Friday, October 6, 2017

Urban Cow Half Marathon Race Recap 10/1/17

Urban Cow Half Marathon Race Recap 10/1/17
I ran the Urban Cow Half Marathon last weekend and it was a great run! I had heard it was a good race in Sacramento and even signed up early for the race while I was at the CIM expo with a friend last December. The route is a good one and I was impressed with the course and how well organized the race was. 

I did not go to bib/shirt pickup which was at Fleet Feet Sacramento. Due to work and time issues I just couldn't make it, but if you give a friend your confirmation email, they are able to pick up your stuff for you. I had my friend Elizabeth pick up my stuff (thanks again Elizabeth). She is also great because we carpooled and she drove. 

The run starts and ends at William Land Park in Sacramento. It is only about a 20 minute drive from Davis. We left around 6ish in the morning, made a stop for coffee and donuts and made it to the park by 7 so we had about a half hour before the race started. When we first got there, there was no line for the porta potties. It was nice that they had a lot of them. However, by 7:15 the lines got longer and longer. 
Below is a pic of me and Elizabeth at the start and we're ready to run 13.1!
My goal for this race was to not race it. Coach Dawn scheduled this run as a training run. She had me keeping the first 3 miles easy, then for the next 10 miles around 9:15-9:20, and try not to go faster. She also said I could throw in a few surges of 30 seconds fast running mixed in.

There are pacers at this race which is always great if you have a goal and are wanting to come in at a certain time. I didn't have a goal so I didn't bother but stood way behind my friend who was racing. The race started pretty much right on time and we were off. I probably should have started further back than I was in line because I found myself going fast from the start but looking at my watch, I slowed down. It's funny because I naturally tended to go fast and found it hard to slow down, but I knew I had to, so I did.

The course is great. We went by some cool spots.We ran through some neighborhoods and headed towards downtown Sacramento and even passed by Macy's.
Urban Cow Half Marathon by Macy's
We also ran through Old Sacramento.
Urban Cow Half Marathon Old Sac
We got a good glimpse of the tower bridge, then turned left onto the Sacramento River Bike trail.
Urban Cow Half Marathon Tower Bridge
Here's a pic of me passing the halfway mark of the race which was also the relay exchange station for those doing the relay.  Urban Cow Half Marathon halfway mark
It was neat running on the trail with the railroad tracks on our left and the Sacramento River to our right.
Urban Cow Half Marathon on the bike trail
We ran through Miller Park and at this part you can see faster oncoming runners on their way back. It was fun to see and cheer my friend Elizabeth at this part of the run. I was feeling good, this was between miles 7 & 8. I had to keep looking at my watch to make sure I was going around a 9:15 pace because I still was naturally tending to run faster.
Urban Cow Half Marathon
After Miller Park, we continued on the Sacramento Bike trail till almost 11 miles and turned off to head back to William Land Park for the finish.
Urban Cow Half Marathon on the bike trail
I was impressed with the different types of entertainment on the course. There were lots. From drummers to a high school band, to musical bands, it was fun to see them all on the run. 
 drummers on the course
Another part of the course that I enjoyed was while running on the bike trail, reading a bunch of signs with motivational quotes or funny sayings like this one. It's a good one even though "running" is spelled wrong. :p
You're running better than the Government sign
After about 2 hours and 2 minutes, I crossed the finish line.
I got my cool cow bell medal, was given bottled water and even some yummy strawberries and donut holes. :)
Urban Cow half finish treats
Got a finisher's pic with Elizabeth. She did a great job. We both ran happy!
I finished with a time of 2:02:08 and was happy that I was pretty close to sticking with the 9:15 pace. I finished strong. 
I love the cow bell medal!!
Urban Cow half marathon medal
Overall, the run is great! I can see it as a good fast course because it is pretty flat. It's also fun with all of the great entertainment along the way. This race is one I would definitely do again! I'll leave you with this relive video of the course. I'm hoping this training run will get me a fast time for this upcoming weekends Rock'n'Roll San Jose half marathon!
Happy running!!

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