Monday, June 3, 2013

North Shore Half Marathon Race Review

As I was driving down to the 6:50 a.m. start of the half I was reassured by both the weather app on my phone and the radio commentator that thought it would be cloudy and cool there would be none of that rain like we had the day before. Fantastic. Thirty minutes later when dark storm clouds rolled in and it began to rain pretty hard while U2's "Beautiful Day" was blaring at the start I had to chuckle. What a bunch of liars. It rained all 13 miles sometimes hard, sometimes just misting but it was a wet and soggy race. But I will take that any day over hot.


This race runs through Highland Park. It is a large loop course with rolling hills most of the way with a few larger ones thrown in. The course is very pretty running through neighborhoods of giant homes, past the grounds of the Ravinia concert venue area and the start and finish are in the middle of the downtown shopping area.

North Shore Half Marathon
Packet pick-up must be done the days before the race in the Chicago or Deerfield areas so keep that in mind if registering. This race is organized into corrals and their is an elite field which is cool. I was in corral D. The 5K took off twenty minutes before the half start at 6:50 and the corrals were staggered by three minutes. I think this really helped the course not seem crowded but even with that I was never running alone and there was some weaving involved.


I did not know what to expect from myself at this race. I have not been running very much since the Chicagoland Spring Marathon and the day before this race was on my feet a lot touring Milwaukee with family. When I woke up I was tired and could feel my legs were tired. And the most tragic thing of all- I had the wrong headphones for my Ipod so it wouldn't work. Ahhh the horror...... Once the race started I decided I wanted to push the pace and keep all miles in the nines and try to ignore the no tunes situation. (I would say ten minute miles are my easy, comfortable pace). The hills on the course were challenging because where I live is flat but they never felt too hard except for the one big around  mile 8 that was a bit of a doozy.

1 8:33
2 8:34
3 8:44
4 8:53
5 9:13
6 9:13
7 9:23
8 9:55
9 9:13
10 9:49
11 9:14
12 9:40
13 9:27
14 8:32
Official Finish: 2:01:01
By the end of the race my arms were starting to get a bit numb as being wet for that long and the slight breeze was making me a bit chilly. I tried to finish strong and had family at the finish so that was super exciting. Overall I was super pumped with this time, my second fastest half. But then of course you start thinking maybe if I had pushed it through the water stops a little harder or up those last two hills a little harder maybe a sub 2 could of happened. Or if I had some music during those miles that seemed tough- stupid headphones.

Overall I really liked this race. I thought it was well organized and the course was really nice though a bit more challenging than some.

The swag was not bad. The shirt is nice. At the finish you got a lunch box filled with goodies. Packet pickup came in an orange drawstring bag and the medal is a nice design with a nice ribbon.

The other great thing about this race is that there are timing mats at the 5k and 10k and 15k locations around the course. My 5k and 10k times were PRs for those distances.

5K 26:44
10K: 55:01
Overall a great race and a great day!
One more half to reach my 30 half marathons before 30 goal. 
Bring on the Red, White and Boom!

6 comments:

  1. Maybe you should forget your headphones every day! Looks like that was a good strategy! Great work out there! For some reason I can run a trail race all day without headphones, but five minutes on a road race feels impossible without them.

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  2. Oh boy, I can't imagine running a half without music :S And in the rain on top of that! Great job, it is so cool that you only have more race to go before you reach 30.

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  3. Great job with the time, especially considering the conditions! Maybe its time to lure you to the no music side of the running house! Stay healthy and stay strong!

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  4. They have been SO wrong about the weather all week, LOL! I was surprised it rained on course. Perfect conditions, though, for a race! :)

    Congrats on such a powerful race! It's so fun to have family there watching you! Did they see you anywhere else on course? :)

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  5. Although I'm not a fan of running in pouring rain, when I had to do it in April for Country Music 1/2 marathon, I realized how it does motivate you to finish faster ;)

    Sorry you didn't have music, I don't know what I would do if that happened to me.Good job on a great time :)

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