This weekend was my first race in awhile. My family and I participated in the 4th Annual Frankenfooter Half Marathon. We had run this race, or a race with the same name in 2011 and it was a lot of fun so we decided to register again. Somehow, our shirts in 2011 say 2nd Annual Frankenfooter, so I’m not sure how that timing works out…but that’s not relevant to the story. The race was also held at a different location than the 2011 race, but still in the New Port Richey area. The start and parking was at Port Richey Waterfront Park, a small park right on the water with boat docks and nice scenery. It wound through some neighborhoods and through several nearby parks on the water as well, before ending at Gil Dawg Marina for the post party.
The race was supposed to start at 7am at Waterfront Park. It was very dark, and no one was quite sure exactly where the starting line was, so, as with many races, the runners were mostly congregated around the restrooms. Around 6:45, race coordinators announced that the start was being moved to the road in front of Gil Dawg Marina, due to it being so dark. I believe the first part of the run was supposed to be on the small trail section in Waterfront Park, and I think they though twice about having us run that in the dark…a good move, I think. Plus the view from that trail section was beautiful and would have been totally wasted in the dark.
Here we are pre-race in the dark. I wore my new, sparkly running tutu from Team Sparkle (I bought mine off of amazon).
The race started a little late, around 7:10am, which wasn’t a big deal. Amazingly, for changing the route of the course last minute, the route was very clearly marked. There were also volunteers at every area where there could be any confusion. Many of those volunteers were very enthusiastic and cheered us on as we raced, which is always a great encouragement. I can actually feel myself run faster after being cheered on… The race/runners seemed to be unusually fast compared to other races I have run. I ran a 2:04:33 half marathon – my personal best. This means I ran, on average, around 9:30 miles. For many races, especially local races, I feel like I usually run in the middle/faster end of the pack of runners. Not this race. There were a lot of out and back segments to the race, so you could see the runners ahead of you looping back, which was fun, but from that view it seemed like I was in the middle/slower end of the pack. I felt like there were a lot more people ahead of me than behind me. Considering I feel like 9:30 miles is pretty good for a small, local race this means there were a lot of really fast people there. The woman who won the race finished in about 1 hour and 24 minutes! Almost all of the age group winners had times under 1 hour 40 minutes! I got a personal record though, so I was pretty happy with myself.
I was attempting a new style of racing for myself, running by feel rather than by pace. I started the first 7-8 miles running easily, as if I could keep going forever. The next 3-4 miles, I started focusing on individual racers and trying to pass them. Finally, the last 2 miles I ran hard, like I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it up before I was spent. Here’s my splits:
I finished the race feeling like I worked hard and gave it my best, but not so dead that I was feeling sick – of course, I did get a fairly bad upset stomach starting about 1 hour later, but we wont get into that…
Here’s the whole family after the race! Jordan (brother) got first place in his age group with an impressive time of 1 hour and 42 minutes! And he received a fancy Frankenstein Trophy as an award. Erin finished shortly before I did, and Mom and Dad finished in 2 hours and 50 minutes – they ran 6.6 miles of it, doing a run/walk method.
The post race party included breakfast, bananas, and the mandatory post-race beer. We enjoyed the food and then went home to relax!
Any Florida Races you guys have tried out? We are always looking for new races to try, especially if they are on Sundays!
**I had to edit this – my parents corrected me that they actually ran 6.6 miles of the half marathon – more than half (I had originally put 6 miles 🙂 Great job guys!