At the beginning of this race season I set out to do Utah’s most sought after half marathons in prep for the St. George Marathon in October.
After researching several races Hobble Creek Half made it to the top of the list! I have had several friends run this race and love it so it was a “must do” for me too! I had a few of my friends from GPP register as well, so it has been fun to train together since my partner in crime is currently 9 months pregnant right now! Lindsey and Jamie have been at GPP for 3 years and they have become 2 of my best friends!
The race takes place in Hobble Creek Canyon in Provo, Utah. We decided to stay in Provo the night before the race so we headed down to packet pickup on Friday night.
Packet pickup was at Runners Corner in Provo. We were able to find it prettt easily. Picking up our packets was quick and easy. We found our names on a list with our corresponding numbers and they gave us our drop bag with some kodiak cake pancake mix (a total fave!) and our bibs. We were set! Because Runners Corner is the ultimate running store we had to do a little browsing and they have the cutest stuff! I need to go back and get a couple tops and SHOES! Their selection was one of the best I have seen in a long time! I ended up walking out with just a few Salted Caramel Gus for the race because they are also my favorite.
After we made our way to dinner! I actually brought my own chicken in a bag, SO classy, I know. So all I really wanted was a baked potato. It has been my go to meal pre race all year and I couldn’t stray. So we went to Wendy’s.
We headed to our hotel and noticed a bakery next door, I forgot my pre race food and made a quick decision to get something from the bakery. I grabbed a roll and a honey bear… $8 later I was set.
After checking in to the hotel I then realized I actually forgot my pajamas too.. oh and drop clothes to wear at the starting line. One of my most hated things is being cold. Being cold with really nowhere to go to be warm.. lol. I really need my mother to pack for me sometimes..
Luckily, Jamie had an extra sweater for me and well, I just slept in my race clothes.
Buses started to load at 5:15am so we set our alarm for 4:15am.. Okay, Lindsey set her alarm for 4:15 and woke me up at 4:40am.. BUT I drank about a liter of water, set out everything I needed, double checked my garmin and ipod were charging before going to bed.
When I woke up I got ready, ate about half my roll with honey and drank some spark to get me going. I also had a bit of water as well.
We headed out the door just after 5am and made it to the buses about 5:30. We were able to find a great parking spot really close to the buses. The parking was full in the church parking lot and there were lines of cars along the residential road. So plan a bit ahead for parking but overall it was pretty simple and nothing to stress over.
We jumped in the bus line and were directed pretty quickly onto one. On the bus I finished eating my roll and my spark, along with a water bottle.
The buses drop you off about a half mile from the starting line. We were given quick directions and a good luck then we started the walk to the starting line. It was bright outside already and to my surprise it was actually pretty warm! I didn’t even use the sweater and was just comfortable in my tank! Made me happy but I realized it would mean a HOT finish! At the starting line I was happy to know that it was a campsite! So, if your into the whole camping/glaming thing than I would recommend just staying up there and getting a few extra Z’s.. I actually hope every camper up there was a runner.. cause that music at the starting line was pretty fun! They also had water and gatorade? I think.. for you to sip on.
There were 40 porta potties at the top which were just great. The lines went fast.. We actually may of created one ourselves who knows. Ha! We took our pre race picture and then I ate a stinger waffle, took another sip of water and we headed to the start line. There were no pacers or corrals for this race so we just got comfortable amongst the group and hung out where we think we would be pace wise.
The race started right on time. At 7:15! The roads are not closed for the race so we were instructed to stay to the right.
When the gun went off I walked my way to the starting line and picked up the pace and weaved my way through. I felt great and was ready to run this thing!
The first aid station was at mile 3. They had water and I had a bit of my EFS vanilla shot along with it. I didn’t stop running so it was just a quick sip and I was good to go. They had set out signs to tell you that the next aid station was coming up which I really liked because I would pull out my EFS and sip it and put it back just in time to grab some more water and I wouldn’t really have to stop running. The first half of the course is a steady downhill. It is pretty gradual and if you have knee issues I think you would be okay on this course. You follow a river along the road which is one of my favorite things!
The next station was at 6.5, then again at 8. I had my GU at 8 (they also provided GU’s here) and another drink of water. The course goes off the road onto a running trail, expect a few rolling hills through here. The next station was at 10 and it was here that the heat was starting to get to me. I was HOT and felt a little dehydrated.. I knew I hadn’t had enough water during the race. They had gatorade at this station which I was really happy about! I would of liked another gatorade before this one. The last aid station was at mile 11.5. We walked through it and I drank a whole cup of water. It was definetly hot by this point as we anticipated at the beginning of the race and I needed some water. I was still feeling pretty good and we took off to finish the last miles.
Lindsey and I stuck together to the end, pushing each other to finish! I checked my watch when we hit mile 12 and realized that if we pushed it we could beat my goal for the day! Which was a 1:50. I told her and we pushed. That last mile was ROUGH mentally! I almost gave up due to the heat, but the thought of possibly beating my goal for the day gave me the chills and I used that thought to carry me to the end. The last 800m or so the street was lined with family and friends of other runners and they all cheered for everyone and it gives you that extra push to the end. Crossing the finish line I looked down at my watch to see 1:48! It was our fastest time this year!
My PR half is 1:42 on Big Cottonwood Half. So I still have something to work for, I was just so happy to beat my goal for the day. It was Lindseys PR! We also finished in the top 100 women and were given special medals and roses! I’ve never had a rose before so I love that aspect of the race! As soon as you cross the finish line you are given your medal and they cut off your chip, give you a water and then you follow around the corral and they give you your race shirt and lead you to the food. There was bread, watermelon, pretzels, bread and butter/honey, chocolate milk, gatorade etc. It was perfect!
This course was fabulous! It was beautiful and a gradual downhill with a few rolling hills. It was a little warm towards the end but starting earlier would mean an earlier bus loading time and that’s something I just don’t care to do.. ha! Besides.. I anticipate St. George to be hot so the training is good for me, right?!
Runners Corner did a fabulous job marking this course. The volunteers were all helpful and great at delivering cups to the runners. The finish line was well organized and everything flowed effeicently and orderly. My watch didn’t quite get 13.1. I think it was 12.9, but I was making sure to run the inside curves throughout the race when I could. Overall, It was a great race!
This would be a great course for anyone!