This was my first year running the Celebration Half Marathon in Celebration, Florida. It's a small, relatively local race just south of Orlando. Since it was held on January 29, 2017, we hoped for cool weather. I was still trying for an under 2 hour half marathon so I decided to stick with the 2 hour pace group. This would be my first pace group experience. I went to Celebration with two of my friends, Christine and Suzanne. At packet pick, they had a very small expo but a fun photo booth.
Race morning was cold and rainy. We were warned about the wooden boardwalks along the course that would inevitably be slippery in the rain. We got to the start corral just as the national anthem was sung and BOOM, the race started. I hesitated starting because my running watch was still searching for the GPS signal but my 2 hour pace group was taking off. I crossed the start line, starting my watch shortly after once it found the satellite. Not a great way to start my race.
The pace group was pretty awesome! It kept me on track when I might have normally slowed down at the end of 13 miles. The multiple (yea like 6!) boardwalks were wet and slippery so we slowed the pace down, having to compensate during other portions of the race.
Towards the end of the race I noticed our pace group would finish very close to 2 hours or slightly over. I mentioned to our pacer I was trying to finish under 2 hours. Another lady with us also wanted under 2. Our pacer was familiar with the course and told us where we needed to take off and finish strong to meet our goals.
|Fellow pace group runner trying for under 2 hour finish|
|Love having my Striders cheering at the end|
|Final turn to the finish|
I did it!! I finally finished a half marathon under 2 hours!!
It was still raining and freezing afterwards so we didn't stay long at the after party. They did have free beer.
Age place: 29/208
Gender place: 137/1184
Overall place: 367/1795
Avg pace: 9:09
Chip time: 1:59:45