Frederick Half Marathon Race Recap
Looking for a smaller more locally oriented race that still has great course support and crowds? Well you should probably check out the Frederick Half Marathon. I originally signed up for the Frederick Half Marathon because it’s nearby my parents house and it was part of the King Crab Challenge. The King Crab Challenge is a 3 race challenge that includes the Frederick Half Marathon, Baltimore 10 miler, and Baltimore Marathon/half Marathon. In return for running these 3 race you get a sweet Maryland themed backpack, 3 shirts, and 3 medals. What can I say, I love a themed challenge.
When I arrived at the expo on Saturday, I could tell this was smaller race. This races tagline reads, “A Big Time Race with Small Town Charm.” The expo was held at the Frederick Fairgrounds. We journeyed up on Saturday morning and grabbed my bib/shirt. There were a few small vendors set up at the expo but it wasn’t huge to do like the Baltimore Marathon expo.
On to the main event…. I woke up bright and early on Sunday and prepped to head out. We left a little later than I would of liked but it was okay. Unfortunately, a lot of other people were a little late too so the exit to get to the Fairgrounds was backed up. We started waiting at the exit at 6:15am. We didn’t park until 6:50am. So I had 10 minutes to find a restroom and get to the start. The restroom lines were insane. Now it’s 6:59am the Anthem has been sung and the crowds are moving toward the start. I run from the restroom, throw my jacket at my family, grab my hydration belt, and say adios to the fam. Then I notice that one of my bottles is missing…. Panic moment. Oh well the show must go on.
So thus begins my run to the starting line. When you hear the gun go off and you’re not in a corral there’s a moment of panic that runs through you. Then you put on your big girl panties, get over yourself and start running.
Since I had been dealing with a few issues with my IT Band and knee I thought it best to take it easy during this race. I employed a 3:1 run/walk ratio. The race started with a nice steady crowd as we powered through the first mile and I choked down a plain GU. There were nice cheer crowds at the very start and then it thinned. We bordered a highway for the first mile while making our way into the downtown area using a roundabout way. There was a well stocked water stop then we approached Mile 2. Between 2 and 3 we ran through the downtown market street area and I was feeling great. The course was super hilly but I was actually having a great time just taking in the sights and rocking out to my music.
I bumped into my parents cheering at mile 3. They had gatorade and water. It was glorious. Miles 3-4 were 100% downhill. We continued to run through more cute small town areas and there were lots of people cheering on the streets. We even went through their high school around mile 6. Around 7 I ran into my family again. They were really amazing course support.
After the first half of the race we began to run more through residential areas. There were beautiful classic homes that looked like they should be in magazines. I loved the part of the course. Around mile 8 I started to slow down. The intervals still felt good but the hills were starting to get to me. (Next time I’ll look at the elevation chart before the race… not after).
Around mile 10 you could catch a small view of the mountains. I think… I’m not totally sure what those large “hills” were. After mile 10, I slowed. The hills got me. However, I used the 3:1 interval to motivate myself to keeping running. That was until the steep hill at mile 12.5. When I first saw the hill I let out an audible, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” But, I still trudged up the hill and ran the rest of the way in!
Using the 3:1 ratio and just running to enjoy myself, I ran a 2:47:25. That’s right I ran my fastest half marathon in the last 4 years, by just running to enjoy myself. Afterward, I had no knee or IT Band pain. It was a glorious race day and I thoroughly loved running this race. The crowds were wonderfully supportive and the race organizers did a fantastic job with supplying enough course support. Another awesome part of the Frederick Half Marathon were the “unofficial” stops that were organized by communities. There was a jelly bean stop, cookies, bananas, water, and lots of other goodies being handed out to runners from residents of Frederick. Overall, it was a very welcoming run and I really enjoyed. I forgot how much fun it can be to run a race solo every once in a while.
How was your weekend? Have you ever had to run through the start of a race? Have you run a half marathon or are you training for one? What do you look for when choosing a race? Have you ever had a terrible race morning? Does your friends or family act as your course support?