Time: 47.04 (my leg 2/3), 2.17.55 (Relay team of 3)
Distance: 7km (my leg 2/3), 13.1 miles (Relay team of 3)
Conditions: Sunny, Cloudy, Humidity (83%), Warm (24 degrees)
Today I took part in the 19. K&H Half Marathon Relay. It was my first Relay, my first 7k and my first official race after last year`s failed Half Marathon attempt.
Before the Race:
I woke up ridiculously early but forced myself to stay in bed for a little longer because the race wouldn`t start until almost noon. I was glad though when I looked outside that the weather looked fine. It was cloudy but the thunderstorm had went by. The air was still really humid though (83% according to the iPhone). After a PB breakfast I put on my gear and got ready to leave. My mom and I got in the car and had some troubles finding a way that was not blocked due to the Race course. After arriving we looked around the shops.
This is not comparable to any big race expo, it was basically three or maybe four tents selling mainly Adidas gear (one of the main sponsors) as well as a collection of other random stuff. I picked up an Asics water bottle belt which I will try out and review next week, hopefully. Then we met up with the first relay member who had picked up our numbers and tees. We were going to wear the tees by the foundation that we ran for but decided not to because they are just really heavy cotton.
My team was still not complete at that time, I am on the left, then comes Runner 3 from team 1, Runner 1 from my team, Runner 1 from team 1 and Runner 2 from team 1.
Later I took part in the big warm-up which was a lot of fun. The instructor was awesome and the music great, too. Then the first runners proceeded to the starting area while we went back to the Embassy tent where we could get free drinks and snacks. Later I watched an Ironman leading the Marathoners.
Starting (Rajt) behind the Parliament we turned back towards the river and went towards Margaret bridge. From there we turned back, passed the parliament and went until the Chain Bridge. We turned again, passed the Parliament again and finally ran to the backside of the Parliament building where the Finish (Cél) and the Relay zones (Váltózóna) was located.
I didn`t know my team mates until today and I had no idea how fast they were going to be so I found my place in the right zone according to the numbers and kept in contacting with my mom who was spectating and let me know when the first runner was turning into the finishing area. Then I was off.
I might have made the mistake of starting off too fast, but not for long. Everything was going good until around kilometer four where I finally saw my mom, equipped with water and Powerade, whom I was supposed to meet a lot earlier. I listened to music until around km 3.5 but then stopped because it was just a “worst case” thing. From there on things went downhill. Thinking back I can`t even find a proper reason. It was humid, yes, but bearable and I have been through worse conditions. I had side stitches and one point, but those were manageable. Maybe because so many people started walking…
I checked my watch and was fine just around the 5k mark (around 30 minutes which for me is good) but then I took a walking brake for much longer than I had needed. And another shorter one.
I saw my friends again just before the final streets, after the out and back course, running up to the next street level when I found the energy to speed up and finish strong. I`m glad I did. My time was 47.04. My goal was 45. I know that I could have done it and I know I will. I`m still happy though.
- I didn`t like how after crossing finish I still had to go maybe 200 meters to get to the next runner.
- I should not have stopped to walk, because looking back it was not as urgent.
- I didn`t quite like the route at first, but think it was fine during the run.
- I liked the fact of having a constant field of runners around since it was a relay. Races in Hungary are relatively small.
- I learned a lot about pacing and my weaknesses and know what I will be working on over the next weeks.
- My pace was below 11 minutes, so at least I did hit that goal. I wanted to finish below 45 minutes, though, which did not happen because of the walking, I think.
- Spectators are awesome, organized spectator groups (cheerleaders) that don`t do anything are not, however.
- I don`t like when a race doesn`t inform you beforehand where the water stations are going to be. The one at km zero did not make much sense for all the relay runners, only for Marathoners or Half Marathoners.
- I`d love to have a little race bling to add to my numbers, but this race did not provide any. Sadly.