Yesterday was my second running of the Frederick Half Marathon. In 2015, I ran it as part of the Nut Job Challenge (5k Saturday night, half marathon Sunday morning). Originally, I had planned this race as my sub-2 attempt, but I ended up shooting for, and making it, at the St. Luke’s Half two weeks prior.
On Saturday morning, my son and I headed up to Frederick in the rain to pick up my packet and do some adventuring in Maryland. We arrived at the fairgrounds, found parking fairly quickly and went to pick up my bib (one building) and my race premium (another building). After wandering around the small expo, we headed over to see the farmers market. Puddle jumping was too tempting for my little buddy to resist, so I ushered us back to the car to continue our adventure.
The rain was slated to stop by 11 and I had hoped we’d make it to the South Mountain Creamery to learn about ice cream making on our way home. Sadly, there was no end in site to the rain, so we headed over to Brunswick, Maryland to check out a small train museum. My father-in-law loves model trains and has a huge set up in his basement, so Michael is quite familiar with watching trains. This particular exhibit wound all the way through the third floor of the museum and followed the train from Union Station up through Maryland.
We headed home, still in the rain, and I went about gathering items for my “Flat Erin” for the race. Since the goal was to have fun, I really went all out for this one – channelling the character Poppy from the movie Trolls.
Saturday morning at 5am, I met my friend Kim at a local Starbucks to head to Frederick for the 7am start. I knew that it was an absurdly early hour to leave, but if we didn’t we would sit in massive traffic upon arrival into the small town. Packing 4,000+ runners is never an easy feat and I did not want to be stressing for no reason.
We arrived in plenty of time, got organized, and met up with our friends for some silliness before the gun went off. It was COLD out, so we spent our time being goofy and staying warm.
When we lined up for the starting line it was STILL COLD, but we seeded ourselves around the 2:20 pacer and off we went.
It remained fairly cold and the sprinkles that had begun right before the national anthem turned into full out rain by mile 2. The course was much hillier than I remembered or was expecting and my legs were super tired, but we were all about fun — so fun we had. We chatted about everything and everything as the miles flew by. I was not carrying water and had a bit too much before the start out of nerves, so we had to stop for me – which took over 5 minutes because two of the potties were just not OK for female use. Before we knew it, we were at the final 2 mile stretch a crazy up hill climb back to the fairgrounds.
We finished at 2:14 and change. MUCH slower than 2 weeks prior for either of us, but as speed was not the intention – we focused on what a lovely catch up we had for 13.2 miles. Shortly after crossing the finish line, we met up with two of our MRTT buddies and proudly showed off our new bling. The wind was picking up and it was getting COLD, so Kim and I headed back to the warm car to trek home.
This year they offered the option of posting FREE photos directly to Facebook for finishers. VERY COOL, but two caveats. They come posted with not just the race logo, but a full advertisement for the race on the bottom. AND they post all your photos – even the ones you would never post yourself. We have had a lot of laughs looking at one another’s pics and quickly deleting them before too many of our friends get a good look.
It was a fun race and one I’d do again, but not on tired legs after two weeks of racing. Overall – Frederick does a GREAT job of putting together an A+ race with a wonderful vibe!