Inaugural Urban Escape Half Marathon

The Place: Novato, CA
The Time: 7:30 a.m.
The Event: Urban Escape Fitness Inaugural Half Marathon

The route was AWESOME! I’d like to go back on my own in the future. For the first couple miles we ran past picturesque houses, and tree-lined streets. There were farms with horses, goats, crowing roosters, a couple barking (cheering?) dogs, and hills galore. It was a serene scene, and so quiet you could hear the synchronized breathing and shoes hitting the pavement. In the middle of the course there was a park, dirt, flat, wide open path. That was my favorite part. Then we came out into a valley, through a school(?) parking lot, and up a few small hills. At some point we went past College of Marin, and then there was the turnaround. It was a beautiful course! I wish I’d taken some photos, but I was in the groove and didn’t want to break my stride.

During races, I like to keep tabs on whom I’m following or paced behind. At the beginning (first four miles), I was following a woman in a green jacket with a long braid. I nicknamed her “green beret” so I’d remember her. Didn’t really follow anyone during miles 5-9. By the end I was trying to follow this tall blond woman, but I kept stopping to stretch my hamstrings. My hips were killing me!

Several times I used Gu, before the start and again after three miles, but it made my stomach upset.  After every hour I used Shotblox afterwards, no problem. The water stations were spread out so often I wish I hadn’t brought my water bottle with me.

Weather was cool and overcast–perfect running conditions.  I felt really comfortable in my shirt and shorts. The sun didn’t really come out until 9:30 a.m. towards the end of my run.

Some of the supporters did not appear to be enthusiastic, in fact they seemed to be paid employees whose job was to stand on the roadside.  Only a couple of them were eager cheer types.  One of them just watched the runners and wasn’t interested in cheering or even holding up the sign. Ah well, maybe he was sad he wasn’t joining in on the fun. Heck it was an inaugural race, so I’m sure if the race happens next year, there will be more supporters out.

By the end of it, my glutes and hips were killing me. Had some stomach upset and was feeling nauseous for the rest of the day (which I chalk up to poor breakfast choices). I feel like this was my first real half marathon since I got to run as much as I wanted.  I came in under 2:30, which put me in the bottom quarter.  But that’s OK.  So long as I finished.  It was a fun race, a hard race, but so glad I did it!

NEXT RACE:  Marina Bay Rosie the Riveter!


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