Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hyannis Half Marathon Race Recap

I am excited to be participating for the first time in a link-up by a fellow running blogger at MissSippiPiddlin.  The purpose of this link-up is to connect with and support other active women. 

This was my second time running the Hyannis Half Marathon - the first time all the way back in 2010, when I was still living in Maine.  And my how far I've come... I managed to shave nearly 20 minutes off my time.  Not "half" bad!  (Ok, that was really bad...)  But in all seriousness, I enjoyed today's race and am very pleased with my run!  

The day started on a high note with an amazing parking spot right across the street from the finish line.  I get major race jitters from pre-race traffic and parking issues, so being able to see the starting line and hear the race announcer from my car kind of made my morning.  The little things... 

See you again soon... in 13 miles!

I remember and had heard from fellow running club members that the bib pickup at Hyannis can be kind of crazy, so I arrived extra early to avoid any issues, but I have to say, it wasn't bad at all!  I snagged a long-sleeve tech shirt that I am kind of in love with, and then headed back to the car (did I mention my awesome parking spot?!) to relax before the race.

So many race shirts... but I love them all!
 The start was a little chaotic, and I spent much of the first half-mile dodging other runners and trying to get up to pace, but all-in-all, I averaged 8:30 for my first two miles, and I was feeling great.  The first part of the race runs near downtown Hyannis and has strong crowd support.  The road is completely closed off to traffic, and I quickly got into a rhythm surrounded by other runners on the rolling hills.  

The next several miles ran along the shoreline with some long stretches past Hyannis's public beaches, which made for some incredibly scenic but VERY windy miles.  I thoroughly enjoyed yet another 50-degree, sunny February day, which provided quite the contrast to last year's Hyannis Marathon, which was cancelled due to a blizzard.

Love ocean races
The last few miles of the half marathon were more challenging for me.  Long stretches of residential areas, followed by the course opening up to traffic for a short stretch on Main Street, where runners were crowded into a coned-off shoulder.  Not my favorite part, but at that point I was just focused on finishing.  The last few hills seemed to last forever and my pace slowed as I realized that I wasn't going to break 2 hours.  Close, but not that close.

The last stretch to the finish line felt incredible though, as I passed several members of my running club who were volunteering near the finish.  The crowd support for the last mile was strong and it kept me motivated.  I finished in 3:03:18 - a PR for me!  Although not quite the under 2-hour race I had hoped for, I have a lot to be proud of for this one.

Obligatory medal selfie
I think perhaps my biggest victory at Hyannis was finishing the half marathon feeling pretty strong.  I had my moments of side stitches and a cramped left hamstring and some fueling issues, but overall, I felt well-prepared and in good shape by the end.  I went into Hyannis thinking of the race as a training run on my way to my April and May full marathons, and today most definitely served its purpose of boosting my confidence for the training miles to come.

Looking back, I have had a great February with 27.6 race miles, starting with my negative 20-degree wind chill 4.5 miler, followed by last week's 50-degree 10-miler and this weekend's equally warm half marathon.  In March, I am looking forward to a few weekends off from racing to build training mileage, and then ending the month with the Eastern States 20-Miler.  It's getting real!

Check out all that race bling!

What races are you looking forward to in March?

Have you ever done the Eastern States or Run for the Border?  I would love any advice!


  1. Congrats on a strong race and shaving so much time off! The part of the course along the ocean is so pretty!

  2. This looks like a lovely race! Congrats on the PR. And wow, I'd love a parking spot like that too. So nice to get back to the car quickly after a long and exhausting race!

  3. Congrats on your race. Hyannis is a pretty place and I am sure that you had some nice scenery to take your mind off of the race. I have a half marathon on my calendar in late March.

  4. Michelle, I am so glad you joined us for the Weekly Wrap! What a great race you had congratulations on the PR! I get that way too about the start of the race. I don't want to be too early but I sure don't want to cut it too close. I think you snatched a perfect parking spot! How far was this race from you, not too much of a drive right? I do hope you'll make this link up a habit! Have a great week!

  5. Congratulations on the PR! Excellent - 2:03!

  6. Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, Michelle. We are honored to have you. Twenty minutes is an incredible amount of time to take off! Congratulations! That's a great medal and shirt and I bet the course was simply beautiful. I am always happy if I feel strong at the end of a race too. Hope to see you here next week.