Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Salem Half Marathon Race Report 2016

On Saturday I ran the inaugural Salem Half Marathon.  They also had a kids' race (1 mile) and the boys came along to do their first race.

I arrived in plenty of time to pick up my packets as well as the boys' (I knew exactly what to expect and where to go because I'd had helpful email communication about the race in the days leading up to it).  This process went very smoothly - no lines; all three races (there was also an 8K) were divided and organized.  They had plenty of safety pins for numbers, and all racers received a nice race t-shirt (the half marathon shirts were long-sleeved technical shirts, the boys got long sleeved cotton shirts). 

I don't wear a watch when I run, but it seemed as though the race started right on time.  They had a huge firetruck parked at the top of the hill with a large American flag hanging down for the American Anthem.  The first mile was a little crowded but things thinned out quickly.  The first hill started at mile 1, and there were hills all through the race.  Even the last mile had a doozy of a hill!  Definitely a rolling course that you would want to hill train to run.

This race was so well-organized.  They had tons of volunteers, water stations, and from mile 5 on portajohns.  They also gave out Gu gels around mile 9.  Every mile was marked (very helpful for me since I do not wear a Garmin) and there were also time clocks at a couple of spots throughout the race.  The race goes through all the high points of Salem - it passes the duck pond, the golf course, the downtown area (it starts and finishes at the Farmer's Market), the Civic Center, neighborhoods full of historic homes, and Roanoke College.  Of course around every curve you get scenic views of the Blue Ridge mountains.  Also interesting is that you will experience a variety of terrain - while the majority of it is on pavement - at times you will run on dirt, grass, and brick pavers. 

I am training for a long distance, slow race next month, so I wanted to be cautious not to injure myself during this race.  I had just done a 26 mile training run on the Sunday before my race, and was concerned about some foot pain I was having afterwards.  As a result, I treated the race as a tempo training run and pushed myself, but did not race all out.  I tried to make sure I kept some healthy distance between myself and the people who tend to be around my speed. 

You can tell as I crossed the finish line that I enjoyed the race and ran with some conservation (most of the time at the finish line I look like I'm dying).  My mom caught this picture with her cell phone (she managed to watch the boys race and then keep them entertained while I ran).

The finisher's area was great - they had Chick Fil A sandwiches, fruit, Gatorade, and water.  There was a band called Uptown (which my boys loved) as well as massage and stretching and granola bars.  My time of 2:02 was good enough to earn third in my age group, so in addition to the very nice finisher's medal that everyone receives, I also got a trophy. 

This was a great race!  I loved the course and had a wonderful overall experience.  Would I run it again?  Absolutely.

Disclaimer:  I received free entry into the Salem Half Marathon for review purposes.  The opinions above are all my own. 


18 comments:

Tom said...

A family that runs together stays together!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Great job! You look good in the pic, like you could keep on running. I'm glad the boys enjoyed themselves too.

What kind of music do you listen to as you run?

Out on the prairie said...

An enjoyable day for everyone, congratulations

Crystal Collier said...

I just sit back in awe of anyone who can run these things. My baby ruined my hip, and I have exercise-induced asthma. Never been able to run for long without aspirating, even when in peek condition.

Sally said...

You continue to be my heroine, Lisa. Absolutely amazing what you can do. As proud of you as if you were my daughter!

Glad the boys enjoyed it too. :)

xoxo

Mildred said...

Good for you and the boys! The route you describe sounds lovely. The organizers are to be commended as everything was coordinated so smoothly. Congrats on your trophy!

Ginny Hartzler said...

You continue to amaze me! I have trouble even getting around anymore, despite losing 100 pounds. So runs like this are so far removed from what I know now. What you do is like a miracle to me. Congratulations!! Job so well done! Did your foot hurt any? I was so interested in the workings of the race, and what is provided! I had wondered about potty provisions. How did the boys do? Did they like it? I imagine they had a much shorter course. Your course sounds wonderful with different environments to pass through and plenty of good things to see. LOVE the picture of the boys!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Your amazing Lisa!
I cannot even imagine doing one mile! How many miles was this one that you did in 2 hours?
love
tweedles

Small Kucing said...

Bravo!Lisa. Well done! 21km... that's pretty long distance. Going to aim for FM next year?

Terra Heck said...

Congrats on placing 3rd! And congrats to your boys too, on their first race.
My teen son races several 5K runs and is very active in Cross Country and Track. I don't run unless I'm being chased, so I'm not sure where he got it from. I've been there when he's participated in several 5Ks and it is nice when the set-up is organized. Sounds like you had a good race.

Vera said...

Wow! I am so impressed with your energy! Lovely photo of your boys, who will grow up as enthused with the outdoor life as you are!

Cat said...

This event was superbly organized. I appreciated the heavy police presence and had no qualms letting two seven year olds and a nine year old out of my sight to run their one miler. The one negative experience was when the boys were excited to go to the bouncy house, only to discover it was the medical tent. ☺️ Next time, I will definitely take a lawn chair so I can have a place to sit. Overall, the organizers did a super job! Thanks for letting me be the Kid Wrangler. Hope we get to do it next year.

Linda said...

Wow! Congratulations on winning a trophy!

A Quiet Corner said...

Nice for not trying your best, baby Girl...congrats! The boys are all so big and handsome too!!...:)JP

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are just amazing! I applaud you for working so hard at something you enjoy and something I could never attempt. Congrats to the boys too!!!

indah nuria Savitri said...

I really wanted to join the marathon..I don't know whether I will be strong enough for that or not, tho' :)

alissa apel said...

That's great that the boys could participate as well. Go you!!!

Sharon Wagner said...

🐥 fil-a and a trophy. What a great day!