This race will also be dubbed as the "My Most Enjoyable Race."
And I totally stole these pictures from Christine from Dream Big Runner.
In the morning, I easily found parking at one of many parking garages. And I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for it. For whole day event parking, it was $5.
Christine graciously invited me to wait in her cosy room and let me use her clean bathroom with real flushing system! We geeked out again.
She contemplated her outfits and gadgets while I sat on the floor and stuffed myself with half a Clif bar.
Marathon: Cap = 2,400 - Sold Out on Dec 14
Half Marathon: Cap=4,200 - Sold Out on Dec 30
10K: Cap=1,200 - Sold Out on Jan 3
5K: Cap=1,200 - Sold Out
On Saturday, there was a kids' race and the 5K.
On Sunday, the 10Kers, half marathoners, and marathoners took to the street.
Waiting for the start.
The race folks did a good job at spreading the runners out. Yes, we did a few weaving in the first mile, but it wasn't any worse than the other races I have done.
This is the course elevation.
So you see, Little Rock isn't flat. And the second half of the race got me!
Mile 1 to 5
I was feeling strong. And according to Christine, I was going at a very good pace.
We talked about perfect the weather was, strategized along the route, and I think we were just excited.
I informed her that I don't want to know my time (I'm in good hands) but to just let me know if we were on track to a PR or to give me a kick in the rear if I am too slow. (She is too nice to do that.)
We laughed at funny sights.
This is my favorite photo.
You can see the excitement on our faces.
Can you spot us?
After the first mile and approaching the bridge.
The cool thing about having a pacer who is a blogger is she runs in front of you and ask you to keep running while she takes pictures of you. :)
Christine did all the thinking and calculating for me. She has the engineering degree and has taken all the fancy statistics and math classes. So, I just let her be the smart one that day.
After we crossed the bridge back over again, we headed toward the state Capitol.
Christine enjoyed the sights. I was still feeling pretty good up until mile 8, when I started to fizzle ever so slightly away. Christine also started to distract me with talks about the flowers blooming, about races that has cute firefighters, and she also shared her favorite quote with me,
"Pain is Temporary. Pride is Forever."
About Mile 9ish, my toes started to cramp on my right foot and finally I had to stop and stretch.
You know how you know some material really well and when it comes pop-quiz time, you don't remember a thing? Well, I didn't remember how to stretch my toes and Christine had to teach me that.
After that incident with the toes, around mile 10-ish or 11-ish, I started to feel the urge to pee.
Really bad urge.
I haven't been drinking large amount of water - just a sip or two here and there and to wash down my Chomps. But man, I was singing that ad jingle "Gotto go, gotto go, gotto go, right now" in my head.
I let Christine in on the Nature Call.
I was looking and contemplating on peeing behind bushes, electrical boxes by the road, behind vehicles, behind someone's yard, tree trunks. I might have tinkled just a drip or two.
Yes. I have admitted it. I tinkled!
I was getting tired. But Christine was ever so supportive and never gave up on me.
She pointed out to the finishing clock under the finish line and said, I have the PR in my bag.
She might have suggested sprinting to the end, so we did it.
I want to keep it at 2:25.
As we finished, we went through a "checkpoint" place where the volunteers clipped the timing chip off our shoes.
Then, we went and got some snacks and find Mike, Christine's boyfriend.
The drinks stations weren't placed at every mile or every 1.5 mile. In the other races, most of the drink stations were right before a mile marker or right after a mile marker. But this was just here and there.
Thank goodness Christine brought along an extra bottle for the hydration belt and filled it up with water
Parking was a breeze.
And Little Rock's roads do not have that many pot holes. So it was easy and safe to run on.
But watch for the trolley lines/rail. Someone tripped and fell earlier on in the race.
After the race, there were many different kinds of fluids available - chocolate milk, tea, and water.
You also get pretzels, goldfish, yogurt, bananas, those Little Debbie cake looking things.
Your race bib also allows you to one free beer.
There was an after-party at 4 or 5 p.m. and it goes into the night.
They feed you BBQ and have entertainment.
We didn't stay for that. I took Christine and Mike to the airport and was on my way home to take a good ol' much needed shower.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Little Rock Half Marathon. I think Christine helped made this experience a really fun one. It is really nice to be running with a friend. She kept me going even when the running got difficult. I cannot let her down.
To read Christine's race report, click on the link below.