Overall Place: 378/ 4684
Gender: 110/ 2971
Official time: 1:48:17
Let's be honest, there aren't too many exciting options in Oklahoma when racing the states, I know, earth-shattering news. This particular event has been on my radar for the past 2 years as my Oklahoma choice due to the ease of getting to and from Tulsa, a large maniac / fanatic presence, and obviously the willingness of my gfs to come along for a gals trip.
Kim did a fantastic job of choosing the prime location for our hotel (Hyatt). We were within walking distance of expo, start line, finish line, and food (albeit limited choices on the weekend in downtown Tulsa). I was a bit nervous sharing a room with 2 of Kim's friends (strangers to myself) Maureen and Jenny, but crisis averted and we had a blast @ expo and start line shenanigans the day before race day.
Jenny, Kim, Me, Maureen- hindsight we should have had us tall ones be on the outside as to not cover the sign #tallgirlproblems
Sporting my new free sweatband to try to keep my ears warm on our walk
one of our many failed synchronized jump attempts
Getting our game face on
Race start was kicking off at 8am and with a frigid 23 degree temperature outside, I was 100% on board with sleeping in and staying in the hotel as long as humanly possible. Luckily all the ladies were on the same page.
The entire clan
L, Hope, W, me, Kim, Jenny
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but I'm more than burnt out on half marathons. Been there done that, lets get this over with. That being said, I decided to just have as much fun as I could, take it easy, and stay warm. This is the most clothes I've ever worn for a half (lined tights, compression socks, long sleeve under long zip up jacket, gloves, ear warmer headband) and I'm hoping I'll never have to be this clothed again.
I separate from the group and walk toward the front of corral A. Even though I had no intention of pushing it, that doesn't mean I have to be annoyed bobbing and weaving behind individuals who start ahead of me.
In the first few miles (and continually throughout the course) I was THOROUGHLY impressed with all the spectators that were out on the course despite the frigid temps, seriously, I don't think I could ever stand outside in the 20s cheering on strangers and maybe a few loves ones!
The entire course was a mix of hills going both up and down- very few long flat straight a-ways. I don't mind hills, but I wasn't expecting there to be as many as there were. Aside from the impressive neighborhoods we ran through in the first part of the race, there wasn't much stimulating scenery so I found myself actually kind of bored. I tried to "mix things up" with the photographers, but now I find that I need some new creative pose moves---- open to suggestions.
Stop! Collaborate and listen!
I was attempting to do an airplane... fail
And this is "the rocky"
The other source of entertainment on the course was actually taking advantage of the free alcohol some spectators were giving out. Somewhere around mile 6 I had a shot of vodka that burned when it went down. Shortly after I had a 151 shot from one of the bands along the course, but the mecca of alcohol to be consumed was this gem of a pit stop around mile 11.
2 shots of beer + one of each jello shot flavors = liquid warm blanket. Definitely the highlight of the race for me and worth actually taking my gloves off to take a photo of. Since this is my 2nd to last 1/2, I kept trying to tell myself to take some photos, "capture the moment", but there really just wasn't much going on. I'm pretty sure in B's recap she managed to get the only scenery worthy of photos as a large chunk was cement and houses.
Wikipededia informed me that the significance of Route 66 is that it is one of the original highways of US Highway system and served as the main path for those who migrated west- especially during Dust Bowl in the '30s. In 1985 they removed route 66 from the US Highway system and has been entirely replaced by Interstate Highway system --- since then it has been donned "Historic Route 66". I'm all about experiencing a bit of history while traveling, however the only "sighting" that we were running along Route 66 was this bridge we passed under with a little more than a mile to go, or the countless race sponsored signs on the side walk
These signs were everywhere.
Other than that, there was little evidence we were near route 66 (for all I know, maybe we ran on it and there were just no signs?) Definitely a little mis-leading and would recommend as an improvement for years to come.
Last mile was weaving through the familiar surroundings of our hotel- business district of downtown Tulsa. I crossed the finish line and due to some confusion with fanatics / maniacs getting their own medal, I bypassed the individuals handing out medals and made a bee-line for the space blankets for warmth.
After standing around for a few minutes waiting awkwardly staring at others bibs till I spot another half fanatic, I find out you DO take the medal from the volunteer and then when you get to the maniac / fanatic tent to swap it out to get a different medal. I wandered aimlessly since there are no clear signs for anything in the finisher's area but I do manage to find the tent, swap out my medal, and camp out near a heat lamp till slowly the gals are trickling into the tent
Our medal says fanatic and the ribbon was different featuring the HF colors (blue and gold)
After a cup of coffee and great stories from everyone's race experience, we leave the MM / HF finisher area since there wasn't a lot going on- most of festivities start closer to when marathoners finish, however we wanted WARMTH and didn't have time to stick around for a few hours.
W, M (extra globes in pocket, promise didn't gain a spare tire) Kim, L
Luckily from the finish it was a short, albeit very cold, walk back to our hotel where the hottest shower ever was had. I had the earliest flight out, 3:30, so unfortunately I wasn't able to meet up with everyone for lunch and beers. Kim and I grabbed something on our own and then I headed off to the airport. In and out of Tulsa in 15 hours.
Mile 1: 7:15 <-- downhills + not feeling my legs
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 7:51
Mile 4: 8:07
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:13
Mile 7: 7:50
Mile 8: 8:16
Mile 9: 8:07
Mile 10: 8:28
Mile 11: 8:40 <--- all the shots followed by happy go lucky attitude
Mile 12: 8:53
Mile 13: 8:22
Mile .23 6:58
Overall I was pleased with the race organization and convenience of everything. Had the weather been warmer, I think I would enjoy the running and finish line festivities a little more. From what I've heard from a lot of individuals, this race is ALWAYS cold so if you plan to do it for 2014, bring your layers. Anytime I can make a girls weekend (or in this case day) for race, it always makes the experience more memorable, so I highly suggested grabbing someone to do this race with you otherwise you might find it kind of boring since the downtown area is a ghost town on the weekends.
I've been waiting 3 years to say this... but 1 more to go!