You know how sometimes you realize that you are running a half marathon in a month and you haven’t had a run further than 7 miles in the past three months? And then you decide to rectify this by signing up for a half marathon, because, THAT will fix everything? No? Just me? Cool.
That’s how I decided to run the Haunted Half, in case you were wondering.
When I went to the Race Expo/Packet Pick-up, I was surprised. They had a good assortment of crap that’s either needed or not needed for a race (depending on the runner), great packet pick up people, and excellent race bags. Along with the requisite race stuff (bib, pins, shirt, random coupons you will NEVER use) there were also gloves, a space blanket (until you run a cold start race, you will never truly appreciate these half bag, half Reynold’s Wrap blankets – AND it is SUPER rare that races will just hand them out), and a packet of KT Tape.
After re-reading that last sentence I just realized that literally no non-runner would ever get excited about any of those things.
I still refuse to admit I’m a runner.
Waiting for the buses to take us up the canyon was another display of their well thought-out event practices: everyone formed a single file line and as buses pulled up, they were filled. It wasn’t what I had become used to with the Drop 13: several different groups of people lining up and hoping the bus won’t fill up before they have to nomadically wander off looking for another line to get into, rinse, repeat.
AND There was a bus at the top waiting to take everyone’s drop bag to the finish line – AND IT STAYED UNTIL THE RACE STARTED. Usually the bus takes off 20 minutes before the race starts. Yes, I brought my blanket and jacket up specifically so I could freeze for 20 minutes before the race starts.
In case you were wondering – I was Flashdance… (Leg warmers not pictured). Yes. I am the whole movie, simply by wearing leg warmers.
Also, in case you were further wondering, yes – that IS the headless horseman. And yes – the horse IS trying to eat me.
The race that started at 8:45 am – SUCH A REASONABLE TIME! – with Santa & Mrs. Claus firing the gun and the Headless Horseman leading the charge.
The race course took us down Emigration Canyon, through Harvard/Yale, Sugarhouse, and ended at Sugarhouse Park. Water stations were plenty and evenly spaced. As with all of my other downhill races, I started off really fast without trying, and it caught up to me hard when the terrain evened out the last 5 miles. I seriously thought I was going to die at several points. Running on flat ground is for suckers.
The ONLY thing that pissed me off about the race was this weird tube we ran through towards the very end:
First of all, I knew that this wasn’t the finish line. My app and my knowledge of the location of the finish line told me so. But I wanted it to be the finish line SO BAD that I convinced myself at one point while I was running through it that it COULD BE the finish line.
But it really wasn’t. And also… there were streamers inside it that – while running – I tripped over, twice. I ended up walking so I wouldn’t have a repeat visit to the dentist for new acrylic teeth.
WTH was the point of that thing??
Despite the wanting to die and everything, Chad and I wandered across the finish line and partook in the most excellent finish line treats: apple juice, pizza, doughnuts, bananas, orange slices… other stuff I was too delirious to remember but also because APPLE JUICE AND PIZZA. Once I was done dying we went out for brunch.
It wasn’t the worst decision of my life. And I got a great new medal! It opens, because, of course it does.
Haunted Half, I think I love you… but I want to know for sure. We’ll meet again.
Event Managed by: Runtastic Events
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Event Expo: Yes
Race Start time: 8:45 am, last bus up the canyon leaves at 7:20 am
Race Day Weather: 55-65 degrees
Race Features: beautiful views, all downhill (you run fast without even trying)
Water Stations: 6 | 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12
Energy Supplement Stations: Yes | Gu at mile 7
Race Course: Emigration Canyon, Foothill, Harvard/Yale, Sugarhouse, Sugarhouse Park, weird tunnel at the end (-1)
Running with Traffic: Yes, but very well protected
Finisher Medal: Yes
Special Category Medals: Yes
Half Marathon Rating: 9 out of 10