Another half marathon is in the books. Last weekend was Race 13.1 Greenbrier Half Marathon. This was a first year race. I’m always a little skeptical about first year races – but, when it’s put on by the Race 13.1 group – I don’t worry.
Side note – If you’ve never run a race put on by Race 13.1 – find one and do it. Everything is organized and you can just tell when a race is run by runners.
This race was around the grounds of The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. I grew up in Lewisburg – which is about 10 miles away. (If you follow me on Facebook, you hear me talk about going each week to do my “Mom chores” – well this is where I go. About 1 1/2 hours from where I live). So, it was kind of a non-brainer to do this race. Head to Mom’s for my weekly visit – stay an extra night – and do the half marathon.
If you were staying at the resort – your race packet was delivered to your room. A nice touch I thought. But, for those of us that weren’t – packet pick up was at the Sports Performance Center. This is where the race would start.
Packet up was smooth and quick – well, I was the first one there. But, it was! And, a nice surprise – we got 2 shirts. A nice cotton shirt and a tech shirt. Another nice touch.
Mom and I had a nice spaghetti dinner and then home to relax the rest of the evening.
Got up at 4 on race morning. Had my bagel with peanut butter and a Pepsi then I was ready to head out. Took another glass of Pepsi with me and a bottle of water. I like to stay hydrated before – and wanted to get all the caffeine in me that I could before an hour before the race.
That’s my cut off time for drinking. In an hour, everything will usually “pass” through me and I won’t have any bathroom issues during a race. I might, though, have a sip of water right before the race starts.
Pulled into the parking lot of the Performance Center about 5:30. Yes, this was 1 1/2 hours before race start – but, I wanted to find a decent parking spot – and just sit and chill and not be rushed before the race started.
I walked over to the center – used the facilities and then back to the car. Made a quickie Facebook Live video and really just kind of people watched for a while.
About 6:20, I left the car, visited the facilities and did my little pre-race stretching and warming up routine. The bathroom, of course, had a major line – one with about 10 stalls. I wouldn’t be surprised if some runners didn’t make it to the start in time.
Popped my Run Gum about 5 minutes before the race and then we were off. The first few miles of the race was around the resort itself, including the main building that you see in pictures.
Then we headed out on the cart paths around the golf course. That’s when it got pretty tricky at times.
This area was devastated by flooding last year. There were many areas where the paths were broken up and some places not even there. We ran through gravel, grass and dirt. I’m not a trail runner and was not happy with a lot of the course. I missed seeing a hole in the dirt and tweaked a hammy about halfway. Luckily, it worked itself out – even though it was a little sore the next day. After reading some comments later – I wasn’t the only one that was a little discouraged. And, another thing that kind of bugged me was they were watering the greens – which watered the paths and made it slick where there was dirt on the paths. Especially going uphill.
Now, I don’t blame the Race 13.1 people at all for this. I believe that they really didn’t know how bad it was in places until they got there this week. They sent an email out on Thursday that stated places on the course that were supposed to be repaved were not done so because of the weather. So, I think there were as surprised as the runners. They were told it would happen – and it was not.
Overall, I liked the layout of the course. There will some hills in addition to the flat portions. A lot of twists and turns, but, I really didn’t mind that.
Then, the finish. And, by that I mean the after race! This is the best after race party that you will ever attend! Champagne, fruit, breads, etc. Perfect! (You could make Mimosas – but, I took mine straight up!) And, the Champagne served by the Greenbrier servers in their formal black vests, pants and white shirts!
It was funny, I was talking to 3 runners. One of them asked where I was from and I told them originally from that area – but, that Iive in Roanoke now. Believe it or not, they were from Roanoke. Too funny!
I would have liked to have stayed at the after race longer. But, I had to get back to Mom’s – and I was driving. I’ve already told Hubby that next year he will be going with me!
Even with the course debacle, this was a great first time race. Nice shirts, nice atmosphere, nice shirts and super after race party. I will definitely run this again next year!