I have NO excuse for the amount of time it’s taken me to write a new post! It’s just over four weeks since I ran the Broad Street 10-Miler (BSR), and I’ve run a half marathon in between then and now. I was going to do a full recap of the BSR, but at this point I have very little to offer the interwebs, short of a few photos. For anyone looking for a good recap, check out Mer’s write up on the Scoot-A-Doot blog.
I wound up with my entry into the BSR a little over a week before the race, and had never tried to register for it before. After I got my bib I arranged to meet up with Kelly, a friend from high school, before the run and afterward for lunch. It was great to catch up and see each other!
Two weeks after the BSR, I went to Fredericksburg, Virginia to run the Marine Corps Historic Half. This was a new race to me and I was talked into it by my cousin, Meredith. Meredith lives in Massachusetts and up until last fall we hadn’t seen one another in probably over 15 years. Meredith decided that she wanted to run a half marathon and knew I had run the Marine Corps Marathon and thought that their half marathon would be a good race to make her first half. I decided to sign up as well so that we could have a few days to hang out together, and I could be her encouragement along the way if she needed it.
The race was on Sunday, May 19th so I made the drive to Fredericksburg that Friday. It was a little over four hours, with the biggest congestion in the area north of Baltimore. I was able to leave work a little after two so I was on the road just before 3pm and made it to my hotel around 7pm. After checking in I decided I would go find something to eat. Meredith wasn’t going to be arriving until Saturday so I was on my own Friday, which is nothing new to me. I found a Joe’s Crab Shack and set myself up at the bar with a Yuengling. I ordered my food and soon after a group of three sat at the bar next to me, and I noticed they were wearing Historic Half volunteer shirts and started chatting. They were vendors from Raleigh and were a lot of fun to hang out and chat with. Several drinks later and it was after 11pm when we were all leaving!
I let myself sleep in Saturday, and after a shower was on my way to the race expo a little after 10am. I’ve said previously how epically I despise race expos, but was looking forward to this one after meeting the vendors the night before. I have to hand it to the USMC for putting together an impressive race expo. Maybe it was because the crowds weren’t too heavy, but every vendor I went to was quick to help and there weren’t any traffic jams in the isles. I picked up some Nuun, Gu Chomps, a new reflective vest, free rice, Girl Scout Cookies (Score! Including Savannah Smiles which I can’t get in PA!) and massaging insole inserts from my new Joe’s Crab Shack friends. It was a very successful expo for me J
After the expo I was hungry and wanted to check out the town of Fredericksburg. I knew it was an old town and was the site of a battle won by the Confederate Army in the Civil War, but that was all. Walking around Caroline Street I picked up a cupcake at Colonial Cupcakes and a cute shirt for my niece at an Irish boutique. I managed to find the Capital Ale House and sat at the bar for some lunch. They had New Belgium Fat Tire on draft which made my day. The bar featured an ice inset for customers to place their mugs on to keep the beer cold. It was very clever! To eat I ordered fried green tomatoes and a black bean burger. I could not tell you the last time I had fried green tomatoes and these were so good! They served them with crumbled goat cheese, a little arugula and an aioli sauce. After lunch I found the PA Dutch Tea Company and bought a whole bunch of loose leaf tea. They had so many different types to choose from. I walked around a little more and decided it was time to head back to the hotel to relax until Meredith arrived.
After Meredith and her boyfriend Sean arrived we went to dinner – at Joe’s Crab Shack! After telling them about going there the night before they both wanted to go there and I had no objections. With the run Sunday morning we kept it low key with only a couple beers and didn’t stay out too late.
Race day arrived with an early wake up call. My wake up alarm was set for 5am and I set a second alarm for 5:30am to make sure we were out the door by then. There was a shuttle for runners down the street so we drove over right on schedule and hopped on the bus. We arrived at the start area a little before 6am and the race started at 7am. We kept our eyes open for Sean Astin but never saw him. After potty breaks and a little milling around we walked into the start corrals to get ready for the start.
After the start I decided I wanted to go at a little faster pace than Meredith so we split up a little before the first mile marker. My stomach was not agreeing with me so I figured we’d end up meeting somewhere, or that I’d wait for her later on in the race when it mattered more. I ended up stopping between miles 4 and 5 and afterward felt incredibly better. The weather that day was cool but humid, with some misty rain occasionally. It would have been great except for the fact that my shorts were beginning to cause some very uncomfortable chafing on my thighs. Between miles 7 and 8 I stopped at one of the medic vehicles and got some Vaseline. It helped but not as well as I’d have hoped. I kept going and wound up catching up with Meredith (she’d passed me when I was on my potty break) around mile 9. She was walking and had developed some blisters on her feet which were making it very painful. She was in good spirits and with my chafing issue I decided I’d stick with her. We walked the next three miles, conquering Hospital Hill together. Before reaching mile marker 12 we had decided that the last mile we’d run in, no matter how slow it was. We held each other up on that promise and finished the last mile strong.
I have nothing but positive feedback for the USMC and the Historic Half. After running MCM a few years ago I knew they were excellent race organizers and this run is done just as well as the larger race. The course was enjoyable and a nice mix of ups, downs and flat stretches. It was really neat to run past the Confederate Cemetery in town and wonder who was buried there. There are Marines all over the course to marshal runners but also cheer everyone on. In addition to the Historic Half, there also were 5k (Semper Fred 5k) and 10k (Historic 10k) races that day so no matter what distance you can finish, there’s a race for you.
Have you ever run a USMC event?