Monday, October 27, 2014

The Haunted Half Provo 2014

The Haunted Half Provo 2014, Race Review
 love Provo Canyon so much, and have run the first part of this course many times. I love running through such a beautiful canyon and seeing Bridal Veil Falls never gets old. 
It is a gradual down hill course until you exit the canyon. The last couple of miles were on new terrain and there was a steep hill around mile 10ish. 
Packet pickup was the day before the race at the University Mall. Everything was organized and they had some fun drop backs for pictures.

Race day support was wonderful. The buses ran smoothly, port-o-potties were available where promised, the aid stations were stocked and the volunteers were all friendly.

Racers get gloves in their packets that are cute enough that I couldn't bring myself to use them as "throw away gloves".
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

There were fires at the start to keep runners warm. The headless horseman starts the race (real rider on a horse). There was a scare tunnel on the last stretch into the finish. There was plenty of pizza at the finish line with bounce houses for the kids and backdrops for photos. There were race photographers through Flo Foto on the course and at the finish. (Pictures cost extra.) If you run both the Salt Lake and Provo Haunted Half Marathons, you earn a "double scare" shirt. Unfortunately none of the volunteers/workers knew anything about that and kept saying "check back later". Luckily I ran into the race director and he was able to give me a cute hooded shirt. The Haunted Half medals and customized race bibs are so fun.
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

The race shirts have become my favorite long sleeve tech shirts to run in, and my 5 year old wants to wear his every day.
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)
According to the race results, there were 1436 half marathon runners and 682 5k runners. There was also a kids run, but it was really laid back (not timed).

Bottom line: I loved this race and will definitely run it again. My 5 year old and nephews loved the kids run and felt so important rocking their medals and race shirts. I loved seeing all of the creative and silly costumes. I loved the course, even the sneaky hill at the end. Of the two Haunted Half races, I liked this one best.
My experience:
I was having an off running day, so thankfully I was pacing a conservative pace (I would have been hating myself if I had a faster assignment.) I started breathing really hard the last 2 miles and never really felt strong. My pacing partner, Jay, was so much fun and we enjoyed chatting with runners through the canyon. Weirdly, we ran the last miles without many runners around us. 
My favorite part of this day was running the kids run with Cory and staying and watching ALL of the runners come in. It was so inspiring to see people cross the line who had obviously just poured all of their heart and strength into finishing. I was brought to tears more than once. Maybe it moved me so much because I remember finishing my first half and full.  All of the sacrifices offered during the training all come to your mind as you realize the goal you dared to believe was possible has in fact been achieved. I truly believe my love for running is rooted in the feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something I once believed to be impossible. If you ever need some inspiration, watch the LAST runners finish a race.

My nephew, me and my son Cory at the finish.
I adore this little boy!

Cory's first race was a hit. He keeps asking when he can do another.

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