If the March Madness Half Marathon were a person, I think its favorite movie would be “Forrest Gump.” You never know what you are gonna get.
You can check the weather report all week, but not know what it will be like on race day. This year, it happened to be perfect conditions for a distance race, but I changed clothes three times before the start.
You can prepare yourself for the distance and the hills, but once you get up 10 Mile Hill, your legs will be the ones giving the orders. This year, I felt like I had lead weights on my quads until, surprisingly, after I got over 10 Mile Hill.
Since it sells out in a matter of minutes on New Year’s Eve morning, you never know what the competition will be like. This year, I had my slowest time on the course, but had my best place finish. (Extra shout out to my buddy, Leo Jimenez, for his first place overall finish!)
There are some things you can count on at this race in Cary, though.
You can count on a tough course that challenges you but leaves you smiling at the finish.
You can count on great organization and volunteers. It almost seems like an underground race but everyone knows and supports everyone else.
You can count on great crowd support, not only from friends of other runners, but from the residents of Cary. They make a mentally tough morning make the race feel like even more of an accomplishment. I always look forward to passing by the party house at Mile 9.
You can count on the post-race soft pretzels being delicious.
Finally, you can count on a sense of pride at the finish. This race is not like other races. It is challenging, but fun. Competitive, but lighthearted. It is a race that gives you confidence for the year ahead, no matter what the outcome.