Celebration Half Marathon 2017
Let me start by saying, I love this race! The Celebration Half Marathon should really be on your bucket list of runs. Celebration Florida is a small quaint town right outside of all the Disney hustle and bustle. This little community looks like the backdrop for every Hallmark Channel or Disney movie, it is that pretty. The course is flat, but has a ton of turns and then there are miles of wooden bridges, lots of wooden bridges.
So this race marked my second run at the Celebration Half Marathon. Although I am not a huge fan of running the same half marathon twice, I made an exception for this one. This race marked my one year anniversary with Coach M and I wanted to really see what I had accomplished in a year. The race was also held on January 29th, the 29th birthday of my son- now that is a celebration. Finally, for the money you can not beat the swag and party! So how did it go?
I have one word for you, RAIN! It was cold, 47 degrees, which is cold for Florida standards and it rained from start to finish. I have never run a race in the rain and especially not 13.1 miles! Coach M had some encouraging words for me and I decided to add a wind/rain style jacket to my line up and I went for it! The goal was to keep to my 10:00 minute miles and see if I could pick up the last 2.
The first 4 miles felt easy and I got used to the patter of the rain. 9:55/9:33/9:52/9:56 This race is beautiful. The homes are beautiful and I am imagining all the folks warm inside eating breakfast. Luckily, the following 3 miles are still pretty strong and yes, it is still raining. 10:10/10:40/10:18 Now we head into the nature preserve and things get a little tricky.
They say running is 90% mental and this is where I let my head get the best of me. The run thru the reserve is along wooden bridges. These bridges are wet and some am I. My fall is still running thru my head, my knees and elbow still fresh with scars and I start to slow down. I want to finish, I don’t want to fall, I am in and out of the woods and over the bridges. 11:14/11:16/10:56
I remember the sign, you only have a 5K left and I smile. The weird thing is my run keeper app had already told me that awhile back. HMMMMM, this race ran long last year and seems to be getting longer. I came around the back side and I have 2 miles left. So I gunned down the last of my tailwind as we curved around a lake, and yes a couple more bridges and I am focusing on the finish. I am pooped. 11:13/11:09/11:56 I finally see the finish line and my hubby had made it with my string bag and a dry jacket! Finished!!!! 13.61 miles! WTH? How did I run that far? My run keeper app said congratulations this is your longest run ever! No kidding!
Celebration 2016 13.3 miles 2:28:03 age group 67/156
Celebration 2017 13.61 miles 2:24:34 age group 40/133
The after party was similar to a mini wine and dine event. The local Celebration restaurants offer a tasting of a specialty dishes plus there is beer and mimosas! We received a tasting card and it was time to enjoy! This year’s swag did not disappoint either! The race shirt was made by Raw Threads and we received a nice insulated drinking cup with logo. The expo was a little cramped but a nice showing of vendors.
Finally, I can not say how much fun the Celebration Half Marathon is! If you love a big race with a small town feel this is the one for you! Hope to see you next year!