A little frustrating, but it seems I forgot to save my original recap that I typed up for this race, so now, over a month post-race, I have to type it up again. Ugh! Oh well, here we go!
The Bend Marathon & Half. This was the second annual running of this event. As usual, let’s start with packet pickup. The race was on a Sunday and I arrived in town on the Friday before because I was also running the Sisters “Better Half” on that Saturday. This was to be a weekend of back-to-back half marathons. I’ve never done this before. The closest I’ve come is when I ran a fast 5K followed by a solo 7 mile run on a Saturday then on the next day ran a 10 mile long run. Not really comparable, but I knew if I could run back-to-back 10 miles, then I could likely handle back-to-back half marathons.
Okay, packet pickup. There was no expo. We just formed a ridiculous down-the-block line out the front door of the FootZone running store in downtown Bend. Packet pickup opened up at 2pm in the back of the store. I got there around 2:10 or so and the line had already started coming out the front door. I have to say, this wasn’t the best option for a packet pickup for a semi-major race. The store wasn’t that big and was open to customers, so you had all these people picking up race packets and people trying to shop all in the store at the same time. I mean, the good news for the store is that while we all stood in line, we all got to window shop the store and a lot of us ended up being customers ourselves after we got our packets. Me included. I bought a sweet trucker hat that says “Run Dirt” on it. I had to steal it off the head dummy because I wanted the teal color and the only teal one they had was on the head dummy. MINE!
A few months before the race, the organizers had posted pics of the medal and the participant shirts. I loved both and was super stoked to receive them.
Saturday night, I laid out my flat runner. I had to modify my plans for what I was going to wear a little bit as the temp was supposed to be in the mid-30’s at the start (another late start of 8:30am) and wouldn’t get past the upper 40’s by the time I was done running. So, for the first time ever, I ran the race shirt to run the race. I wore it under my INKnBURN pixels tech shirt (completely wishing I had realized this temp situation was possible and had my INKnBURN pixels pullover instead). I also layered some arm warmers underneath the race shirt to help keep my arms warm.
The morning of the race, I got to wake up late because my hotel was only a 5 minute walk from the start line. Just like for the start of the Sisters “Better Half” the day before, it felt really weird to not be heading to the start much sooner. They were doing a wave start, letting large groups start every 15 minutes to help with course crowding. Since I was unable to get late checkout approved by the hotel for me, and I knew it would take me about 2.5 hours to finish the race, I KNEW I had to make sure I was in the very first wave at 8:30, which would put me finishing at about 11, giving me an hour to walk back to my hotel, shower and pack up all my stuff and then checkout. To help me expedite this, I packed up everything I wouldn’t need post-race and took it out to the car before I walked to the race. I was able to make sure I was in the first wave and was across the start line at 8:30.
We started out by running past my hotel…ha! Then we proceeded through a neighborhood. This was all mostly flat and easy to run. Then made it to a park and ran along the Deschutes River.
Then over a bridge. This is where the only photographer on the entire course was located, so I have a nice picture of me on the bridge. However, he took the photo in landscape position, so I had to crop out the people next to me.
After the bridge, we entered another neighborhood. This one was fairly new and seemed more expensive. And this is where the hills were. We went up and up and up some more. I did have to walk because the hill just wouldn’t stop. Haha. I was literally not expecting these kind of hills, especially after how completely flat the Sisters “Better Half” the day before that was only 20 miles away. That’s what I get for making assumptions and not doing course research.
After the super hilly neighborhood, we got to go on a glorious downhill and then onto a TRAIL!!!
If you’ve followed along with this blog since at least May of 2015, then you know that when I went on my very first trail run while in Oregon last May, I fell completely in love with trail running.
After the trail, we crossed another bridge. Right before this bridge, I ditched the arm warmers I was wearing. They had slide down my arms and were only covering my forearms (I regretted this later because my forearms got sooooo cold about 20 minutes later). We ran along the Deschutes River again and at this point it started raining. Or did it? I noticed that even though the rain was hitting me, I wasn’t getting wet. Then I noticed it was bouncing on the ground. Hail. It was hail. I was getting hailed on! What the heck!?!?! So, that was a first for me. Thankfully it was very tiny hail, 2mm at MOST in diameter, but still. Bragging rights? I ran in hail!
Then we were running long a main road on the shoulder. I even saw Batman!!!We were now on a roadside paved hike & bike trail. There were, of course, more hills. I walked some more.
Then we were running through the very first neighborhood we ran through, so I knew we were nearing the finish. Then we were running over that very same bridge we ran over at the beginning where the photographer was. The photographer was right before we turned left to cross the finish line, but I couldn’t find a pic of me from that location, or if I did, it must not have been good, so I didn’t buy it. I don’t remember at this point, over a month later. Haha.
I crossed the finish line and was handed my medal. The half and full marathon finishers got the same medal, just the ribbon was different. It’s a very pretty medal, one of my favorites, in fact.
I finished with an official time of 2:29:59.
Something to keep in mind when viewing these official results. That number after the word “of” indicates how many in that division/group that have finished at the moment that I checked my results. I was not in the very back of the pack. I think the last finishers crossed the finish line 45 minutes to an hour after me. So, I was most likely in the back of the middle of the pack for this race.
So, back-to-back half marathons is DONE! I can official say I’ve done it and did a decent job of it. I got an almost PR for the first one and got a semi-decent time for the second one. I’m not disappointed at all in either race and I’m super proud of myself for conquering this challenge. However, I’m super glad I did NOT sign up for the full marathon at Bend because of the weather and the technical aspect of the course and the time constraint of not getting a late checkout.