I don't run many half marathons unless I have been asked to pace, mainly due to the fact that half marathons are becoming just as expensive as running full marathons and for some insane reason I feel like I am getting a better value (price per mile) to do the full 26.2 miles.
The last time I ran the Provo City Half Half Marathon was when I was asked to pace at this race with the Utah Race Pacers about 3 years ago and the course has totally changed (for the better) since then.
I didn't have anything planned this weekend, but knew I would run somewhere on Saturday, May 3rd. I was really happy when I got some Groupon junk mail that caught my eye. "Run the Provo City Half Marathon!" I opened the Groupon and was happy to see I could buy a registration for $37! That was about half of what the normal entry fee was so I jummped on it!
Race morning started early. I woke up at 3:15am, got dressed and waited for my friends Ibana and Renee to meet me at 4:00am. We headed to Provo to catch the bus up to the starting line by 5:00am. We almost didn't make it as Renee and I got to talking and I drove right past Provo! Wasn't until I saw a sign for Spanish Fork that I realized what I had done and flipped the car around toot sweet! Luckily we got rock star parking right on the street and made it in plenty of time to get the bus.
The starting area was freezing and there was not enough port-a-potties, but we luckily did not have to stay up there too long before the race got underway.
I started off right behind the 2:00 pacer and settled into a pace that felt good. I had no goal time for this race, I just wanted to run a nice training run so I didn't feel bad when the 2:00 pacer took off. I just did my own thing and ran when I wanted too, walked when I wanted too and took a few photos of the beautiful course.
Provo Canyon is just beautiful!
I had to get a selfie at Bridal Veil Falls!
I was going at a pretty good pace (average 8:37) around mile 6 and just had the feeling if I kept that pace I would eventually blow up, so I backed off a little and just started chatting with other runners around me (shocker right?).
The last mile I ran into one of my pals from "The Run Aways" and we chatted, ran a little and walked a little. When I got about 200 meters from the finish I looked at watch and saw I was close to a sub 2:00, but with the 2:00 pacer nowhere in sight, I second guessed myself and just kicked it in the last 100 meters just in case. I finished in 1:59:32!
I'll take it!
Me at the finish!
After I finished, I had some french toast, chatted with other friends and waited for Ibana and Renee to finish.
One really cool thing was seeing McKay Matheson and his cute family, whom my friend Galen and I helped pace through his first marathon at the Salt Lake City Marathon. We chatted for a bit and Ibana and Renee came in.
Renee, Ibana and I at the finish!
I had an appointment right after the race, so I had to get back before lunch, but was really happy to get to run a great race on such a beautiful day!
I highly recommend this race and it will be on my list for next year for sure.