Well helloooooo! I’ve been MIA but for good reason: my parents were in town visiting from Utah so I was soaking up all the good times with them! And then, I was in Charlotte for work. Busy times but good times! While they were here, we spent a weekend in the high country at this charming cabin.
My mom had asked if there was a half marathon we could run while she was in town and I found the High Country Half Marathon in Boone. We registered and my dad agreed to be our chauffeur and supporter. The race started on the Appalachian State University football field which was pretty cool!
Ummmm, we had NO IDEA what we were signing up for, i.e. a BEAST. It was, by far, the hardest half marathon I have ever done. It went up and up and up. Some gradual hills, some steep hills, but seriously the course had alllll the hills with just one long stretch of a pretty steep downhill. Just when I though the hills were over, nope! More. Right up until the very end. I saw people walking up the hills a lot and I rarely see people walking in half marathons. I have no clue how I never stopped running to walk on the hills. I did walk at two water stations, which I typically run through.
But, I LOVED the race. I knew 2 miles in that there was absolutely no way I could PR so I shifted my mindset and thought of the race as a different type of challenge. I focused less on speed, and more on endurance and strength. And I just tried to take in the beauty because it was certainly a gorgeous course from Boone to Blowing Rock. Plus, it was so fun to cross the finish line and have my dad there!
My half PR is 1:34 and I ran this in 1:43. (And rumor has it that the course was a little short – not sure by how much. My Garmin clocked 12.53 miles but I lost my signal a few times.) I was seriously shocked that I placed, but I was the third overall female!!
High Country Half Marathon | Official time: 1:43:10 | 25th overall out of 219 finishers | 3rd overall female
I am seriously obsessed with the prize. It’s a pottery plate made by a local Boone artist. Definitely something I’ll keep on display at my house. The finishers medals were cool too – they were bottle openers! 🙂
My mom took first in her age group, running 2:25, and won some fancy socks. I hope I’m as speedy and active as she is when I’m 67!My dad spoiled us with a big breakfast after the race. He is such a good cook!
And we soaked in the views from the front porch while the soreness set into our legs.
If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend the race. The course IS a beast, but it was such a fun and pretty race. Plus, all the volunteers and race organizers were fantastic. Seriously so friendly and supportive. The race just had a really great feel to it — very warm and welcoming.