Friday, May 26, 2017

Wilmington Half Marathon

When I moved back to Virginia in the fall, I wanted to try to do as many half marathons as possible in nearby states. I needed a Delaware race that sounded fun and was within driving distance. I discovered that Delaware is a very small state, with many fewer races than Virginia, so there's not a whole lot of choices. But when I read about the Wilmington Half Marathon, it was everything I wanted!

It's only a 6 hour drive from Virginia, and about a 7 hour drive from Massachusetts, so I thought it would be a great place for me and my parents, sister, and nieces to meet up for a running weekend! I also liked the fact that it started on a riverfront and that part of the race was run through parks and along the river.

My family and I rented a townhouse right on the riverfront across from the Tubman-Garrett park where the races started. My nieces ran the kids run on Saturday afternoon, and then my mom, Leslie, Allison, and Kyle ran the 5k that evening. The only downside was that it was raining on Saturday afternoon, so the kids complained about being cold and didn't want to hang out or do any of the activities at the park. 
Lilli was the only one who really ran. Izzy cried, but was dragged along by Kyle and Allison, and Karsyn cried and had to be carried.

The next morning, Tristan and I ran the half marathon. I walked across the bridge to the start and met Tristan there. I literally left the house at 6:50 and the race started at 7am. It was nice not to have to worry about driving and parking! Tristan, on the other hand, couldn't make it to my house because of the road closures, and couldn't find parking, so she drove back to her hotel and walked half a mile to the start.

We actually started behind everybody else, because we were in line for the port-a-potty when the race started. We were in the back of the pack with a guy that was jumping rope and a guy that was juggling while running the half.

After trying so hard to break 2 hours in the Flying Pirate half and not succeeding, we just wanted to have fun and enjoy this race. And, surprisingly, I LOVED this race! Wilmington is not the best city. There seemed to be a lot of homeless people and run-down areas. But the race course went through 2 parks, along a river (my favorite part), over a suspension bridge, and through some nice neighborhoods. The weather was perfect- cool and breezy after all the rain the day before, and the sun came out at the end. It wasn't flat, but the hills weren't crazy either - and I've found that I actually prefer some rolling hills over a completely flat course.

So I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty and pleasant the race course was, and I think it's been one of my favorite half marathons so far! (Along with See Jane Run and Richmond). Besides having to run for a port-a-potty at mile 7 (only the second time I've had a bathroom "emergency" in 25+ races), the race was pretty uneventful and we kept a pretty steady pace.

Sunday was also Mother's Day, so when we got back to the townhouse, Kyle and Allison and I cooked lunch for my mom and then we rode bikes and went for a walk along the riverfront. All in all, a great weekend!

Official Time: 2:05:11

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