So…on Saturday I ran the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon–billed the toughest half marathon in the US. I’ve long known about this race as a friend from a lifetime ago ran it shortly after we’d started running, but I’ve kind of avoided it–intimidated by that whole “toughest in the nation” thing. But a couple weeks ago, my buddy decided he was gonna run it and asked if I wanted in. So of course I signed up.
Admittedly, I was kind of dreading it. I was excited for the challenge but not excited for the 700 feet of elevation gain over a mile and a half. I apologized in advance to my friend for anything I might say on course or after, and warned him that I might take that swing at him I didn’t get last fall during our 10-miler.
I prepared an epic outfit for the race, figuring if nothing else I wanted to wear something fun. I shook my head at the elevation map and tried to ignore the weather forecast. I drove down to Wheeling and tried to steel myself for what I was sure was going to be rough race. I went in with no time expectations, I simply wanted to finish so I could say that I did it. Met up with the couple of other folks from my running club and got a few pre-race photos. Endured some rain (that mercifully dissipated quickly), and then we were off.
Pre-race in my epic outfit glory–lots of compliments on this one.
This race was tough to be sure. My time shows that, definitely not my best. BUT somehow, I LOVED it. The race itself isn’t anything spectacular, but despite the wicked hills it was a lot of fun. I walked more than I wanted to but less than I expected to. The worst hill wasn’t the two mile one, but the one at the end that catches you off guard. I was actually on pace for a solid 2:30 finish but ended up with a wicked stitch during the last couple of miles that slowed me down. Finished in 2:41:51, which isn’t awful all things considered.
Post-race with my medal.
I really liked this race. I will totally do this race again. Not in a score to settle way, though I definitely want to improve my time, but seriously, just because it was FUN. Way more fun than I expected.
Medal and finisher’s towel.
Next weekend: the inaugural Youngstown Half Marathon. Stay tuned.