Saturday Drew and I ran the Peoria Half Marathon (there was a full marathon and 5K option as well). Rob stayed home to watch Chase since it was too cold early in the morning to come out and spectate. I was up at 4:30 and out the door just before 5:30am to head to Peoria, IL.
I’m terrible at navigating Peoria. For some reason I can never figure the way the roads are laid out and I get turned around. Luckily Drew was able to navigate me to the parking lot once I was over there. We got our stuff together and walked 5 blocks to the start area. Logistically this was an easy race to navigate, especially since was so close to our where we live. I barely looked at the course map and just trusted we would be directed where we would need to get to, which the course seemed well marked. It would be a good race for people to spectate because the course passed through downtown Peoria area a couple of times. This was the second year for this event, so it’s still on the smaller side for attendance. There was no corral system, but wasn’t necessary. There were pacers for only the full marathon, but they were still a good gauge for half marathoners for approximately 9 miles.
The race started on time at 7:00am and we were off. The first mile was basically a straight shot out with just a turn to the right as we came to the first mile marker. I found it interesting that my Garmin went off early and then no matter how I cut the tangents I was hitting the mile markers early on my watch. I never expect to be spot on, that’s unrealistic, but was just curious how it would end up.
I had good energy for this run and was feeling well the whole time. A big improvement from my last half marathon. Peoria is notoriously hilly, but this course did a good job of keeping the hills to a minimum. Drew passed me on the big hill at mile 7. I then caught back up to him about mile 8.5 and we chatted. I moved ahead feeling great thinking I could pick up the pace. By mile 10 my un-trained body reminded me that I’m not ready to go faster. My left IT band tightened up and I had to slow my pace to complete the race. Drew passed me and I told him I would be okay and that I would see him at the finish. Drew came in at 2:00:18 and I finished 2:02:07. Bonus – I didn’t fall down or walk the race at all, that’s progress! :)
Regarding my Garmin being off, I came across at 13.3 miles and so did Drew and others. 13.3 on the nose. I’m used to being off + or – .05ish, but .2 is quite a bit and it’s interesting that others were showing the same thing. It would be disappointing if the course was long (or short), especially if you were running the full marathon. Hard to say what happened there.
A couple items that I didn’t care for at the race were the water cups were plastic, which are very hard to manage when running to get a drink. A paper cup allows you to pinch the cup into a spout to drink will running. Trying to do this with the plastic cups resulted in the cup fully splitting and then not getting any water. Also, the finish only had oranges and bananas. There were no pretzels, bread, or any type of carbs. Not having more than an orange made me feel sick. I would have been in trouble if I were running a full marathon and fruit was the only post race recovery fuel. Finally, there didn’t appear to be much medical staff at the start/finish or throughout the course. That can be a very dangerous situation, so I hope that it is improved in coming years.
The finisher’s medal.