Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

 By Lisa Lockwood

Columbia Maryland

April 29, 2012 “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt,” – Max Lerner

What’s worse than rain and mud? How about a race full of hills? The course takes you up and down for 2 hours. Not something I had in mind/enjoyed and because I was so exhausted I was surprised that I did as well as I did. No PR for this race, I would be surprised if anyone did, but I still ran at a pretty good pace. Aren’t there any flat areas in Columbia, MD? 

The course takes you throughout the town of Columbia and yes the police stopped traffic in a few areas but I always worry they are going to stop me and let the traffic go when we crossed a street. Most of the race, we were on back roads and in neighborhoods, which was nicer since we avoided main roads. There was a tenth of a mile that was really nice running along a stream. But that was a teaser because the biggest hill was next. The split markers were in random places, not the typical 10k marker, this time they had a split close to mile 7. I enjoyed the spectators with all their cute signs and I loved all the little kids out in their pajamas. It was a very chilly morning and it was nice of everyone who came out to cheer us on.

I think it was about 40 degrees when we started and 45 degrees when I finished.  I am never sure what to wear when it’s cold out, so I pile on the clothes and then start taking them off as I warm up. Lots of women started out in shorts and tank tops. I don’t know how they do it.

 I enjoyed the food which was donated by Wegmans. They encouraged us to take lots of food and even gave us bags! I felt this was more of a grocery store shopping spree than anything. They brought apples, bananas, chips, bagels, pretzels, soda and cookies, so I definitely took advantage. They also offered massages afterward which were wonderful and I really needed it after running those hills.

The timing chip was different from other races I had done. It had to be attached to your shoe and as soon as you went through the finish chute, they cut it off of you. I needed to walk, not stop. The bib also had another a little number taped to it; my daughter said this was for your bicycle helmet. Huh? Oh yeah, a triathlon company put this race on. The only disappointing thing about that was they fell off during the course and were all over the place. I can’t stand littering so I really think they should have torn those off or told us too.

Perks: kids in pajamas, grocery bags from Wegmans, massages.

Ehh… Not a Fan: no timing area to get your finishing time, having to stop immediately after the race to cut the timer off of the shoe. Most of all, the course. I only ran this race to check Maryland off my list. It was close to home and smaller than the Baltimore Marathon in October… but probably hillier (if that’s a word).

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