Race report for Hell of a Half in Exeter, CA on 8/7/21:
Lifetime half marathon #183 (45th of 2021) is in the books! ✅ The Run the Valley Series Hell of a Half lived up to its name. It was extremely hot & hilly, but it had some of the best course support I have ever seen! 😃
There were 10 aid stations, 8 of which had water, electrolytes & buckets of ice water with sponges that the volunteers dumped over the runners to prevent overheating. Several of the aid stations also had gels and at least one of them had a big spread of food (both salty & sweet). The ice cold watermelon pieces were extremely refreshing! 🍉 The volunteers did a great job of keeping us cool & hydrated! 💦
The race started off well for me. I was doing run/walk intervals with Lance Null and we purposely did a bit faster pace at the beginning when it was nice & flat because we knew that hills were coming later!
The hills started around Mile 5. Our strategy was to walk the uphills and run the downhills with run/walk intervals on the flat portions. That went ok until around Mile 6.5-7, when I blisters started developing on the bottoms of both of my feet! 😢 I tried to run as much as I could on the fast downhill portions, but it was very painful and I also had to keep my elevated heart rate in check!
Unfortunately I ended up having to walk most of the last 6 miles due to the blisters, but thankfully my walking pace is gradually improving over time.
Thanks again to Lance for hanging with me and keeping me company! The heat & hills were brutal, but having someone to chat with while I was out there laboring really helped!
The race ended in the same park that we started at and there was ice cold water & electrolytes, a pancake breakfast served by the Kiwanis club, La Rosa Fruit Bars, samples of beer & spiked seltzer from Michelob ULTRA & a live band called The Dirty Poppas!
Although it was a tough race, the huge medal & awesome swag, fantastic course support & finish festival, and seeing lots of friends made this race an enjoyable experience! 😎
Photo and Post Credit Natalie Uyeno