I had been looking forward to the HFM Maritime Marathon, it is a special race for me. Last year at this time I had finished the Green Bay Cellcom 1/2 Marathon and was looking to ramp up my training. On a whim I registered for the HFM 1/2 and had fully intended to run the race to improve upon my time from Cellcom. Last minute I decided to run the full. I had a few weeks to train and increase my mileage. I had very low expectations come race day for my finishing time and was going into the event as a baseline race. When I crossed the finish line I was shocked to see 4:36, but more importantly I was shocked at how much fun I had! I was hooked and so began my quest to keep having fun.
The HFM marathon in 2015 was my 5th lifetime marathon, in 2016 when I stepped up to the start line it was my 19th marathon. What a difference a year makes! I was ready to have a good time and cruise. I had run the Bellin 10K with my son and dad the day before which took a lot out of me. I planned on taking it easy and enjoying the miles. Luckily the temperature was much lower than the day before. We started out with a slight breeze off the lake and cloud cover. Within a few minutes the sun came out and the 60s we started with climbed into the 70s. Again, nothing like Saturday (Bellin was rough)!
I chatted with a few runners and took in the beautiful course. HFM has one of the most unique routes…you get a little bit of everything. We started out by the extension campus, traveled through a few city streets, then jumped onto the lakefront paved path. Continuing on the lakefront we were treated to the lots of sights and sounds. I truly enjoyed this part of the run. After several miles into the event the 1/2 marathon leaders began to catch us, but did not stay with us for long before they turned around to head back. The full course eventually turned onto a gravel trail that took us away from the city and opened us to new landscape. The course remained flat and even, but there was not a lot of tree cover and the heat of the day began to get to me. This was a true out and back course. The volunteers turned us around at 13 miles. The aid station was amazing at this point in the race. It was stocked like an ultra marathon race with tons of food and beverages. We were treated throughout the course to wonderful volunteers and stations, but this one was unbelievable. I was impressed!
Once refueling I headed back towards the finish. I had not turned my GPS watch on with the intention to run this event on feel and just remain relaxed. I did not know at this point that I was doing quite well and keeping a great pace. I felt amazing and was smiling from ear to ear. Not worrying about time or pace gave me the opportunity to talk to other runners and reflect on all that had transpired through the year in regards to my running. At this point last year I was just getting back into running and now I was dreaming big, challenging myself to do things that scared the life out of me…I had fall in love with being fit and taking care of my body like never before. This new found empowerment was refreshing and what I had tried to achieve for so many years. I know it is silly to say, but running is my answer, my happiness, my saving grace.
Temperatures continued to spike and I was wearing down around mile 20 until I saw Melissa and her husband! They came out to cheer me on and boy did I need it. I adore Melissa. She embodies the meaning of sisterhood and I could not be more proud to run for the same team. I was hesitant to join the Oiselle team last year. I did not understand what it could do for me as a runner. Boy to I get it now! I am blessed that these women in my life. They are supportive and kind beyond belief. There is not chatty behavior like I had experienced in the past in the running community and there is a sense of true acceptance no matter how fast you are. It was so good to see Melissa, I was restored and ready to rumble. I handed Melissa my shirt and took off to take on the last 6 miles of this marathon. Head up wings out!
HFM is a relatively flat marathon with one monster hill at the end. As I rounded the corner I headed up the hill after expressing a few “special” words. Cresting this hill feels so good and the remainder of the race (500 ft or so) is truly all down hill. Melissa and her husband met me at the finish to continue bringing good vibes and love. I crossed the finish line sweating like a beast, tired, and shocked…4:30! One of my best times and so very close to my PR (4:26 – almost 10 years ago). I am close to setting a new record and plan to work my butt off to do that this year. I had a blast and would recommend this event to anyone looking for an awesome small town event. The registration fee is low in comparison to others in the area, the swag (medal, Balega socks, and cotton t-shirt) nice, and the volunteers fantastic…whats not to love, I’ll be back next year for sure! On to new adventures and training for the Fall 50.
#BeHappy #BeKind #BeActive
Date – June 12, 2016
Gear Used –
- FitSok F4 Tech Socks – My feet stayed dry, cool, and blister free.
- Oiselle – Distance shorts (tons of pockets to store all my GU & asthma inhaler), Wazelle short sleeve shirt, and team singlet.
- Trail Toes Cream – To further ensure I did not get blisters I lubed up extra good.
- Saucony – Kinvara shoes.
- Sunglasses – Cheap $7 Amazon purchase that have been a lifesaver.
- GU Energy Gel – Salted Watermelon. I tossed these in the freezer the night before which rocked! They thawed throughout the race and were super cold…it the spot as the temps rose.