Last Sunday I run the All Women & One Lucky Guy Half Marathon in Newburyport, MA. This very enjoyable race organized by the guys at LOCO Sports, and in its 6th very successful year. Fabiana, Erin, Alex and I signed up for this half back in the summer. It was Fabs first half last year and she wanted to go back and better her time. However, her knee didn’t recover quick enough in order for her to actually train for the race. So, she made the smart decision to not run. Dustin and I arrived to Newburyport around 9:30am and met up with Erin and Alex in the high school. This was the first half for Erin and Alex and they were pretty nervous and so I talked to them about few races logistics, like how much fuel to bring and how often to take it etc.
After we all had our numbers we met up with Erin and Alex family and started to walk towards the starting line. We fooled around and took some photos of the three of us.
The race started at 11:00 am and with the Daylight saving time we moved our clocks back an hour, and for my taste there was too much waiting around. The day started off chilly but by 10 am the weather was spectacular. And actually when we were in the sun it was a little too hot. There was some wind but nothing major. Great running weather conditions!
Rick and Fabs joined us too and waited with us for the race to start.
Finally it was time to get lined up at the starting line.
I chatted with few ladies and I spotted right away who was gonna win.
And the gun went off!
The course was beautiful and went along the streets of Newburyport and the lovely country roads of West Newbury. It loops around two reservoirs and travels over “horse country” in West Newbury.
The course starts at about 100 feet of elevation and then has a slight downhill until mile two where it then gradually rolls up and down until mile seven. I have to say that I expected the course to be easier and fast but those rolling hills were keep coming. I started off in front and could see the first woman ahead of me probably until mile 5 or 6 then I had a group of 6-7 women leading the pack. My strategy was too not get too far away from them but still save some energy.
There weren’t many spectators on the road but the few I saw were really encouraging and a man shouted out I was 8th overall. That was pretty great to hear. At mile 6 I took a GU as I was feeling my legs wanting to slow down.
The hardest hill was from mile seven to just about 7.75. This half way point also included a little over a quarter mile of dirt road. And it was right then, on a hill, that I passed a girl who complimented me and was in 7th place. I was feeling strong by then and started to plan to catch up with the other ladies. It was right at mile 11 that I passed another woman and was then in the 6th place. Approaching the finish line I saw Fabs and Dustin cheering at me and sprinted home.
Crossed the finish line in 1:33:07 and of course I wasn’t really happy cause I didn’t PR and run as fast as I wanted. I later found out I won my age group by 2 minutes, I know I should be happy with the overall results but I always shoot for higher and improvement. Anyway, went to where everyone else was and waited for Erin and Alex.
And there she was. Of course I couldn’t resist(you know my italian passionate side) and started to run towards Erin yelling.
And she started to sprint home.
Fabs and I run to hug Erin and after we found her we went back to wait for Alex.
Erin did amazing for her first half, she finished in 1:42 and came 3rd in her age group.
Alex also did great, she had a goal of running under 2 hours and she ended up finishing in 1:58!
I went to claim my 1st age group prize…a box of Power Bars and a LOCO singlet. Check Fabs face, she is saying it all! Ha ha
It was 1:30 pm and we were ready for a nice meal. We went to Oregano’s Pizzeria in downtown Newbutyport where we all devoured our own brick oven thin crust gourmet pizza! To die for!
Of course I cannot say enough about the support system, cannot say enough of how grateful I am for all my hubby do to support me! Could not do it without him!
Overall time : 1:33:07
Overall Pace: 7:07
Overall Place: 6/838
Age Group 35-39: 1/153