Bristol Half Marathon & Relay
Finishers - 280
Kill The Hill! Wait...what there's a hill?
I arrived super early after a 2 hour drive and snagged a parking spot just a few feet away from packet pick up, porta potties and starting line. In fact I was so early that preregistered PPU wasn't opened yet but race day registration was in full swing. I had been so busy leading up to the race that I never did my usual research on it. So I walked around the staging area checking things out. BAM it hits me smack in the eye ball. The course map is displayed nice and big with the elevation chart.
I have no fear of hills and have run many of races with climbs just as bad or worse but I wasn't expecting it today. I'm not good at hills but I get them done and enjoy the change of elevation on a course. With that I eventually grab my number and get myself prepared for the race.
The crowd makes it's way to the starting line and waits for the cannon to be fired sending us on our way. How cool is that, smoke and all?
It was a quiet morning as runners were focused in their thoughts. What will today's race bring us?
The course has beautiful park views with even a bit of gravel trail. It is so wonderful to have that break from the pavement and trees block the sun. There unfortunately was a mishap somewhere around the park that sent the front of the pack in the wrong direction. I could see them around the loop and heard the volunteers and other runners redirecting them. This must have been quickly fixed because I was directed correctly and asking around after the race nobody knew what I was talking about.
We had plenty of water and Gatorade stops with a couple locations stocking Gu. Oh and someone was handing out pretzels and other snacks. This town had the best police force directing traffic and keeping us safe. They meant business and would not let a car pass even stepping directly in front of one. Above and beyond that they were supper friendly with words and of encouragement. Thank you!
Yes that hill was as brutal as it looks.
You are about 7.5 miles in, fatigue is setting in and the climb starts. The road bends and turns enough that you can't see when the uphill ends. You just keep moving and eventually get there. The reward is a nice mostly downhill to the finish.
There awaits you is a nice medal, great photo ops and a nice post race spread. Delicious pancakes and crispy mouth watering bacon. The awards ceremony was just getting underway by the time I finished so even finishing this race at the back of the back there were plenty of people still hanging around.
The Bristol Half Marathon does a nice job with this event, just needs to fix that little course error. Cheerleaders and Minions kept the spirit up.