At the end of week 30 of my Wine & Dine / WDW Marathon “Ultra Combo” training, I decided to register for the Jacksonville Bank Half-Marathon. I had recently skipped my scheduled 6-miler because it was Christmas Eve and I was still wrapping presents (and I had to work). Then I had decided to rest on Saturday because I wasn’t feeling well, so I skipped my 12-miler. When I found out that I had not missed the Jacksonville Bank Half-Marathon, the temptation of adding another medal to my brand new display rack was too great to ignore. With my husband’s support and blessings (and money, thank you, Ryan!) and Thieves essential oil from Young Living, I was able to go to sleep by 11 pm Saturday night with dreams of my husband saying over and over, “You were 12th [place] overall…”
I woke up at 4:45am to my favorite running song, “Leilani” by the Hotels, and had even enough time to ponder over race attire and time to make and eat a peanut butter sandwich. 1st Place Sports opened race-day registration at 5:30am, and I got there at about 5:45am. It was a good thing, too. There were already about a hundred people waiting and parking was VERY limited, so get there early if you want a great parking spot. Mine was right beside the gym and the finish line at the field. There was a VIP lot at the church across the street, but it was $20.
Registration on race day was quick and easy, and I had time to take a selfie and post to Facebook.
The Jacksonville Bank Marathon and Half Marathon is said to be a good race for beginners because the route is flat. Hold on. Flat? I didn’t think it was very flat as all. There were some good elevation changes and San Jose Boulevard has enough of a grade to irritate ITBS sufferers. The neighborhoods were scenic, however, there were pot holes and cracks in the asphalt and you can twist your ankle if you’re not careful. The marathoners, half-marathoners, and 5K runners all started from the same spot, in one wave. We lined up according to our pace and it was easy.
We started out on San Jose, in front of the Bolles School, then ran north to Christopher Point and turned around and headed south. We headed back through the starting line and the 5K runners finished there. The half-marathoners and marathoners continued south all the way down to Beauclerc Bluff. Us half-marathoners split off from the marathoners shortly after 8.5 miles into the race and made our way back north the way we came. 98% of the race was on the road, with the last quarter mile going through grass, and finally finishing on the track. I wasn’t used to running on grass, so I slowed down because I didn’t know what to expect. Ugh! WHY did I do that?!
My official time was 1:55:05, ten seconds shy of my half-marathon PR. If I didn’t slow down on that grass, I would have gotten a PR! Oh well, this race was supposed to be a training run. Heheh!