This race has been on the list for a while. Each year, when I start looking for a March race, this always pops up, then I start comparing reviews with my options and figuring out logistics. I decided that I was definitely going to make this one happen, no matter what. Two reasons: (1) the race is almost entirely on The American Tobacco Trail (and it goes along with my “races in beautiful places” mission of late), and (2) my high school friend Lisa (Farrell) Peak runs it every year and I adore her passion for this race!
Reilly didn’t have school on the Friday before the race, so we headed into Raleigh, NC late on Thursday. We decided to stay downtown at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. First of all, we forgot about the mayhem that comes along with St. Patrick’s Day. Second of all, there was a lot of mayhem because it was St. Patrick’s day. The location was great because of the restaurants, but it was not close to the race (at all), and it got a little shady downtown on Saturday because of the St. Patrick’s day parade and street fair. We muscled through and enjoyed a peaceful family day in our hotel. We do just love being locked in a room sometimes. I travel all week, and when we are home, it’s errands all weekend, so this forces us to do nothing and giggle together—which is needed sometimes.
Lisa, Jeff and Andrew drove into the city to meet for an early dinner on Friday night. Lisa was running the half (as per her usual), and Jeff and I were running the full (as per his usual). It was fun catching up and discussing race strategies. We parted ways early and the McNishs planned for a day of rest on Saturday.
We visited the expo, which was over in a blink-of-a-second, walked around downtown a little bit, then visited the Videri Chocolate Factory. We had such a relaxing day. With “three cities a week” of late for my work, it was so needed.
On to the race. I loved the scenery. I loved the peacefulness. I loved the chirping birds. I just got bored very quickly. It is literally… a wall of 🌲 🌳 🌲 …for 26.2 miles. 😳 I had been so sick the weeks prior to the race, my weekly miles deteriorated. I wasn’t as prepared for my “normal slow” as I wanted to be. With the repetition of the scenery and my lack of maintenance miles, I just didn’t have an awesome day on the course. I loved every minute of the weather, the blue sky and the peacefullness, but with the struggle to run consistently and the constant coughing, I just wanted the race to end.
I finished up and was pleased to see Reilly and Nish at the finish line. We then saw Lisa and Jeff waiting patiently for me to finish at the end of the chute. I commended them for their races (they both crushed it), respectively, then we darted out as we only had 2.5 hours to catch our flight home. Eeek.
We were delayed on our connection through Charlotte, so we didn’t make it home until 11:40 PM. I dumped my suitcase and repacked. I was sleeping by 12:05 AM… only to have my alarm 🚨 go off at 3:00 AM for a 5:00 AM flight to Dallas. #thisismyhusle.
We love Raleigh. We’d love to try another race there. It’s such a lovely city!