Race #10 of 2013
Salt Lake City Half Marathon
Salt Lake City Half Marathon
This pacing opportunity happened because I met Jonathon, the head of the Utah Race Pacers, back in January of this year and ran his New Year's Half Marathon. It was also around this time that he became a member of Runner's Anonymous Facebook group page and from there we became friends and started a little challenge to see who could run the most miles in January. I beat him of course. I am way too competitive when somebody throws a challenge out to me. Then February came along and I was still eager and ready to go with the challenge again but he backed down. I however was enjoying the high mileage and decided to keep at it. So from there he decided that maybe I could handle a little pacing opportunity and offered this position to me. I was nervous, yet excited. It would be for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon, no small venue that's for sure.
Adidas was one of the sponsors for this race and so they provided each of us with a free pair of shoes and a pacing shirt to wear while running on race day. The shoes were awesome to run in, but I can't say I'm converted yet. I am a pretty solid Saucony girl.
Before race day Jonathon held a meeting at his home where we were fitted and picked our shoes out from the Adidas rep. He also taught a few of us newbies how to pace. It was just so fun to be in a room with so many other runners who already knew what they were doing. I was thoroughly enjoying the conversations being all about running. We had a second meeting a couple weeks later where we then received our shoes, so we could start running in them and breaking them in before race day.
One of our responsibilities before actually pacing was to man the Utah Race Pacer booth at the expo the day before. We just basically talked to people about what we were there for and answered any questions they may have had. My friend Angie manned the booth with me for the last shift of the night. My cousin Cherri and her husband Joe stopped by the booth and took this photo. Joe is a race director and holds about 12 events a year. If you want to get involved in some of his races check him out at onhillevents.com. He puts on some fun races for sure.
Tis' the season of disgusting AM hours for racing and getting to the starting lines or bus pick up areas with time to spare before running. Ughhh......This is definitely my least favorite part about running races and I'm certainly not looking forward to this aspect of it for the next 6 months. Oh well, good thing I love the actual running part so much and just being with so many other people who are running too.
Getting to Salt Lake was easy. We were there by 5:30 Am. We parked at Liberty Park where the finish line would be. We hopped on a shuttle bus which then drove us to the Trax Station. We rode the Trax for a good half hour or longer, which was packed with people. I had to stand the whole way while holding about 7 balloons on dowels. I don't have a clue who these two runners are but you can see my nice bundle of balloons there as I stood to ride in the cramped train. This made for tricky foot work as the train would stop and start. No catastrophes though. Before we reached the end of the ride they stopped the train and allowed the policemen and their bomb sniffing dogs onto the train. It was a nice feeling knowing there were lots of extra precautions being taken for our safety.
Joshua Hansen, my running bud, had a really neat shirt custom made just for him. It says on the front "No More Hurting People. Peace" That was what the little 8 year old boy who died in the Boston bombing said on a poster he had made at school. Such a sad unnecessary death. My heart goes out to this family as the country mourns their loss of this innocent little guy. The names of the other people who lost their lives in this horrific event were printed on the back of Josh's shirt as well. Such a neat tribute to run in their honor.
Running today in the Salt Lake Half Marathon is one small way we proved we will not let cowardly, heartless people prevail.
|Quote by 8 year old Richard Martin|
At the starting line I had one specific gentlemen that said he wanted to run the entire race with me because he was afraid if he ran faster he would burn out before it was over. He also said he hadn't been doing a lot of training so this would be a good pace for him. I told him that was great but that if he ever felt a need to go faster or a got a little surge of energy then he should take advantage of that. Honestly, I was so grateful for him because every time I needed to check my watch it was so much easier to hand him my balloon and then have a free hand to do so. Also around mile 4 I needed to use the restroom and so I handed the balloon off to him and said "Don't run too fast, I'll catch up to you soon." He did a good job continuing on the way and I found him about a mile and a half later. We didn't do a lot of chatting along the way but it was just pleasant having that 'helper' by my side. His name is Jared Knowlton and he really was a great support.
Christy's. She has been talking about running the Salt Lake Half Marathon for quite a few months now. She lives down in Arizona and so I was looking forward to getting to meet her in real life. As I was coming near the finish of the race I saw her mom around mile marker 12 cheering people on. I only recognized her from Christy's blog and said hello to her and that I read her daughter's blog. She probably thought I was wacked out! This is Christy and she's a pretty fast little lady. She was a frozen popsicle just like me. The black garbage bags may have been a nice wardrobe accessory to keep us dry, but they really didn't keep us warm.
OH!!! And the most important part about pacing. How did I do on time? Well, I was supposed to come in at 2:20:00 and according to my watch that's what I did!! The race people clocked me at coming in at 2:19:57, three seconds early. I'LL TAKE IT! Jonathon said we should come in between 0-30 seconds before the time, so I was very happy with that and will be able to pace again. (Jonathon told me if I did good at Salt Lake then he would let me pace Provo City Half Marathon on May 4th) Looks like I will be pacing Provo City next month, and looking very forward to it!!
There were so many things I loved about this whole experience, even though it rained the entire time! Plain and simple, running just makes me happy!