Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Haunted Halloween Half Marathon

This picture pretty much sums up how much fun this race was to me!!
(gotta love the faces of the spectators in the background)
I could stop right there with this race write up but that's so not my style.  I like to share all about my races, the good, bad and ugly.  So here goes with this one.   I signed up for this race as soon as I saw it available on Facebook.  I haven't run a Halloween race yet in my running adventures and I knew I didn't want to run the Provo Halloween Half. (It was big bucks!) So I decided to give this one a try.  I had absolutely zero nervousness issues going on with this race.  I slept like a baby the night before.  My good friend Jody and her hubby decided to run this as well and she was wanting to run this in a more casual and fun state of mind.  I was totally on board with those thoughts since I haven't run a whole lot since my 50K two weeks previously.  We met up at the finish line area and bus loading which was at the state capitol, a pretty cool sight, about 6:30 am.
Jody made her and her hubby's costume.  Pretty talented I must say.  Don't get me near a sewing machine or I just may damage something.  Fingers included.
We got up to the starting line area in Emmigration Canyon with well over an hour until the race started.  Good thing they had music going.  I may have pumped out a few dance moves while waiting around.
It's fun to meet other runners and this gal on the left of me belongs to the RA (runner's anonymous) Facebook group I belong to.  Her name is Stephanie and it was just a delight to meet her.  She ran the half marathon and then afterwards did the 5K as well.  Good job Stephanie!
Angela was there too and I visited her and wished her luck.  She actually got herself a new PR in this race and I was very happy for her.  Angela was my friend I hooked up with at the starting of my 50K two weeks ago.  She is becoming addicted to running races as well.  Nothing wrong with that, I say!
Standing around for an hour waiting for a race to start can get a little boring after you have busted out the dance moves and used the portapotty umpteen times and walked around looking at costumes.  So I climbed a hill and decided to take a few photos.
I had actually never been up Emmigration Canyon other than to the Zoo and to "This is the Place Monument", so this was a treat to see a little more of the great state of Utah up close and personal.

This was the first race I've run where pets were invited to run too.  This little hot dog had a matching owner as well.  I just didn't want to embarrass myself by taking a picture of her. There were actually multiple dogs up there with their owners. 

Yeah, my bib is crooked.  I have a hard time with the whole pinning-on process.
About 8:40 am we did a final pit stop and hucked our drop bags into the bus.  We got to the starting line about 5 minutes before starting time and then we were off.  Once again my whole mentality was to just run slow and have fun.   That was sort of supposed to be the thoughts of our group too, however Jody, despite her aches and pains and moans and groans was having a good day and I just couldn't keep up with her.  About mile 3 I was in the dust and left to run this race alone, which was fine.  Every race is going to be run differently and each person has to run their own race according to how they are feeling.  I just wasn't ready or willing for a hard push today.

Aid Station #1 had candy, and let me tell you I am a big fan of candy.  I took three lemon heads and a mini box of nerds.  You could say I sounded like maracas as I ran for the next couple miles.

I tried to hurry and eat them in case I was irritating other runners around me.  It did make for a fun, shakin', rockin' beat as I ran.

Aid Station #2 meant it was time for a little trick or treating.  One of the sponsors of the race had these cupcakes loaded with ample frosting.  I had to do a trick and I got the treat.  So delicious and chocolatey! All I had to do was put on an animal mask and make the sound of the animal.  Pretty easy trick for such a delicious treat!
After a large climb up the East side of Salt Lake somewhere around mile 6 or 7 we got to run by a graveyard which was pretty fitting for the occasion.  If I was a little kid I would have held my breath as I was running by.  That would have been pretty challenging today since I was huffing and puffing after a rough climb.  
Likewise around mile 9 we got to run by another graveyard up on the hillside of Salt Lake.
Awesome views of the valley and beautiful weather to accompany this great run!
The last aid station before the final descent down, down, down to Memory Grove Park had yummy Hostess donettes.  Three different flavors to indulge on.  I went for the brown powdered sugar ones.
The rest of the aid stations were not very exciting.  In fact quite the opposite.  There were some problems getting water and cups delivered and so there were many people angry when they couldn't get a cup of water.  I don't blame them. I was fortunate enough to have my water belt so I was fine.  The little bit of water they did have was in big plastic containers which the volunteers would pour into your mouth if you wanted some.  Pretty unsanitary if you ask me.
With one final turn to make and exactly one mile left to run we entered a very beautiful wooded area that was completely decked out with Halloween decorations.  Some of them pretty freaky!  I am NOT a fan of spiders and these were a little too big for my liking.
As I came upon this scene I was really freaked out for a moment!  I really thought somebody had fallen and was really hurt.
Yeah that was a little too real looking for my liking as well. I'm not a fan of gorey stuff.  I tend to like the more cute side of Halloween K?
At mile 13 we got to run through a black underpass.  I let out a big scream as I ran through.
Pretty cute, creative mile markers all along the course.  Somebody went to a lot of work making these.  Jody and Doran finished the race about 10 minutes before me and so they came back to find me with less than a quarter mile left for me to go.
I got to the finish line  with a final time of 2:26:22 and was able to do a little jump over the finish line. I then headed over to get after-race treats.  Once again NO WATER OR CUPS!  Yikes!  I was needing some at this point.  I found Dominoes pizza, more cupcake samples, and eventually water did show up, along with bananas, and popsicles, but that was a bit of a let down to have to wait around for liquids.  I'm sure that's an issue they will correct for next year's race.  Regardless, I had a blast running this half marathon and I will definitely run it again.  With not feeling a "need for speed" today and just enjoying the cool weather, sights, food and surroundings, including stopping multiple times to take photos, I was pretty pleased with my final time. 
We headed back to the car and said our good-byes.  We each had quite a drive to get back home.
The medals are pretty swell too!  Although I don't do anything with my medals, except toss them in the cupboard of my bed, I like a nice beefy one and this one produced just that. Someday I'll figure out what to do with them all.


Gina Horkey said...

I just may have to take you up on that race date someday:-) I'm hoping to make a "career" of these potentially. I really had a great experience and hope to at least do #2 sometime down the road.

How cute is your costume! Looks like you had a blast. So excited that you found such passion in running:-)

Kathee said...

That looks like so much fun and close to home!! I'll have to put it on my calendar for next year!

wendy said...

Seriously, what a fun run that would be. There would be fun things to see and "entertain" you along your route.
I love the Salt Lake Valley , it really is lovely.
The costumes are Great.
The medal...I liked that too !!!

Heatherlyn said...

You do such a good job describing your races! I love it! The pictures are great, too!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your race recaps! This one looks so fun- I'll have to do it next year. I don't love the Provo Halloween Half- this one looks much better :). Terrible about the water, though. Hopefully they correct that next year.

Jerilee E. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerilee E. said...

I love reading your race recaps! I do not love the Provo Halloween Half, so I'll have to do this one next year- I love running in costume :).
No water is not a good situation for a half marathon, though. Hopefully they get that all figured out.

Josh said...

I'm sold! I'm doing this next year. Looks like a much better course than the Utah Half I ran the week before.

Plus, I want those cupcakes!

Brenda said...

What fun! All that entertainment along the way would make those 13.1 miles go by quickly.

Jenny Lynn said...

Now this is a really fun time to run, costumes, tricks and treats along the way. Sounds like you had a blast! Great costume by the way!

Solana Leigh said...

Wow! I did a Hallow's Eve Half last weekend on trails, and our race was nowhere near as cool!! I actually love the dead body on the road, and the tunnel, and cupcakes!! YUM!!

In other news, I’ve been nominated for Liebster Award and wanted to pay it forward by nominating your blog for one too!

The Rules:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you. <—-on my blog http://www.solanaleigh.com/?p=1850
3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs.