On Saturday, November 14, 2015, I ran in the 2nd Annual Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon. This race is only about 10 minutes from my home. I ran the inaugural race in 2014. Also, if you know me, I love sweet tea!
The medal was the same as last year, except that they changed the background to green.
The race capped at around 800 people. This year there were 536 runner, up from 487 finishers in 2014.
This year I ran this race with co-worker, friend, and training partner Renee, and her friend Denise.
The weather was an improvement from 2014, which was 30 degrees. This year the race start temps were around 40 degrees, and finished around 50 degrees.
In contrast to last year’s report, I did not have to wear as many clothes. This is everything I put together the night before.
The starting line:
I got to catch up with my buddy Kyle at the start. He and I ran my first 10k together in 2011.
The race started at 7:00am without warning or notification. We were all just talking and a horn blew at the time, and everyone took off for the start gate. This is something they have not fixed in the past two years, and should be addressed.
The race started on East Doty Street and finished on West Doty Street. So the start & finish are really close for spectators. Everyone started together, but the bibs were chipped, so everyone had an official time. We have run the course many times for training, so you can look back at my recent Training B-Logs for more information on the route. Here is the course map from my Garmin watch.
It is a decent route for the race. We ran on the Sawmill Branch Trail for about the first 8 miles. The course was well marked with mile marker signs. The water & Gatorade stops were placed approximately 2 miles apart. There were no gel stops. It is relatively flat for the first 9 miles. The last four miles begins a steady incline to the finish. It is only about a 100 feet elevation change over the 4 miles, but it felt as though you were always on a steady climb. Just be prepared for this if you run this race.
There wasn’t much fan support on the course. Some, but not much. There was a good crowd at the start and finish of the race. There is however a contest for the best decorated/themed water stops, so they really give you something to look forward to every couple of miles.
At the finish line, after getting our medal, they gave us Mylar wraps, and had a good selection of bananas, bagels, and cookies. They even had Cold and Later Krispy Kremes (instead of Hot n Now). There was some water bottles, but they were hard to find. There was no Gatorade or Chocolate Milk for the finishers.
Renee and I stuck together for most of the race, and at about the 10.5 mile range, I told her to go ahead. Well we finished about 2 minutes apart, and only 3 people in between us.
Renee and I did well. It was actually my 3rd best half marathon time in 23 attempts. After my Hershey Half Marathon performance, it was very encouraging. I ran a 1:50:11 (8:24 Pace) and finished 6th in my age group, and 52nd overall. Renee actually PR’ed the race at just over 1:48! She did awesome.
All in all it was a good race. So if you are in the Charleston area or need a half for South Carolina in your 50 States Challenge, give it a shot.
Next up is the Space Coast Half Marathon in 2 weeks in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This will be the 3rd year of 5 in the Big Bang Series.