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.
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.
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!
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.
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.