Saturday, September 6, 2014

Murdock Half Marathon Review

The first part of this post is an overall review of the race for those thinking of running this specific half marathon, and the second part is my personal experience running this race.

Murdock Half Marathon 2014 Race Review
The Course:  The Murdock Trail is just so perfect for running- beautiful views and no big elevation changes. The race started in Orem and we ended in American Fork, which provided a slight down hill final 2 miles. Over 11 miles of the race was on the Murdock Canal Trail.
Support: They provided a bus to shuttle you from the finish to the start, but didn't require you to take it. It was nice to have the choice, unlike most canyon point to point courses. For a small race, there were plenty of stocked aid stations and the course was marked clearly. They didn't advertise a drop bag option, but the race director announced to all the runners taking the bus to the start, that he would bring any bags dropped at the start back to the finish.
Extras: So I'm in love with this race shirt. The race advertised a nice shirt that wasn't plastered with sponsors, and they delivered. The race also provided pacers, finishers medals, and fruit, chocolate milk and water at the finish line.
(Back of the shirt)

Somehow I didn't end up with a picture of the medals, but I found this picture on the RunYourRace Pacer's Facebook page.

Runners: The race brought out about 90 runners, and as a pacer, I loved chatting it up with the runners that were around me. 
Weather/Conditions:  Perfect weather. Cool at the start and no rain/snow.
Bottom Line: I paced another one of this race director's races this summer (The Alpine Classic Half), and both times I have been super impressed with how organized these races were considering how small they are. All the important details were taken care of, and I think the courses they chose were refreshing in a running culture where we're so focused on "the faster the course the better". It was nice to run a mostly flat half in Utah County. (The Alpine Classic was very hilly!) I will definitely run this race again and recommend it to anyone looking for a well organized small race on a scenic and flat course.

My experience pacing the Murdock Half
Heidi, Missy and I left Springville at 5am to catch the bus from the finish to the start. We were on the bus by 5:30 and were on our way soon after.
It was slightly cool at the start and the sunrise was beautiful. We immediately jumped into the port-o-potty line (there were 2 at the start).
Me, Missy and Heidi ready to go!
(This was Missy's first half marathon.)

Jorge and me
RunYourRace Pacers
When we started, I was itching to go much faster than my assigned pace. I thought a few times, "I wish I would have put in for a faster assignment." Those feelings ended abruptly when I realized I had a very angry stomach. I've never run so long or far with that much stomach distress. It was... interesting. :) Luckily I had taken an Ammodium before I started, and I think that was what saved me from having to stop and take a potty break. My stomach was making such loud weird noises that Heidi could hear it while running next to me! Luckily I had some fun and talkative runners around me for the first 9 miles to distract me. Because it was such a small race, I ended up running completely alone for the last 4 miles. I felt a little silly running through the final neighborhood holding my pacing sign, when there was no evidence that I was actually running a race/pacing.  I held my stick up proudly as people stared and waved.
I finished in 2:19:46, which was darn near perfect for my 2:20 assignment.
Heidi was able to get a PR and Missy killed her first half!

1 comment:

  1. Jess, I ran this alongside Holly pacing meand others in 1:50 in a training run for Nebo Marathon the next week. Loved the course and the best part was leaving my house in Provo at 6:45, arriving 5 min later at starting line. and starting the race after a brief warmup. Then catching a ride back to the start to my car. Sure beats getting up at 3:45 to catch buses for those canyon races!