West Palm Beach Half Marathon Race Report


January 17, 2015 6:30 am

I was very excited to run this race.  First of all, I left the frigid Northeast. Secondly, I was healthy all year and hoping for a good race.

the course

After a sleepless night, I got up around 4:00 am, had my tea & oatmeal in my hotel room and then went down to the lobby around 5:00 am to wait for the shuttle to the race start.

It was chilly and dark.  I arrived early and there was hardly anyone there yet.  So I just walked around and shivered.  I was freezing.  I don’t know why since it was probably close to 60 degrees.

Eventually a lot of people arrived and many to register on site.  Apparently, they offered a Groupon to get more people to run.

For a half marathon, it was small – only about 500 runners.  There was also a 5k race (with about 300 runners) that would start 15 minutes after the half.

There was no bag check, just a locker than you had to pay for.  I decided to just wing it and if I lost my jacket, it would be OK. So I hid it under a table. The restrooms by the amphitheatre were locked but there were many porta-potties.  For some reason, I didn’t feel the need to go.

I met some nice people, as usual, to chat with while waiting.  One lady was hoping to finish under 2:10.  I said that I would love to do that someday too.

Soon it was time to line up.  I wound up standing next 2 older women from DC who urged me to come to DC and race.

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waiting to start

I was hoping that there would be chip times as well as gun times since I was some what in the middle of things. (It turned out that there were only gun times published.)

I should mention that this was the most beautiful course I have ever run.  During almost the whole race, you were looking at the water.You can’t beat that!

It was still dark when we started since it was only 6:30 am.  For the first mile, you ran around in the city and then looped around back to the start.

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From then on for a few miles, you were running along the water and watching the sun come up …awesome.

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I liked the sky in this pic – and they were free to download

I glanced at my Garmin every now and then to make sure I wasn’t running too fast (and at the end, too slow).

But as usual, the first half was a lot faster than the second.

There were abundant water stops…at least every 2 miles and I stopped and walked at every one except the first (and I regretted that immediately.)

Once the sun came up, it was warm but not oppressively so until maybe the last few miles.  I felt perfectly dressed in a tank top & skirt.

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you can see the sun shining brightly

What was nice about the course was that for the first 7 1/2 miles, every mile or so, the course took you inside a neighborhood.  It was nice to have varied scenery and then the course was curvy so you could cut the tangents (and I made sure I did just that.)

I took a Gu before the race and then again at miles 4, 8 and 12.  I really felt good and knew that I would PR if I didn’t fall and break something.

I remember being at 1:07 at mile 7 and 1:38 at mile 10. I was happy about that.

The main problem was my feet. AGAIN!  I started to get blisters (in the same place) around mile 6 and the one on my right foot got more and more painful as the race went on.

The last 5 1/2 miles of the race were straight along the water. (No tangents to cut.)

This was the FIRST race that I just toughed it out.  Sure I was tired but I refused to walk.

I only walked through the water stops and not as long as I normally do (I need to learn to open, eat Gu & drink water quicker.)

The scenery was so beautiful that I just focused on that and how lucky I was to be there.

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don’t you agree?

Finally the end was near.

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this is how I felt too

I had spotted that lady that wanted to finish under 2:10 as she passed me a little while ago. I tried to keep her in my sight but she eventually vanished.

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heading toward the finish line

I knew I had a good race and I was happy.

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I was hoping to finish under 2:18.

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Garmin time was 2:09:20!!! Woo Hoo! and I chicked that guy!

I crossed at 2:09:40! I was shocked!!

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The runner who wanted to finish under 2:10 killed it and we congratulated each other after the race.

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here she is …at 2:06!

There were pizza, bagels and all the usual refreshments at the finish. I wasn’t really hungry.  I found those 2 ladies from DC and we hung out waiting for the results and awards.

With all the Groupon registrations, it took quite a while to calculate the winners.  That was ok since my friend Georgette was late and I had re-scheduled my hotel check out for 1 pm.

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But, yes, I won my Age Group!! (The lady from DC came in 3rd.)

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yes, TWO medals are better than ONE

Race Splits:

mile 1 – 9:31
mile 2 – 9:27
mile 3 – 9:45
mile 4 – 9:58
mile 5 – 9:59
mile 6 – 10:09
mile 7 – 10:19
mile 8 – 10:27
mile 9 – 10:38
mile 10 – 10:22
mile 11 – 10:42
mile 12 – 10:59
mile 13 – 9:36

(short according to my Garmin but I did cut every tangent)

They are mostly positive, as always.  At least there no 11 minute miles and I finished strong.

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my view from the end of the race

Goals:

A. Age Group Award – YES!
B. Finish under 2:15
  – YES!
C. PR
(finish under 2:18:33) – YES!
D. Faster than my previous PR (
finish under 2:22:35 ) – YES!
E. Finish under 2 1/2 hours – YES!
F. Finish happy & uninjured 🙂 and wearing this medal – YES (with blisters):

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As you may guess, I was supper happy with how this race turned out. And then I was able to fully enjoy the rest of my time in Florida.

Happy Running!  Anyone get blisters? Any advice?


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16 thoughts on “West Palm Beach Half Marathon Race Report

  1. Congratulations on a great race!! What a thrill it must have been to hit, and smash, every goal. You inspire me to keep working on my rebound (badly torn rotator cuff (try to NEVER hurt your shoulder, it sucks), had surgery, long rehab and then found out my vocal cord was messed up so running and breathing is not easy). You’ve have a few injuries, but have come back super strong. Very Impressed and Great Job!!! Thanks!!

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  2. Such an awesome job – congrats! And ouch on the blisters! Some people use anti chafe stuff on their feet? I haven’t had a blister from running (crossing fingers). I know others swear by toe socks – injinji makes a compression one but I don’t think they’re as compressive (definitely not as cute) as pro compression.

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