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.

Celebration Half Marathon

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 Half Marathon


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!

Do you have a favorite hometown race that you run year after year?  



46 Responses so far.

  1. Marcia says:

    I think you ran a strong (long) race given the rainy conditions and slippery bridges! It’s a coach’s dream to watch a runner transform the way you have this past year. Congrats!
    Marcia recently posted…Winter Scenes From My RunMy Profile

  2. I’ve never done a half here — probably never will, too boring since I’m always training here. But I do have shorter races I run year after year.

    That is a looooong course especially in the rain. And 47 & rain in the winter is just nasty anywhere — so good job! Better safe than sorry, too, and you’ll get better weather to test your limits another time.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Anatomy of a training cycleMy Profile

  3. Congrats on the PR! Especially in those crappy, Chicago-like conditions. It’s been fun to watch your transformation this year!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…4 Reasons You Should Reward Yourself With a Destination Race and a GIVEAWAY!My Profile

  4. Teresa says:

    Despite the rain, sounds to me like you spanked that race! Impressive! Wooden bridges …ugh. I hate them. They’re are a few around here on a running path and I they always seem to reach up and grab my feet, I’ve almost tripped multiple times. Guess that’s a sign that I’m dragging my feet 🙂

    Congratulations on the course PR!
    Teresa recently posted…5 Reasons to Run Boston’s Freedom Trail Guided TourMy Profile

    • MB says:

      Thanks Teresa! I think the bridges are cool when they are dry, not so much soaking wet! It definitely breaks up 13 miles but dang, it made me nervous!

  5. wow look at you! Congratulations you have worked really hard this year and it’s so paid off.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Life Lessons Learned In The Lap LaneMy Profile

  6. Chaitali says:

    It sounds like a really fun race! I would have been worried about the rain on the wooden bridges too. They always seem to be really slippery if it’s the slightest bit wet.
    Chaitali recently posted…2017 RacesMy Profile

  7. Kimberly G says:

    It sounds like a fun race despite the cold and the rain. Congrats!

  8. Congratulations on your half! This looks like a great one! We don’t have any hometown half marathons here, BUT we did have one on the gulf coast (Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon) that I ran in December. It was their first half and full offered on the coast and I plan on running it each year. It was flat, point to point race, and right along the beach! I loved it!

  9. Girl I got to hand it to you, you did an amazing job in the rain! This sounds exactly like the name a Celebration for sure! I wouldn’t mind all the bridges but of course when they are dry!!
    Great swag too.
    I guess for me the RnRNola has been a staple, with just completed my 4th year running it I kind of have mixed feelings about next year. I most definitely will run it again but I kind of want to take a break, do maybe some different ones in 2018.
    Tricia Vaughn recently posted…Louisiana 5k and Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

    • MB says:

      The bridges are cool when dry but I remember people falling last year and now they are soaking wet! UGH- I got over it ! 🙂 I think it is fun to do different races every time- there are so many! This one was a test and I feel like I passed 🙂 Now on the NOLA for us and I hope Utah!

  10. Marsha says:

    I’ll have to check it out. I love destination races. Sounds like it would be a nice getaway from Indiana in the winter 🙂
    Marsha recently posted…Tell Your Story: It Was in Lights and I Had to ObeyMy Profile

  11. Way to go!!! Congrats on the PR…you not only kept going strong, you fought the demons of that recent fall, and made it to the finish line 😉 High-5!
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…On the run…with AC/DCMy Profile

  12. Rachel says:

    Congrats! 47 and rain, no thanks. But you did it with a smile anyway!!
    Rachel recently posted…You Should Try Running BarefootMy Profile

  13. You did so great! Races in the rain are always tough. Congrats on the PR!
    Lisa @ MIle by MIle recently posted…30 Minute 90s Themed Spinning WorkoutMy Profile

  14. Jenn says:

    Congratulations! You did amazing and should be so proud! I would be put off by the rain and slick conditions, too. And REALLY put off by the course running long. What is up with that???

    I have heard such good things about Celebration. There are so many great local races – there are a few I run every year, and I have a hard time choosing a favorite.
    Jenn recently posted…race report: wolfson children’s challenge ultra relay {1.28.2017}My Profile

    • MB says:

      Thanks Jenn! Somehow I think I ran a fat race – that happened to me with the 5K series I did last summer- I need to learn to run in the inside not outside of the path I guess! UGH 🙂

  15. RFC says:

    Great work! Running over wet bridges can be soooo scary. I’m always hesitant too! Here in Myrtle Beach we have a big marathon/half marathon every spring. It’s definitely a tradition to run it year after year!
    RFC recently posted…Hallucination 24 Hour Race ReportMy Profile

  16. Congrats!!! Nice time! I hate when you finish and your race said you did extra distance. So frustrating. Even though it was cold for florida standards 47 and rainy can be pretty nice for running. Love those capris!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Triathlon Talk. 3 Drills For Improving your Strokes.My Profile

    • MB says:

      I know a lot of people like running in the rain but I am spoiled here so rain running is not my fav but I proved to myself that I could get it done! Thank you!

  17. Way to go! The weather was anything but ideal, but you showed the weather who was boss! I’ve heard from multiple people how great this race is. I wish that I lived closer so that I could participate one year.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Who Wants to Run the 10th Anniversary of ZOOMA Annapolis?My Profile

    • MB says:

      It is a ton of fun! I was hoping for better weather but this is Florida even Disney doesn’t get beautiful race conditions every time 🙂

  18. Cassandra says:

    I love hometown races. We have a whole local race series that we run each year. Our regular training schedule incorporates them as either a training day “race workout” or running them as an actual race. The best part about local races is knowing a good chunk of the people that show up for them.
    Cassandra recently posted…Work Your Triathlon Weakness: SwimMy Profile

  19. Darlene says:

    Congrats on running a strong race. I have run several halfs in the pouring rain – not my favorite conditions. You tan it like a champ.

    I love do run halfs where I can sleep in my own bed. So far I haven’t had to repeat any but eventually I will.
    Darlene recently posted…TOLT: Flexibility, Lady Gaga, Work, Giveaway, etc.My Profile

  20. Toni says:

    Congrats! Looks
    Like a great race, I will
    Check it out for 2018 for sure!
    Toni recently posted…Take ResponsibilityMy Profile

  21. What a fun race! I would have slowed too for fear of falling! Great job still getting faster even in the rain. Can you imagine your time if it hadn’t rained!!!?
    Is it a big race?
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Fashion Friday – How to Wear JoggersMy Profile

  22. Way to get that PR! I wanted a half PR this year but since I am not running currently, looks like it will have to wait until 2018.

  23. So proud of you for sticking it out on such a tough, rainy day.
    Abby @BackatSquareZero recently posted…My First Ever DNFMy Profile

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About MB

I am a wife, mother, stepmother, working healthcare financial professional and a 5K enthusiast! I love to travel, try new products, meet new friends, eat great food and drink great wine! Why not run around the world in my tutu and tennies?
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