I feel like it has been a while since I have sat down and written a blog post.. life is busy and my actual running is about as scarce as new blog posts…. Now that I have acknowledged that I have not been in this space for a while (sorry about that) lets move onto something more fun- a recap of my most recent half marathon!
The inaugural Salisbury Marathon (which also featured a half marathon and 5k) took place on April 28th in Salisbury, Maryland. There had been talks of this event for at least a year and everything finally came together for a wonderful event! To be completely honest I had some reservations running this race in its first year but then I thought – why not? It is basically going to be like a long run for me- only with hundreds of other people and water stops! This was my first post baby #3 half marathon so I was keeping the time of 2:15 in my head, but honestly would be happy with any time as long as I finished!
Leading up the actual race the Salisbury facebook page contained lots of information and conversation about what to expect on race day! This was a great benefit especially because my race emails kept getting lost in that weird not spam, not inbox but somewhere else folder within my email account. The event started out as a marathon and then the other two distances were later announced. Once they added the half marathon I was all in and hit that register button fairly quickly!
I would say I was fairly trained for this race- or as trained as Jones party of 5 would allow me to be. While we had a rough winter I was able to log some weekend miles and ran some races leading up to this event. I had previously run a 10 miler and the a few later the Coastal Delaware Cape Challenge (5k and 9k).
Here is a quick rundown of how the race:
Packet Pickup– quick and easy located at a great, local brew pub (Evolution). I got to packet pick up early and actually had to wait in line because so many other people were there as well! It was not an expo by any means- simply a walk through- get your packet, buy a few odds and ends that were for sale by Tri Cycle and Run. I needed to grab some sport beans so I was happy to see the mini pop-up shop set up!
One “thumbs up” is that I was easily able to switch my husband’s entry from the half down to the 5k without a problem. This was quick and easy and I appreciated the opportunity to make this change without any issues!
There was also packet pickup available race morning which I think is always a great option for those that cannot make it to the pickup the night before!
One “thumbs down” was the race shirt. While this is such a minor part of the entire weekend I know a lot of people were disappointed with the cotton t shirt. I can confidently say that the race directors heard the complaint loud and clear and already have plans for a better shirt next year!
The marathon and the half marathon both started over at the local park and finished in downtown Salisbury (about 1/4 mile distance between the two areas). Chad thought it would be easiest just to park near the park so I could be at the start and he would just push the stroller over to the finish area (which is also where the 5k was taking place). As I mentioned before he ended up switching down the 5k which worked great for me so he could push and hang with LC while I ran the half!
For me parking at the start line was very simple and so low stress. For those runners that wanted their car closer to the start line, there was plenty of parking in the downtown area and a free shuttle to take the full and half runners to the start line at the park. One big complaint was the limited number of bathrooms at the start line- just like the shirt issue, the race directors heard the concern and have promised to address this for next year!
Before the race I met up with some friends and chatted away some nervous energy! It was already warm and I knew the end of the race would be a hot one since the race started at 8am. Slightly before the start we all walked to the start line and it was time for the race!
As I mentioned before the start and finish for the course was about 1/4 apart from each other. The start took place at the Salisbury Park where packet pickup was offered. There was a few porta poties but plenty of parking available in the general area for anyone that wanted to park at the start like we did.
The half marathon course was a loop that ran through some scenic country roads of Salisbury, through the Salisbury College campus and then finishing down Riverside drive into the downtown plaza area. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the course! I already had negative thoughts about the first half being “boring” but I actually enjoyed that part more than the second half!
The course had plenty of aid stations and crowd support (can you say pickle juice?!?!). It also had the unique characteristics of running over 2 overpasses and through one tunnel (under route 13, used for college students).
One highlight was seeing my friend Kerri (we ran the Magical Richmond Marathon together back in 2016) as I emerged from the tunnel! I started crying happy tears when I saw her because it was a much needed pick me up! I saw her between miles 9-10 when I mentally started to struggle so it was SO nice to see her and the sign she made for Amy and me!
The last three miles of the race I felt like the wheels were coming off. I was hot, tired and a mental train wreck. I enjoyed so much of miles 1-9 talking to old friends, co-workers and other people that I know and then miles 9-12 were just a struggle. I did enjoy my first ever pickle shot from the Eastern Shore Running Club (which I am a proud member of) and I tried to get some energy from those running around me. As you can see from my splits my last few miles were a struggle but overall I was able to finish just 2 minutes from my goal of 2:15. As I crossed the finish line we got handed a HUGE medal and a pint glass!
Once I finished I found Chad and LC and enjoyed the band (many students from my school!!) and the post race beverages. I did somehow miss the food completely which was a bummer but I was hot, wanted something to drink and wanted to head back tot he finish line.
After cooling down a bit I went back to the finish line to cheer on some friends and co-workers who were finishing their FIRST ever half marathon! It was so awesome to see them finish and even better that they got to experience the race with the best pacer ever (Amy Evans- you can read her about pacing experience from St. Michaels from a few years ago here)
I WILL BE BACK IN 2019! Overall the race was well organized, great communication and the small issues have already been addressed by the race director. The race had some great perks- finish line gift (pint glass), huge medals, great after party, FREE RACE PHOTOS and an awesome app that allowed you track runners and get lots of updates leading up to the race! Another adjustment for the 2019 will be the earlier start time. There were complaints with the race starting at 8 and the heat that came along with the later start time- so they have already planned a 7AM start for next year as well.
The event ended up having a total of 914 runners. I suspect this number will increase greatly next year due to the fact it is not the same day as another local half marathon and the simple changes that have already been made for the 2019 event.
- marathon: 265
- half: 415
- 5k: 234
A few days after the race we got an email about 2019 registration so without hesitation I already have myself signed up for 2019! Looking back I am glad that I took the risk on this inaugural race- it was a great race to be a part of! I cannot wait to see the great things that the Salisbury Marathon will do in 2019! Hope to see YOU at the starting line in 2019!
Want to sign up? Here is a quick link to the registration page: https://runsignup.com/Race/MD/Salisbury/runsby?raceRefCode=dG4gSJzw