Cellcom Half Marathon Race Recap

I believe that this was half marathon number 17.  It certainly wasn’t the fastest race I’ve ever run, but I had a great time.

Jess and I stayed at a local hotel the night before and got to the race right around 7:00, just in time to see the marathoners take off.  The half marathon started at 8:00.  It was a very warm day.  I left my arm warmers in the car and instantly regretted forgetting the sunscreen.

We had plenty of time to stand in the long port-a-potty lines and take a few selfies before we had to line up in our corrals.  I had never before noticed how beautiful the landscaping is at Lambeau.  I guess I’ve never had any reason to be at a football stadium in May.  The tulips were gorgeous!

The half marathon started right at 8:00 and there were a few minutes between each wave.  As with any large race, the first few miles were quite crowded.  Somewhere in the first half mile, there was a baby bunny that was trying to cross the road.  I have a sad suspicion that the poor thing was trampled to death.  Sad smile

There wasn’t a lot of shade on the course and I warmed up really quickly.  The water stations were really crowded throughout the race.  I was really thankful for the sprinklers that people had set out for us to run through.  Any chance to cool off was really appreciated.  The crowd support was pretty good for this race.  There were a lot of people on their lawns and along certain intersections of the race.

The marathon and half marathon ran completely different routes, so I don’t know what the marathon course was like.  The half marathon had a slow, steady incline around mile 7 that I was prepared for.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the sharp, steep cliff hill that we had to climb during mile 10.  It wasn’t long, but it was brutal.  I think the people who lived there must have felt badly for the runners, because they had an ‘unofficial’ beer rest stop for us.  I abstained.  I don’t think a  small cup of beer at that point in the race would have been a good thing for me.

Around mile 8, the clouds started rolling in and the wind picked up.  The wind was gusty at times and the clouds helped to cool us down a little bit.  It was a welcome reprieve. 

One of the big draws of this race is getting to run through Lambeau Field.  Both the full and half marathon take a loop around the field before finishing in the parking lot.  There were quite a few people in Lambeau to cheer us all on.  One disadvantage for spectators is that if you go into Lambeau to watch your runner, there is almost no chance that you will be able to get out in time to see them finish. 

 

As a runner, the only downside is that your GPS watch is going to go a little crazy as you run through the tunnel into and out of the stadium.  All the concrete blocks the signal.  I remember looking down at my watch at one point and it said that I was running a 3:40 pace! 

After finishing, in 2:12:29, I got my medal and a bottle of water and waited for Jessica to finish.  I was expecting her to run about a 2:30, but she started three corrals after me and I can’t do math in my head after about mile 10. 

After waiting for a while, I started to get cold and had to fight my way back toward the finish line to grab a mylar blanket.

If you look at the graph you can see the one sharp valley where I had to walk through a water station because of the crowds.  And you can see the sharp peak at the end where the tunnel blocked my GPS signal.  (Or, I turned into an Olympian for a short time.)

Once Jess finished, we walked toward the refreshment tents.  Our race bib included two tickets for beers and a ticket for a brat.  We both skipped the brat, but went for the beer. 

I wish I could remember what beers we had.  The one in my right hand wasn’t very good and I threw it out.  The one in my left hand was pretty good and I drank about a quarter of it.  That is all my stomach can handle at 11:00 in the morning after running a half marathon.

Overall, I felt ok running this race.  It was amazing to get out there and be among “my people.”  My pace wasn’t great and I have had to adjust my thinking to accept running a half marathon a full 20 minutes slower than my PR.  But, at least I get to run.  My breathing felt great and I never felt like I was going to run out of steam.  But my legs were heavy and I had a dull ache just below my tailbone.  It wasn’t so bad that it slowed me down, but I was aware of it throughout the whole race.

My splits weren’t anything to write home about.  I was relatively consistent.

Mile 1 9:58

Mile 2 10:06

Mile 3 10:09

Mile 4 10:01

Mile 5 9:55

Mile 6 10:09

Mile 7 10:09

Mile 8 10:16

Mile 9 10:02

Mile 10 10:21 (shocking considering the cliff-I felt much slower)

Mile 11 10:11

Mile 12 10:07

Mile 13 9:44

Mile .16  1:26

I am really glad I did this race.  It was one that had been on my list for quite a while.  Since I am going to be racing much less often going forward than I used to be, I am going to be more choosy when picking races. 

The pros:

*Interesting medal.  If you run it every year from 2015-2017, the medal will make a complete circle with several Green Bay area attractions highlighted.

*The shirt.  Love the color.  Nice fabric.  (the photo does not accurately represent the color.  It is actually a dark burgundy.)

 

*The weather.  I would much rather be warm, than cold.

*The crowd support.  And the sprinklers.

 

The cons:

*Crowded water stations.  The weather was quite warm and I think they could have added more water stations.

*My allergies.  I really feel like people who live along the race course just shouldn’t be allowed to mow their lawns on race morning.  Please.

*Post race food.  Not great food.  The line was really long.  They had cut orange wedges, chocolate chip cookies and cut bananas.  I had to go back for the chocolate milk because they temporarily ran out. 

*Race photos.  I couldn’t find a photo of me in Lambeau.  Not a huge deal, just a bummer.  It seemed that the rest of the race photographers weren’t in great locations.

Overall grade:  B+

Well organized race in a great town.  I would recommend it.

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2 thoughts on “Cellcom Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Pingback: Reflections and Resolutions | (G)O'Donnell

  2. Pingback: May Month in Review | (G)O'Donnell

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