Thursday, April 28, 2016

Naperville Women's Half Marathon

Yesterday ran in the inaugural Naperville Women's Half.  A few months back when they opened registration, they did a blitz and started entries at $1.  Somehow I was one of the lucky ones and snagged the registration for $1 with a $3.25 processing fee!

Was happy for race morning packet pickup.  Naperville is close to 30 miles away from my house and I had no interest going out there during potential traffic times and/or sucking up my Saturday.  So, trekked out there with plenty of time. Parking was easy peasy and had plenty of time to meet up with Jen and gear check. Tons of cops and dogs manning the start area and kept the place secure. 

Course was very residential which I thought would translate to no one on the course but that was far from the truth.  The community really came out and supported the runners which was awesome! Lots of roads were closed but the cops were manning all intersections.. felt very safe!  Families, sherpas and just local residents cheered on the runners.   It really was awesome.   Favorite was a couple sitting in lawn chairs ringing a liberty bell within the first two miles (i.e. 7:30 am on a Sunday!).  That is dedication and hopefully their neighbors are still talking to them!

The course had its fair amount of inclines and descents that I wasn't expecting and added to my difficulty getting into a groove.. In fact, I am not really sure if i ever really got into a groove the entire time. Plugged away and told myself no walking till mile 7.. then I can assess how I feel and how i will finish last 10k-ish.  Started getting a blister by mile 8 and started thinking about getting home and showered for church by mile 9.  Plugged along for the last miles.  The weather was starting to get hotter and I wished I would have taken off my jacket but every time i thought I would do this, a stiff breeze came through and I kept it on.  I think I got a bit overheated but i prefer to be on the warm side when i run so I manged.

At mile 11 there were these random signs that said 11.1,11.2,11.3.  I don't know why they were there as they only lasted for a half mile but they were annoying esp b/c they didn't continue.  As soon as I accepted I would be seeing the 1/10 miles slowly ticking along and worked them into my walk/run pace, they disappeared.. i am not sure who put them there but i didn't need them!  Finish was at the football stadium and you hit mile 13 with about a half of lap to go.  I am pretty sure that was the longest .1 I have run but very happy to see the finish line and chased down 2 girls on the track. Finished right in my happy time (2:30 +/- 3 minutes)

The post race area was ideal for runners and spectators.  Perfect weather and good post race food helped too!  Grabbed a soda, some grapes and granola bars and then plopped down on the field.  Jen and I hung out for a bit and then made our way back up the hill to gear check.  Overall, really happy with the race esp for the first year.  It was well thought out and the course (even though I was leary at first), was perfect thanks to the people of Naperville!  Women's races are fun as they give out a different vibe and focus on celebration of health and completion more than competition.  Will be back if they hold the race again! 



Read my Chicago Athlete write up
http://www.mychicagoathlete.com/naperville-womens-half-marathon/

3 comments:

  1. Congrats on the "happy time" finish. $1? Awesome price!

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  2. Fun! I love the pictures! And awesome that you got one of the $1 entry fees!

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