Race morning was another very cold one, similar to the weekend before in Richmond. I had forgotten to pack running tights, but thankfully, I realized this the night before and we were able to make a quick trip to Target. I was dressed in layers and ready to get going as soon as we parked the car at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. At the start, I saw Annapolis native Jen, who was spectating that day.
|Doug, Scot, me, Jody at the start|
|The Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium|
We ran around near the stadium for a while, but because of the position of the sun, it was difficult to get a good photo. In this area, I also saw Jen on the course cheering. Then we made our way into town, to the state capitol, and to the harbor. Annapolis is such a pretty town, and would have been lovely to photograph. Again, the brightness and direction of the sun made it difficult to get good pictures.
|Running toward the Maryland Statehouse|
|In town, running downhill toward the harbor|
|Runners coming toward the harbor and then circling back into town|
|View of the harbor from downtown Annapolis|
A long stretch of the course involved running over the Severn River Bridge (the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge), which was a tough uphill (then easy downhill) portion, then a few miles on the far side of the river, which also involved several long hills. I’ve said it before: I don’t mind shorter rolling hills, but I absolutely hate the ones that go up forever. But at least these sections of the course were an out & back, so I was able to see Scot, Jody, Doug and Maniac Dawn, whom we’d met at the start.
|Heading toward the bridge to run back into Annapolis|
The last couple miles bordered the US Naval Academy and were back near the stadium. We finished just outside the stadium where we had started. The wind had been calm for most of my race, but it started kicking up in my last mile. I’m so glad it wasn’t windy the entire time, because that would have made the cold temperatures unbearable.
|Selfie at the USNA|
|These midshipmen volunteered at Mile 12|
Scot was waiting for me at the finish line. He had already seen Jody finish, and she was already in the beer tent. I missed seeing her because we spent a while collecting our finisher pullovers, finding Doug, and eating some hot tomato soup. Then we made our way to the beer tent where I had a Copperhead Ale from Fordham Brewing in Delaware and Scot had a Virginia Draft from Bold Rock Hard Cider. We hung out with Doug for a while and talked with some other runners before calling it a day. Everyone was cold, so we went back to our prospective hotels to get warm showers and change. That was another benefit of running a half marathon instead of a full marathon: we could actually shower and change before we had to check out. Jody was back at the hotel, so we said goodbye to her, then got cleaned up.
|Scot's pic of his medal outside the stadium|
|With Scot in the tent, enjoying my beer, wearing our finisher pullovers|
|The band plays inside the warm beer tent|
Before driving home, Scot and I had to stop at the Maryland Capitol to add another pic to Magenta’s Statehouse album. Annapolis is so close to home, yet we had never been there with Magenta. And then, after a short drive home we stayed inside and kept warm the rest of the day.
|Magenta the Road Trip Flamingo at the Maryland Statehouse, keeping warm wearing her scarf|
I would recommend the Annapolis Running Classic Half Marathon. They did a good job with the race and the after-party was in a somewhat warm tent with a band. There was one hiccup that was probably unintentional, and will probably be fixed for next year. On one of the roads in town, the runners were routed on the wrong side of the road, so that after doing a loop and then reentering the same road, the two streams of runners crossed each other. This was very frustrating, and could have been fixed if the course marshals had done a better job of making sure runners used the correct lanes. Or, at least that’s what I believe. I refuse to believe that the race committee designed the course as to make runners run into each other.