hearts, sparkles, and pink always equal fun. The race shirt is the orange one. It's so cute, comfy, and is fitted for a woman, so it actually fits well!
the sun was just coming up as people were getting there.
Luckily, the other runners I knew got there early, as well. Perfect time to take some pre-race pics:
a whole slew of us before the race
Erika and I
My friend Melissa from high school (fun fact: we did track together!) This was her very first half, so we met before so I could get her a pre-race pep talk. I probably should have said something along the lines of "just do exactly everything OPPOSITE of what I do" (haha)
Clearly my brain was truly taking this as a non-serious race because I forgot my garmin at home. That kind of took a time pressure off (though I initially freaked out).
I lined up with Erika and a friend she was pacing for her first half, but ran into Alicia and we ended up chatting for a few minutes, as we've never actually met before. (PS she's super sweet, glad we got to meet!) Either way, I lost Erika and her friends before the race even started. The race started a few minutes late, but otherwise started without any issues. Somehow as I started, I did the whole first loop (a little under six miles) with the 1:55 pacer. I took a gel right before the 10k mark and walked to take it and a swig of water. Somehow, right after that, everything fell apart. I lost stride and no pace felt comfortable. I got to mile 7 slower, but then by mile 8, I was walk/running. Cardio-wise, I just felt bad (which makes sense now, as I got a pretty bad cold the next day that lingered through most of the week. I was probably already starting to feel run down). Needless to say, I just wasn't feeling it at all. So, I took pictures while I ran:
you get gorgeous views like this. Love it.
And enjoyed taking chocolate (but saving for later) during the chocolate mile:
These are amazing.
And I also was texting Ryan things along the lines of, "I hate running" and "I'm going to die" (not dramatic at all). But, you know what was kind of awesome? The other female runners. I had tons of people telling me they loved my skirt. Two women told me that they were running behind me and they were using me as motivation saying, "follow the girl with the cute sparkly skirt!" When I would start walking, several women said, "come on, run with me!" It was amazing what the camaraderie was like at this race. It was a completely different atmosphere than most races. Sure, people are supportive of each other, but this was one awesome, "you go girl" feeling in a completely non-cheesy way.
I finally crossed the finish line, feeling like it took all I had mentally and physically, but super glad I did it, even if it sucked.
I believe this is my, "Oh thank god, there's the finish" face.
I quickly met up with RunnerBro (who was cheering us on) and RunnerSis, who had rocked the 5k race and got a PR!
With our medals!
The post-race spread was great and they had a live band, which added to the excitement. I also got to meet up with Susan, who does the social media stuff for the race. She was super nice and I was so glad to finally put a name and face to the person I chat with on twitter :) So glad to meet you Susan!
And here's a close up of the medal, hanging with my other ones :)
It's busy, but I really like it, especially with the "strength and soul" motto.
This was the inaugural year for this race, but I felt like it ran very smoothly. Yes, it started a bit late, but that happens with most races, especially if more and more people do race day packet pick up. Everything else seemed to go off without a hitch. There were plenty of aid stations, the course was clearly marked, lots of porta pottys, and a good post-race spread. The race shirt is one of my favorites, and you get a medal whether you do the 5k or the half. The half is a 2.25 loop course, which could be a drawback for some, but it's flat and has great views of the water and Detroit.
Overall, I really enjoyed all aspects of this race, besides my own performance in it. I would do it again, paying or not. Though, timing wise, it's hard to train for it during the first chunk of the semester, so if I did it next year, I would do the 5k.
I think this is a perfect race for first time halfers (my friend from high school loved it and said she would definitely be doing future half marathons). If you're looking for a flat course, this would be ideal. Additionally, if you want low-pressure, lots of fun with your gal pals, this is the one to try.
A special thanks and shout out to Detroit Women's Half for putting on an AMAZING race. Such a success for its first year! And thank you so much for allowing me to be an ambassador and help spread the word about it!
-Anyone else do this race? How'd you do?
-Have you done a women's only race? Like or dislike?
-Thoughts on loop courses? Love em or leave em?
-What are your favorite aspects about a great race? A cool medal? Awesome shirt? Chocolate? All of the above?
-Any other fun things to share?