CHaD HERO Half Marathon.
Yesterday was my first time racing the CHaD Hero Half Marathon. A race to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth a critical care center for children in our area of New Hampshire and also a hospital that has helped our family with amazing general pediatrics doctors as well as specialists. This event has grown to include events so that anyone can participate, a 5k run, Cam’s Course 1 Mile Fun Run, 5k walk, and 10k wooded hike and be a part of the fundraising that is needed to continue to provide service to over 60,000 children each year.
I was happy to meet up with some fellow heroes before the race and I loved seeing all of the amazing superhero costumes. The spirit at this race was positive and my energy to race was definitely buzzing.
Half Marathon Race Recap
Yesterday I felt inspired seeing children and adults run and walk together as teams in superhero costumes and teams bearing the names of children and their families in need of hope and care at CHaD. Everyone who participated in this event yesterday was there for a purpose other than just to run or to get a new PR. The race began with the National anthem sung by a Dartmouth A Capella Group and a Super Hero Oath read by the race director and repeated by the 5K and half marathon runners. With the words “Heroes Together!” we were off.
The clouds parted as the race began and although it was in the 40’s it was gorgeous. The race ran through the beautiful Dartmouth, TUCK and medical school campuses as well as through neighborhoods in Hanover, NH and across the river into Norwich, VT across the Connecticut River and then back again. The course was rolling with some long gradual relentless uphills and downhills but it was a good mix to let your body settle into a pace.
I began the race in the 7:00-8:00 pace group behind a “pacer” wearing a 7:3o pace shirt. It was hard not to get sucked into the quick pace off the starting line with all of the 5K runners and the 7:30 pacer was cruising along at closer to a 6:45 pace.Yikes! I knew I was falling into a trap of going to fast which was confirmed at the 10K point of the race where I matched my fastest 10K with 46 minutes. It just felt so good to stretch out and run long and strong. Plus I was I was living out my childhood dream of always wanting to be Wonder Woman! I felt like I was in my invisible jet, invincible! After the 10K I reevaluated my pace plan and slowed it down a little bit. I worked hard to use my upper body, core and length and to stay relaxed especially on the downhills so as not to waste energy. Powerful messages graced signs as you climbed each hill and ran along the course. The volunteers and spectators cheered as you flew by (I was wearing a cape you know!) and encouraged you to be your best. The other racers were determined and strong. I kept my attitude positive and decided not to really check my watch for the rest of the race. I wanted to just run and enjoy the love of racing.
Racing to the finish line!
As we crossed the “ball” bridge back into Hanover we ran back by the boathouse and up a tough hill at around miles 8-9. On this hill their was a perfectly placed sign with a quote from one of my favorite running bloggers Sarah from Run Far Girl–”Embrace the Hill!” So I did! I pushed hard up the hill and at the crest kept on moving for the final loop. We ran through the starting chute across the campus green and the cheering from the crowd brought a new boost of final energy which was definitely needed for the last 3 mile push up some tough hills. The last mile was tough. My muscles were beginning to tighten from the cold and from the faster earlier miles. I emptied my energy and pushed up the last small hill and down through the finish chute crossing the line in 1:44:48. 13th out of 141 in the women’s 30-39 age group. A strong but tired finish made perfect by the smiles of my kids and Organic Runner Dad (and our friend Paul too) greeting me at the finish line.
Overall, this was an amazing day and I am so thankful for everyone who donated to my fundraising team to help raise over $700,000 for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth! I want to race this race again and to increase my fundraising efforts. And, if I run again next year I can be Wonder Woman again!!!!!
Thank you for cheering me on and wishing you many wonderful runs this week!
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