Race Recap: Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon
On October 20, I will be running my first marathon with one of my childhood friends, Emily. Awhile back, I suggested it might be worthwhile to run a shorter race together in the days leading up to the marathon, just to get used to running together. We looked at a couple different options, but decided on the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon. This would mark not only my sixth half marathon, but would be my 30th race before my 30th birthday, which felt like a fun milestone.
On Friday afternoon, I left work a bit early to get on the road for about a four hour drive, worsened by the fact that it was a holiday weekend. Emily lives in the area, so she picked up my race packet for me. From the sounds of it, the expo wasn’t much to write home about, so I was okay missing it. I opted against getting a race shirt as they were an additional cost. I have so many race shirts that I rarely wear, I really didn’t need another one to collect dust.
The race started at 7:30am, and it was already warm and sticky when we got there. By the end, it was 81 degrees and 63% humidity! I was a sweaty mess! The saving grace of the heat was that the vast majority of the course was shaded, up until the last mile which was wide open in the blazing sun.
For only the third year, the race organizers put together an extremely well done event. There were eleven (!!) water stations throughout the course, so we were coming across them almost every time I started to feel like I needed water. Three of the stations also had Gatorade, and I think my only complaint – and a very minor one at that – would be I could have used Gatorade at one more point during the course.
I’m very unfamiliar with Indianapolis, so it was a fun way to see a new place. We passed Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, which was not actually that exciting for this non-football loving girl. Other landmarks included the State Fairgrounds (where the stage collapsed during the Sugarland concert two years ago) and the zoo. We went through some residential areas and saw some beautiful homes, too. There wasn’t a huge amount of crowd support, but I imagine the fact that it was a holiday weekend played into that. Local police did an amazing job keeping runner’s safe at all of the intersections, and there were medics on bikes patrolling the course.
The course was flat as a pancake, which was really awesome! We walked for stretches during all but the first mile, for which I was extremely thankful. In the heat and humidity, I knew I had a lot of potential to overdo it – and as evidenced by the many runners we saw loaded up on stretchers at the end, there were many that did just that. I took Gu at miles 4 and 7. I should have taken another at mile 10, but didn’t think about it. Emily gave me a few sport beans around mile 11 and that was enough to sustain me until the finish line.
Mile Splits and Results
I finished in 2:50:19 (12:53 pace), 661/1011 overall and 98/132 in my age group. It was my second slowest half marathon, but I didn’t go into it looking for a PR (which became especially true once I saw the forecast for the day!). I had a fun race, and I finished feeling really strong and much more confident about the upcoming marathon.
I’m a sucker for race bling, and this race did not disappoint! It was a sparkly butterfly, officially the largest of my metal collection. The first thing I did when I got back to Michigan was hang it on my metal rack.
All in all, this race was awesome! It’s one I would do again in a heartbeat and highly recommend, especially for my Midwest friends.
After the race, we headed an hour south to Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Not too shabby, minus the fact that five minutes of tubing behind a speedboat left me much more sore (and bruised!) than almost three hours of racing. But that scenery?