Saturday had loomed heavy in the back of my mind as I was scheduled to run my first race since March 20th when I walked the Forks XV with Ron Slocum. My race before that – the Asheville Marathon and Half (I did the half) – was walked more than run, also, as I stuck with my friend Rebecca and she was six months pregnant.
I ran the Bethel Half Marathon on Saturday. It was ugly outside but the race was for a good cause. The thank you to runners posted on the race’s Facebook page says
Thank you to all who registered for our race yesterday! Because of you, 70 families will have food available at our community food pantry, college and youth scholarships will go out, historical buildings and farmland will be preserved, and families will receive assistance to keep them safe in winter’s cold months. You rock!
I’m happy to have been a part of that. Now, it was rainy and windy most of the race. I don’t think I felt warm at all the entire 13.1 miles. I was woefully undertrained, not having run more than 5 miles at one time since moving to NC and not having had a week where I ran more than 15 miles. That all led to a world of hurt about mile 11 but at that point I know I can finish.
This sign appeared as I was heading to the middle school where the race would start. It was funny because Friday evening I ran into a couple who live out this way and they were all about the signs that were being put out as they came into town. Unfortunately, this also shows how the weather was. I had started out of my house in a sleeveless shirt. I put on a short sleeve shirt when I got to the race start. I changed one more time, into a long sleeve shirt, before the gun went off.
Not only was my clothing an issue of contention, my Garmin would not start. I do not truly care if I have the actual mileage with me but I like to have time with me. I would have grabbed my Timex Ironman watch if I had known the Garmin was going to be temperamental that morning. I had to go by the mileage markers on the ground throughout the race. I did run Charity Miles on my phone but it was so rainy I didn’t dare take it out of my fuel belt to see where I was time-wise. I’m not sure it would matter by the end. Thankfully, the finish is downhill onto the school track. I’m pretty sure I would have walked/crawled across the finish line if it had not been.
The race is two loops of roads near the Bethel Middle School. You are on open roads the entire way and at one point, I was a little scared of traffic but I was always within shouting distance of the person in front of me so I just figured we would both be okay. The sights were eerie because of fog on the mountains and the rain but beautiful in an eerie sort of way. I cannot wait until next year to run this again.
Special thanks to Jaime McKee who told me this would be a great race to run and to Julie Blanda for putting it on my radar to begin with. My biggest regret is the weather did not allow me to take any photos along the route.