On Sunday I ran the New Bedford Half Marathon as a Boston Marathon prep race. This race is rated in the top 25 half marathon in the nation and top Half in New England. This was evident by all the athletes that competed at this race. Huge competition and all of the NE running groups, BAA included, were represented in the race.
Few of my favorite ladies from my lulu family race as well, my sister/friend Fabiana who was running her first race since her knee injury last August, speedy Erin that run her first half marathon back in november ( All Women & One Lucky Guy) and Leeann ” The Beast” that decided to run this as her first half marathon after she proved she could run 10 miles but without really training… a nice mix right! The race started at 11 am and since New Bedford is about an hour and twenty minutes from Natick, we left at 8 am giving ourselves plenty of time to get there, pick up numbers etc…
The best spectators in the whole world, my hubby and Fabs hubby Rick, drove me, Erin and Fabs to the YMCA in New Bedford where we picked up our numbers. Leeann met us there later and registered right then for the race.
It was a beautiful day, sunny but chilly (40 degrees) and windy. We headed to the starting line on Pleasant Street at City Hall.
When we got to there it was so crowded already I was afraid I was gonna to get stuck in the back. We took few group photos before splitting.
So I took Erin and weaved my way into the crowd taking us (and a guy that decided to follow us) to the front.
In no time we were off!
Few days before I told Erin that she was gonna kill this race and to stay with me and she did! I was so impressed with how hard she was pushing.
It’s a great and tough course.
From miles 2 through 3.5 there are two major hills, each successively bigger. Being at the beginning like that thought I felt it wasn’t too bad as our legs were nice and fresh. We were cruising up those hills (7:02, 7:07, 7:06, 7:02) The best part of the race begins at the top of the last hill at mile 3.5 when you turn onto Rockdale Avenue. In fact, once you get your breath back from the climb up Hathaway Road you can relax and enjoy a four-mile stretch of level or downhill running on Rockdale Avenue. I read that young Geoff Smith on this stretch he was on pace for a world record back in ’85. Needless to say that this stretch we run our fastest splits. (6:35, 6:43,6:35,6:51, 6:55) Dustin, Rick and Erin’s mom were at mile 5 and at that point we were so toasty we got rid of our gloves.
At mile 7 we knew the rest of our lulu family had set up a water/snacks station (apparently the best around) and when they saw us in the distance they started to yell and had two small water bottles ready for us. That was the only sip of water I had during the whole race, and it was at a perfect time as I just finished my GU.
Right after seeing Kayla, Ali, Carly & Lydia we hit the first of the two beach areas. And it was pretty blustery day = no fun. The first is West Beach on West Rodney French Boulevard and the second one is East Beach on East Rodney French Boulevard. The scenery here is spectacular, but when the wind was blowing it was hard to see. We didn’t get out of it until we got to the turn on Cove Road, which took us away from the water and back to the sheltered streets of the South End. Here we had about a half-mile to recover from the wind before hirring County Street and the last hill at mile 12. This hill is not as steep as the one on Hathaway Road, but it’s longer and it came after we’ve already run 11 miles and our legs were a little tired. But hey, what’s one more hill when you’re only two miles from the finish? Think positive. Here Erin was struggling and coached her through it. I told her: ” Let’s finish strong together”. And I reminded her that after that final hill all that was left was the downhill pounding on Kempton Street and the final 200-yard push to the finish line at City Hall. Her response was: ” NO, I don’t wanna!” Ha ha But guess what? She fought through it like a champion, crashed that hill and had a HUGE PR of 1o minutes! I was so incredible proud of her! I hugged her and told her she was my hero!
I did ok. I was hoping for a sub 1:30 but crossed the finish line in 1:31:49 and had a 1 minute and 10 seconds PR.
- Mile 1: 7:02
- Mile 2: 7:07
- Mile 3: 7:06
- Mile 4: 7:02
- Mile 5: 6:35
- Mile 6: 6:43
- Mile 7: 6:35
- Mile 8: 6:51
- Mile 9: 6:55
- Mile 10: 7:07
- Mile 11: 7:13
- Mile 12: 7:08
- Mile 13: 7:19
- .2 Mile: 5:47
We waited for Leeann and Fabs to finish. Leeann did incredible for running her first half last minute without training…I love that girl, she’s a fighter!
Fabiana knee actually behaved and even though she wasn’t over the moon of the final result I am so proud of her and happy she finished without making her injury worse.
We were all reunited and happy for an amazing and well organized race.
After the race we met with our cheering ladies at Bertucci’s, had pizza and celebrated a great day! March 17th is extra special cause is my papa’ (daddy in italian) birthday! I called him to say Buon Compleanno (Happy Birthday), it was already 9 pm in Italy and I definitely woke him up but he still had the energy to tell me all about his special day with my nephews and nieces… I miss that crazy italian and can’t wait to see him in the summer! Oh and today is Father’s day in Italy so Buona Festa del papa!
Overall time : 1:31:49 my new PR!
Overall Pace: 7:02
Overall Place: 455/3135
Age Group 30-39: 28/510
Overall Female: 76/