My Half Marathon Journey

Half marathons are my favorite race distance.  I don’t really have an exact reason why but I have had the most success with the half marathon distance… We like what we are most successful at right?  So I guess I truly believe the reason I love half marathons so much is that I’ve had so much success with them.  There is enough time (for me) to get warmed up and race (5 and 10ks are so short) but neverending like marathon.

I’ve raced a lot of half marathons.  I often forget them all but let me try.   Until I actually compiled this list, I had no idea how many I had actually raced.  I’ve raced a couple of 20ks too but these are all the half marathons.

April 2011 Plattsburgh (1:41) PR
April 2011 Flower City (Rochester) 1:39 PR
May 2011 Run for the Dream (Williamsburg, VA) 1:36.56 PR

Run for the Dream half 2011(Williamsburg) 1:37
Run for the Dream half 2011(Williamsburg) 1:37

March 2012 Shamrock (VA Beach) 1:33.29 PR
April 2012 Plattsburgh (1:27.17) PR and win
April 2012 Flower City (1:29)
May 2012: Run from the Sun (Watertown, NY) 1:33 Win

Myself, dad and my oldest brother Doug
Myself, dad and my oldest brother Doug

May 2012 ZOOMA Annapolis (1:31)

At ZOOMA…This might be my only centered bib ever

Sep 2012: Turning Stone Utica (1:33.33)
Feb 2013 Lake Effect Syracuse (1:31)
March 2013 Shamrock (1:25.15) PR
April 2013 Nike Women’s DC (1:24.49) PR

May 2013 Run for the Dream (1:28) Win
Sep 2013 RnR VA Beach (1:28.39)

Sep 2013 Scallywompus (San Antonio) 1:28.30 Win
Feb 2014 Lake Effect (1:25.32) Win
March 2014: Shamrock (1:25.29)

Some random fun facts:

Hottest: Scallywompus

Coldest: Lake Effect 2012


Best Swag: Scallywompus gave out a huge growler for winning.  Also Run from the Sun gave out wine tour tickets so that is definitely a bonus.  I think in general the best race swag comes from the Shamrock races though.  (That is why I keep coming back).  I cannot remember the item from 2012 (edit: It was a sweatshirt!) but last year we got a blanket and this year was a towel.  (On top of a tshirt and medal and four free beers)


Best logistics: Any that I can physically park near the start or finish.  (This probably includes all of the smaller ones).  For the amount of racers Shamrock is very good at parking and logistics too.  Actually any of the races except for DC have been great logistics wise.  The only race I didn’t care for the logistics were Nike Women’s but I am not a city person.

Biggest: Nike Women’s DC  (15,000)

Smallest: Run from the Sun (Probably around 300-400 racers?)

Best On Course Aid (water, fueling, ect): Shamrock, Nike Womens, RnR.  (The pricer ones)

Worst On Course Aid: Run from the Sun had 2 water stations and you end up being in the middle of nowhere without a single person in sight.  There were several times I hoped and preyed I was going the right way because I really didn’t know.

Coolest Medal:  Lake Effect 2014 or RnR Va Beach

Most Zoned Out: Shamrock 2014.  Where did this race go?  In the blink of an eye I was done.

**Nike Women’s gave out a Tiffany and Co Necklace but I haven’t worn it.  It’s not for me honestly.

Overall Favorite Race: Shamrock 2013 .  It was a lot of fun to watch my dad run the full marathon, hang out with my friends, I PRed and the race is fabulous.  Shamrock 2014 and Lake Effect this year are very close runner ups.

Least Favorite: While I don’t have a least favorite or any I regret doing, The Turning Stone half was pretty miserable.  Also Run for the Dream 2012, my ipod broke at the starting line.  The race was hot, hilly and it was the first race EVER that I did without music.  (It is the reason I no longer race with music and haven’t since).

So glad t have finished this one.
So glad to have finished this one (Turning Stone).  This smile is a dirty lie…or the smile of I’m going to the casino now.

States Raced in: NY, VA, TX, MD (also DC_


I’ve won 5 (Plattsburgh 2012, Run from the Sun, Run for the Dream 2013, Scallywompus, and Lake Effect 2014)

Finishing Plattsburgh
Winning Plattsburgh 2012


I’ve placed second or third in 3.

I’ve come in places 3-10 in: 5 (My most notable is 9th in Nike Womens)

And I’ve had multiple half marathons with no placements at all.

Debut half marathon:  The Plattsburgh half marathon in April of 2011.  I didn’t know what to expect honestly.  With less than a full year of running and never having done more than 10 miles beforehand I ran with friends.  I took it out at a pace I thought that seemed maintainable and it was.  I felt so confident crossing the finish line that I could achieve more.

Hilliest: Either the Flower City Half marathon in Rochester or the Run for the Dream half marathon in Williamsburg.  They both have long rolling hills.  I would honestly say that Run for the Dream felt a little harder but that is because it’s also very hot and humid.

One of my first half marathons (Flower City, Rochester).  I was in the top 10 with a time of 1:38 and I was proud...on another note that top gave me the worst chaffing I've ever had in my life.
One of my first half marathons (Flower City, Rochester). I was in the top 10 with a time of 1:38 and I was proud…on another note that top gave me the worst chaffing I’ve ever had in my life.

Most Surprising time: Lake Effect Feb 2014.  I was absolutely not expecting that time at all.


Most Surprising placement: Nike Half Marathon I was 9th overall.  It was not expecting a PR either.

Worst Chaffing: Flower City 2012 (bad top…armpit chaffing) or Shamrock 2014 (thigh chaffing was awful).

Regrettable Races: Although I didn’t have the most desirable race at Turning Stone, I’ve fully enjoyed each race.  I don’t regret any races I have ran because I have learned from each one.

Questions for you:

Have you run any half marathons?  How many?

What is your favorite racing distance?