As we draw to an end on the 2016 year, it is time for my yearly recap. This year I covered a lot of half marathons but my training was not as substantial as years past. In the past few years I have hovered around 1,000 miles of running, but this year I will only accomplish about 830 miles. I did however complete five (5) more states toward my Fifty States Half Marathon goal.
The year started out with no races in January. In February, we traveled to New Orleans, LA to run the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon with our friends Matt & Kira. It was an awesome time as they helped us tour the town properly. It was a great race. I finished in 1:53:27 (8:40 pace). This was my 13 state.
The next race was probably my most favorite of the year. We traveled down to Walt Disney World to run the Inaugural Star Wars – The Dark Side Half Marathon. It was awesome. I once again ran with friends, Matt & Kira along with Becky, Michael & Tara. It was the first race I had ever done any form of costuming. I didn’t really run this race for time, but still had a decent time, even with the character stops. 2:02:45 (9:22).
In May I had a work conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So I sought out any races in the area for the weekend we were going to be there. I found a small but well organized race about 30 miles outside of town. I ran the Carpenter Nature Center Apple Blossom Half Marathon in Hastings, MN. I ran a 1:56:59 (8:56 pace) for this race. It was my 14th state.
This was the end to my spring race lineup.
In the Fall I started my brutal five half marathons in ten weeks attempt that would take me all over this great country. In September, I flew out to Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet up with friends Rachel & Aaron. We then traveled over to Santa Fe, New Mexico to run the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. This was a brutal race for me as the race started at an elevation of 7,000 feet and climbed to 7,300+ feet before descending to around 6,100 feet. It was not my greatest performance, but because of the altitude and hills, I was satisfied just to complete my 15th state in a time of 2:05:44 (9:35 pace) Rachel and Aaron were such troopers and encouragers and stuck with me throughout the race. I even got to ride in my first hot air balloon over Albuquerque.
Next up, in October, just a few weeks later, I hopped on a plane for Portland, OR to run the Portland Half Marathon. This was a troubling race as we were in the process of getting hit by Hurricane Matthew during this time and I had to leave my wife behind to care for the house and pets. This was on my mind the entire time. But we all managed and had little to no damage at our home. In Portland I stayed with friends Tom & Nicole. They was awesome hosts. Tom and I ran the half together. We woke up to rain on race morning; however, by the time the race started it was only down to a mist, and made for a great race day. So this was my 16th state and I ran it in 1:57:25 (8:58 pace).
About 3 weeks later I decided to do a local race. Each year I try and do at least one local race to help our running community grow. For this year, I chose the Race 13.1 Charleston Half Marathon that took place on Middleton Plantation. This was a rugged trail run around the plantation. The hurricane we had caused them to chance the course route, and thus caused us to run a 4.5 mile route 3 times. This was extremely rough; however, Luke, Nick, & I had planned to take it easy, so we just enjoyed it. Becky & Amy also ran the half while Kevin ran the 10k. A great day just to spend with friends.
My final state to cross off from 2016 was West Virginia. My wife and I traveled to Huntington, WV to run the Marshall University Half Marathon. It was a decent race & quite cold on race morning. I got to meet up with a lot of runners from my Fifty States Half Marathon Club. I ran the race in 1:58:38 (9:01 pace). This was my 17th state toward my goal.
My final race of the year is no surprise if you have been following my blog for any length of time. It was time for the 4th of five years running the Big Bang Series at the Space Coast Half Marathon. I started the Big Bang Series in 2013, which is a five year series commemorating each of the five Space Shuttles. This year was the Endeavour.
Next year will be the final year of the Big Bang Series and complete the five year adventure! I again to meet up with a large contingent from the Fifty States Half Marathon Club.
So it was a good race year. completed 8 half marathons in 7 states. Only five went toward new states for my 50 By 50 Challenge.
To wrap up my review, I set a goal for 1,000 miles in 2016. At my mid-year review, I realized because of the amount of races I was going to be doing I would not reach that goal. But as opposed to setting a new goal, I decided to ride it out and just see what I would get. So for the year 2016, I ended up with around 827 miles.
On November 2nd, I was so excited that the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. As a lifer Cubs fan this was an exciting season and Fall for me.
Finally, for Christmas my wife gave me an amazing gift. She took the race shirts from the half marathons of my first 16 states and had them converted into a quilt. It was such an awesome idea and will help prolong the shirts and memories for years to come!
Well here is to another year of running. Stay tuned soon into the new year for what I am planning for 2017! I hope everyone had a save and healthy 2016 of running, and looking forward to a safe and enjoyable 2017 running year.