It’s Wednesday. The race was Sunday. I feel like I am already behind on a recap but today is my last recovery day. Probably not totally necessary as I had barely trained for this race so why should I recover.
In a complete opposite from last year, the weather preceding race day is not spectacular. Friday was rainy and cool. I spent a good portion of the day touring the Biltmore Estate and will tell y’all more about that in the future. Saturday, while warmer, was also rainy. Things were looking good for race day. Sun and warm – a relative term but it was 28F when I left home Thursday – temps.
Saturday was spent totally on expo items. I had signed up to work transportation from 1-5 but as I got over to the DoubleTree at 10:30, I helped out where needed until the lines died down so I could pick up my bib and get my other goodies.
I love this race. The swag you get prior to the race is impressive. I am a huge buff fan since getting my first ever at last year’s race in Asheville. I also use my gloves from this race all the time, both in running and in shoveling – an activity I have done way too much of in the past six weeks. This year’s race shirt will also get a lot of use. I tend to wear either singlet type shirts or long sleeve. Somehow I seldom think the temp is right for short sleeves.
Race day dawned beautifully. As we started at 7:30 am, the sunrise colored the sky a beautiful pink but I was sure I would not need a photo of the sunrise, plus people were really moving at the start so I didn’t want to try to get to an edge to take a photo.
The first half of the race is a lot of uphill. Like childbirth, I believe I forget hills quickly. I do love to run some hills but on occasion would like a downhill race. Do not ask how we get the downhill without the up but just once. The first part of the half is also run with the full marathoners for it is a bit crowded in spots. I really missed not hearing Danny Dreyer of Chi Running talk about the course. I was volunteering when he gave his presentation about the course. I know I’ve run it before but a lot has gone on between last March and now.
The race is run entirely on the Biltmore Estate. On top of the scenic, forested estate, runners run directly in front of the house.
Then, runners head towards the pond and then the gardens. Eventually we get off pavement and onto a less hard surface. I have to admit being ill-prepared for this race made my feet very happy with the non-asphalt roads we got on in the second half of the race. Even with all the rain on Friday and Saturday, nothing was as muddy as last year when it rained all of race day.
I love bamboo so am intrigued by all of it I see along the roads of the Estate.
There is a little out and back at approximately mile 11. This got a bit crowded as a lot of people had to be on it at once.
After the turnaround, half marathoners have about a mile, maybe a little more, to go. Full runners have about six and a half to go. Even though it was a gorgeous day, I had sweat a lot and was very happy to have a fleece blanket put around me at the finish. I also am in love with the medal.
I love this race and want to let you all know that changes are coming next year. The half will be on Saturday and the full on Sunday. For those of you looking for a challenge, go visit AshevilleMarathon.com and sign up now. Prices will not get cheaper. Please feel free to use me as a referral.
What was your most recent race? Distance? How did you run? Have you ever considered running Asheville?