I’ll try not to spoil too many things about the County Marathon, as Jill will write her own recap — it was her first full marathon!. But I was there and ran my own race and that is deserving of a recap on it’s own, is it not?
We left Toronto on Saturday afternoon, around 3:30. I had a meeting, hence the late departure. We planned to say at the Edwardian House B&B, a place I found online, because of it’s proximity to the finish line/marathon HQ and it’s reasonable price.
This place was a-freaking-mazing. It was literally a 2 minute walk from the race HQ. AND they gave us double breakfast on race day — one before the race and one after! They woke up at 5:45 and fed us exactly what we wanted: toast and peanute butter and banana. They were delightful, supportive people and I highly recommend staying there should you ever go to Picton.
Jill’s race was early, early so I got up and went with her to the bus. I then hung around race HQ (which was a converted heritage barn) until my bus was called. We headed to the half-marathon start and I waited some more. The route is point-to-point, with the half-marathon starting halfway along the marathon route two hours after the full start. I liked this a lot, as we got to cheer on the faster marathoners and the course seemed more full for the marathoners in the second half — after running a lonely second half of my own marathon, I could see the boost this could give runners.
Jill was aiming for a 4:00-ish marathon, so we thought the timing would work out great and we could run together! And it did! She hadn’t come through by the time the official half started, but I decided to wait for her. It was a training run, after all, and running with ill was more important than getting a “proper” race start. Jill came by about 6 minutes later and looked great. I jumped in right away, adding an extra .36 to my distance. I let her dictate the pace and the walking breaks (we did 10 and 1s). It was misty when we started, but eventually it poured. POURED, I say. The rain started around 5k and didn’t let up until 15 or 16k. Then it was an off and on drizzle until the end of the race.
As for my running, I felt good the first 10k. It felt brisk, but not race pace. I didn’t even mind the rain all that much. 10-15k was tougher, but I think that had more to do with being soaked to the bone than anything else. My own aches and pains started in around 25k. I started to feel it in my hip and calf. This was only my second long run in my Mizunos, so it will be interesting to see if they help at all in the long run.
At 17k there was a hill, and Jill pulled ahead of me here. Just a bit. She stayed about 20 seconds ahead of me as we went down the hill and turned into town. Jill is a rock star. I was impressed with how many people came out to cheer, despite the rain. The last bit of the race is the only part through town, the rest passes a provincial park and farm land. It’s very pretty.
In the end, the race was strong, a good warm-up for my goal race on October 20th. I ran 21.46 in 2:09:05. My official HM time was 2:14:14, thanks to my delayed start.
As for STWM, if I can get my hip under control. I think sub 2:00 is doable. I had so much fun running with Jill and having a romantic weekend in Picton after. I highly recommend it as a little destination race. Super organized, small but not too small, pretty scenery, and lots of support. The B&B was so interested in our race and watched it from their window. It’s inspiring to see a town get behind their events!
3 thoughts on “Erin’s STWM training: The County Half-Marathon”
Sounds like a great race!
It was! I highly recommend it. Super well organized and water stations every 2 kilometres!
Because Jill did the full, we got up super early, but the half starts at 10am — totally reasonable. It’d be so easy to build an entire weekend around this race.