Race Recap: The Saint Patrick's Day Run Fest Half Marathon

The blog entries are just going to be BOOMING for the next few days! I have a race recap and 2 recipes to share! Also, I need to cover the last week of my marathon training. But, I am going to start with the recap as it is fresh in my mind!

The Saint Patrick's Day Run Fest has been going on in Hagerstown, Maryland for a few years now, but I have not participated yet. I am all about local races, but this one was always at a funky time in a training schedule. Like last year, it was the same weekend as my first marathon in DC. This year, I was tempted to skip it as they normally only offer a 5k. I didn't like a 3.1 mile run would really benefit my marathon training.

To my surprise, Hagerstown decided to add both an 8k and a half marathon! To my knowledge, Hagerstown has never offered a half marathon, so I was super giddy about registering. I wanted to be a part of the inaugural half marathon in the town. I have never been able to participate in any 1st annual half marathon, so this was something I had to do!

I was even more amped about the course.

It guided you through downtown Hagerstown into Halfway, which is a small town that sits halfway between Williamsport and Hagerstown (get it?). Just a small part of the course actually gave you view of my family's store and farm which was another reason I had to do this race. It also took you through Halfway's Marty Snook Park. I have run that a few times over the summer so I knew what to expect.

Later in the race, you would also be running through Hagerstown's City Park, which I have many memories at! It was the cool place to go to get your prom pictures taken or hang out at after school.

Lindsey of 2006

 Fun fact: I fell into one of the ponds as a kid when I tried feeding the ducks.

Lindsey of 2006
Anyway, race day started at around 8:45 for me. I had to get there for packet pick up at Bulls & Bears Restaurant and before road closures were implemented at 9. Most of the participants stayed in Bulls & Bears due to rain. It was not ideal racing conditions, so we wanted to remain as dry as possible. I remained indoors snuggling up to Peter until they called us out to the starting like around 9:45. At that point, the rain was just spitting at us, but it was chillier than I anticipated.

I stood among very excited and green participants. I seemed to stand out from wearing my black jacket and yellow running hat.

Found from a fellow participant on the race's Facebook page
I don't get nervous pre-race like I used to. Especially for this one. It was a part of my training schedule and whether I did well or not, I was there to get my miles in. So when the gun went off, I wasn't going peddle to the metal. I just casually went for it, but things got a little hairy early on.

Since there were 3 races going on at once, we all had to separate to achieve the correct distance. I ended up taking the 8k route until I got turned around by one of the race volunteers. I was a little angry that it happened, but I later thought that this was an inaugural race, there were going to be some hiccups. Later, I ended up having to stop for traffic, which also angered me a little. The cops manning the intersection apologized, but it was the drivers. They continued driving through to avoid waiting. How rude!

Once I got through those areas, it was smooth sailing. There were very few hills for the first half. Those came more frequently once you arrived to Marty Snook Park. I expected one of the good ones which was on the trail, but it was the ones which followed in the surrounding neighborhoods which caught me off guard, but everything leveled out from about mile 8-11. It was when you reached City Park that there was a bit of a grueling climb.

This was when I past my first runner in miles! I ran up the hill when I believe he stopped. Then, I was greeted by a water stop near the crest of the hill, but skipped it to catch the next runner. I trailed her for a good half mile, but was able to pass her at another hill nearing the end. I could hear her tailing me as we came down a steep hill, but the competitor in me came out. No matter how exhausted I can feel nearing the end of a race, I will push it through the finish line with a smile on.

The official finish time was 1:51:39. It's not my best, but PRs have been few and far between. I am not going to get up in a rut about it! Besides, this was never a race I was trying to be really competitive with anyway. Not with a marathon right around the corner!

Anyway, despite some of the course confusion and traffic issues, I can't complain about this run! It was fun, challenging, and went right around the areas which I grew up! I would hope they would receive more half marathon participants in future years because it has potential to get huge! I could definitely see myself competing there again.

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