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50 Half Marathons Later

50 Half Marathons Later

Until I compiled this list last week, I had no idea how many half marathons I had run. A few years ago, I wrote a post about completing 30 half marathons, so I knew I must be close to 50.  When I ran my first half in 2011, I never thought I would run 50 (and counting).

2011 (3): NY and VA
April: Plattsburgh (1:41) PR
April: Flower City (Rochester, NY) 1:39 PR
May: Run for the Dream (Williamsburg, VA) 1:36.56 PR

2012 (6):  VA, NY, MD
March: Shamrock (VA Beach) 1:33.29 PR
April: Plattsburgh (1:27.17) PR and Win
April Flower City (1:29)
May: Run to the Sun (Watertown, NY) 1:33 Win
May: ZOOMA (Annapolis, MD) (1:31)
Sep: Turning Stone Utica, NY (1:33.33) 2nd Female

2013 (6):  NY, VA, DC, TX
Feb: Lake Effect (1:31) (Syracuse, NY) 
March: Shamrock (1:25.15) PR
April: Nike Women’s Half (1:24.49) PR
May: Run for the Dream (1:27.53) Williamsburg, VA Win
Sep: RnR VA Beach (1:28.39)
Sep: Scallywompus (San Antonio) 1:28.30 Win

2014 (6): NY, VA, NJ
Feb: Lake Effect (1:25.32) Syracuse, NY Win
March: Shamrock (1:25.29) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools (1:23.23) Atlantic City PR 2nd W
May: NJ half (1:28) Long Branch, NJ
May: Run for the Dream (1:31) (Williamsburg, VA)
Nov: Harbor Lights 1:44  (Norfolk, VA)**Training Long Run

2015 (5):  VA, PA (And I lived in NJ at the time :O)
Mar: Shamrock half (1:33.06)  VA Beach, VA*Injured
Aug: RnR Va Beach (1:31) Va Beach, VA 5th W
Oct: Runners World (1:28) Bethlehem, PA
Oct: RnR Philadelphia (1:25.45)
Nov: Philadelphia half (1:25.00)

2016 (9):  CA, VA, NJ, PA, TX
Jan: Carlsbad (1:22.57) Carlsbad, CA PR
March: Shamrock Half (1:26.50) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools Half (1:24.04) Win
September: Rnr Va Beach (1:31) 5th
September: RnR Philadelphia (1:27)
October: Runners World Half (1:24.17) Bethlehem, PA 2nd
October: Base Half Marathon (1:25) Lakehurst, NJ 1st
November: Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27)
December: Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44) 5th

2017 (7): Al, VA, NJ, OH, PA
February: Mercedes Half Marathon (1:27) Birmingham, Al
March: Shamrock Half Marathon (1:26) VA Beach, VA
April: April Fools Half Marathon (1:26) Atlantic City, AC 3rd W
September: Air Force Half Marathon (1:27) Dayton, OH 5th W
October: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:32) Norfolk, VA 5th W
October: Runners World Half Marathon (1:25) Bethlehem, PA 2nd W
December: Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27)

2018 (8): AZ, VA, NJ, ME, OH, MD
February: Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22)** PR
March: Shamrock Half Marathon (1:23)
April: April Fools Half Marathon (1:26) 1st W
September: Boothbay Half Marathon (1.29.50) 2nd
September: Air Force Half Marathon: (1:31) 5 W
October: Crawlin Crab Half Marathon (1:30) 5 W
October: Atlantic City Half Marathon (1:27) 5th W
December: Race 13.1 Baltimore (1:30.58)

Some random fun facts:

Hottest (San Antonio): 85 degrees at start Scallywompus (2013)

This might be the only one I raced in just a sports bra.

This might be the only one I raced in just a sports bra.

Coldest (Syracuse, NY): Lake Effect 2013

And maybe the only race I wore pants in...

And maybe the only half marathon I wore pants in…


Worst Weather:

Shamrock 2016 Pouring rain, 40 degrees, and windy

Shamrock 2017: The same LOL
Shamrock

Best Swag:

  • Scallywompus gave out a huge growler for winning.
  • Run to the Sun gave out wine tour tickets.
  • I think in general the best race swag comes from the Shamrock races.  On top of a t-shirt, medal and four free beers they typically give out an additional item.  It’s been anything from a hoodie to towel to blanket.

Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas

Best logistics: Any race that I don’t have to take a bus or shuttle. (This probably includes all of the smaller ones).  For the number of racers, most of the RNR have been good. I don’t think the Philadelphia half is that great because security often takes a while and there aren’t enough bathrooms.

Best Value: If you register early you receive a lot of “swag” for the Shamrock races.  There is lots of food, beer, heating, and everything you could want in a race.

I think I paid $40 for the Boothbay Harborfest Half in Maine.

Worst Value:  Philadelphia Half (I don’t personally think the $130 price is worth the experience.)

Biggest: Nike Women’s DC (15,000), Dallas Half 

RnR Virginia Beach

#TBT to when my husband wasn’t in shape and ran my pace…now he is too fast 😉

Smallest: Boothbay Harborfest had about 120 racers

Best On Course Aid: Any of the bigger races have all had good on course aid.  When it was extremely hot at the Air Force half this year, there was plenty of aid, and extra support.Air force marathon dayton ohio

Worst On Course Aid: Run to the Sun and Boothbay Harborfest.

The Run to the Sun was scorching and I believe they only had a 1-2 water stops for the entire half marathon.  The Boothbay Harborfest did not close down roads and it was dangerous to have cars whizzing by at 40+ mph.

Coolest Medal:  Lake Effect 2014 or RnR Va Beach

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

Most Zoned Out: Shamrock 2014 or 2016 Where did this race go?  In the blink of an eye, I was done.  

“Felt like it was never going to end”: Baltimore 13.1, Turning Stone Half Marathon and NJ half marathon

I stopped to use the bathroom during the Turning Stone half, and I felt like I was going to projectile vomit red velvet cake during the NJ half.  The Baltimore 13.1 was not well put together so the race just felt like it would never end.

Nj half race

But you can’t even tell I’m about to vom

Overall Favorite Races:

  • 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.  6
  • Lake Effect Half (2014): I raised over $2000 for the Charity Ophelia’s place, won, and then enjoyed time with friends.
  • Nike Women’s Half because I wasn’t expecting a PR.
  • April Fools half 2014 because it gave me the confidence that my fitness was still there.
  • April Fools half 2016 because I redeemed myself from my Shamrock and I didn’t talk myself into a negative race.  The weather was awful, but I got over it.
  • Phoenix Half- (2018)I have to say my PR right? nikerunning

Regretable Races: Shamrock 2015.  It’s the only race I ran injured, and it wasn’t a smart decision (I tweaked my hamstring/butt).  It set me back in recovery.  As surprising as it is, I don’t regret running the Baltimore 13,1…it was a good workout.

States Raced in: AZ, AL, OH, ME, NY, VA, TX, MD, NJ, PA (also DC)

Placements/Awards:

I’ve won 8 (Plattsburgh 2012, Run from the Sun, Run for the Dream 2013, Scallywompus, Lake Effect 2014, April Fools 2016, Base Half 2016, April Fools 2018)

Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh

Winning my very first goal race: Plattsburgh

I’ve placed second or third in 9

And most half marathons I’ve had 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 had no idea what to expect! I took it out at a pace that seemed maintainable, and it was.

Hilliest:

  • Flower City (2014)
  • Run for the Dream. I would honestly say that Run for the Dream felt a little harder, but that is because it’s also hot and humid.

    Finishing on the track

    Finishing on the track

Runners World (Curse you Bart)

Still one of my favorite photos of Allison and I

Still one of my favorite photos of Allison and I

  • Boothbay Harborfest (2018: Boothbay harborfest half marathon

Most Surprising Race: Nike Half Marathon I was 9th overall.  It was not expecting to PR and honestly wasn’t even sure I was going to go all the way to DC alone to race.  It was at the peak of my anxiety, and I’m so glad I did.

Worst Chafing:

  • Flower City 2012 (cotton top…armpit chaffing)

    I raced in a men's cotton top.

    I raced in a men’s cotton top.

  • Shamrock 2014 (thigh chaffing was awful)
  • Run for the Dream 2014: (Thigh Chafing)
  • Shamrock 2016

I’ve enjoyed the journey so far.  It’s funny to reflect on this list and realize how many half marathons I’ve done. Starting from a 1:42 and now running a 1:22, a time I never thought imaginable.  Whether they’ve gone as anticipated or not, life has moved on and I’ve learned something from each. The half marathon is my favorite distance.  Hopefully, I’ll reach 50 more.

Questions for you:

Have you run any half marathons?  How many?

What is your favorite racing distance?

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14 responses

  1. Love this post Hollie, congrats on 50 Halfs!!

    I hope to race more of them! So far I’ve only done 3 LOL

    2013 Seaside Half 1:34
    2014 Newport Liberty Half 1:26
    2016 Asbury Park Half 1:28

    2019….let’s hope I race one! 😉

  2. Awesome job Hollie! I think I have probably done 15 halfs if you don’t include marathon training runs that exceeded 13.1 miles. I think the half marathon distance is great, because it tests you, but training for it is not nearly as taxing as training for a full or ultra marathon.

  3. This is greatly inspiring and humbling Hollie. I look at your pace and shake my head, how is that humanely possible? at my age, only the good old days during my 40’s where my second half marathon was my PR at 1:53:44 are a source of pride. Now I can only dream of being at that pace on a 5K!

    • You’re the best Valerie. You have done progressed so much this year and finishing NYCM this year was awesome! I hope I see get to see you sometime soon.

  4. Congrats, Hollie! 50 13.1’s is a huge achievement. I would have to sit down and compile my list to figure out how many half marathons I have run, but I would say close to 10. I see we both have run RnR Virginia Beach. Beautiful race course! I hope to get to do it again. ☺️

    • Thanks Brittany, I grew up in the area. It’s not my favorite race down there but it’s a lot of fun.

  5. Awesome post! I really love halves though I don’t race all that many since I’m in a marathon mental mode right now. I’ve run 7 half races, but 2 I didn’t really race for 13.1

    Let’s hope that Shamrock has some reasonable weather for 2019!

  6. I just came to your website from Janae’s.
    I love this post! It gives me motivation to train more for the coming season. We have the same PB in full marathon..and I consider you so strong and persistent..so I see I can focus on half marathon and get better too.

    • Thank you Damjana! I like halves a lot more than the full marathon. Do you have any halves planned?

      • I will have mostly halves and some 10k and I will integrate two full marathons, they will both be trails, not on road. So many nice picturesque runs, I’m already looking forward to hit the road 🙂

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