As part of my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, my plan had me running 8 miles this past Saturday. There was also a race in Greensboro and I thought, no better way to spend my miles than at my first Greensboro Race!
My friend Tyna, from Winston-Salem came over to run it with me as she is also training for the MCM.
We started the morning off at 7:15am with a 2 mile run before the race so we could get all 8 miles in for the day.
I’ve never split up a long run during training like this, but since it’s early on and a special event, I thought it’d be worth it. The weather was perfect during the warm-up and we had a pretty easy route around downtown Greensboro. We finished within 20 minutes of the race starting.
After our 2 miles we met up with another runner friend of ours, Erin. We had some confusion before the race as to where we were meeting, but we found each other in plenty of time before the start.
I will say that since this is one of the smallest races I’d participated in over the past 2+ years, the starting line was a little confusing. Runners were corralled behind the starting line in no particular order so if we weren’t paying attention we would have ended up pretty close to the front. We started somewhere towards the middle of the pack though and we were comfortable there.
Up until the week of the race I had been planning on taking it easy and just running for the fun of it. Once race week came I (of course) started to flirt with the idea to run for time. With the heat and humidity that crept up as the morning wore on though, I knew at the starting line I wasn’t going to be racing. It’s too early on in marathon training to go all out and risk injury, especially after my first week just wrapping up. The race was supposed to count as my long run anyway, so I was fine going at a comfortable pace.
The course was beautiful and I got to see areas of Greensboro that I didn’t even know existed. Course Map
It was a hilly one! It was pretty much half shaded and half in the sun and thankfully some generous homeowners along the course set up sprinklers for runners to run through.
There were lots of water stations along the way, some of which I drank and some of which I poured down my back. The volunteers were amazing, calling out times at each mile marker, cheering and using noise makers for support, along with manning the water stations along the entire course.
The run went well despite the hot and humid conditions, but I was a little bummed that I couldn’t run for time. There is no way I could have run at my usual 10k training pace that morning. I went into the race a little hungry and under-hydrated, too. The last 0.2 miles though, the course flattened out and I picked up speed towards the finish line. I finished strong with a time of 54:38, an average of 8:49 min/mile (official results from the race website). I placed 10th out of my age group…but I have no idea how many runners were in my age group. hah
After we were across the finish line we waited for Erin to cross and dug into the post-race snacks; bananas, oranges, bagels, bread, Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, Gatorade and water. I had half a banana, some orange slices, a quarter of a bagel, and washed it down with some Gatorade + water. It was a good spread!
The best part was the misting tents they had set up!
Not quite like that but it gives you an idea. We stood under those a bit after we finished refueling then went to see our posted results. Can I put one of these on my “training plan wish list” for use after my long runs? No? No takers? Meh, there’s always Christmas.
I would definitely consider doing this race again. It was so nice to wake up in my own bed on race day and in combination with the packet pick-up, crowd/volunteer support, entertainment/announcers, post-race spread, and fast turn around on post race results, it was a great first Greensboro race experience.
Did you race this weekend? Are you racing on the 4th?