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2019 Salisbury Half Marathon [Race Recap]

Saturday was such an amazing day for me in my running story. One of my longest standing goals, which I considered near impossible, was to break 2:00 in the half marathon. While plenty of runners do this every time they run a half marathon, I always considered this a stretch considering my long standing half marathon PR was 2:07 from back in 2015 when I ran the Island to Island Half Marathon in Ocean City, Maryland.

With my most recent race, the Tim Kennard 10 Miler, behind me I did feel like I could at least PR in the half distance, maybe not break 2, but definitely take some time off my half time. Tim Kennard Ten Miler gave me a huge confidence boost and my consistent training laid the groundwork for what I knew was possible for me.. setting a PR and finally breaking that two hour mark! While my new and improved half marathon time made me so very happy on Saturday, my proudest accomplishment is not letting self-doubt creep in. Throughout the entire race I felt strong, prepared and determined all while still enjoying each mile!

Saturday’s race started at 7:05 at the Salisbury city park. Just like last year the start line was a short distance away from the finish, which was at the downtown area of Salisbury. I decided to park near the start line and walk over to to the start like last year. They did however have plenty of parking near the finish and a shuttle bringing runners over to the start area. The race director also seriously upped the number of bathrooms at the start area which was great!

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The morning started out cool and foggy. I was thankful for the cool, cloudy weather as earlier in the week the forecast was looking hot and sunny. Last year it was hot and humid and made for tough race. I had planned to run with my best friend Laura, who is a speedy, consistent and determined runner. Even though she had zero training leading into the race I knew she would be a big help in my quest for a PR.

As the race started we took off feeling nervous but excited. As the first few miles clicked by I tried not to look at my watch buzz with our splits instead just run by feel. We both felt pretty strong through the first ten miles, and as you can see from our splits we kept them somewhat consistent and within the same range. It was about this time last year that I fell apart so I knew this year the last three miles is where I would have to stay strong. Laura and I decided not to stop at any of the water stops as we were running. At the next to last water stop I did grab one cup and have a quick sip before getting back in step with Laura.

As we passed the mile 12 marker and looked down at my watch and had to hold back the tears. Laura looked over at me and said .. “well are we going to make it?” At that point around 1 hour and 47 minutes had passed so we had a great cushion to get us across the finish line before two hours. When we had about 3/4 mile left I was feeling pretty good so I went ahead of Laura to finish with a time of 1:57:19- a ten minute PR and a TWENTY minute improvement from last year’s finish time of 2:17!

As I can to the start of the downtown plaza and the slight uphill finish I had the biggest smile on my face! I could not believe that I had completed what I thought was an impossible goal. I felt strong, happy and so proud of myself of the hard work I have put into running over the past few months. IMG_9668

After giving a few celebratory hugs and getting my medal I turned to see Laura finish just a few seconds behind me. I teased most of the race that we were like Shalene and Desi at Boston last year (based on our hair colors of course haha!) There is NO way I would have been able to put this off without her by my side.

Overall the Salisbury Half did not disappoint. Along with the half, the event offers a 5k as as well as a BQ Full. One of my favorite things about this event is how it brings the Salisbury community together. All the water stops were community groups, the band that plays at the post race party is kids that play at a local music company, a local beer company provides post race beers, and the list keeps on going. It is so awesome to see the community put this event on and I cannot wait to see what year #3 brings!

Here is a breakdown on my opinion of each part of the running event:

  • Packet Pickup: THREE different options available to get your packet. While there is not a real “expo” it is quick and the local running store Try Cycle and Run is set up for any last minute running needs
  • Pre-Race: the start area is unique in the fact that everyone congregates by the band stand but the actual start is up on the road. There were plenty of bathrooms and I did not hear of any transportation issues. You also could get your packet the morning of the race by the band stand area!
  • Course: I really enjoy the Half Marathon course. It features farm land, local neighborhoods, Salisbury University Campus (and tunnel which runs under route 13), beautiful Riverside houses, and then the iconic downtown plaza finish. With all the different backgrounds it keeps the course interesting. The course is flat with a few minor inclines and an overpass or two to run over- there is an uphill finish but the crowd support along this portion keeps you moving!
  • Aid Stations: It seemed like every mile had an aid station that seems stocked with supplies. Looking back at details the stations were actually every 1.5 miles so there was always an opportunity to refuel. There were so many happy volunteers along the way. There also was a bathroom at every station as well.
  • Swag: with registration you received a tech shirt and a koozie. This is an inexpensive race if you sign up early so I was not disappointed with the swag but to be honest I do love a finishers gift (hat, towel, or something a little extra). The medal was very nice and every distance did get a different sized medal. While we may not get a finisher item we do get FREE RACE PHOTOS! This is an awesome perk and very much appreciated!
  • Post-Race: the entertainment (band) and kid activities were great. The layout made the post race party great with different options of locations to hang out. With registration you do get two beer tickets which you could choose Michelob ultra or a craft beer from our local brewery Evolution. I did some some quick food items to grab after finishing but I do think they could offer more food- like pizza, soft pretzels or something a little more than fruit or a granola bar.

Overall I really like the race. I actually have already signed up for the 2020 event! Next year’s race takes place on April 4th! Be sure to sign up and come Salisbury: https://runsignup.com/Race/MD/Salisbury/runsby?raceRefCode=QxNbeYLv

Did you run the Salisbury Full, half or 5k this year? What did you think? 

Be sure to jump over to Race Advisors to see what others are saying about the 2019 event!

Next up the St. Michaels Running Festival half marathon. Thinking about signing up? visit www.runstm.com and register- use code AMBSTEW and save $10 on the half! 

 

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4 thoughts on “2019 Salisbury Half Marathon [Race Recap]

  1. Congrats on an amazing race!! You had such consistent splits and you look so happy in your pictures! I actually look happier than I thought I would in the pictures as well, because I was struggling — but I was happy to be done and happy with how I did. You should be proud of yourself! 🙂

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  2. Thank you! I wasn’t going to jump at the photographer but i was the only one around so I felt like I had to 😀 it was a great run I’m very happy with it. Congrats on your marathon finish!!!

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