The Oak Barrel Half Marathon has to be one of the best races I have ever run! Don’t get me wrong, it is a tough course and Whiskey Hill is no joke, but the race itself is spectacular!
I knew it was going to be an early wake up call (4:00 am!) so I got all of my race day gear ready the night before.
We got there early and scored a parking space right next to the starting line and the port-a-potties.
I am pretty sure we were the first group at packet pick up too!
The race itself was beautiful! The entire race is run in the country and in April, the trees are blooming, and the fields are covered in yellow and purple flowers. There were lots of photographers on the course (I can’t wait to see the photos) and the volunteers working the aid stations were so kind; they really demonstrated southern hospitality.
I think my favorite part of the race was actually Whiskey hill. As you start up the hill, you are in the middle of nowhere, and the race has set up a stereo in the woods playing banjo music. Then, as the hill really starts to get steep, there is another stereo blasting “Highway to Hell”…it was awesome! I got to the top and looked down; all of the runners kind of looked like zombies. They were slowly climbing this really steep hill, pumping their arms straight out, with looks of pain on their faces. I kind of wish I had taken a picture…then again, that would have been a little evil.
There are not as many cheer stations as other races, but instead, there are people sitting on their front porch, or on the back of a pickup truck, waving, and giving you soft spoken words of encouragement. At mile 11 you could begin to hear the drumline that M had set up at mile 12. At this point, everyone was tired and the simple sound of drums in the distance got everyone excited again!
I had been dreading the final mile because it ran along a kind of ugly highway but to my surprise, the final mile flew by! The traffic in the open lane was moving really slowly and everyone had their windows down waving and yelling words of encouragement to the runners.
At the finish we met up with some half fanatics
and Ivette did a happy dance
and best of all, I conquered Whiskey Hill!
This Week’s Training
The Countdown: 450 down, 1,744 to go
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 4 mile trail run and Yoga Class
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 3.5 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Oak Barrel Half Marathon
Sunday – Rest