2016 Chilly Half. Not so “chilly”. It was a beautiful, sunny, plus 1, with little wind–a runner’s perfect temperature! And with that, many PB’s.
This was my second time running the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington, last year being my first ever half. I have come a long way! My pre race breakfast of oatmeal and pancakes was still sitting well. The atmosphere as usual was wonderful: Mr Chilly Pepper cheering the mounds of over 2700 runners, awesome prizes, recovery food post race (fruit, juice, Muscle Mlk and chocolate), awesome shirts (and jackets for the 5km runners), amazing medals (as always) and post race Stagg chilli and beer.
Who could have asked for better weather conditions. As we sing the anthem and (im)patiently wait for the countdown to start, I can’t help but wonder if this will be a successful run, personally. I double check my laces on my New Balance racers (a tough call to wear an almost retired pair, versus my new 1500v3’s). I didn’t want to drag down my running partner/team Running Free peer (and pacer for the first half of the run). As we slowly dodged our way through the mounds of people as the horn blew to start, I couldn’t help but look at all the wonderful buildings, waterfront view, and excited runners. I was feeling good and Cait told me a few times in the first 5-8km’s to slow down my “speedy” tendencies. The crowd was just so amazing you couldn’t help but run and be excited! I loved having the turn around and being able to see all the elite runners and my friends and cheer them all on.
So, I ran along, admiring the beautiful waterfront the whole way. I was surprised to have caught up to a few other friends, then bid them farewell, as I kept at my consistent pace.
As we neared 14km, I left Cait to allow her to use the “ladies room” and then felt the pressure. I had to maintain my pace alone now, in order for me to PB. The route was quite flat (just little bumps, but overall elevation only read 1m). I knew the last 7km would be okay, I still felt amazing and was on the second turn around stretch and had some peers cheer me on!
I had my handheld filled with Honey Maxx and drank every 20-30 minutes. I had had a few Stinger chews before the race, but I tend not to use fuel during a half. I still felt awesome–I’m not sure if it was a combination of gorgeous, sunny weather, seeing other runners and keeping a consistent pace from the start.
The end was near, I knew I would do it. I made my final right turn towards the finish, with the crowds cheering on and the announcer calling me across the finish. I had PB’d the clock read 1:39:05….my chip 1:38:42!!
That was my goal and with the help of a great friend, Cait, weather and amazing training from my coach Ed, I was pumped to have achieved this personal best time! Now off to achieving a Boston Qualifier.
Overall, a little biased due to my personal best, it was a wonderful event and day. Many PB’d and the atmosphere and crowds helped! Great food, post race food freebies, shirt and medal are enticing too!
Will I attend again next year? Absolutely!