Sunday, May 18, 2008

How FAR did you GO?

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Fargo Half Marathon Race Report

Friday I headed over to the Fargodome to pick up my race packet, check out the expo, and take in a bit from the motivational speakers. This was the biggest race I was going to be participating in and I wanted to take it all in. Sarah Reinertsen was one of the motivational speakers and she did an awesome job. A couple things she said that will always stick with me:
  1. "A DNF is a whole lot better than a DNS."
  2. "Two ways to stay motivated:
    1. Register for the event, and
    2. Tell everyone you know about the event you are going to do."
After a good dinner at Olive Garden with a few friends, I headed home to get things ready for the morning. I had the worst migraine and was asleep by 9pm.

Saturday morning I was up early and ready to go. The marathoners and half marathoners were to start at 8am, with the 5kers shortly behind at 8:15. They suggested everyone to be at the Fargodome around 7am as the traffic was going to be horrible. Horrible it was. There were thousands and thousands of people at the dome. I took the time to take it all in ... the people, the atmosphere....

Before long, I was checking my bag and finding my way to the starting line. I found the 5 hour pace group and squeezed myself into the group, towards the back. A guy with an amazing voice sang O Canada and then our National Anthem. The temperature was approximately 50 with a slight breeze. The sun was shining and I couldn't wait to start. The wheelchair racers took off first and shortly after we were moving. The Mayor of Fargo and Senator Kent Conrad were there to wish us luck and send us on our way ... along with the music of U2 blaring ... "A Beautiful Day." A beautiful morning it was.

Mile 1 - 4: I found a great group of ladies to pace myself with. I ran the entire first 4 miles without stopping .. but at a very slow pace. The crowds were amazing. The first 2 miles was through the residential area of North Fargo. So many people, yelling, shouting, encouraging. Even Subway Jared was on the sideline cheering us on! Into mile three we were starting to head into downtown Fargo and ran down Broadway and onto historic 8th Street. There were people playing music in their yards, music from their stereos, music from an old man's keyboard, music from their own band... We passed what I believe to be a retirement home and there were a handful of older people line dancing ... for entertainment.

Mile 5-8: I was still feeling pretty good. I was taking a few more walk breaks than I did in the first 4 miles. The crowds were still impressive. People were cheering, kids were screaming and begging to give high fives! The volunteers were awesome. At about mile six, we were warned that the marathoners were coming through. Cyclists, followed by a couple cop cars were leading the two that were in the lead for the marathon. I am guessing that they were at about the 15 mile marker. Head to head, a white guy and a Kenyan. There were only two Kenyan's participating in this race, and supposedly the other Kenyan was participating in the half marathon and finished in 1:04 something. Amazing. It was so cool to see them pass by! By mile 7 my groin muscles were getting a bit sore and the feeling of blisters on my feet were becoming apparent. At about mile 8 there was a GU station, which was perfect for me because when I checked my bag, I forgot to take out my sports beans. I know they say you should never try something new the day of a race, but I needed it ... and it wasn't bad! We crossed a bridge over into Moorhead and headed back up north, crossing another bridge back into Fargo. The second bridge had a handful of Norwegians dressed in their attire and dancing to their music. There was even an older lady handing out lefse pieces to the racers ... mmm sugar and butter rolled into a tortilla made from potatoes... I wanted one so bad but didn't want to stop.

Miles 9-10: The feet were starting to hurt more. I was afraid the blisters that had formed were getting worse and possibly bleeding. But, I persevered... maybe with more walking, but I kept going.

Miles 11 - 13.1: These two miles took us through north Fargo, once again. I was hurting. I was doing a lot of walking. A lot of walking; more walking then running. If I wouldn't have been dealing with the excruciating pain from the blisters, I probably could have ran more. At this point, the ND wind was starting to pick up. The crowds were still out and cheering and letting everyone know how much they had left. I remember turning that last corner and then heading into the Fargodome parking lot... rounding yet another couple corners and before I knew it, we were heading down into the the dome ... the finish line was inside the dome with thousands and thousands of spectators cheering everyone on ... we were pictured up on all four jumbotrons. Despite the pain in my feet and the soreness in my legs, I kicked it up a couple gears and finished strong.

That, my friends, was my goal.

Post-race: After running across the finish line, I realized I forgot to throw my arms up and smile. I was in such a zone, I couldn't even remember my finish time. A handful of volunteers were handing out water bottles and then the finisher medals. Congrats they all said. I picked up my bag and grabbed a banana. They served bananas, orange slices, nutter butter bars, ice cream sandwiches, etc. It was great. I wanted to stay and cheer on some more racers, but I was afraid that if I sat, I wouldn't be able to get up. I headed home and attempted to take an ice bath, pop a couple ibuprofens and ate a nice lunch before taking a good nap.

I want to give a huge thanks to the race director, all the volunteers, and all the spectators along the race. Without the wonderful work of all these people, the race wouldn't have been the exciting race it was. I also want to thank all of you readers, family, friends, for supporting me through my training ... the ups and downs... positives and negatives ... especially the challenges and frustrations of minor glitches...

Overall Results:
Half Marathon - 2008
May 17th, 2008 - Fargo, ND

Stacy S.
bib number: 8030
age: 27
gender: F
location: Fargo, ND
overall place: 3416 out of 3690
division place: 423 out of 449
gender place: 1907 out of 2145
time: 2:59:02
pace: 13:40
gun time : 3:05:10

Once I get the pics via email... I will try to post some ... hoping that they are decent!

If anyone is looking for a great Boston Qualifier race that is mostly flat, good temperatures, and a great atmosphere ... this would be it! This race has been in existance since 2005, increasing in participants from approximately 2,000 then, to 13,000 today. Last year they only had 9,000. I can only imagine what next year will be like.

Heck I might even do it again. I do have a PR to break now, ya know! I can't believe I just admitted that.....

37 comments:

Neese said...

I've been waiting for this report after I saw you did it! You're awesome girl, glad it was a good experience. Congratulations, I hope your blisters and all heal well, rest and be proud :)

Kevin said...

Great job on the race. It sounds like a great course to run, especially with all the folks cheering you on. I love the comment about the PR, sounds like youll be ready to run another one in no time

Liz said...

Great job!!! You give me hope for mine coming up in a month! Want to come out to HI and run it with me? :) I am very nervous...

Get some rest!!!

robtherunner said...

Congratulations! It sounds like a race worth traveling for.

Sherry said...

Hurray!!!! I am so happy for you AND so proud of you! :o) Terrific race report too! It made me want to register for a 1/2 marry!

Congratulations, Stacy!!!!

Stef said...

Great report and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Found you through Kevin's blog. Sounds like a wonderful race!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Awesome! Way to get it done.

After my first half marathon I wondered why on earth anyone would ever do more than one (I was hurting a lot), but now I think it's my favorite event. LOL.

You do have a PR to beat. Now the only question left is when. ;)

J~Mom said...

Awesome!!! YAY!!! Congrats! Great report and I am so happy you did it!!

Marcy said...

ALRIGHT CHICA!!! WHOOOO HOOOOO!! Awesome job!! You KNOW you'll do another one, now don't you? LOL

akshaye said...

Awesome! Great job.. you rocked the race! Cant wait to see your pics. "e. I was in such a zone, I couldn't even remember my finish time.." - Thats what its all about :)

Ms. Math said...

Congratulations on completing your first half! How exciting! :)

vermeulenblog said...

Thank you for the race report!! Great job, and rest up...you'll be back at it soon!

Gotta Run said...

Nice race. I just came acroos your blog. Looks like you have some nice races lined up for the year.

Cheers! Keep moving forward!

audgepodge said...

Congrats on completing your first half marathon! I think that's my favorite race distance. Good luck in your future races!

Danielle said...

Congrats on the race. I've considered it. I would've done it last year in fact...but the thing that worries me is the wind. Maybe some year though.

teacherwoman said...

For the record ... there really was no wind (a slight breeze) ... the wind only really came about 2 1/2 hours into it! :)

Non-Runner Nancy said...

OMG almost identical to my first half. We both have a PR to break!! NICE GOING, SISTA!!

Badgergirl said...

Congrats on finishing your first half!

IronGambit said...

Bam! There it is! :)

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Heyyy!
Congrats on the race report! You did fantastic!
You do realize you have bragging rights, and you can wear your medal everywhere, right?
Congrats! Rest up (atleast for a little while, you don't need to take the whole week off like me)

:D

Lily on the Road said...

Oh, I'm so excited for you!! Well done!!!

Great report too, it was nice to read that they sang both anthems...nice touch.

Hope your blisters are healing and that you'll consider doing another half maybe in the fall.....you ROCKED!!

Steve Stenzel said...

YEAH for finishing strong! Nice job!! Way to go!!!

L*I*S*A said...

You have a lot to be proud of! Way to keep it strong and finish with that kick at the end. Something tells me you'll definitely be back for a new PR!

ShirleyPerly said...

And I thought this was a small race! It's obviously grown a lot since I heard about it a couple years back. Congrats on your achievement. I'll be there next year!

jahowie said...

Great job!!! Congrats!! You should be very proud of yourself.

Makita said...

Congratulations on your 1st half mary! Great report, too! Blisters nearly did me in during my first marathon. Lefse! Yummy! Too bad you didn't get a little carb load there.

I dag skal vi gå på jogge.

Wes said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful... We are all so proud. I know how long you have been dreaming of this, and now, you are a half marathoner!! Congrats Stacy!!

Runner Leana said...

Congrats on you half marathon - that's awesome! Yuck on the blisters though - I hate those. Why is it that you never have major blister issues during training but all of a sudden during the race they tend to materialize?

P.O.M. said...

Can't wait to see pics!
Good job lady :)

Jess said...

Congrats! You ran a great race!

hepsmom said...

Wow! Excellent work! I don't even aspire to half-marathon. Congratulations! I can't believe how energized I was after my 1st 5K. Hope you rest up and use the energy to finish out your year. Go YOU!

Mendy said...

Yeah!! You did FANTASTIC!!! congrats on a great race! Can't wait to see the pictures.

Finally glad I was able to get caught up on your blog. I've been MIA for a while, with school stuff. Have a great week!

Anne said...

Congratulations. Glad the Gu worked, despite it being new to you. That's an amazing jump in attendence. Go Fargo.

Brianna said...

Wow! I love that your goal was to finish strong. Congrats on making it happen!

MissAllycat said...

I ran this race, too! After the race, I heard that Subway Jared was on the course. I missed him!!

Great job!!!

Bolder said...

great race, great report.

well.done.

BeachRunner411 said...

Congratulations on a great job!!! I am looking forward to running my first race soon.