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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Maine Coast Half Marathon: ending the running season on a high

I'm not entirely sure why I am so in love with the York all women's half- marathon.

(Okay, never mind.  I just figured it out.)

There are parts of the course that are utterly breathtaking, 3 loops which is a nice way to break down a run, nice spectator support along the beach and then there is the all women (and one lucky guy) part.

Ella wasn't so convinced.  We had an iffy 2 1/2 hour ride down at 6 am and when the bitching and moaning started from the back seat (the popcorn had run out, the movie was over and the car sickness started) we had to question our judgement.

A snapshot of Ella's frame of mind:

The course is centered around York beach, a gorgeous spread of sandy beach.  The tide was higher than normal and the surf intense making the waves crash up onto the course and sometimes onto the runners. It added a whole adventure element to the already blustery 40 degree day.
Pre-race meeting.  This being the last race of the season, new matching shirts were in order.  I LOVE this Asasics shirt and am actually wearing it as I write this.  This was one of a handful of runs where my clothing choice was perfect and I was comfortable in my clothes the entire time.

The spectator section:

Susan set her sights high on a sub 2 hour race and she (essentially) pulled it off by running and amazing 2:01. Good work Susan!
  I had a really strong race. I felt good almost the whole time, smiling at the spectators and feeling so very PRIVILEGED to get to run in a race like this.  After having some really crummy runs in the past month, I was just to relieved to feel happy as I ran.  I have learned that a happy race = a good race.  My want is always to run for the JOY of it.  

I had unintentionally lost everyone at the start and ended up running the race alone but it was a good day for it.  I had great music, a stellar frame of mind and a body that felt light and able despite the nasty cough rattling my respiratory system.

I think one of my favorite things about this race is that because it is all women the course is lined with a ton of male support and often dads holding babies and little kids with signs "GO Mommy GO!

Mindy looking strong and happy!

Jen, Amy, Emilie and Christine having a running party.  Emilie had been sick for a week and was no where near good health and she ran the whole race in the same time she had last year when she was healthy.   Gritty, I tell you, gritty.
Check out the waves crashing behind Christine!
This picture has a one-word caption: ironic.

What we are all looking to see:
At the finish:
I had a PR of 2:13 and shaved a minute plus off my time from last year's race.
It's easy to smile when you can see the finish line!

The kids were mostly tired and cold and there was so much complaining we agreed they earned themselves a ticket to a grandparent's house.  But who can blame them?  Last year it was 70 degrees and sunny and they played on the beach. 
Here's to a great season girls!  What'll it be next year??
(Naomi: 1,000 thank yous to you.  I did it for the love of it.)

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