I have the day off today, and more than enough time to recap this event, but I don’t think it’s all soaked in quite yet. With that said, a full recap will follow soon. I did want to post today with some of the amazing high points, and some of the sad news as well. This will probably appear to be a bit scattered, as my thoughts are still are over the place when it comes to the day, please stay with me. 😉
The weather- a help or a hindrance? Temps at the start of 60 degrees. A breeze. A clear, sunny and beautiful day lay ahead as we toed the line at 7am. Temperatures maxed out at 80 degrees yesterday later in the afternoon, so the longer you were on the course, the tougher the weather was to deal with. Spring is here, and the pollen count (a pure cloud) hampered many, but I took a Claritin before the race, and did just fine.
Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Race – They did an amazing job! Amazingly organized and planned for a first time event. Yes, there can be improvements, as with any race, but for a first time event, it was so well coordinated.
The course – Not sure there are enough descriptive words to do this course justice, but I will try. Both city and countryside views, this course had it all. Many points of interest including the Raleigh Convention Center, both Nash and Moore Squares, Shaw University, Chavis Park, Historic Oakwood Cemetery, William Peace University, Cameron Village, PNC Arena, NC State and the Dorthea Dix campus. Raleigh is full of hills, and this course took advantage of most of them. Scenic, difficult, rolling, inspiring.
12,500 runners had registered for the event. Looks like the normal 10% either didn’t show up, or didn’t finish. The marathon was won by a first time marathoner, and the women’s winner ran a PR, and finished 3rd overall. Congrats to both of them! Amazing feats for a difficult course. There were 1,615 finishers in the Full. 8,593 finished the Half.
Making the news all over the country, and certainly much more so in the running community was some sad news. Two men both in their 30’s, collapsed and died while running the Half Marathon. One man collapsed between miles 10 and 11. The other collapsed and died a couple of hundred yards from the finish line. The names have not been released as of right now, but both died of apparent pre-existing, undiagnosed heart conditions. My family arrived at the finish line area as the younger man, was receiving chest compressions from paramedics. Both men were transported to local hospitals, but were pronounced dead upon arrival. My family told me that it was quite a scene. I’ve read that one woman passed both runners down on the course, and it was very hard to handle emotionally. My heart goes out to the runners’ families. I hope both of these men passed away doing something they loved. The running community is here to help, if you need to reach out to us.
Race day was also my Birthday, as well as my younger son. Running a marathon was a great way to start my birthday. Unique. My son had a soccer game in the afternoon, so he got to do what he loves as well, on his special day. We capped off the day with a great meal, and carrot cake and ice cream, presents and cards from family and friends. It was a great day all around. I collapsed on the couch and was dozing off before 10pm.
Not to ruin the surprise, but I did finish the marathon. Rock ‘n’ Roll gave me a special Birthday present. My bib # incorporated the age I turned yesterday on race day. 44! My 12th marathon, Top 13% finish, on 4/13.