omg. THE HALF MARATHON.


I did it. Yes, I did. I know. I can’t believe it either. There’s so much to say about this race. So much bad and so much good. Then, at the end of this post, I’m going to get super sappy. So, just prepare yourselves.

First, you should know that I strongly recommend against (what’s the opposite of highly recommend? whatever it is. that.) Deborah Montgomery Racing company. This will be valuable information for basically no one, but perhaps, someday, someone will be searching for “Deborah Montgomery Racing” and they will come across this blog entry. Then maybe this will be helpful. I don’t like to talk trash about folks when it seems like it’s just a small operation and the people are really trying their hardest. But this was different. This was just kind of sloppy and poorly managed. Not cool, Deborah. Not cool.

You guys, it was super disorganized. There was no chip timing. There wasn’t even really a clock. Our course consisted of three loops and an out and back. There was hardly any food to speak of. The race shirt was this non-descript technical shirt that didn’t mention the actual race that we participated in. There was no clear finish line. The woman literally said, “On your mark! Get set!… Wait….” and proceeded to try to learn how to start her watch. It was a hot mess.

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That being said…. Here’s the other thing you should know. I had a fucking blast. The course was b-e-a-U-tiful. I didn’t even mind repeating the loops so many times because it was just that pretty. It you live nearby, you should totally be running in this park every weekend. I would be if it were closer.

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Not only did I take a bathroom break, but I also paused to take pictures.

Also, it was my first half marathon, and I finished it without falling or otherwise making a fool of myself. Hey Hey!!  I also finished in less than two and a half hours, which was a goal. That’s even with one bathroom break included!

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Sergio was amazing as he always is. He was there cheering and offering my water bottle every time I looped around. We both managed to forget our cameras, but he took pics of it on our phones.

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Look how red my legs are!!

I’m now having a little bit of an issue with a seriously sore hip and ankles. As we finished up, I noticed that no one else starting limping as soon as they began walking away from the nonexistent finish line (Seriously, there was just a guy standing around telling folks “good job, you’re done”. No clock. No line. Nothing. He also wasn’t paying close attention so he forgot to tell some people that they were done. Smooth.). My limping and the fact that no one else seems to be doing the same tells me that something is not quite normal. I am thinking of taking a trip to Athens Running Co. soon and trying to get myself into some new shoes. Yes, I think the Nike Free’s have finally bitten the dust. So sad.

Taking a cue from my friend, Cindy at rundamnit, let me tell you about the song that was the MVP of this race. I don’t usually listen to music while I run. I’m an audiobook kind of gal. But there were some technical issues, and the music actually turned out to be a really good call.

This song came on when I was about 9 or 10 miles in.  I was just nearly in tears as I listened and realized that I was definitely going to finish this thing. The past few years have been some of the hardest years of my life. Running has been a revelation to my body and mind. As I ran, I thought about what it means to be a survivor. I was just in awe of how beautiful life can be. There were so few people at this race that I realized I was there, all by myself, just running in the woods. I put my hands up in the air, thankful that I’m still young and strong enough to do things I didn’t know I could.

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17 comments

  1. Baddest Mother Ever

    HOORAY for you!!!!!! I’m sorry it was such a clustercuss, but YOU DID IT. (And do the Athens Half in October if you want a real race experience)

    I went to Horizon Physical Therapy and had Jimbo (can’t remember his last name) assess my gait. He films you while you run on a treadmill for about five minutes, then recommends a shoe based on the way your foot hits. I got the New Balance mid-support and it made A HUGE difference. No more pain!

    Treat yourself to some top of the line shoes. You’re a distance runner, an endurance athlete, and you need to protect those joints! Congratulations!

  2. Anne

    I am that person searching Deborah Montgomery Racing reviews lol! Thank you so much for your honest review of the logistics! I was considering doing one of the summer races and will definitely save my money to do a better organized race elsewhere! Congrats on your first half!

    • Jeff

      +1 to this. Thanks for the review. I had wondered about a race “company” that utilized public parks for all their race venues (most of which included multiple loops) without any reference to a civic or public service benificiary. Sounded like a racket, and you have confirmed that.

  3. J Parra

    Congratulations!!! I’ve been running for a long time and I know how hard is to finish any type of race, especially the ones with more than 10 miles on it. Thanks also for your review about the people in charge. I think what it is outrageous is that their fees are not by any means cheap and what they offer in return is simply ridiculous. Thanks again and keep on running.

  4. alyssakaye89

    I am also one of those people searching Deborah Montgomery Racing reviews! Thank you for this! My sister and I were contemplating signing up for their 10K next month… I’ll be looking for another race instead. Thanks again, and congrats on that first half!

  5. kjiswinningatlife

    Thank you for your review as I was searching for info on this race and had a feeling there might be some downfalls to it based on their website alone. I don’t expect races to be flawless but I ran a race that sounds like this one once and I NEVER want to do it again. I guess this makes my decision to do the Publix Georgia Half that much easier 🙂 Congrats on finishing regardless of the hiccups along the way and for still managing to have fun on the beautiful course!

  6. Nancy

    I wish I would have seen this post sooner. Just completed the half at the same park. Loved the scenery but the hills were awful and the no timing or medical tent was a disappointment. I sure could have used some ice after that! Will not do another race by her again.

  7. Lay Ginns

    Thank you so much for this blog entry. I was going to do a 10k with her but uhmmm…no. It saddens me because she said she’s a runner in her about page. I will also save my money. Thank you.

  8. Jeff.

    I run the trails there at Harbins a bit. If you thought the paved trail was nice you should check out the Horse/Bike/Hike trails. I’ve ran them all training for a 50K. There’s over 30 miles / 1300 acres there and you can combine the trails for endless miles. Nice race review, sorry it had to be a race like this for your first half.

  9. DJ

    I was wondering if it was just me?! I ran the ‘With or With You’ Valentine’s 2015 run and had the same terrible experience. The “tech” shirt was just a plain t-shirt, there was nothing technical about it, there were no times, and I think we started when we found the start line. The medal was smaller than yours and there was a paper sticker stuck in the middle. It was a fabulous place to run!! Unfortunately I live an hour in the opposite direction so it made the race that much more disappointing.

  10. Piper

    Do you know how hard it is to find races that aren’t on Saturday? Well, here’s this race 4 hrs south of me near Atlanta…on a Sunday. But what an odd race website. Is it for real, or….
    Google the race company, find this blog. Can’t believe there aren’t more hits about Deborah Montgomery Racing. She sounds entrepreneurial, but she also sounds like she should invest more for her customers. Thanks for the comments.
    Guess I’ll drive 4 hours north instead of to Atlanta.

  11. jessica

    Hi! So i realize this is a old post, but thanks for writing it. I was looking at doing one of her half marathons in a few weeks, and based off her website I was kind of turned off to it. I appreciate your review!!

  12. Sheena

    Thank you!! I was going to run the Mother’s Day half marathon. Heck yeah I want bells and whistles!! Not doing this race!!

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