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First trail half marathon - Roanoke Canal Half Marathon

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My in-laws are from a small town, about 1.5 hours from us, here in North Carolina. I found out last year that they host a half marathon every year to help raise money for the museum that sits along a beautiful trail, which goes along where the Roanoke Canal used to be. I missed signing up last year, but decided to do it this year and make a nice visit to the in-laws out of it!

First, let me say how amazingly refreshing it was doing such a small race! They cap this at 400 total for the 8K and half marathon combined. I walked into packet pick-up, and was out in less than 5 minutes. They started us in 3 waves, about 1 minute apart, and each wave was incredibly manageable, size-wise. At no point did I feel crowded on this trail, but there were still enough people that I never felt alone in the woods. Hubby and boy were able to drive to EVERY water stop, out AND back, to cheer me on! And, my little man got to run across the finish line with me!

The race itself: Just awesome! It had rained the day before, so there were definite muddy patches! I was so excited about wearing my Brooks Adrenaline ASRs (All Season Runners) for a race, and they held up like champs! The trail was just beautiful, and ran right alongside the river at one point. It was NOT, however, quite as flat as they'd advertised! There were some rooty, rocky bits, but overall nice. Mostly moderate with a dash of challenging in places.

I was pretty undertrained for this. The most I'd run so far this year was 9 miles. We got hit with the crud that was going around, and it seriously impacted my schedule. I felt it hit me around mile 10.5 or so, and those last few miles were a real battle! I got a huge boost, however, when I passed a lady who'd started to walk. she was obviously as pooped as me, but she managed to gasp out, "go!". THAT is real runner comraderie.. using your precious breath to cheer on another runner!

I would absolutely recommend this race to anyone considering a nice, small, trail race. The shirts were beautiful, the medals were nice, the people were fantastic, easy to get to, and a beautiful course to boot!
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