David declared he was “one and done” at the finish line. I however have other plans for him, as in working with me so we can both hit a great PR when the weather cools down this winter. I’m pretty sure he’ll be excited about attempting this as well because who doesn’t want to cross the finish line with a shiny new PR while holding the hand of the one they love?!
David finished his first ever half marathon in the crazy heat after weeks of being on the road in 1:47! I bow down to his aweseomeness and truly could not be more proud. He followed the training advice I provided, he had the determination and he handles the heat like no bodies business…I’m wondering if he has sweat glands?!
I had a good race and finished in 1:52.
Pre-race and post-race…notice I look like I have been swimming and he is fresh as a daisy!
7th place age group for me, 23rd female overall and 8th place age group for David…can you tell the heat was killing everyone? 1500 participants.
The expo as expected for a first year race was small. They did however have some great shirts which sold like hotcakes, so kudos to them on the designs! Additionally there were 5 speakers on Saturday, including myself, who took the stage for roughly 30 minutes to cover different topics like hitting the wall, nutrition and having your best race.
Great volunteers at the Expo helping everyone with packets and questions. Don’t worry about not speaking Spanish, that is not an issue for this race. They do a great job of announcing everything in both English and Spanish. They had one hiccup with running out of pins for bibs, but brought some to the start line so that was resolved!
START: 5:00 AM start time for the race accounts for it starting to get light out by mile 3. Unfortunately the first couple of miles had a number of areas where there were no street lights. I would recommend bringing a head lamp, though I think this is something they will likely resolve for next year.
They had Gatorade pre-fuel available, porta-potties and restrooms inside the Casino next to the convention center. I was able to go to the bathroom twice with no issues waiting in line. Impressive.
COURSE: After the dark patches the course was overall pretty good. Here are the highlights:
- Rolling hills (none are huge)
- Views of the water for last 4 miles (as shown below)
- Great course support with water, ice chips, Gatorade
- Porta-potties at each water stop << WHAT?! best I have ever seen at a race!!
- GU provided twice for full and once for half
FINISH LINE: There was plenty of everything when we finished, but when Laura came buzzing in at the end of the full marathon there weren’t many spectators left at the finish and a lot of the food was gone. However with a finishing temperature around 90degrees, not much beyond a drink was going to hold much interest for most finishers.
- Called out each finishers name
- Finish line photographer
- Post-race ice bath pools
- Bagels, bananas, donuts, Gatorade bottles, Starbucks Refreshers, Pepsi
- Post-race massage tables
- Not much shade which prevents hanging out for very long
- Excellent air conditioned medical tent (took a look as Laura got her scrapes cleaned up)
I really like the finisher’s shirt, but they only went down to a small so I probably won’t wear it a ton. The medal is also great! I’m not usually a huge bling seeker, but if you are the Puerto Rico Marathon needs to be on your list!
OVERALL: Puerto Rico is surprisingly cheap to get to and the hotels are really reasonable making this a great destination race. The downside is obviously the heat, so come prepared to enjoy the race rather than hit a PR in PR…ha! I am so clever sometimes.
I trained with David to easily hit a 1:47, we both were secretly hoping for 1:45. Unfortunately I knew it wasn’t my day from mile 1 because my breathing was simply too hard for the beginning of a race. However, I dialed in to around an 8:15 based on our original plan and held that with David through about mile 7.
Suddenly I could tell he had a crazy energy spurt and was ready to push himself. He started to pull away and I made sure he knew that was ok with me, while in the back of my mind I was freaking out that he might crash and burn later. He did find that suddenly at mile 10 he had to slow it back down quite a bit because well he had 3 more miles to go. A 1:45 should be no problem for him next time.
After he pulled away, I started to evaluate how I was feeling and decided that since it would not be PR day I was going to slowly back down the pace and go for plan B. I moved off of the 8:15 pace to 8:45 until mile 10, where I knocked it further back to 9:30. This allowed me to get in a solid run with miles at pace and then recover so that I can work for my PR in June.
Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the stress of the move, maybe it was because my digestion is still out of whack. Who knows why it wasn’t my day, but it wasn’t. I was ok with it because I know what I did in training and thus will do.
I am grateful for a body that allows me to push and an ego that is growing enough to be ok with not always having my best day ever.