Vernonia Half Marathon

I love this race for so many reasons. It’s got a great downhill which makes you feel fast. It’s low key without thousands of runners, it’s a gorgeous course and it’s pretty affordable. I ran the marathon in 2011 and PRed there. That PR still stands. The only bad thing is that it falls on the same day as Peterson Ridge Rumble.

I’ve really been working on my speed this year and wanted to do really well at this half marathon. My goal was to run a 2:20 which would be a 3+minute PR over my half marathon PR which I set in 2011. My strategy was to bring all food and hydration so I could run through the aid stations. I also woke up early and stopped drinking an hour and a half before the race to ensure I didn’t have to stop and use a porta potty mid-race.

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Me and Stephanie before the race.

I saw a few people I knew at the half marathon including Stephanie. Both marathon and half marathon are point to point races and you get bused to the start. (Or you can be dropped off). You do end up waiting for a bit of time before the race which was chillier than I expected.

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Overall I am very happy with my performance. I did struggle the last 4 miles and I ran pretty tense throughout my miles. It caught up with me and I had to fight for each mile after the 9 mile mark which you can definitely see:

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The odd thing for me was passing people after the 9 mile mark. A lot of runners started slowing down and I passed them! That doesn’t normally happen for me.

2016 04 10 - Vernonia Marathon and Half

Oregon Road Runners Club Vernonia Marathon. These photos are free for personal use of the participants as a benefit of the event.

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Almost to the finish!

Surprisingly the finish was actually quite emotional for me. I sprinted around the track passing a woman I had leap frogged with for most of the race. She shouted encouragement as I passed her. Runners although competitive are also amazingly supportive. Once I hit the finish line, I started crying.

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It takes a lot of mental focus to run fast which I knew but didn’t know. Most of my races, my goal was to finish. But this in a way is the first race that I’ve actually RACED. At the end my chest hurt from breathing hard, my legs hurt from running downhill and my shoulders ached from my arms pumping so hard and being tense.

My official chip time was 2:13:46. I PRed by more than 10 minutes.

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One response to “Vernonia Half Marathon

  1. I love this! Yes, you RACED the heck out of it, and your reward was a massive PR! You kept fighting, and then you even had a sprint at the end! Very well done, Aleta. Congraulations!!

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