Columbus, GA: Soldier Half Marathon

I was getting ready for the Half Marathon on Saturday morning and I remember saying to J. Alabama that it just didn’t feel like a personal record kind of morning.

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And though it didn’t feel like one at first, it definitely ended up being a PR kind of morning! Gotta love those kind of mornings. 🙂

The Solider Half Marathon was my first Georgia race and I was mostly just excited to run it as a way to explore my new city by foot. 001

I definitely wasn’t expecting morning temps of 27 degrees, but luckily this Idaho girl has experience running in the cold.

The race started and ended at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia.

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We ended up touring the museum on Friday when we went to the packet pickup. It was such a fun way to kick off the Soldier half marathon.

The race started with the singing of the National Anthem and a cannon boom!014

And just like that, we were off running through the walkway of flags. 022

The coolest thing about this race is that there were men (and women) in uniform at every twist and turn of this race.

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They were cheering on all the runners and all had the biggest smiles on their faces.

It was very humbling to have their support during the race, and I felt like I should have been cheering them on for all they do for us every single day.

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{Miles 1-5: 10:18, 10:24, 11:48, 10:30, 10:59}

The first 5 miles of the race were the hardest. My legs felt like frozen blocks of ice and I was cursing myself for taking that intense Zumba class on Thursday. Every part of my quads and hamstrings were aching with each and every step.

Once I had the first hour of running under my belt, my legs stopped hurting and I was finally in a good groove.

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There were a few big hills along the way that I hadn’t quite trained for — but I pushed through them. I just kept saying “thank you legs” which each step.

{Miles 6-10| 10:47, 11:02, 10:43, 10:48, 11:23}

It was finally starting to warm up and I remember feeling good about the race during the middle miles.

I took a gu/walk break at mile 10 to text J. Alabama and let him know where I was at. And I surprised myself when I realized that at this pace I was going to hit 11 miles in under 2 hours.

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It was then I realized a PR was within my reach. The only thing I was focused on during this race was finishing, so I was surprised at how amazing I felt and how steady my pace was.

{Miles 11 –13.1| 10:12, 10:33, 10:13, and 9:36 for the .10}

Around mile 12 the “Eye of the Tiger” song came on. That song is the ultimate push it song. And that is exactly what I did!

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My legs felt great, the sun was shining and that finish line was in my sight.

J. Alabama was running next to me cheering me on through the last little bit. I focused on the finish line and gave it my all. 035

And though the photo says 2:23:01, my final chip time came in at 2:21:35!!

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Which blows my June Half Marathon of 2:26:07 out of the water. That’s about a 4 and a half minute PR!!

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Yipppppeee!!!

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Someone was really excited about their space blanket. It was the first one I had ever received so it was a pretty big deal.

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And no half marathon is complete without a 9:30 a.m. Michelob Ultra pick me up. Mmmm… beer after running for 2+ hours!

Here is a closer look at the Half Marathon medal. I absolutely loved the fact that they made them to look like Army dog tags.

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And I was very much impressed with the swag bags!

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We got a cool bag filled with goodies, a Soldier marathon bracelet and a nice wicking race shirt.

I was very impressed with the Soldier Half Marathon race course, the volunteers, and appreciative of all the efforts of the Ft. Benning Military. It was truly a positive experience and I’m so glad I decided to run it.

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Some final thoughts on my running [of this race]…

I am happy to report that I’m getting better at holding a more consistent pace within my mile splits and averaging 10:44/mile.  And I was super excited when I realized my last three plus miles were way speedier than than the first three.

And to think my only goal for Saturday morning was to walk away with a finisher’s medal.  Gotta love those kind of mornings! 😉

Happy Running!

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30 thoughts on “Columbus, GA: Soldier Half Marathon

  1. Yay! Awesome race! Congrats on the PR! The row of flags is so neat. And seeing the men and women in uniform… wow. That would inspire me!

    The medal is so cool!!!

  2. I’m so excited for your PR!! That’s awesome! I have to admit, the medal is really cool. I love the fact it looks like dog tags. I love when races have unique medals like that. Congrats on the medal, the space blanket, and the PR! 😉

  3. Again you ROCKED it! Georgia is lucky to have you. I’m glad that you’re getting out and doing amazing things because I expected nothing less. I’ll be catching up with you soon. Miss ya and lots of love.

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