My first half marathon of the season is always Rock CF and it never disappoints! This is the 4th year of the event and each year it just gets better and better. (Although even year 1 seemed to go off without a hitch!) There is nothing that I would ask to improve - friendly volunteers, plenty of water and post-race snacks, a gym to stay warm in, no shortage of bathrooms inside and out, awesome race shirts, quick results, and no long awards ceremony to wait around for. Parking is easy and if the lot is full there are shuttles. There is a 1/2 marathon, a 5K, and a 2-person relay. There's something for everyone!
The mostly flat course is a scenic loop around Grosse Ile, with beautiful views of the water. Added to the course last year was a run through the Grosse Ile Naval Air Station Hangar, which is really cool. This year Rock CF made the hangar the start of the 5K, which was hosted by RUNdetroit. (See, getting better every year!)
It was pretty windy during the first and last 3 miles. Especially the last 3 miles, which was challenging. But by that point I was pushing hard and determined to finish strong. The miles in the middle were calm.
I knew I'd be able to beat my PR from Brooksie Way (1:32:30) but I would have been happy with shaving off 30 seconds. Once I got going I knew I was looking at taking off about 2 minutes. I was checking my pace more often than usual and it was a little up and down. I just couldn't get myself to hold a steady pace. After mile 5 I finally settled in and although I wasn't consistent, my pace started dropping with each mile (so even better!). A woman had passed me at mile 3 and I was chasing her until mile 10. Finally I caught up to and passed her as I exited the hangar. I think it helped that Justin and Alia from RUNdetroit were in the hangar cheering me on!
I ended up finishing 4th, with my RUNdetroit teammates Sarah and Stephanie ahead of me in 1st and 2nd, respectively. (Ahead of me by a WIDE margin, I must note!) Remember that old PR from the fall I hoped to beat? I blew it out of the water by nearly 4 minutes! My finishing time was 1:28:36. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face and the race director, Emily, gave me a big hug. A hug from the race director after crossing the finish line? Yet another reason to love this race!
Post-race, I swapped stories with the other runners, grabbed some snacks, checked results, and got my award. Oh, but first I made sure to hit the PR Cymbal, loud and clear!
Vanilla Chia Pudding, banana
Pompeii / Bastille
Don't Save Me / Haim
Digital Witness / St. Vincent
Breakout / Foo Fighters
We Found Love / Rihanna
Get in My Way / Robin Thicke
Youth Without Youth / Metric
Mallie Chan / Otto Vector
I'm Shakin' / Jack White
After the Disco / Broken Bells
Stranger to My Happiness / Sharon Jones & the Dapp Kings
Birth in Reverse / St. Vincent
The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
Tightrope / Janelle Monae (ft. Big Boi)
The Walker / Fitz & The Tantrums
Man / Neko Case
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
Dancing Shoes / Arctic Monkeys
The Stars are Ours / Mayer Hawthorne
What Makes You Beautiful / One Direction
Work Around It / Them Swoops
Sexx Laws / Beck
50 Ways to Say Goodbye / Train
Blood for Poppies / Garbage
Brave / Sara Bareilles
Uprising / Muse
Have you run a race yet this season?