Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two Cities 1/2 Marathon Review

The 10 year tradition of the Two Cities Full/Half and Ultra Marathon was this past weekend; Next year the race will be on November 4th, 2012. This race always draws a pretty large crowd of competitive runners. This is my second year participating in the race and I loved every minute of it.

Friday and Saturday was the race expo downtown at Chukchansi Ballpark.

The expo was held on the concourse, entering on one side and exiting on the other. Most expos tend to be very crowded with runners anxious to get their bibs, and any last minute gadgets and goos before the race. It was well organized but cold.

Let me start off by saying, this year I was not nearly as prepared for the race.  My training was down due to a demanding amount of school and work. Not to mention I signed up on Wednesday, 4 days before the race. I ran into a friend who knew someone that injured her knee a few weeks prior so I gladly paid a discount for her bib.

The Course
The course wasn't bad until the last 6 miles where there was a steady incline to the finish. Throughout the race there were plenty of water/gatorade stations. I was surprised, at mile 5 there was a fruit stand handing out fresh cut fruit! There were a lot more spectators lining the streets this year. It always helps to have a crowd cheering you on!

The half marathon was an out and back. The full and ultra traveled through Clovis. *Hint* Two Cities.

The weather was perfect. This was one of my main concerns not knowing if it was going to rain or not. I lucked out! Usually I sweat when it snows, so I try and tough it out in cold races by wearing shorts and a tank. There was no way that was gonna happen for this race. I survived in a long sleeve with running pants.

Mile 5 1/2
Mile 10
My brother (Marshall) and sister-in-law (Courtney) dominated this race, finishing under 2 hours!
Friends, Gary & Nicole did an awesome job running too! This is Nicole's second year with Two Cities!
Mile 12. Almost finished!
The finish line was interesting... kind of a bummer if you ask me. Spectators stand behind barricades and cheer you on for the last mile but can no longer see you once you pass the finish line. The food was provided by Pardini's Catering and it totally hit the spot. After grabbing my food, medal and hideous sweatshirt I jetted out.

Heather for the day!
The medal this year was almost identical to last years, besides the ribbon. 

Overall, it was a great race. I know I would have regretted it if I didn't run. My knees and shins killed during the last three miles but I finished strong in 2:11:49. It is really nice having a local race within 3 miles from my house. I didn't have to worry about traffic or parking. I will definitely run it again.

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