Mid October is a popular time for half marathons. I counted over 30 on the calendar for this past weekend, so how is a runner to choose? I picked one of my favorite locations and was not disappointed.
Sat., Oct. 17- Lake Powell half marathon in Page, AZ.
This race is put on by Vacation Races, a series of half marathons in, or at least near, national parks. I was very impressed with the organization and the course was stunning! I wish I had stopped to take pictures, but I’m not sure photos could do it justice. This is an under-appreciated area and I encourage everyone to visit, if you can. I am impressed with their policy of cupless racing; they give you a hydra pouch to fill up along the way instead- brilliant! I hope more races go this way.
The only problem we encountered was that the lead runners took a wrong turn early on in the race and we all ended up running an additional 1/2 mile. It reminded me of the Charleston Marathon in January!
My time was good enough for a 2nd place age group win, and I got to stand on a podium for the first time!
Pretty impressive medals, too:
So, after a quick shower, I was on my way to Moab, UT for half marathon #2 this weekend. The 4 hour drive wasn’t bad, but unfortunately, I didn’t feel like I had time to stop at Monument Valley. Here’s a quick pic of the drive:
The Other Half is also an unbelievably gorgeous point to point course along the Colorado River. I did take this one a little easy and really enjoyed the race. We were all bused to the start for the 8:30 AM start.
The race started with The Moab Drummers, and they were also playing for us as we climbed the last hill of the race, around Mile 11.5:
The finish line at Sorrel River Ranch was beautiful and I would LOVE to stay at this resort sometime:
Medal haul for the weekend:
The finish line party was outstanding, with a great band, 3 beers and a pint glass for each participant, copious amounts of food and of course that gorgeous setting and perfect weather.
I loved both of these races. If you need a lot of crowd support, they wouldn’t be for you, but there were plenty of aid stations at both races with volunteers cheering every couple of miles. The scenery more than makes up for lack of crowds. Each race had about 1000 runners, so there was plenty of companionship and camaraderie along the courses.
Both of these races are in locations that are really vacation destinations and you really should spend some time to enjoy the areas. I’m already planning my return.