Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Strawberry Plains Half Marathon:::: Recap & Review

.:race details:.  

date: saturday february 9th
race day pick up? yes. you could pick up your packet the morning of the race or the night before at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Knoxville.
start time:  9 am [the 10k also started at 9am]
did race start on time? yes
adequate restrooms?  i didn't need the restrooms so i don't really know. there were bathrooms inside the school and also portopotties outside
aid stations:  i think there were about 6. the race is a T shaped course and the second and third time we passed the intersection they had Gu gels. The rest had water and gatorade [except one time when we went through they were out of gatorade].
course spectator support: there weren't many spectators along the race but the volunteers and  even the police officers were all very friendly and encouraging. 
course terrain:  all paved, a couple of large hills. all out in the country though, it was beautiful. 
shirts:  long technical shirts. i was honestly a little disappointed in the shirts. last year they were so pretty, i loved the design and color. I'm not sure what was up with the donkey being the theme of the race. There were some donkeys on the course but a lot of other animals too. Maybe next year it'll be chickens instead. Even with the donkey though, I think a colored shirt would have looked better. 

medals:  the donkey rears its ugly head again. it's not my favorite medal, but it is quite unique. 

would i race again?  yes 
any complaints? other than the shirts, not really. 
what you need to know:  parking is a little tricky, so get there early. i had to park on the side of the road, which was fine because it's not a high traffic area, but make sure you're not going to get blocked in. also, this course does not allow headphones [they will not give you your medal if you're caught wearing them!]

.: my race :.
chip time:::: 2:33:41

i drove to knoxville on friday to pick up my packet and do some shopping. i got a hotel room on the strawberry plains exit and it worked perfectly. i had a 20 miler on the schedule so i got up and ran 7 miles on the treadmill at the hotel. then i changed and packed up my stuff to head to the race. 

dawn and i were hoping to run into each other and we did right before the race. [ps-- she's running 30 half marathons before she turns 30, how awesome is that?!] this race does not allow headphones, so we started out together, chatting as we went. isn't it crazy how you can meet someone for the first time but have so much to talk about? i've never talked that much while running, but it did keep me aware of my breathing and made the time fly by. it was also great to get to know her better. 

we saw a lot of animals during the race:  dogs, horses, goats, chicken, donkeys, cows, and a little dog even ran with us for a little while. dawn got this pic of me with our little friend!

we walked some of the big hills and tried to make up the time lost by running a little quicker on the downhills. she wanted to break 230 and i'm sad that i didn't get her there, but i have a feeling she'll get it at her next one! 
dawn's husband took this one after the race, isn't that sweat stripe so flattering?

all in all, a successful saturday/long run. thanks to dawn for being a great running buddy!

i also ran this race last year, if you'd like to check out that recap you can find it here


  1. Great job Courtney! I can't believe you ran 7 beforehand:) So fun that you got to meet a bloggy friend! Yes, I do like the sweat stripe:)

  2. I had such a blast! I really cannot think of a time that we stopped talking! Thanks so much for running with me :) Cannot wait to hear how your marathon training goes and maybe we'll see you this weekend!

  3. Awesome Recap! If its ok, I might steal some of the format for my race recap. As a Vol, I can't help but get jealous at all of your Knoxville races. It's so beautiful up there. I desperately wanted to run the Knoxville half but it just wasn't in the cards this year!

    1. ugh i didn't know you were a vol! just kidding, mostly :) i like the knoxville half and am hoping to run it again this year. this race had a lot nicer scenery though!

  4. i wish there was a fast forward button, I'm seriously following you along excited for your marathon! It's such a big day and you're gonna love it. Well, a kind painful sorta love but you'll remember it FOREVER!

    Ass's on a shirt...that's a first for a race :)

    1. your excitement is making me more excited too! i was at the running store today and saw a 26.2 shirt, and i thought, in 3 weeks i can wear one of those! i can't wait!

  5. Great job! No headphones at all, wow that's interesting. I ran a 10 miler last year that stated no headphones but it was only so you could admire the scenery. I didn't mind it but this year I plan to wear my headphones.

  6. I did the 10K for the third time this year. I was also very disappointed with the shirt design, but they did fit a lot better than last year's. Overall, I love this race, though.

  7. Great job!! I ran Straw Plains for the 2nd time this year. I loved the shirt BUT a friend of mine is the race director and she actually took that picture on the course last year. To me, it's funny because it's accurate of how back in the woods this race is and it's fun to have something to laugh at like, "I ran 13.1 miles for a little piece of a$$ (shirt/medal)!" teehee

    Also, good luck with your upcoming marathon!!

  8. Very nice job Courtney! I hate that Dawn didn't get her sub-2:30 finish but I'm sure she will at her next half. The donkey thing is a little weird. The medal and shirt from last year were much cuter. I really hope I can run this one next year!