Sunday, November 20, 2011

White River Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Cotter, AR
Saturday, November 19
Half Marathon #50 (!!!!)
State #42
Weather - Mild, sorta windy towards the end. Not much sun.

The White River Half Marathon was a late addition to our race schedule. We didn't even know that it existed until the other L heard about it from someone she was talking to after our race together in Rhode Island last month. Turns out it was only a 4 hour drive from Tulsa, and since we still needed an Arkansas race...

We opted to fly in early to Tulsa on Friday so we could hit the expo there before driving to Arkansas. Figured that would save us a lot of time/pressure so that we wouldn't have to rush back on Saturday. The expo wasn't too exciting, but we finally splurged on that shirt we had been eyeballing.

They DO exist!
This is what happens when people use a photo booth and cannot follow instructions
If you are looking for an interesting cross country drive, I don't advise the route we drove from Tulsa to Mountain Home. BORING. We stopped halfway there to get a Sbux. FYI, the Sbux in the Barnes & Noble 10 minutes out of the way is NOT a real Sbux, does not honor their promotions and you CANNOT use your Sbux card to pay. Anyway.

We are thinking we still have time to get our packets for the race as long as we can get to Cotter by 7. Unfortunately we hit a bit of snag when a semi broke down on a two lane road and we got to sit there for a half hour. Did you also know that there is no Applebee's anywhere NEAR Mountain Home? :( :( We opted for a pasta bowl from Pizza Hut. I tell you what. $6.50 for a cheesy bowl of pasta with chicken? Great idea. We DID have to wait about a half hour for it, but it was TASTY. We arrived at our hotel somewhere between 8 and 8:30. Exhausted, we were probably in bed by about 9:00.

Early wake up, just after 5:00. The race was starting at 7:00, but they were only handing out packets until 6:15. It was about a 15 minute drive to the school where the race was headquartered. Picking up packets was simple, we had about 45 minutes of hanging around. Obviously used the time for waiting in line for the bathroom. There were quite a few Marathon Maniacs there, so we chatted a bit. Got a chance to meet one that we interact with quite a bit on Facebook, so that was neat. Headed to the start line when there was about 10 minutes to go.

We were pretty excited for this race because 1). It was advertised as "flat and fast 2). There were aid stations every mile and 3). Rick from the Biggest Loser was running!! We didn't see him at the start, but he said he thought he would be running about 10 minute miles (!!!) and that people were welcome to run/talk with him.

The first mile was a VERY steep downhill (seriously steep), and we actually saw Rick a few minutes in. I tried to get a picture but it came out blurry. :(

You mean you can't tell the dark purple shirt in the middle with the white bib is Rick? Really?
We did say hi to him and told him we love the show. He was nice about our craziness. After the first mile, the course levelled out a bit. I felt sorta tired and my legs were a little tight. Got worried a few miles in when they started cramping. Thanks to all the awesome water stations, they loosened up a bit. I had worn gloves and arm sleeves, but once the sun came out, it got pretty warm. I probably tossed my gloves after about 15 minutes and the arm sleeves came off about 10 minutes after that.

The course was not that interesting, and it was not closed to traffic, so a lot of time/energy was spent dodging around trucks hauling ginormous boats. That's probably the only complaint I have about the race... especially with it being an out and back, runners on both sides of the road, at least HALF of the road should have been closed to traffic. I opted not to take any pictures until the turnaround since it WAS an out and back.

Took this right after the turnaround at mile 7
This was supposed to be my Rick redemption picture but someone stepped right in front of him and I didn't realize it when I took it. Awesome shot of L in front of me though
Course #2 picture... the river we ran by. It was pretty dark when the sun wasn't up
I don't remember too much of the course or how I felt. I only know that as flat as the course was, that I should have been able to run faster, but I didn't. We did pass the few rabbits that we picked out, and I ran a faster second half. Race was pretty uneventful until about mile 11 when the wind picked up.

The race finished about a mile from where we started (THANK YOU for not making us run up that huge hill!!!) L had sprinted off to the finish with about a half mile to go, and I bet she finished a full minute ahead of me :D Crossed the line and overheard people saying that they were having trouble with the timing... (as of now, a day and half later, there are still no official results). We got our picture taken - mainly to celebrate our FIFTIETH half marathon, then caught the shuttle back to the start line.

Chute 1 - Determined
Chute 2 - Promise I won't barf
Bib #1177
Official Time - 2:14:55
Division Place - 11/18
Garmin Time - 2:14:48
Garmin Distance - 13.17 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:14
Mile 1 - 9:13
Mile 2 - 10:30
Mile 3 - 11:11
Mile 4 - 10:08
Mile 5 - 10:29
Mile 6 - 10:01
Mile 7 - 10:14
Mile 8 - 10:38
Mile 9 - 10:02
Mile 10 - 10:42
Mile 11 - 10:02
Mile 12 - 10:11
Mile 13 - 9:54
Mile 13.1 - 9:22

Nice medal!
Parched, we stopped to get something to drink, and wouldn't you know that the second place we stopped had souvenirs. REALLY?? We weren't going to have to drive around all afternoon looking for shot glasses and a key chain. AWESOME!! Quick shower at the hotel, and then we managed to find a Chili's (!!!) to eat at. (Quick story... I used to have Chili's every weekend... I absolutely ADORE their big mouth bites. I think that might be part of the "extra baggage" I was carrying a few years ago. I went ONCE in 2010 - Las Vegas airport. Guess this was my one trip of 2011...) Anyway. Had a nice salad, TASTY DELICIOUS AWESOME Big Mouth Bites. Nice satisfying lunch. Then around noon, we started the drive to Tulsa.


  1. glad you were able to fit it in nicely to your schedule. double bonus that it was flat since its day 1 of double header. Nice job!

  2. Congrats on accomplishing another state!

    Mind if I ask you a question? As you know one of my goals for 2012 is to run 12 half marathons, ideally 1/month (if winter weather doesn't interfere). My question is how do you train for your races? I've never run a half or full without 16-18 weeks training plans but can't seem to come up with what will work for 12 in 2012. Any suggestions?


  3. Congrats on your 50th! I used to spend my summers in Mountain Home. Nice place!

  4. Congratulations on number 50! I love the Biggest Loser, so I would have been excited to see Rick.

  5. Fifty - Wow!!

    This course sounds stressful to me, with it still being open for traffic.

    Total score on the souvenirs this time around!


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