It had been raining basically the whole week before the race, so the fields that everyone would park in were a mess. Due to that, the race directors had everyone park a few miles from the race (literally on the side of a dirt country road). Then a school bus would pick you up and take you to the start. Everything went smoothly and I got there just in time. All of the volunteers were absolutely great; they were friendly and helpful.
The bus system worked perfectly. We did not have to wait for a bus. We arrived right at the start. There was lots of things going on. Lots of people but there were plenty of ports-potties too.
The national anthem was sung by some students from the school, and we were off. I was running with the 2:00 pacer. This flat course was my big chance to get a sub-2. The water stops were very frequent, and the volunteers (mostly students at the school) knew what they were doing so all of the runners got through fast. The course was partially new this year. With the new course came new hills. I was feeling kinda blah so they really took a lot out of me. I FINALLY saw my first cow at mile 9 (come on, the race is called Running with the Cows!). I can't remember where I finally gave up the dream of the sub-2 race. I took off too fast and it killed me later in the game. I can not remember much, because I am writing this post 3 months after the race (oops). What I do remember is the fact that the front 2:00 pacer was running a 1:50 race pace instead of 2:00. (The back pacer brought that to my attention). I had run the first 4 ish up there with him! I remember this particularly killer hill at mile 8. It was really bad. I live in a really hilly state (believe it or not the Midwest is NOT flat). It would have been hard during a normal run, but what made it worse was the fact it was later in the race, and I was not feeling my best to begin with. Mile 11 there was a table full of milk and cookies! I had to eat an Oreo! I finished but I would not consider it strong. Final time 2:05:37. My second best time for a half marathon! I was a bit disappointed because I didn't get my sub-2 but this was my third half in 5 weeks. With the completion of this race also came the completion of the Heartland 39.3 series!
This blog post is not over. OMG the food afterwords: ridiculous! There was every single food under the sun. It was AMAZING. I unfortunately don't feel too hungry immediately after the race but I still made sure to grab a sub and a cinnamon roll from Strouds! I also took a picture with an adorable baby cow!!!!
(I say baby cow, but
I know proper term is calf)
I heard a few days later that the leaders in the race were mislead and they ran extra!!! Seriously too funny. Probably wouldn't be if I was a leader.
I also bought this ADORABLE tank for $10. I had such a hard time deciding. There was so many adorable options!
Every year you get something different for completing the 39.3 series. Eventually (not next year) you get a jacket which is really exciting! So next year I'm definitely doing this again and again the year after that. Even if this wasn't a part of the series, I would do it again. I had so much fun and it is run so smoothly!