Saturday, December 5, 2015

Race Recapping: Wolf Hollow (NH) Half-Marathon

By now you've  figured out that I am a researcher.  I will scour the internet for all sorts of information, prices and locations of the races, how hilly the course it, is it a trail or road course (which I need to look at a little more finer), and before signing up I want to know about the bling. :)  So when I was decided on my New England races, I found a company that offers a variety of different races, from 5ks to Half Marathons in all the New England states plus New York.

3C Race Productions has a website that outlines all of the half marathons they coordinate, so I combed and coordinated with my calendar which ones I wanted to knock out with this company.  An added bonus was the cost--each race runs around$60 in their early registration period.  But they also offer packages, where you can sign up for 3 half marathons for a low cost of $140! You can also sign up for six half marathons, a variety of 5ks, or sign up for ALL the half marathons they coordinate.  I chose to sign up for three, and their Wolf Hollow Half Marathon was the first one on my list.

I am always super nervous the day before the race as to what to wear.  I don't want to be too warm, because then I have to shed clothing and carry it with me for the remainder of the course. (We donated a lot of clothes before our move, so I don't have any "throw away" clothes).  The Weather Channel said the temperature at the start time was going to be 40-degrees with a slight chance of rain.  And according to Runner's World "What to Wear" calculator, I should be wearing short sleeves, shorts, and no coat or gloves for these type of conditions.  Hmmm....short sleeves sounds a little too cold, so I made a final decision of long sleeves, gloves, and shorts. Wow, that was the worst decision I have ever made for race day.  At the starting time it was cold with 36-degrees and what I call "vegetable mist rain".  I even threw on the short sleeve shirt they gave me when I picked up my bib, so two layers on top, but legs were freezing the entire race.  I told hubby my legs finally warmed up 30 minutes into the trip home.  For my next race I think I'll just take my entire wardrobe in case I over or under dress.

I have always lived in either a city or suburb, so running on sidewalks, streets and tracks are my thing.  I ran on a trail ONCE, and hated every. single. minute. It was hell, I felt because I was constantly looking down, making sure that I was not going to trip over a rock or tree root, that the leaves that were slick from the rain were not going to make me lose my footing underneath and pull a groin muscle.  I like lacing up, hitting the sidewalks, and losing myself in my thoughts for the day.  But this was not that kind of race.  I looked at the pictures from last year's race and thought "Oh, that does not look bad".  And after a week of reflection, it really was not all that bad.  But the leaves, the tree roots....I just don't like it! And since this was a looped course, we could not get away from it.  We had to run this trail TWICE!  At least it was running on packed earth and pine needles, instead of gravel.

My overall impression of this race and the company was very favorable.  I thought the race was well organized, staffed with great volunteers and water stations, and it was a great size.  The final numbers showed that 512 people ran the course, and since it was a trail, each person had enough space that they could run and not be on top of other racers if you were at the same point.  Of course,  I finish near the back of the pack so of course most people are gone by then! I figured since it was a low cost race, the medal would be something plastic and cheap but I was wrong!  It was a nice, sturdy medal and at the finish line they had hot soup and clementines.  I do wish they had a little more variety of food but since it was such an inexpensive race I was not going to be too picky.

Next up.....Connecticut!

New Hampshire...DONE!

Crossing the finish line

Nice medal, right??

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