PictureWe're not in Oklahoma anymore...
This weekend the RunGingerRun crew loaded up, hit the road, and headed north to Olathe, Kansas where There's No Place Like Home! 

We ran the Garmin Land of Oz Half Marathon on Saturday. 
I really liked this race and plan to go back next year!

The Medal/Shirt

PictureGarmin Half Marathon Medal 2014
You all know I'm a total bling junkie and I really really like this medal!

You guys! IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! I'm not even kidding! The orange part glows in the dark.

Ah-mazing!

I understand that the medals for the Half are always the Wicked Witch, but the medals for the full change from year to year based on different characters from The Wizard of Oz. Last year it was the Tin Man and this year it was the Cowardly Lyon.

The shirt reminds me of a football jersey for some reason. I wish they would have used a different color other than dark blue but what can you do? Also, the shirt is themed after the Full Marathon theme, the Cowardly Lyon. 

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Garmin Race Shirt 2014

The Course

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First of all, whoever said that this course was 100% flat is a big fat liar! 
It's Kansas, they said, it will be flat, they said! 
Liars! All of you!

Ok, it wasn't the hilliest course I've ever been on. That award still goes to the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco but c'mon, you expect hills in San Fran! The course at this race in Kansas had one hill between 4-5 that was pretty daunting to run up on. The course even started going up a slight incline. 

I still really liked this course, I just should have gone into it with a better mental expectation that usually courses aren't 100% flat. Now I know and next year I'll be better prepared. 

The Half Marathoners and Full Marathoners broke off from each other shortly after mile 3 and as soon as we made the turn we had a hill to go up. Also, when I was coming in for the finish, it was a little difficult because the the rain had made the road slick and I was trying to run up an incline to cross the line.

The course was slightly confusing with the mile markers. Because the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners broke off from each other and then reunited later in the course, we had random mile markers that didn't apply to us sprinkled in around the course. I remember thinking it was a sick joke that when I hit mile 4ish and saw a mile 12 mile marker that some poor delirious runner who wasn't paying attention would get pretty excited to already be at mile 12 so quickly. It wasn't true. Then I got to the end of the half and my watch said I had 1.2 miles left but I came across a mile marker that said 2 miles? WTF! I didn't know if they were telling me 2 more miles for me to go or what. I thought surely my watch wasn't that far off. Turns out, it was for the 6K race they were also hosting at the same time as the Half. Whew! 

My best advice if you do this course next year is to ignore the mile markers and just enjoy the view! You'll know when you get to the finish line. I promise! 

The Expo

PictureThe Hubbo and I at the Garmin Expo 2014.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 3 miles away from the starting line but the expo was in the hotel next door to ours so it worked out. We got to the Expo a little before 5:00 and quickly picked up our packet and our shirts. At 5:00 the small expo started to break down the tables and clear out to make room for the pasta dinner that was taking place in that same area. I didn't go to the pasta dinner but I really wish I would have because Meb was there! One of my coaches even got to take a picture with him! So cool! 

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was a little more difficult than I like. If you do this race, you need to have PLENTY of time to get there. We left our hotel at 6:05 and the race started at 7:00. We had a goal of meeting up with our running club at 6:30 for a picture but we didn't make it. It took us over 30 minutes to drive 3 miles and park. There are plenty of places to park, it's just a one lane entrance to the parking garage they were telling everyone to go into. We ended up parking at a nearby business and walking a littler farther to avoid the parking garage. 

The hotel that hosted the Expo also had two shuttles to take runners to the starting line. I didn't use the shuttles but wanted to list it as an option for those who plan to run this race next year and fly in. 

My Stats and Experience

PictureMid-race selfie!
I didn't set any official goals going into this race either. I had already achieved my spring half marathon PR goal at the Aquarium Run. My only notion of a goal going into this race was to finish between 2:15 and 2:30 and to get that medal! 
Boom! Done!

I had blood sugar issues right before this race too. I knew it was going to be a rough race when I woke up hungry and with low blood sugar before I even got out of bed. I think I've learned my lesson and figured out that I can't carb load the night before a race! Ugh! That sounds so terrible to be a runner and not be able to carb load pre-race, but I've done it twice this month and paid for it both times. Luckily, the Hubbo came to the rescue again and shared his Gu with me. I hate the texture of Gu but it sure beats the feeling of low blood sugar!

I ran the first 4 miles on pace to be around a 2:10 - 2:15 pace but I got a horrible side stitch right before the big hill at mile 4.5. I was already having to push myself at that pace and after the side stitch I knew I couldn't hang on. So I decided to back off and have fun. That's when I took out my phone and starting taking pictures, Tweeting, Instagraming, and SnapChatting. I got some weird looks from runners who were passing me, but #RedHairDontCare.
It was my race and #IDoWhatIWant! 

I took this photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram. It's really hard to hashtag while running. Just FYI!

My Stats:
Finish: 2:23:25
I placed 1500th overall
780th in my Gender
165th in my Age Group (242 Total)

Number of Half Marathon Finishers: 2,199
Number of Females: 1,318
Number of Males: 877

Number of Full Marathon Finishers: 678

The Weather

PictureWell it was the Land of Oz Half Marathon...
The weather forecast for this race was different depending on the weather app you use. According to Weather Bug we had a significant chance of rain and thunderstorms during the race and it turns out it was right. The Weather Channel App was wrong. It said the rain wouldn't come into the area until mid afternoon. 
It was a little sunny at the start but not too warm but that quickly turned to overcast skies. I don't remember exactly when I took my sunglasses off but I didn't even need them for the majority of the race. It started sprinkling very lightly at mile 3. Then at mile 5.5 it started to come down a little more. It rained lightly just before mile 8 and then after mile 8 it started pouring buckets of rain! Some runners were lucky enough to get to run through hail. I never saw it but the reports are that it was very small. More like sleet. 

I wore a visor to this race and I'm glad I did. It would have been very difficult to run in the rain without it. I didn't mind the rain at all actually. It helped keep me cool from miles 8-11 where I tried to pick up my pace again. I was a little worried that my phone would get too wet but it survived. There was even a guy handing out plastic baggies for phones somewhere on the course by I didn't take one. That was dumb of me. 

We did have some lightening far off in the distance from this race. I'm glad they didn't call the race off. Also, a big part of the Half Marathon course was on a paved trail in the woods. If they did call it off, I'm not sure where we would have gone and how they would have gotten us out of the woods. Glad it all worked out ok!

If you like reading race recaps like this one you should totally check out Bibrave.com where you can find and write race reviews! 

More Race Weekend Pics!

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My typical race dummy!
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Typical Race Corral Selfie with The Hubbo!
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The Hubbo made me a Ginger Runner sticker for my car!
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Somewhere in Kansas I tried to take an Oscar-style selfie and failed!
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Pre-race carb loading with the crew!
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We may have stopped at Trader Joe's for some $2 Buck Chuck!
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The typical pre-race group pic!

Question! What's your next race?

 


Comments

04/28/2014 8:30pm

I've always heard that it's better to carb load the two or three days before the run than on the night before. Races throw the carb load dinners the night before to make more money, but it's not good to stuff yourself 12 hours prior to getting out there.
That medal is adorable. I'll have to put this on the list for my Kansas race!

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04/29/2014 5:38pm

Yeah, I've heard that too. I need to really work on my nutrition plan for my next race. I can't wait until they unveil the medal for next year!

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Amber Smith
04/28/2014 9:00pm

Great race recap!! So glad we got to travel to the race together! Can't wait for next years race with you!

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04/29/2014 5:39pm

Thanks Ginger Friend!

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Jeannie Kenyon
04/28/2014 9:18pm

So I tried looking for you at the start like I said I would on twitter. Turns out I need to pay better attention at the finish. We finished together. I was #1499 overall and finished basically right with you. I will blame the rain for my mental issues at the finish! I'm glad you enjoyed the race.

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04/29/2014 5:41pm

Oh gosh! That's crazy! I don't blame you though. I was too busy trying not to slip going up that slight incline to the finish.

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Jamie Fithian
04/28/2014 9:23pm

Great race recap! I wish I had found you at the race! I got there early to get my bib, so I didn't realize there was a parking issue. I met some nice HF's at the pic though. :) I agree that this is a race I will do again. I liked it a lot better than Rock the Parkway. I also enjoyed the mid-race rain shower!

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04/29/2014 5:43pm

Thanks! I can't wait to tell you the story about picking up your shirt. It's kinda funny. Ahhh I'm bummed I missed the HF pic too! I didn't know there was one to be honest. I need to be better about that kind of thing. I love meeting fellow runners at races!

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That medal is sooo cute!!! Looks like the weather was perfect for the theme of the race. Congrats on a great finish!

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04/29/2014 5:53pm

Right? It was perfect for the race theme! lol I'm just glad we didn't have to deal with any Twisters!

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04/28/2014 9:30pm

The medal was a scarecrow in 2012. Do you really think they do a Dorothy one? That would be pretty cool. (though I LOVED the scarecrow medal).

I really want to do this one next year!

Love your ginger sticker!

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04/29/2014 5:52pm

Thanks! The Hubbo made it for me! Shoot me your mailing address and I'll send one your way! sarah@rungingerrunblog.com
I really really hope they would have a Dorothy medal or at least themed after the ruby slippers!

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Dawn
04/28/2014 10:11pm

Love the Garmin recap. It was perfect. I didn't expect the hills either. The rain, wind, lightening through the forest made it pretty wicked

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04/29/2014 5:56pm

Thanks Dawn! Glad you liked it!
I would take a little rain like that over super hot and humid conditions any day!

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04/29/2014 1:50pm

Great recap as usual! I kinda, sorta nominated you for a Liebster Award which you have probably been nominated for many times. I tried to make the questions fun so if you are interested here is the link. http://afatrunner.blogspot.com/2014/04/liebster-award.html

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04/29/2014 5:55pm

Thanks Frank! Glad you liked the recap!
I'll check out the liebster award! That's so awesome!! :)

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05/01/2014 10:11am

Um, the pic of all of you in the restaurant looks a little freaky - your eyes are all glowing! But don't mind me I'm just jealous of your medal (and your finishing time!)!

Really thinking about doing this marathon next year...!

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05/02/2014 4:35pm

LOL I know! The lighting wasn't very conducive to photography. You totally should run this one next year!! I think a lot of Tulsa will be running it again. It's a smaller race so it's a nice alternative to OKC.

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Anthony T
05/07/2014 11:48pm

Great Recap!! This was my first ever half, and I was one of the unlucky ones that got hailed on. We got hit right at the start of the bridge that went over the highway right before the 7 mile mark... I saw a bunch of runners leave the course on the other end of the bridge and seek shelter in the pizza hut that was there.. I had a blast though... So much so I'm doing another 1/2 this Saturday.

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
05/08/2014 6:15pm

Thanks! Glad you liked the recap! Sorry to hear that you got hailed on though. Good luck on your half this weekend! Which one is it?

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