I ran the first annual Newport Half Marathon . They have been doing the Newport Marathon since 1999 and this year they added the half, which I gladly signed up for. I have actually registered for the Newport marathon 2 (almost 3) times in the past when I was going to school at Oregon State. Every time I ended up having to back out because of an injury. So I can finally cross ‘NEWPORT’ off my list, even thought it wasn’t the full marathon.
After taking the RRCA running coach certification course, I realized that I hadn’t been pushing myself as hard as I needed to to get the PR I wanted. A couple weeks before the race I basically gave in to the fact that I was just going to get another half under my belt, rather than a PR. But then a friend of mine reminded me of the major elevation difference. I live at over 4,800 ft and the race was at sea level. My goal resurfaced and I was determined to get a PR!
Lets get the stats out of the way:
race distance – 13.1 miles time – 1:37:23 (a PR by 1 min 19 sec!!) average pace – 7:27 place – 3nd overall female – 2nd in age group – 8th overall finisher total racers – 250 (capped)
The start of the race was great. The start and finish are about a mile apart, so I parked near the finish line and caught the shuttle to the start. Luckily I parked along the route of the shuttle to the start because I didn’t get there as early as I wanted and ended up catching the last shuttle, as it was in route!! Thank goodness they stopped for me!
During the rush of parking and heading to the shuttle, my brother called me while I was getting out of the car & I was super distracted and forgot to take my handheld water bottle (with my Clif Shot Bloks). This was the first half marathon I’ve ran without carrying it and eating my Clif Shot Bloks, but I ended up running it faster than I ever have so maybe I’ll stick with that tactic .
There were REALLY long lines for the bathrooms, but there were also plenty of porta potties so the wait was extremely short. This race is capped at 1,000 marathon runners and 250 half marathoners, so the start wasn’t too packed. It started near a light house, overlooking the ocean & it was gorgeous!
The first 4 miles loop around some neighborhoods and then heads back down along the bay for the rest of the race. There were a few rolling hills every now and then, but overall the course was flat. There were plenty of aid stations along the way. I usually never take anything when I race, but once again, I forgot my handheld, so I was desperate. I drank a gulp of Gatorade at about mile 9 and a gulp of water at about mile 11.
The half marathoners turned around at mile 8.7 and headed to the finish (same finish line as the marathoners). I was almost to mile 8 before I saw any half marathoners pass by me (headed back), which really surprised me because I didn’t think I was that close to the front. I counted the girls that were headed to the finish line and I was really REALLY surprised when I only counted 2 ahead of me!
One main problem with this race is that it’s not spectator friendly. In order to spectate, you have to catch a ‘spectator shuttle’ or be somewhere along the first 4 miles of the race or the finish. My man, sister (and 3 of her kids), little brother & father-in-law went to the race to cheer me on, but I didn’t see them until mile 12 and the finish. I figured that’s how it would be, since they don’t let traffic down the side roads…but they do let one way traffic on the course (kinda strange to me!).
Overall great course. I love the ocean, especially the Oregon Coast, and it was fun to look out at the bay while running. It was flat, low elevation & the weather was surprisingly perfect (no wind, no rain, not super hot…only humid).
**What I really need to work on: around mile 8 of every race I ate super exhausted and slow down (at least it feels like I do). I need to figure out how to stay motivated and strong between miles 8-11.
After running the half, and having pushed harder than I have in past races, I needed a good recovery. First I drank Vega Sport recovery accelerator.
Then I iced.
…and had the perfect view! It was torturously cold & I was miserable! But once I got numb it felt great. I should have gotten a little deeper in the water though, my quads needed it the most and they didn’t get iced at all.
Stretching & massaging came later. I was feeling great until I sat for 2 days in the car while traveling home
Our race packets had the usual race info, advertisements & bib. We got our shirts when we finished the race, something new to me. They also included an Odwalla bar, dried cherry’s from a local company (ate them already & can’t remember where they were from! VERY delicious), sample sunscreen and lotion, and a razor…so you can shave your legs before the race?!! (also new to me in a race packet!).
After we finished, they gave us another bag, with our shirts and a drink & meal ticket for later that day. There was a few more advertisements in there too. I almost feel like the half marathon got shafted when it came to the shirts & the finishers medals, like it was all an after thought compared to the marathon gear. The full marathon shirts were tech shirts, the half was 100% cotton (but I do love the fit, especially the sleeves!). The full marathon medals were really awesome; blow glass with a stamp of the Newport Marathon logo (see picture on Kim’s post ). The half marathon medal had ‘13.1’ etched in it, still really cool because it was made by a local glass blower, but not nearly the awesomeness of the 26.2 medals. I guess I did pay a little less than the marathoners, so I won’t complain too much
They offered prizes to the first, second & third place finishers in every age group, plus first overall male & female finishers, for both races = a lot of prizes. Their age groups are every 5 years, so I was in the 30-34 and I received this plaque:
PRE & POST RACE FUN AT THE OREGON COAST
I’ve said it before, but I love the Oregon Coast. We got to the coast the day before the race & spent the rest of race day at the coast. I’ll wrap up this race recap with some a bunch pictures of our fun at the coast.