18.12 Challenge Race Recap
Welcome to back to our Wild Workout Wednesday link up! Each week I link up with Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced and Michelle at Fruition Fitness bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Just a quick note to say that Sarah from Creating Better will be taking a blogging break for a while so she will no longer be joining us. While we are sad to see her go, we are happy to welcome Nicole from Fitful Focus as a new hostess! She will begin co-hosting next week
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18.12 CHALLENGE RACE RECAP
A few months ago I accepted the 18.12 Challenge, an 18.12 mile point to point race that goes from Watertown, NY to Sackets Harbor, NY. I registered for it with the intention of using it as a training run since I am in the midst of marathon training for Wineglass on October 4th.
At first, I really wasn’t nervous. I mean, it was just supposed to be a training run after all and I had already logged some longer runs in my training. Then, about a week before, it occurred to me that this would be my longest race ever. Sure, I had run half marathons but adding those extra five miles is no joke especially during the summer (I don’t do well in heat)… so I started to get a little nervous. Would I even finish?
Yeah, I dropped a weight (I’m a klutz) right on the top of my foot the Wednesday before the race. It became so swollen, bruised and sore that I couldn’t even stand to wear a shoe. Now I was worried that I wouldn’t even start the race let alone finish.
Jumping ahead to Saturday, I made my way to Sackets Harbor, picked up my packet at the Battlefield and spent the evening carbo loading and hydrating with water and a glass of wine to relax at Tin Pan Galley. I planned on at least trying to run the race…even if my foot was telling me otherwise.
Start time was 7 AM on Sunday so I was up early, had breakfast provided by the affiliate hotel and was ready to go for the 5:45 AM shuttle. Long story short, I had to wait til 6:30 to get on an empty one and didn’t arrive at the start until a little before 7 AM. Just enough time to pee and get in line. Before I knew it, it was go time.
The 18.12 Challenge course starts at the Immaculate Central High School and winds from Watertown to Sackets Harbor, NY with lots of country side views in between. Prior to running the race, I was under the impression that it was fairly flat but to say that it is totally flat would be misleading.
There are a few long rolling hills (nothing steep) along the way with views of sunlit corn fields, cheering spectators and even live entertainers. Seriously, there was one guy putting on a five man show on the side of the road and another woman nestled in the corn filed playing her violin.
Along the course, there were also plenty of porta potties, water stations, locals handing out popsicles, cold towels and ice. One water station was even cleverly decorated with a minon theme and humorous support signs.
The course ends with a winding path around the scenic Sackets Battlefield right on Lake Ontario which I didn’t get a picture of because I was racing to the finish! 😉
I honestly can’t say enough great things about the course itself. It was scenic and entertaining with more than enough crowd support and fuel stations.
MY RACE EXPERIENCE
I am going to keep this short and simple because this post is getting long. Surprisingly, my foot felt better than I anticipated at the start. I met up with a few friends who I knew were also running and started out with them.
I stayed with them for the first few miles but by mile 3.5, I was feeling like I could pick up the pace a little so I did. The miles that followed that were pretty steady, if not a little faster than I intended. About halfway through a girl who was running a similar pace started running next to me and said “Just so you know, I’m not racing you. I want to stick by you, you’re encouraging”. Funny enough, I had been using her to pace myself. We agreed at that point to stick by each other and finish together.
Running the remainder of the miles with my new friend, I learned that her name was Rachael and she was also training for the Wineglass Marathon. She was extremely encouraging and I am nearly sure I wouldn’t have been able to push myself had we not stayed together.
As we approached the finish line, we grabbed each others hands and crossed together. It was a moment of triumph and accomplishment. Not only did we make it across the finish line, we crushed it.
My official results. Fifth place in my age category, 20th female finisher and 82nd overall. Much faster than I anticipated but it is my marathon goal pace so fingers crossed that if I can pull this off with a bruised foot, I can do it again come October 4th.
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