Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Montana 1/2 Race Report

Montana 1/2 Marathon- Billings Montana
State # 47
Lifetime half #57

Age Group 4/37
Overall Place: 63/ 370
Official time: 1:48:13

Not going to lie, I wasn't expecting much for Montana. I knew the temps would be cooler, but aside from that I really wasn't looking forward to this race. I'm burnt out on racing and now I'm kind of just going through the motions where I don't care how I do anymore. Despite drinking my way through the city and waking up race morning hung over, I was surprisingly pleased with the race.

Race start was at 8am and for some reason we were under the impression that we had to be at the highschool by 6:45am for the shuttle to the start, which meant up at 5:30 so we could be in lobby at 6am. Up too early for no reason = hangover bummer
Turns out there was a shuttle at 6:45, but multiple more afterward, the last one arriving 15 or so min before race start. So instead we got to arrive 1 hour before start to stare at barren nothingness and freeze because the wind made the temps just uncomfortable enough to want to have a sweatshirt.
The no thrills start prior to everyone lining up

Found out while waiting around that apparently the course is downhill and flat / fast, Again, since Kim and I had zero plans for this race, we didn't even bother to look at elevation, great surprise to hear when you're feeling like death. 

Race started about 5 min late and the first mile was a pretty noticeable downhill. I would say it was awesome, however the road was slanted so 1 mile at a pretty decent pace on that type of terrain had my shins screaming. I was a little nervous that so soon in I was already in pain, but mile 2-4 were flat and the road evened out so the pain subsided. First 4 miles are what I would call traditional "Montana scenery" aka tons of nature. Although it was overcast, there was still a lot to take in and it was surprisingly peaceful and enjoyable.

horses RIGHT next to road, they were running alongside runners, but by the time I took this photo they had tired out

Shortly into the 4th mile we hit our first (and only) uphill as well as we entered neighborhoods. I kind of lost my cool and was starting to feel queasy. I tried walking but that didn't help much. Finally right after we left one neighborhood I vommitted on the side of the road. My saving grace was there were no spectators, however I did have a fellow runner come up to me and run my back... weird right?

shortly after the 'incident' 

Apparently the little upchuck action did the trick as I started to enjoy the race. Around mile 6.5 we were merged with a 10k (apparently there was a 10k option for this race and I had no idea) Suddenly instead of having the sight of just a few people in front of me, there were hundreds. I'm not used to bobbing and weaving around individuals so late in the game... this continued until mile 12.

Around mile 8- still super congested
Like clockwork in the past several races, I got a 2nd wind in the 8th mile and picked up the pace... and that lasted until mile 11 which left me dry heaving... since I didn't eat anything before race nothing came up, BUT I did get another friendly pat on the back from a fellow runner. Montanians are the nicest! Wouldn't you know it that although I couldn't make anything come out of me via my mouth, the other end was acting up and I seriously thought about stopping any time I passed a port o potty 

favorite sign ever! 

Last 2 miles were a long, long, long straightaway through neighborhoods, agony in having to use the bathroom. It's strange how beginning of race was in middle of no where, and yet we ended in a high traffic area. By the end it truly felt like 2 separate races since now the sun was out and there were people everywhere.
Am I almost done yet?

I finished behind a group of 4 10kers females all holding hands - luckily I didn't have a too much of a kick to pass them, otherwise I surely would have been annoyed.

Took my medal, made a beeline for the bathroom, then laid down on the infield of the track til Kim found me. I was wiped, excited to be done, and quite honestly impressed that I finished in 1:48. 

By far probably the most unexepected good surprise races in a while. Sometimes its nice to have your expectations low and then blown away. I'm obsessed with the fact that Montana's medal is in the shape of the state, love that. Although I have no immediate plans to re-visit Montana anytime soon, overall it will leave a positive lasting impression. 


  1. OMG. I canNOT believe you ran hungover. That is hard core!

  2. Glad you had a good time in Montana:) Sorry about the tummy troubles. No fun:( But you kicked butt anyways, very impressive!

  3. That hangover picture of you is one of my all time favorites.
    I'm having a hard time finding my running/racing mojo these days too. I can't believe CT/RI is in a few weeks. I am not prepared at all.

  4. FYI - It's Montanan (say it with a little twang), not Montanian, but yes, I personally think they are some of the nicest people ever. I'm also kind of biased. That medal is awesome. Maybe I'll have to go home for that race next year.

  5. that second pic of you is great, you look so strong!!!

  6. Life is so not fair. Under these circumstances you still run a 1:48 half!! Nice! I would not have been a fan of having a stranger pat or rub my back. Weird. When I was ran 13 half marathons in 2013 last year I was so burned out by Oct. Just get it done! Great shot of you "shortly after the incident"!

  7. You are such a freakin' goddess. You run a 1:48 hungover, stopping to yak twice?!?! But it sure makes for an interesting race recap. I love your "Like clockwork, I got a 2nd wind in the 8th mile" Bahahaha... that's where I've been DYING lately. Freakin' mile 8! So frustrated with running right now. Like Kim said, oh em gee, the CT/RI double is coming up fast!

  8. This totally makes me want to run a race in Montana! I wasn't able to comment on your last post but yes, I have run a race hungover. A few actually. It wasn't pleasant but in one case it was so painful that I wanted to be done that much faster and hit my PR time. Ridiculous and didn't teach me any lessons! By the way, your arms looked toned and totally buff!

  9. rockstar. puking and bathroom issues and still had a great race. glad you had fun overall.