Race #56 – Kennesaw Railroad Half Marathon – Kennesaw, Georgia – 10/04/09

It was a great weekend for running, so Linda put up very little resistance when I broached the subject of driving a couple hundred miles to run a Sunday morning half marathon down in Kennesaw, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. We arrived on Saturday evening several hours after finishing the Komen 5k in Charlotte and we were happy to see that the host hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, was just a couple minutes’ walk to the start and finish line for the race, so we were able to get a good night’s sleep, get up bright and early on Sunday morning, and walk to the starting line, then after the race we were able to get a shower before the awards ceremony.
Linda seems to be doing better than ever with the 2XU calf sleeves she has been wearing lately. She was first in her age group in the 5k and for the first time in months she’s not having pain in that area.
I ran the half marathon and got 1st place in my age division with a time of 1:36:46, a new half marathon Personal Record for me by 3 minutes! I had actually gone into this race with the intention of doing some heavy duty “Gallowalking” (a la Jeff Galloway) by taking a 20-second walk break at the beginning of every mile starting at the 1-mile marker. When I got to the first mile marker, though, I just couldn’t bring myself to start walking so I just kept going. I ended up doing what I ordinarily do, which is taking a 20-second walk break whenever I feel like it’s necessary for me. In this race I “only” took eight walk breaks, which is about half of what I’ve been taking in a half marathon. This was a fairly small half marathon (257 finishers), so people tended to spread out over the miles, and each time I would take a walk break in this race it seemed like somebody else would pass me up and I never caught up with any of them, which leads me to the conclusion that if I really want to be competitive (which I do at the moment) then I need to work more on my stamina over a long race so I can keep a steady pace throughout.
At the end of the race all of the half marathon finishers received nice medals (as did the 5k age group winners) and the age group winners of the half marathon received attractive plaques. The T-shirts were really nice for this race as well — good quality short-sleeved tech shirts for the 5k runners and even nicer long-sleeved tech shirts for the half marathon runners.
The post-race celebration was a good one as well with good food and music and a variety of tents and booths set up with samples and special offers from some of the race sponsors.
Race Rating:
7 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Run & See Georgia) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
4 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
9 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 84
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