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Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Goldilocks Half Marathon

A little over a week ago I got a message from Holly Garcia from RYR Pacers asking if I was available to pace the 2:30 group at the Goldilocks Half Marathon. I generally won't accept any pacing gigs slower than 2:20, but with Ogden next week (my first attempt to qualify for Boston), I said yes. I thought an easy run at new race would be fun and I love pacing, so it was a win-win.

Goldilocks has been around since 2012, but as a women's cycling event. This was the first year they added a 5K, 10K, and half marathon to the event. 

I got to the start at 6:30am and met the other pacers. The night before, the weather had been cold and rainy, but when I got to the race, the sky was overcast, but dry. I looked at my Weather Channel app and it too indicated that the rain would hold off until around noon. With the race starting at 7:15am, there was plenty of time to finish before it started to rain again...or so I thought. 

At the start of the Goldilocks Half Marathon

Goldilocks would not be the same without a bear or two..or three.

Pacers at the start!

Cyclists getting started.

The race was small, maybe 200 people. The 60 mile cyclists started at the same time, but in the corrals ahead of us. At 7:15am we were off.

Starting our 13.1 mile journey!

All lined up and ready to run!

About a mile into the race, it started to sprinkle and by mile 3, it was full on dumping rain and I immediately regretted leaving my jacket and hat in my gear bag. I have run many marathons in rainy conditions, but when you combine rain, wind and 40 degree temperatures, it can be miserable.  

I had two women running with me that were running their first half marathon. I tried to keep them pumped up through the bad conditions. Doing your first race is scary enough, add bad weather and it could mentally break you down.

Within the first few miles the rain fell hard!

Once it got really cold I had to watch my pace. The harder the rain fell and the colder I got, the faster I wanted to run just to get done, but I was there to do a job.

About 4 miles in I had to stop to use the bathroom (in one of the pink port-a-potties). My hands were already so cold, I had trouble untying my pants. I finally got done and had to make up for the time I lost in there. This was the best part of the run. I got to pick up the pace and the faster I ran, the more I warmed up!

I caught my group and when I got to the next mile marker, I had made up more than enough time and was a little ahead. I slowed back down, but by mile 7, I was having a hard time even holding the pacer balloons. Even with gloves on, my hands were so cold, they had already gone numb.

I was miserable, but I tried to keep smiling!

At mile 10, we merged with the 10K runners, which was nice as by this time the two ladies that were with me had fallen back and I was pretty much alone for a while. 

At mile 11, I hit the restroom one more time. My hands were so numb, I had to come out of the restroom and ask one of the 10K runners to help me pull my pants up all the way! We both had a good laugh about that.

When I finally finished, I collected my silver necklace and headed directly into the finisher building, where they had big pots of warm oatmeal with all the fixings, bagels, fruit, and drinks.

     Finally finished!

Instead of your standard race medal, Goldilocks gave runners this cute silver necklace!

I picked up my gear bag (where I had put my jacket), and I started to violently shake, I was so cold. A woman from the University of Utah Medical Center booth saw me and wrapped me in a foil blanket and helped me open my gear bag, as my hands were not working. I finally got my jacket on and had to ask another girl to help me zip it up!

I got a warm bowl of oatmeal and a half a bagel and was still freezing, so I decided to make my way back to my car and get the heat on ASAP. I sat in the car for a few minutes as it warmed up, but my hands were still so cold I could not grip the steering wheel. 

As the heat started to return, the worst pain went through my hands making me wonder if frostbite had set in, but by the time I was able to get home the pain had stopped and my hands were nearly back to normal.

I got home and had the longest, hottest shower ever!

The Goldilocks race shirt was so cute!

This race would have been so much fun if the weather was good. The course is pretty flat and running through Daybreak was actually fun. There are some really cute houses there! 

The race is really well organized and I highly recommend it!

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