A couple of weeks ago, I ran the second half marathon of my running “career.” The race was the Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon, and I set a new PR! (Granted, my only other half marathon featured an extended portable toilet visit, so it’s possible my results are a little skewed, but it’s all good.)
The weather was amazing, which I hope will be my race tradition during this running season. We’ve been getting tons of rain in the DC Area, so any break in the depressing weather is a great thing!
I don’t spend much time in Frederick, and despite it being less than an hour drive from home, this was the only time I’d ever actually run a race in Frederick. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the crowd or even the route itself. All I knew was that I was going to have to wake up super early to drive up there, and it was going to be a long, lonely race. Or so I thought…
Remember last week when I was telling you about how I made a friend at Pike’s Peek? Well, boy was I in luck! My new friend Terri texted me a couple of days before the race to let me know that she booked a hotel room for the night before the race, and invited me to stay with her! Sure, most of my friends thought I was absolutely crazy, but I didn’t see any harm in it. (These kinds of things happen to me much more often than I’d care to admit. I don’t recommend staying in a hotel with a perfect stranger!) I let my boyfriend and family know where I was staying, and I headed up to Frederick after a family dinner the night before the race.
What a great idea! I was able to relax the night before the race, and slept in a comfy bed! I didn’t get much sleep (per usual), but I felt well rested in the morning. Fortunately, the hotel had breakfast for us on race morning, so that was one less thing to worry about! I drove us to the race, and was able to get a pretty good spot, despite the chaos that was the parking situation. There is ample parking near the start/finish line, but the volunteers were making things super confusing. :-/
Anyway, we got to the start line and were able to stretch out a little before the race began. I ran into my friend Liz and grabbed a photo. She was running with her boyfriend Jason and a group of other friends, so she linked back up with them after our photo op. Terri and I took a crazy selfie together, and discussed where we would meet at the finish line. All of my running friends are faster than me, and considering that I was not at all prepared for this race, I assumed there would be no miracle happening on the course today, and that she would finish before me. (I was right on this one.)
|Lots of dudes hating in the background. 😛
And we were off! The majority of the race was flat, and because it was so sunny and warm, there were many people out cheering us on! Downtown Frederick is very beautiful, and there were lots of places where I wanted to stop and take photos (which I don’t normally do), but I didn’t because I knew I was on track to beat my PR by about 15 minutes! Okay, maybe I didn’t know I was going to beat it by that much, but I did!
Overall, this was a great race! It was pretty well organized, there were lots of water stops, which was especially helpful in the heat. They had GU gummies, Gatorade, water, and a lady was even handing out wrapped Twizzlers! (I didn’t eat one during the race, but I took one because that is freakin’ awesome.)
The last few miles of the race were a little brutal. That’s where all the hills were, which was kind of cruel. 😛 Frederick itself is pretty hilly, so I was actually surprised it took so long to hit the hills! Anyway, the last big hill leads you to the Frederick Fairgrounds, on to a dusty track (I’m assuming it’s for horse racing), which is where you finish the race. Once you cross the finish line, you are taken into a runners only area. Each lady runner received a flower (it was Mother’s Day), everyone received a sweet piece of bling, and then you were on to the first round of food! They had these oranges that were possibly the most delicious oranges I’d ever had. Seriously. They were sliced up for you, but they were so big and juicy! A+, Frederick Running Festival!
The long-sleeved shirts we received were really nice! I’ve actually worn mine a bunch, which is pretty rare for race shirts for me.
I managed to snap some photos of the post-race festivities from the ground (literally).
All in all, this was a lovely race that I would definitely run again. Aside from the parking chaos and the average post-race food, I have no complaints about this race! Now the recovery after the race… well, that’s another story.
Have you ever run the Frederick Running Festival Half? Have you ever run a half marathon with little to no training? If you haven’t, DON’T! It is crazy and your body will be furious with you!