This past weekend, some friends and I packed up and headed to Philadelphia for the Rock 'n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. Everyone else had run this race before, but it was my first time. We spent Friday night laughing, eating cheese steaks, and hanging out on South Street.
Saturday morning arrived a little too early (as clearly evidenced in this photo) and Mark and I headed to the start line of the 1st ever Rock 'n Roll Philadelphia 5k! RnR is doing the "Remix Challenge" at several races this year, where you can run a shorter race one day and the longer race the other day. This earns you an extra "Remix Challenge" medal! The 5k was a great, flat course. It was an out and back along the river, so we got to see the fast leaders coming back!
Saturday after race was mostly spent relaxing and eating! Sunday morning we woke up bright and early again to get ourselves ready for the big event! Steph and I planned sparkle skirt outfits! It was fun to get ready for a race without a time goal. We just wanted to run the race (technically, it was a cut back weekend for me in marathon training between 2 weekends of 20 mile long runs!) and have fun.
We lined up in our corral...and we were ready...at least we hoped! Haha! (Mark was well ahead of us in speedy corral 1!)
By far, my favorite moment on the course was at about mile 2 for us, when the lead packs passed back by us. The arrow in this picture is pointing to my favorite female runner - Kara Goucher. It was very cool seeing her and Deena Kastor (America's fastest female marathoner) run by!!
The race course runs about 5ish miles through the city, then heads out along "Boathouse Row", across this bridge just before mile 9, and then back up the river to the finish. I was not feeling great most of this race, but the part in the city was the worst. It was SUPER humid - you can see in some of my city pictures that the buildings were obscured by heavy fog - and in the city there was just no air. I kept feeling like I had a fever, and was sweating even more than I normally do.
(This face is a fairly accurate depiction of how I felt most of the first part of the race. Clearly, I didn't spot the photographer in time)
See all that fog?? You can't even see the tops of the buildings! And this is coming up the last mile!
We finished in my 2nd slowest half-marathon time (2:24), and the finish chute was so crowded I nearly had a panic attack. I bee lined for the exit as fast as I could! After we finished, we enjoyed a much needed beverage and watched the awards ceremony.
Mark and I sporting our half marathon medals and Remix Challenge medals.
The weekend of medals!
One of my other favorite moments of the race day was the awards ceremony. Deena Kastor is 41 and currently holds the female American record for the fastest marathon. At the half, she came in 3rd for females and along the way broke 4 world records! She races in the "Masters" category (over age 40), and she broke Masters world records for 15K, 10 miles, 20K, and half-marathon. The cool thing was, she only knew for sure she'd broken the half-marathon record -- so as they were announcing all of the other records, we got to witness her reaction! She was so genuine and humble and surprised, it was awesome and inspiring!
It was very cool to be a part of a race that held Kara Goucher's return to racing and Deena's record breaking performance! What a great weekend!!