Yesterday, I ran the New Bedford Half Marathon in New Bedford, MA with my friends Arianna Magee and Joe Nusca. For them this was their first half marathon. For me, it was a follow up to the Hyannis Half Marathon with the hope that it would good much better than that one.
The day of the race was already much better than it was for the Hyannis Half Marathon. Instead of it being raining, windy and cold it was sunny with wind gusts. A much better setting to be running a race in.
There were 3135 runners in this race, but even with this many participants parking was not an issue at all. They planned for the large crowds and had ample parking spaces available. The biggest pre and post race issues for this race were the lines for locker rooms (pre-race) and the festivities (post-race).
Before we discuss post-race though on to the race itself. With such a massive crowd and a highly popular event this race was amazing. Part of the course took us by the beaches and harbors in New Bedford. It made for a very scenic race at times. With it being in a decent size city this view did not last for the entire race, but it certainly made it better when I got to see it.
However, the two toughest spots for this course are stated in the course description itself. There are two hills that are rather long and up the level of difficulty for this race. The first hill is at mile 3. It is by no means the steepest hill a runner will encounter, but it tends to be a long hill with a steady incline. The second big hill comes in around mile 12. This was a rather difficult hill due to fatigue and soreness in my legs, but I managed to conquer them both.
Another really cool aspect to this race was the crowd turnout. New Bedford takes a lot of pride in this race and you can see it with the spectators who are there cheering on the runners. It was easily the largest turn out fro spectators I have experienced yet.
All-in-all, this was probably my favorite race so far. Between the crowds on the street, my time and just the overall feeling at the end, I have never felt more accomplished when finishing a race. When I crossed the finish line I yelled "Yes!". That's the only time I have have ever done that.
In the my resulst were a chip time of 2:13:24. This average of to a minute per mile time of 10:11. This was 12 minutes faster than my time for the Hyannis Half Marathon. Such a great improvement and now, I am looking forward to the Great Bay Half Marathon on April 7th.