Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SoJo Half Marathon 2013

What can I say, it was a beautiful fall run in my own backyard!

I will start with race packet pickup. You had two options before race day. First at the Run Gr8 store in Riverton. I opted for the Friday pickup at the U of U Health Center in Daybreak. There were no lines when I arrived. The staff was great. The pack consisted of a bib and a wrist band for a sandwich from Chick-fil-A at the end of the race. (You had to show wristband to get a sandwich). The rest of our swag was virtual coupons which we had to log into the internet to get. While cool in technology it was a little disheartening to not receive any in hand swag, but that isn't the primary reason we sign up, right? The shirts were great this year though!

The race started at the U of U in Daybreak. You had the option of riding a bus or having someone drop you off at the start line. I opted for getting dropped off. At the start it was chilly, mixed with race day jitters I decided to stop one last time at the Porta Potty station. Well after standing in a line for an eternity, a race director came to announce there was only 5 min before gun time and to hurry. Hardly anyone budged! Quickly deciding mine was more just jitters than actually having to go I left and headed toward the start line. 

The race started and we were off. The race starts heading east on 114th South, you run through Daybreak past the lake and up "temple hill"; it’s a good little climb. You then continue to head east on about 3200 west. Make sure when you do this, you better have sunglasses because you are running directly towards the sun. While running in the sunrise is wonderful and it helped to warm us up quickly. Once you reach 104th south, you hit another hill. This is around mile 8. Reserve some energy for this hill; it differentiates between the well trained and the not well trained.

The aid stations along the way were wonderful; although lacked volunteer support. Some had just one person sitting at a table. Most offered a choice of water or Gatorade. I believe it was at mile 6 and 8 they also had Gu and some additional supplements like banana’s and apples. Once you get to mile 11 you head north on the Jordan River trail. It was beautiful with the fall foliage around you. It was easy to forget it was a race. At the finish the time clock was over by about 2 minutes. Which was a great surprise the day they posted the results on their page.

At the finish it was very organized, they had a drop bag pickup, Chick-fil-a, Dr Pepper (which I thought was funny) and bananas. I didn't get a chance to hang around long after to enjoy what else they had to offer. If you are wanting to PR this is not the race for you, but if are wanting a bit of a challenge and a fun course then give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Overall I would give this race 3 shoes. The reason for not scoring it a full 5 would be lack of swag, traffic on roads was frustrating, as much as cops would hold traffic but there were times when have to wait for a car to go. Not a lot of volunteer support on aid stations. But that wouldn't stop me from wanting to do it again next year to try and beat my time!