a tough uphill, so my training has definitely helped (especially considering I did a 12 mile training run two days before this race)! This is also one of my favorite medals, so I will look at doing this race again next year.
October 20 – Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon – 2:14:13 – My fastest half marathon to date! My goal was to finish under 2:15, and I took 12:16 off my May half marathon. Some of this is probably due to the issues I had regarding my morning “prep” for the May half marathon, but I also started running with an actual training group in August, and I know that the run-walk-run technique has really helped a lot. I trained with the 10:00 / mile group and I knew that it was going to be rough training (it was) and I knew that I couldn’t hit 10:00 / mile for the full race, but because of the training, I was able to do a negative split through the race (first time!) and was able to finish under my goal time. The medals given out at the end of the race are the biggest / heaviest medals I have ever seen! It’s an 8.5″ surfboard which incorporates a bottle opener and has it’s own magnet on the back so you can show it off on your refrigerator.