Monday, October 20, 2014

The Haunted Half Salt Lake 2014

The Haunted Half Salt Lake 2014 Race Review

Minnie Mouse and Rapunzel
I was quite oblivious that this was in fact a hilly course when I lined up at the starting line of this race. I knew it ran down Emigration Canyon and assumed it was a down hill course (like all the other Utah canyon races). Wrong-O! Luckily I felt super strong and ate those hills for breakfast. It made pacing a little less rewarding, because we lost our entire group at the big hill around mile 8. Runners finish in Memory Grove park.

Packet pickup was at the Infinity Even Center in downtown SLC the day before the race.  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. They did run out of water at the finish line, but the consensus seemed to be that the race had plenty of water, but that spectators entered the finish area and helped themselves to water. It wasn't a big deal to me, because I always have a water bottle in my drop bag and some waiting for me in the car. 

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)
The headless horseman starts the race (real rider on a horse). There was a scare tunnel on the last stretch into the finish with a couple of ghouls inside that surprised us. They scared me so bad that I about jumped out of my running shoes. The finish line was a big party with bounce houses and donuts. There were race photographers through Flo Foto on the course and at the finish. (Pictures cost extra.)  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 985 Half runners and 503 5k runners. The costumes were the best part!

Bottom line:
I would run this race again. Fun and unique fall race. I liked the course, but would make sure to include some hill work in my training. It had a fun family atmosphere at the finish line.

My Experience:
I have never run in Emigration Canyon, and was excited to enjoy a new view. The canyon was pretty and there were sections of the race where you could look out over Salt Lake City. I was feeling really good and was buzzing with happy positive running energy. My friend Missy (Minnie Mouse) and I jumped on one of the first buses and headed up the canyon. I paced with Sheri and we had some fun runners with us until the hill around mile 8. It was hard to leave everyone behind; being a pacer means you want to help people reach their goals. It hard to keep the pace instead of staying with runners you've bonded with over the past couple of miles. Luckily Sheri's sister Derrah was able to stay with us from start to finish. It was so amazing to watch her run ahead of us and cross the finish line of her first half. Pacing is amazing!

Missy and I looking fab on the bus ride up.
Run Your Race Pacers group picture at the start. 
Missy and I, staying warm at the start.

Me, Holly (Alice) and Stephanie (Queen of Hearts)
Best part of the day was seeing these cuties at the finish line.
Cory and the big scary bones guy

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