Tuesday, October 16, 2012
2012 Haunted Hustle Half Marathon Race Report
Back in January, I received a free race entry for a Haunted Hustle event. I ran the half marathon in 2010 and the full marathon in 2011. I opted to sign up for the full marathon, knowing that I could easily downgrade to the half marathon if I wanted to. Well, back in February, I also signed up for the Chicago Marathon (before all 45,000 spots sold out in a day or two). I didn't realize that the Haunted Hustle Half Marathon (HERE), which usually fell around Halloween, actually was moved up by a few weeks. It fell on Saturday, October 13 -- less than a week after Chicago Marathon.
I ran a good race in Chicago last week on Sunday. My legs were trashed through Thursday. I coached three nights that week and those 1-2 miles each night were the only miles I ran all week. I wanted to rest up. By Friday, my legs were fine. I toyed with the idea of running the full marathon. I had several friends running the 26.2 mile event. The half and full marathon courses were both changed from previous years, but there were still a lot of hills ... a lot. The forecast for Saturday looked terrible. 60% then to 90% chance of SEVER thunderstorms. I had several folks trying to encourage me to do the full ... it would be epic ... two full marathons in less than one week. I knew that I could run/walk the whole thing and finish in less than 6:00 hours. However, I didn't know if I wanted to be hobbling along, out on the country roads (and hills) in the pouring rain and mile 18. I spoke with a volunteer/coordinator at the expo on Friday and she gave me a pep talk and helped me make my decision to switch to the half. They had me trade in my blue bib for an orange one and I was all set.
I had decided to meet up with the Sweet Julia, who is an RDM reader. We met briefly on the hot Madison Half Marathon course back in May, when she introduced herself. We met up outside of the expo on Friday, along with my less-than-enthusiastic Little Dude, and wandered the small expo aisles. He was a trooper, though and was gifted a new Lego set at Toys R Us on the way home. Julia and I were really thrilled about the pink race shirts and the purple (they had other colors, too) backpacks they were handing out.
When I approached the Bondi Band booth, I saw Christina!! I followed her over to another table, while she was browsing. This was such a treat. Christina was one of the first participants in my Couch to 5K groups. Then, earlier this year she participated in the 10K group and now she was picking up her 13.1 sticker and would be running her first half marathon the next morning. She is a doll, so committed, and is always rocking the Bondi Bands now! We had a little emotional pep talk before I headed out and left the expo. Love that girl.
I set the alarm for 5:50 am on Saturday morning. The full marathon started at 7:30 and the full at 8:00. It was raining lightly outside and it was dark. I opted to let the kids stay home and not put them through a could and wet morning of spectating.
I was going to wear a costume to the race, but opted to save my $40 for another race entry fee or just save it. I didn't want to waste my money on ruining it if there was a downpour. I was a bit disappointed, because I loved running a costume for the full marathon last year. A totally neat experience and the comments and laughs had really kept me going. I opted for all pink and wearing the race shirt.
I drove by myself to Middleton to catch up with all of my peeps before the full marathon started. I parked in the parking ramp at Greenway Station and there was an excited knock on my window. It was Julia! She, her dad and I walked to the Hilton to warm up and use the restroom. I then ran into Missy from high school, who was also running the half marathon. Julia and I snapped a shot before she was off for her 26.2 mile journey.