This past Sunday I ran in the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon & 4 Miler. The race started in Downtown Middletown on Main Street, and it was the perfect day for a race. The sun was shining and there was a breeze. With just over 1,500 runners, there was a good crowd but it wasn’t too packed. I ran in the 4-mile race, which ran along the same course of the half marathon for the first 3 miles before they split off.
I didn’t check the course map and elevation before the start of the race, which turned out to be a good thing because the first mile and a half were almost all uphill! I’m not sure I would have been as excited for the race if I had known that. But it was a great course that ran through Wesleyan’s campus and the neighborhoods. It started and ended on Main Street, and I found great course support throughout. People in the neighborhoods came out, handed out tissues and cheered on the runners. There was also live music which is always fun!
Something else that I noticed during this race was an extra level of support runner to runner. Every time someone had stopped to tie their shoes or stretch, other runners yelled out to them to make sure they were OK. It happens during races, but there seemed to be extra efforts made during this race, which I thought was great.
And something else that doesn’t happen much during races, I made a friend! I’m not terribly social during races – I find it difficult to run, breathe and talk at the same time. But by Mile 3 another runner and I had been running near each other for almost the whole race, so I started chatting with her. I found out that her sister had signed her up for the half marathon, but she decided to downgrade to the 4-miler because she didn’t feel ready for the half. We ran together for the last mile and chatted, and it was great! Made that last mile fly by.
After the race I hung out at the finish line and cheered on other runners, and saw the first finishers of the half come in. I’m always amazed that someone can run 13.1 miles in the same time it takes me to run 6-7. Amazing. All in all, a great race that I’d totally do again!