Looking at the elevation chart really doesn't paint the full picture, since the scale of the graph might be misleading. When I looked at this race's elevation chart, it appeared hilly, but I underestimated the extent of the hilliness and how steep the uphills really are.
It was 35 degrees at the start, with clear skies, no wind, so I opted to wear a pair of running capri's, a mid-weight long-sleeve shirt, gloves, cap, and a bandana. This was just right.
|The race route|
The race course started with a decent downhill stretch but soon we were in the hills. Lots of hills. Lots of uphills, each followed by a downhill which meant that I never could find a steady rhythm or run a straight stretch of any length before faced with another uphill challenge. Consequently, I found myself walking a fair portion of this route.
It was a small race, fewer than 2,000 entrants. Whenever I participate in races this small, it almost always means that by the mid-point of the course I am pretty much by myself, with few if any runners in view. There were two or three other gals, though, who were in my near vicinity during the last half of the race. Sometimes we'd leap-frog each other and as I passed one or she passed me, we'd make brief conversation. Much of this conversation revolved around the hills. The hills that seemed to get steeper and steeper the deeper into the race we got.
One last, steep, loooong hill and I was finally back into the downtown area, with just 2 miles left and a cruel, sadistic 2 mile loop that took us AWAY from the finish line area, before bringing us back to the final stretch.
Medal around my neck, I headed back to the hotel, got cleaned up, and got in my car to drive to nearby Chapin SC and Farm Boys BBQ, where I'd be meeting up with some of my MTF motorcycling friends.
We had a great turnout at Farm Boys, maybe 25 or 30 folks showed up, some coming hundreds of miles to join us.
Here's what my 50 States-50 Half Marathons map looks like now:
The Southeast is filling in nicely, and next Sunday I'll be filling in the state of Georgia.