Monday, October 31, 2011

Spinx Runfest Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Greenville, SC
Saturday, October 29
Half Marathon #48
State #40
Weather - CHILLY at the start, wet ground from TONS of rain night before

South Carolina is my nemesis. I was supposed to have run there way back in February. I had plans on doing a double race with Disney Princess. Then the race director arbitrarily changed the date of the race to a week later. I found out only because I clicked on the link on my blog and it was a dead link. After googling, I found the new information, emailed the race director who told me “the race is still happening, it’s just a week later” and refused to refund me. I had to dispute with my credit card company to get my money back. So you can imagine that when we planned another double weekend, involving the Spinx Run Town half marathon in Greenville, SC, I was a bit apprehensive.

Once again, we had ELABORATE travel plans. The cheapest flight we could get sort of in the middle was into Nashville. Which meant we had to leave early because it was roughly a five hour drive to Greenville. The flight was early enough that L was not going to have time to come home first after work, so I drove myself to the airport and waited for her at the gate. The flight to Nashville was uneventful and I got ALL my homework done that I brought with me. Score. Hit the Sbux in the airport and marveled at the live band. Fancy! For the fist time in ages, we didn’t have to take a shuttle to get a rental car, we were able to just walk and get our car and go. Easy.

We drove for just a few minutes and had lunch at Hardee’s. Burger and fries. Tasty. L needed to rest, so I did the rest of the drive in. It rained the ENTIRE TIME. Like typhoon crazy rain. I really hate driving in the rain. It is hard to see, and it was making me really tired. After a few hours I had to pull over because I was concerned I was starting to fall asleep. So weird, I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before. I put some gas in the car and got a soda, and it seemed to do the trick. About an hour outside Greenville, we started looking for an Applebee’s to eat at. No worries, we found one pretty close by. As always, food was good.

We arrived at our hotel in Greenville around 9:00, and we were exhausted. We were both in bed by probably 9:45.

EARLY wake up… get ready, and head out. We were only about 5.5 miles from the start of the race, but due to the road closures we were having a hard time getting there. We finally found a car that seemed to know where they were going, and managed to get some free parking about a half mile from the start line. Even though we didn’t have our bibs yet ,we figured we wouldn’t have time to get back to the car, so we took everything with us. Glad I had my huge throwaway sweatshirt. It was cold!! But at least it wasn’t still raining, and at least the gale force winds had died down overnight.

Arrive at Fluor Field, and find packet pick up relatively easy. And then, like usual, there is nothing to do but wander around and go to the bathroom a billion times. Since we were at a baseball field, there was plenty of indoor bathrooms – complete with running water! Hurrah! We did bag drop only because we had just gotten our race shirts with the bibs, and then headed to the start line. Did I mention I was freezing?? I was dreading getting rid of my sweatshirt, and I had forgotten gloves. I swear it was an omen that I saw a pair of orange/white striped stretchy gloves lying neatly on the ground. L says I hit a new low because I picked them up and put them on. I don’t care.

Start line
Self portraits somehow keep getting worse. And worse.

Not sure if there was a “go” or a gun going off. People just started surging forward. We weren’t even entirely sure where the start line was because there was no timing mats. The course was described as having “rolling hills” with a “few steep inclines.” Well. At least I was sort of prepared for it. My legs were feeling pretty decent, and I didn’t have calf pain again, yay!! It was cold and I was SO happy that I had picked up those gloves. The first mile or two was in the city, but then we started running through a really nice area, Cleveland Park. With the changing leaves it was one of the more pretty sections of a race I have ever run, even WITH all the hills. The first aid station was about 3 miles out. And I needed it. Bad. From then they were spaced a bit better and I don’t think we ever went more than 2 miles without one.

I don’t remember too much of the course, but it was hilly, and there seemed to be more ups than downs. I started feeling like I would need to use the bathroom again, and luckily there were some potties right around the halfway point. We had to wait a few minutes, but totally worth it. We stayed in the park area until maybe mile 7.5, then we ran a bit in a residential neighborhood. About mile 10 was when we entered the city again, and FINALLY the sun came out and it got a bit warm. I think that was the point I finally tucked the gloves in my race belt.

Maybe around mile 3?

Mile 3?
Mile 4?
Mile 5?

Not sure why almost ALL my pictures were totally blurry. They usually come out way better. I had a lot more that were even worse than these. Bummer :(

We ran through the section where we had started, and I knew we had about a half mile to go. Like usual, I had NOTHING left at the end, and like usual, L pulled off a major sprint and beat me by almost 20 seconds. I don’t know how she does it.  Food at the end was pretty awesome . They had cups of grapes, pineapple, apples, and sandwiches. Picking up our bag was easy too, no wait!

Bib # 2257
Official Time - 2:16:07
Official Pace - 10:23
Overall Place - 858/1266
Garmin Time - 2:16:10
Garmin Distance - 13.04 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:26
Mile 1 - 9:47
Mile 2 - 9:42
Mile 3 - 9:34
Mile 4 - 10:10
Mile 5 - 10:52
Mile 6 - 10:12
Mile 7 - 12:28 (bathroom)
Mile 8 - 10:04
Mile 9 - 10:53
Mile 10 - 11:24
Mile 11 - 10:14
Mile 12 - 10:30
Mile 13 - 10:06
Mile 13.1 - 9:09

The medal was really nice! And FYI, the 5Kers got a medal just like ours only with a different colored ribbon. That’s pretty awesome too! I think this was a great race, and South Carolina redeemed itself to me. Not an easy course by any means, but the aid stations were well stocked, good volunteers, potties on the course, and of course the scenery on the course was amazing too. Plus, it’s always cool to finish on a field.

Can you see my awesome free gloves???

We headed back to the car. Getting back to the hotel was easy too. Shower, pack, then we are on our way. The drive to race #2? Even longer, 6 hours or so away.

First order of business – finding souvenirs. We are striking out again. Like usual. Heading back to the highway, we drive past a Dunkin Donuts, and in the  process of turning around, we see a small pizza place called “Frodo’s” that had a lunch buffet. You don’t have to tell me twice… Right when we get there a little league team arrives so it was LOUD and chaotic. But. We got a salad buffet, some pizza, and a drink for $8. Can’t beat that. Weird thing was the owner/manager asking if he could take our picture and put it on his Facebook page... Uh. OK. Headed back and got a coffee. I just love their pumpkin latte lite! So tasty!! I really REALLY wish they would come to Denver. Sorry, Sbux, their coffee tastes better and it isn’t as expensive…

We have to stop a total of TEN places before we finally find our souvenirs. At Wal-Mart of all places. Then we can FINALLY start the actually drive to Louisville, KY, where we would be racing the inaugural Big Hit half marathon.


  1. i busted out laughing when L told you that you hit a new low. Love the colors that turned out in the photos! No idea you flew into Nashville!

    Can't wait to hear what you thought of Louisville, I hope you loved it as much as I do. Really really really wish I could have joined but I needed to actually get stuff done around the house

  2. I would not be above picking up gloves. I am not a fan of being cold, ever.

    That course looks freaking beautiful.

  3. Wow lady. Just read your about me page. You are an inspiration. It has not been easy clearly but you are doing it. You give me hope. Thank you. And thank you for visiting my page and sending well wishes :)

  4. Great race! I can't wait to read about your Louisville race!

  5. That is so funny about the gloves! You gotta do what you gotta do!

    The ribbon on that medal looks really nice!

  6. Maybe I would pick up gloves off the ground...maybe. I'd have to be really really cold. Lol!

    You should start a travel business focused on runners & racing. You have got it down to a science!


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