Ran my first half marathon of the year today. The Run for Hope Half Marathon in Oxford. There was a 5K as well that Mom walked. The race benefited Camp Hopewell, a camp run by the Presbyterian Church. It was pretty chilly when we got to Oxford yesterday. We weren't expecting the temperature to drop so much. I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt. I didn't bring any tights to run in, so we made a stop at Walmart.
We went to the Oxford Convention Center and picked up our number and packet. The numbers were made of plastic which was pretty cool. They also were using D-tags, which I was pleasantly surprised about. The race volunteers were super nice and helpful.
The morning of the race, we were able to get a snack before the races started. We lined up and waited a few minutes. Then we just started running. There wasn't a gunshot or anything. There were volunteers at every mile calling out split times (even mile 13, within eyesight of the finish) which was great! The course was pretty hilly. I was not expecting hills. They weren't terrible, but there were a few that were pretty tough. I charged down the hills, but ended up paying for it later. I ended up hitting the 10K mark UNDER an hour for the first time ever! 58:19! I was pretty excited about that! There were lots of water and Gatorade stations. They had Grape flavored Gatorade, which is my favorite. Miles 6-9 took us through the Ole Miss Campus. I'd never been to Oxford before (yeah, I know). Mile 11 took us through the downtown square. It was nice to run through the campus and downtown squares and streets. Around mile 12, there was a REALLY steep hill...that we ran down! (Thank God!) I heard a few people saying that downhill was a bit too steep and could have caused people to fall and it should have been avoided. It was hard to run down it I have to admit. The race started and finished at the Convention Center. They had plenty of snacks, drinks, pizza and other catered foods there. Mom won a door prize. She got a $100 gift card to Kroger. Too bad there's no Kroger in Meridian... We did use it to get gas before we left town (costing $41!)
I really like Oxford. It seems a lot bigger than it is. This weekend there were several tournaments and college games going on. When Mom and I went back downtown for lunch, the square was packed with people. Overall it was a great race with great weather to go along, regardless of me not bringing tights....