This past Saturday was a new experience for me—my very first downhill race—the Freakin' Fast Half Marathon! Not only was it a downhill run, it was also my third competitive half marathon. It was another race that I was blessed to be able to run with my mom and we both had a great time!
The nationally certified course began at the base of the Bogus Basin Ski slopes and dropped more than 3,000 feet over the 13.1 miles down to the bottom of the hill—which is why it's so "freakin' fast!" I started out quick—my first mile coming in at 5:45—and just kept cruising from there. I went a little bit up and down with my times, hitting a sub-5:00/mile on the steepest portion and coming in around 6:30/mile on the two miles with a little bit of an uphill incline.
I wasn't too concerned with my pace, however, because I just wanted to finish injury-free! I'm still in the beginning weeks of training for the Air Force Half Marathon in September, so I didn't consider myself "prepped" for this race, though I knew I'd be able to complete it without a problem. I just didn't want to over-do it and hurt/strain/injure something! Thankfully, besides for my feet feeling hot, I didn't experience any physical problems during the race. My mantra the whole time was, "Down-Hill Ba-by!" which I said every four steps when I was feeling tired, and it definitely helped me stretch it out and speed it up!
Over the span of the course, I went back and forth with another lady several times before taking the lead around mile 9. Once I crested the uphill portion during mile 11, I kicked it into high gear from there and literally sprinted into the finish, crossing in a time that even I couldn't have expected! I finished as the 1st Place Overall Female with a time of 1:17:23, averaging a pace of 5:54/mile. I was also the 6th overall finisher out of 361 total participants.
My mom did awesome as well. She finished in 1:45 and had a great race. As soon as I crossed the line and chugged some Gatorade, I jogged back up the hill to meet her and we finished together as we always do. And if you'll notice our cute matching outfits in the photos below—they were sponsored by Gordmans and we absolutely adore them!
See more photos of our race below!
A shot of the crowd at the top of the hill. It was 6:30 am—we were chilly and ready to run!
Cheesin' it while waiting for the start.
"Workin' it" & cruising into the finish line with a thumbs up. I was stoked to finish in 1:17!
Our awesome shirts, part of our running outfit which was sponsored by Gordmans—my new favorite place for affordable—and cute—workout gear! Aren't the finisher medals fun?
Coming up to the finish line with my mom. She's a rockstar!
We did it! We were both glad to have the race over with. We can't decide which we like better (or should I say least?)—killer uphill runs or dreadful downhill runs. We've decided flat races are our favorite!
Celebrating being "Freakin' Fast" with Christie, the super-cute organizer of the race & owner of Final Kick Events.
If you'd had asked me prior to the race what my goal was, I'd have said it was to 1) either beat my PR (maybe try for 1:25?) or 2) just finish without any injuries. I did both! As I was watching the miles fly by, I was estimating my finish time and couldn't believe I was on pace to finish sub 1:20. In fact, I achieved a new personal record by taking almost 9-minutes off my prior best time, which I ran at the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon in May, and have taken a total of 16-minutes off my time since the Volition Half Marathon in March. Granted, I know it was a downhill race—hey, the course is certified, after all!—but I was still so jazzed to run that time!
This race was so encouraging for me. Not only did I do well, but I got to run with my rockstar mom and also had an amazing post-race experience. As I normally do, I prayed throughout the duration of the run (running is my favorite time to pray!), and after I finished and began my trek back up the hill, I was listening to Hillsong's "Oceans" and was completely overcome with emotion. I felt strength, excitement, joy, gratitude, and humility—knowing that I did not run that time by myself. I was protected, that's for sure. God is so good!
What a great freakin' race!
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