I’ve already recapped each of the 4 half marathons in this series but I wanted to share some final thoughts on my experience. The individual recaps:
[Disclaimer before I continue: I was not compensated to do this post, my opinon is my own. I paid my own entry fees.]
Waaayyy back in October, Jena and I started our journey to becoming Half Fanatics (Uranus level) with the 1st race of this series, the Florida Halloween Halfathon. This was my first half marathon ever, despite having already run 2 full marathons. I’m so glad to have had this as my first; the course and weather were perfect, I was with great friends and I blew away my time goal. Now, Jena and I hadn’t intended to do all 4 of these. Originally we were going to skip the Clearwater Halfathon because we are Florida runners and the 4 bridge climbs intimidated us.
Well. Then we heard at the Florida Holiday Halfathon (while waiting in line for the port-o-potties) that we would recieve something extra special for doing all 4 and we suspected that the extra special would be an additional medal. Chris Lauber, you sure know the way to our hearts! So after the Florida Holiday Halfathon, which owns my current half marathon PR, we signed up for Clearwater and Florida Beach Halfathons.
We struggled but laughed (and whined) our way up each bridge at Clearwater and both blew up during Beach. The memories and the loot made it all worth it though and I’m so glad to have shared the experience with Jena. Also, with the completion of the series meant we were also qualified for the Uranus level of Half Fanatics, something we’ve been working towards all season.
An additional bonus to the special swag was qualifying for series awards. To qualify you had to run 3 of the 4 races, if you ran all 4 your slowest time was dropped and your placement was determined by your fastest 3. I placed 4th in my age group (just missed that medal-darn!) out of 13 with a cumulative time of 5:51:31, that’s with the slowest time dropped. Jena did even better but you’ll have to go to her blog to see! Speaking of all that swag, here it is:
Of course what also made the experience even better was the fact that each race was incredibly well organized, the swag was awesome and the after parties always had great food and entertainment. I can’t say enough great things about Chris Lauber, his races and the volunteers that make it all possible; I definitely hope to participate again next season.
Mike and I will be doing the Yaslowitz/Baitinger Challenge at the Police Appreciation Run, also a Florida Road Races event that supports an amazing cause very close to our hearts. If you’re local I hope you come out and join us! *cough*Jena*cough* 😉