Race #15 – Run the Valley half marathon

In September, I did another half marathon (#5 for the year) and this one was just over an hour away from Charlotte, so I just got up really early (4:45am!) to get on the road and to the start line before the race started at 7:30. There wasn’t really much traffic on the road that early on a Saturday morning, so I made good time and ended up getting to the Badin Elementary School with plenty of time to find parking, pick up my race packet (including an awesome long-sleeve tech shirt) and get taped up by the Rocktape folks who were offering free taping for anyone at the race. This was the first time that I actually had my IT bands taped by a professional (as opposed to following the YouTube video I found!) and he did it differently than I had been taping myself since my pain is localized to my knee and doesn’t extend up my leg to my hip. It worked well and I didn’t have any trouble with either knee throughout the race – it did start to come off a bit where it wrapped around my behind my knee and it was pretty easy to remove, so I’m not sure how well it would stick for things like the Ragnar Relays where I was doing multiple runs over 24 hours, but for a normal race, I think it would work well. 

Despite the name of this race being “Run the Valley” we actually climbed to the top of Morrow Mountain and then returned to the start line:

I definitely went out too fast on this one, but as I figured out on my way back to the finish line, it was probably because it was a downhill start, and thus, an uphill finish!
  • Mile 1 – 8:45
  • Mile 2 – 9:28
  • Mile 3 – 9:32
  • Mile 4 – 10:41
  • Mile 5 – 10:44
  • Mile 6 – 10:36
  • Mile 7 – 14:29 <– walking up to the top of the mountain
  • Mile 8 – 10:15
  • Mile 9 – 10:28
  • Mile 10 – 10:47
  • Mile 11 – 10:33
  • Mile 12 – 11:14
  • Mile 13 – 11:08
  • Last .31 – 8:14
Overall time: 2:21:13

I was struggling getting to the top of the mountain and walked quite a ways with a guy who was having his own struggles needing water. Luckily, there was a water stop at the top of the mountain near the turnaround and he was able to get some. I had my hydration pack with me, but it’s not really conducive for sharing. I was glad I had it with me, even though with my hydration pack and both of my legs taped up before the race someone told me I looked intimidating! 

There were several others who got taped up before the race and the guy who got taped right before me cheered me on whenever he passed me – he was way faster than me, so I saw him twice on the out-and-back portions. This was a pretty small race, with only 98 finishers for the half marathon, but I managed 4th place in my age group. I really liked this race and I would probably do it again – the scenery along the course was beautiful with some of the leaves starting to change color already and you can’t beat the view from the top of a mountain.

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