Sunday, May 13, 2012

Running with the Cows Half Marathon

Time 1:31:20 (PR), 5th place female, 31th overall, 2nd in 30-34 Age Group
finishThe Race: The Running with the Cows Half Marathon took place in Bucyrus, KS which was about 30 minutes south of where my parents live.  The half marathon started and ended at the Queen of Holy Rosary Catholic Church and School, and this is who put on the race and where the proceeds went to.  I LOVED that my entry fee ($45) went to this church and school and all the kids helped at water stops and some even participated in the 5K.  There were about 2000 runners doing the half.  It was well organized but they could have given better directions to the start and opened up multiple roads/parking to avoid the traffic congestion that occurred (it took us 20 minutes to go from the highway to park).  It was only the second year of the race, so I’m sure it will be fixed next year.
raceThe Course:  The course was an out and back that went by cow pastures and corn fields and consisted of rolling hills.  I don’t think it was necessarily a “flat” course, but the rolling hills were not bad, in fact it was nice to have a change going up and down using different muscles.  It was beautiful out there and the air was so fresh!  There were water stations manned by the catholic school kids every few miles.  There was a headwind the first half, but the second half it was at our backs and felt great.  The temperature was mild and humidity low, the race started in the 50s and ended in the low 60s.  I liked the out and back aspect so that you could see who was in front of you (at the turn I was the 6th female) and the other participants were cheering you on.  Everyone was so friendly!  YAY for Kansans!
frontrun2Other: They gave nice medals and cow bells at the end (you can never have too many cow bells).  There was a “health festival” with some delicious BBQ to eat after the race.  If you are one of those people trying to run a half in every state, I would definitely recommend running this as your Kansas race!  So much fun and a great, PR-friendly, course.

I wasn’t setting out to PR this race and was really just using this as a tune-up race in preparation for the marathon June 9.  I wanted to start out slow and then just run based on feel.  I didn’t pay attention to my watch and just ran (much less “pressure” this way!).  I started off feeling really good and was enjoying the run, and I ended the race feeling great.  I never felt like I wanted to stop or go slower, and even felt like I was holding myself back as I knew I wanted to get in 6 miles the next day to get in 40 miles for the week and don’t want to tire out my legs. 
sideI also ran as a "cow” wearing a cow ear headband and a cow tail.  This made it so much fun and the crowd loved me!  And even the other runners cheered for me.  I mean, it was “Running with the Cows” so why not run as a cow?!  It helped me to not take myself so seriously and I just ran to have fun. 
backcowMy mom came to the race with me and brought her bike.  I loved having her there and she was able to make it to mile 7 and then biked next to me a bit and then saw me a few more times at the end.  She also got some great pictures, thanks Mom!


JRL said...

Mooooo!! Very cool

JRL said...

Good photography work Jean!

RoseRunner said...

Whoa! Nice speedy PR!

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