Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Love Run Half Marathon: Race Report

I'm a creature of habit.  Once I find races that I like, I tend to do them year after year. Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k.  Wissahickon Trail Classic.  Philly Marathon.  Rock 'n' Roll Philly Half Marathon.  These races and I go back years.

A few years ago, a new Half Marathon debuted in Philly called the Love Run, and I've been wanting to try it ever since.  Because I was planning to drop down in distance for my long run that day anyway, and because I'm not doing the ODDyssey Half Marathon this year, and in an effort to try something brand new, I signed up.

It ended up being a great decision.  It was a very well-run and fun event, and I could definitely see myself doing it again in the future.

Like a lot of Philly races, this one started at the art museum, so I took the train across the bridge into Philly on Sunday morning, then walked out to the museum with several hundred other people.  I'm part of a large running group on Facebook called Run856, and they had a tent set up where people could drop their bags, so I didn't have to worry about official gear check.

The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy for the morning of the race; luckily we only had to worry about the cold as the rain held off.  I ran in just a long sleeve shirt and wool hat which worked out perfectly.

I started in the first corral and set off at what I guessed was about a 7:30 pace (I didn't wear a watch for this race).  The first few miles wound through Center City before returning to the art museum and bearing left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.  I was feeling pretty good throughout, even during the climb up to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and short detour around the other side of the Schuylkill River.  As I fell into the homestretch in the last few miles along the river, I started picking up the pace.  I finished the last tenth of a mile in a dead sprint, which made for a nice picture:

Side note: I love it when races offer free professional pictures.

My time wasn't too bad either.  I've been running long this winter in preparation for Boston, of course, but haven't approached anywhere near the intensity that I would like.  Going into this race, I told myself I would be happy with anything under 1:40, so the fact that I beat that and managed to finish the last few miles with a solid kick is a win in my book.

I had a full set of clothes to change into, thankfully, considering how cold it was.  I hung out waiting for others to finish, and then got talked into redeeming my free beer in the beer garden.  Because you're not living until you're drinking beer (Yards, natch) at 9:30am outside in 45 degree weather after running 13.1 miles.

I then went to a nearby bar to get out of the cold and meet a guy from Who's Up? for another drink, followed by walking back to the train to return to New Jersey.

If you're looking for a good half marathon in the Philly area, I definitely recommend this one. There was a great turnout for such a new race, the course was beginner friendly with just one challenging hill in the back half, the participant perks are solid, and there were no major snafus of any kind.  Race management was solid all around.

Dare I say it?  I just might love this race.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...