I’m not sure why I chose the Rutgers Unite race, but I figured it was as good as any race to run. After a little over four months of training I finally stood at the start line of my first half marathon, but not as prepared as I had expected. The morning started out like an episode of The Twilight Zone. I didn’t have a ride to the start, I hadn’t eaten an actual breakfast and finally, I realized I still had my pants on after I left my stuff with bag check.
As I made it to bag check I heard the one minute warning. Three seconds before the actual start I was trying to push myself up towards my corral all while pinning my bib to my pants and then realizing they would eventually annoy me. Just as the race started I got my pants off, tossed them (they are now at some donation site in New Jersey), and began in the 10:00min pace corral while re-pinning my bib and Gu Chomps. To add to this I forgot to apply Bodyglide to my thighs, which I regretted after Mile 4, and I had to run with cellphone to access my music. Could anything else go wrong? Maybe. Around Mile 8 I scored a Banana Hammer Gel, but held out for almost a mile before I downed. At Mile 9 it began to drizzle. Thankfully the case on my phone kept it from getting wet, but my new headphones were going in and out. The race ended well, minus the fact that there is a decent incline before you make it across the finish line.
There were definitely more hills and inclines than I was told. When I asked at the expo they reiterated that the course was indeed flat. A few friends agreed with my assessment so I knew I wasn’t crazy. My overall goal was anywhere between 1:45-1:59 and I’m glad I stayed within that range. My official time was 1:54:06.5 and while it may not get me into the Boston Marathon, I’m proud of that being my time on my first half marathon. Would I run another half or try a full, I can’t say one way or another, but I respect anyone that does! I think I’ll do a few 10k events before I consider another half.