Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Race Recap - Morristown, NJ 9/26/15

Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Morristown, NJ
I ran the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon last Saturday and it was one tough trail run! I knew it was a trail run and expected hills, but there were a LOT of hills on this course. I came into it not running for speed and treated it as a training run for Brooklyn RnR coming up on 10/10. I'm so glad I did because it's the toughest trail run to date (I've only done one other). However this was a fun one! The only race I know of that has couches, magical grape beverages, marshmallows covered with chocolate and bacon, cake, and nutella sandwiches on the course! 

I went to the run with two friends. We carpooled and I was picked up around 6:45am. It took us about an hour drive to get to Morristown. We had to park at the National Guard Armory and from there take a 20 minute shuttle bus to Lewis Morris Park, where the run was located. The half marathon did not start until 9am so we had lots of time. Glad we got there when we did because there was a bit of traffic upon entering the Armory and traffic just to park. However, once parked I think we waited less than 10 minutes before the buses came, so it wasn't too bad of a wait.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Morristown, NJ
Once we got to Lewis Morris park, we headed straight for the porta potty lines. It was pretty long as they did not have that many for the amount of people there. It was confusing too because where we thought the line started also started on another side, and we ended up merging into one, which was a little annoying and made the wait longer. But since we got there early enough, we were fine and did not need to rush.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Morristown, NJ
The race started pretty much on time. I loved that the announcer was dressed as bacon.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Start Line
So a little after 9am we were off! The course started on trail and then we hit the road (the course consisted of both road and trails). Snapped a pic of my friends, Jayna and Minyee. 
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Morristown, NJ
The volunteers on the course were great! This type of race is different from others because there are very little spectators, and the volunteers are pretty much the only cheering squad on the course until you reach the finish. This guy was great giving high 5's to everyone he could.
I was pretty excited when I saw the first aid station to see what was there. They had cake, nutella sandwiches, the grape juice (gatorade?), and even Gu. It was a great spread of goodies.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon aid station
The course was well marked for the half marathon, but didn't match with my Garmin as the signs stated further than what my Garmin said. So when we were at mile 6, my Garmin really had 5.75, and the spread seemed to get wider as the race continued. I'm not sure if it was the GPS signal due to being in the trees, but my Garmin was pretty off at the finish (had me at 12.06 miles at the finish). Here at mile 6 was a nice hill, I think this was the first spot I walked.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon
At the top, I did get to sit down with a Blerch. The Blerches were pretty funny because they encouraged you to sit and eat cake.
Thanks Jayna for taking the pic! From here on out were lots of ups and downs.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon
On the run I did get to see The Oatmeal, aka Mathew Inman at a water station. He was kind enough to let me get a selfie with him. :)
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Mathew Inman
The part that I did not like about the run was when the 10K runners and Half marathon runners merged onto the same trail and there was just so much congestion. There was a long stretch of single track trail where you hand no choice but to walk because there was no way to pass the walkers. I figured at this part, it was an easy opportunity to snap a pic. See, no room for passing.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon single track
The finish line was great! Lots of people cheering and once you cross, I heard my name called out. That is always a great feeling. Can you tell I was glad it was over?
The finish area had more cake and nutella sandwiches along with potato chips, and water. Here's also a pic of the marshmallows with chocolate and bacon bits.
Beat The Blerch Half Marathon cake
Had to get a finisher's pic with the ladies and of course a Blerch.
My results. 
Not bad considering the crazy elevation. According to my Garmin we gained 1,103 ft of elevation throughout the run. 
The swag was pretty awesome too. Love that the shirt is v-neck and the medal is nice too! We also got free pics to download. 
Overall it was a great run! Very challenging with the hills and trails. I forgot to mention that I saw 3 people fall and I even had to catch myself a couple of times from falling. This run is one run you gotta watch where you are stepping especially with the roots on the trail. For those that do this in the future, definitely don't go into this race looking for a PR. I'm so glad I treated it as a training run, and I'm hoping with these hills Brooklyn RnR will be a breeze!

Have you heard of The Oatmeal?

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