On Saturday, the greater tri-state area experienced monsoon-like weather, with extremely high winds, rain pouring down all day in buckets, and the occasional thunderstorm. By the time the rain stopped (in the wee-hours of Sunday morning), the wind was still around, and there was A LOT of flooding. Anyone familiar with the general New Brunswick area knows that almost all of the parks, especially Johnson Park, flood almost every time it rains.
So, when we were on our way to the Unite Half Marathon on Sunday morning that starts over on Rutger’s Busch campus, it was no surprise that we saw flooding in the parks. We also, however, saw quite a few paths and roads that had dried up. Once we arrived at the start, and were waiting for a port-o-potty while listening to announcements, we heard what at first I thought was a joke – due to flooding, the 13.1 mile race was pushed back to be only 10 miles. I definitely heard groans throughout the crowd. I giggled to myself that we were all disappointed to not be running an extra 3.1 miles!
For me, I wasn’t too disappointed; because of all my injuries, I didn’t think it would have mattered for me either way if I ran those extra 3.1 miles as I knew this race wasn’t going to be a PR. However, I did feel badly for everyone there going for a PR, or for anyone that was running their first half marathon. While I understand it’s impossible to control the weather, I don’t understand why there wasn’t a plan B. Like I mentioned, everyone that is familiar with the New Brunswick area knows the parks, specifically Johnson Park, flood A LOT when it rains. I was baffled that they couldn’t have had us do an extra lap here or there, or re-route the course a bit to make up the difference in miles. So instead of heading to the park after 8 miles, we continued across a narrow (3 person-wide) footbridge to make our way to the finish line.
There isn’t much to say about the race – it kind of just happened! It was super windy though, which at points was pushing me to the left and right, and I felt like I was battling through a brick wall. Aside from the heavy winds, it was a great day for a race. The morning started a bit cloudy, and then the sun came out (I think I actually got a little color!). I started off right behind the 9 minute/mile pacers, but quickly put myself in front of them, and stuck with it. I didn’t have any expectations going into the race, but after knowing it was only 10 miles, I felt like I could push it a little. Here I was thinking the race was 10 miles, and it turns out it was only 9.65! That actually annoyed me; not that they cut it short in the first place (I was over that), but that they said it was 10 miles, but was really 9.65. That extra .35 makes a difference – I thought I ran 10 miles on Sunday! My overall pace for the 9.65 miles was 8:54 min/mile, having me finish at 1:23:49.
Looking at that timing, even if I had slowed down a bit, I probably would have PR’d. Crazy to think! The fiancé also ran, finishing in 1:11:53, average pace of 7:28. Considering his own injuries, I couldn’t be prouder!
Since I didn’t run the 13.1 that was planned today, I think the fiancé and I are going to sign up for the Superhero Half on May 15th in Morristown, NJ. Maybe I’ll PR there! And even if I don’t, at least I’ll get to run the full 13.1 miles.