During my 2 month blogging hiatus, I ran the Charlottesville Half Marathon! Let me begin by saying, this was one of my favorite race courses! I've now run half marathons in Baltimore, D.C., Brooklyn, San Diego, and Ocean City. This one goes on the top of the list as far as overall course awesomeness.
I love the city of Charlottesville. If you're within a few hours of it, and are looking for a great long weekend destination - put Charlottesville, VA on your list! It's home to the University of Virginia, Monticello, a host of great wineries and breweries, lots of fun restaurants, and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
One of my running pals, Lauren, is a UVA graduate and fellow Charlottesville lover, so we signed up for this race together. Kudos to Lauren for smashing the course and earning herself an unexpected PR!! She's super awesome and speedy!
I fell in love with Charlottesville when I went there to visit my college roommate, Kellie. She and her family were so awesome during the race! They scoped out the course, got up bright and early, and were at a few points along the way to cheer me on and take pictures. It was so fun seeing them along the way!!
(support crew selfie!)
(one of my favorite parts of the course - running past UVA!)
(mile 8 and a nice, long DOWNhill!)
This was my least favorite part of the course - a 2-mile stretch from miles 9-11 that was a path along the river. It was flat, which was a nice break from the hilly course, but it was really boring. Miles 9-11 are typically my toughest miles so this was not a place for boredom!
Since this course was really hilly, and I was treating this as a training run for the Ocean City Half (this Saturday), I wanted to come in around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Gotta love a bottle opener medal!!
I really enjoyed this course because of the variety. I had heard nightmare stories about the hills, but coming from Southern York County, I didn't find the hills to be any more difficult than the ones I encountered on training runs. The course wound through the city of Charlottesville so there was constantly new scenery. I actually appreciated the hills because there was a lot of variety in the elevation, which helps my legs keep from getting too heavy.
If you're looking for a fun destination race, definitely add Charlottesville to your bucket list! They offer this half marathon, which also has a full 26.2 option and an 8k option. There's also the Charlottesville Fall Classic, which has half-marathon and 10k options.