Hey guys! Do you have time for a quick race update? This was the third time I've run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Colonial Fredericksburg. It was the best ever! If it wasn't clear before how much I love half marathons, I think it will be after this report. With everything else going on in the world these days, I felt extra grateful for this blessing today.
The event kicked off last night with, of course, some carbo loading at a restaurant just south of Fredericksburg.
It was called "Angela's Italian Restaurant" and I was served by Angela herself. Olive Garden, eat your heart out! Then it was off to the convention center to pick up my race packet and bib.
To say that excitement was in the air would be a major understatement. Most of us were soooo ready to be back to "quasi-normal" when it came to our race schedules that it isn't even funny. I was up bright and early this morning to get in a warmup before the race.
The temps were not nearly as bad as I thought they would be, but the humidity was off the charts. I knew then and there it would be a long day. After a while, everyone began to descend upon the starting line.
I can't give you an exact figure, but there were literally hundreds and hundreds of runners in today's race. Once in place, it was "hurry up and wait."
Time always seems to drag when you are ancy to get moving! Despite the humidity we all started out faster than I think was very wise.
It wasn't long before we were dripping wet from head to toe.
I slowed my pace to accommodate the weather, and before long I had fallen into a relaxed and rhythmic pace along with a couple dozen other runners who were going about as fast as I was.
This was my view after 6 miles.
We were still running strong though we were really feeling the humidity. Not to worry -- the Marines to the rescue just in the nick of time!
Before long we were running through Fredericksburg proper.
The oldest surviving structure in Fredericksburg dates to 1737. It was fun running through the city's 40-block National Historic District. If only we could have stepped into one of its shops and cooled off a bit!
Here's what's called the "Blue Mile."
It commemorates service men and women who were killed in action. At this point you're probably losing more water in tears than in sweat. The "Blue Mile" ensures that America's military heroes are honored and remembered. Amen!
Next, you ask? Yessiree, the dreaded Hospital Hill. This is where it starts.
I ended up racing this guy to the top. (He won.)
After that, there were only a couple more miles to the finish. These two Marines jumped in and paced me to the end.
You guys were AWESOME! THANK YOU!
After you cross the finish line, you're met with a bunch of (SEMPER) High (FI)ves!
Thank you for being out here!
At this point there was only one thing left to do. Never did a sirloin taste better.
Overall, I had a great race and a reminder that:
- You can't control the weather but you can control your pace.
- Not every race has to be a PR.
- Bad things like Covid happen but they don't last.
- Starting out too fast is way too easy.
- The Marines are awesome.
I can't thank the Lord enough for making all of this possible.