I too just completed my first half marathon. And I too share the feeling of accomplishment that you all express. What a great feeling it was to cross the finish line. I congratulate everyone that achieved this goal. It seems that everyone has an inspiring story.
I used to think that running was just for competitive elite athelets. But I have come to realize that running is for everyone, all ages and all abilities. But runners (and yes you are all considered to be "runners" now) aren't typical everyday people, they are fitt, happy peolpe enjoying life. Just look around before or after a race. You're right running is adictive! Now to beging training for my first marathon.
The ING Philly PDR was by far and away the best Half course of the 7 I have run since Mar 2007 (07, 08 Shamrock, 07, 08 Va Beach RNR, 07, 08 Dismal Swamp Stomp and 07 OBX Half). I live in Va Beach so the trip to Philly wasn't a big deal.
The layout was perfect - I felt like a tourist for the first three miles running through Center City around Independence Hall and the Art Museum. The next 10 miles were along the Schuylkill River in the sun dappled shade of giant old Sycamore trees. I felt like a tourist on a running tour of Philly. The whole atmosphere was perfect big city. There were homeless guys trying to sneak in and snatch bagels and bananas in the pre-race. Some old grizzled guy was standing on the side of Walnut Street trying to bum a cigarette from the runners as we went by - I guess he thought that with such a large group of people (~16,000), someone had to have a butt. It was hilarious.
My only knock on the race is more of a whine - I paid $22 to park in a public garage about 1/2 mile away - I thought the race organizers could have given us a break on parking (like a $10 flat fee or something).
The after race party was outstanding. And you can't go to Philly without getting a cheesesteak. I grew up in Wilmington, DE (about 20 miles southwest) and planned on getting a steak afterwards. Pat's and Geno's get all the press but trust me, Jim's steaks on 400 South Street (16 blocks east and about 10 blocks south of the race start) is head and shoulders above Pat's and Geno's. When I got there the line was out the door every third person in line had their orange race bib and finisher's medal on. Everyone was high fiving each other and yelling something along the lines of "Yo, gimme a steak, wiz, wit" or "Steak, provolone, witout" For those in the crowd who don't speak Philadelphian - that is Philly speak for: "Good afternoon, I would like a steak sandwich with cheddar whiz and fried onions please" or "Good afternoon, may I have a steak sandwich with provolone cheese and no fried onions"
All in all a great race, I'm already signed up for next year. The weather was much, much better than the Va Beach Rock and Roll - I ran 35 minutes faster at Philly (2:05 and change) and missed a PR by about 2 minutes. It was around 54-58 degrees at the start and got up to about 78 around noon.
Next up for me is the OBX Half in November and my first Full Marathon at the 2009 Shamrock in Va Beach in March.
Don't even think about it - just sign up for the ING Philly run next year. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Train hard, run well and have fun.
Congrats on running your first 1/2 marathon!! that is an awesome accomplishment and I'm glad you felt those endorphins kick in and expirence the runners high!
I ran my first one at age 14 took many years away from that distance and have jumped back into running that distance again and love it! I do run marathons but much prefer the 1/2 distance. keep up the good work! keep running and working on PR's! as you train for your next event start working in some interval training if you don't know what I mean check back with me. i love to do a track workout once a week and then long runs on weekends.
I will start posting some stuff on the www.teammgd64.com website about training and running and if your in the Twin Cities maybe you can join a group run I try to put together and meet some new people to run with? I really encourage getting into a training group and can make the training runs a lot more fun!
congrats again and keep up the good work!
Glad you enjoyed the Va Beach Rock and Roll Half. I don't know if you live in or near Va Beach but if you are close there is a great Half coming up in November. The OBX Half down in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Great course and a real challenging finish - the Roanoke Channel Bridge starts going up from Mile 9.5-10.25 and really tests what you have inside your head. This year's race is 9 November.
And if you are so inclined, they have a full marathon - that's next year for me.
Train hard, run well, have fun.
WillDogg, I am running my frist 1/2 in December and have been following Hal Higdon's plan and it is working very well. I would recommend visiting his website:
My first will be the Mistletoe on 12/6 in Winston-Salem if anyone is interested.
I ran my first half marathon this past weekend. I had no idea what to expect. The beginning of the race was so chaotic and frustrating with so many differnt abilities all starting in one clump. Everyone took off at an obsurd pace. I decided to keep my cool and not outrun myself at the start. I come from zero running background so I was really worried that I would not be able to keep up a solid pace for 13.1 miles. I ran into some stomach cramps around mile 8 but was able to push through them to get back on pace. I finished faster than I thought i would comming across the line in 1:22:13. I ended up getting 3rd in my age group! I'm super excited to start doing more miles and try and take off 4-5 min by my next race in Jan!
Nice job everyone!!! I ran my first half in september, it was amazing! I ran it in 1:40:34. Can't wait for next year!