Seems like it was only a few days ago since I ran my last half marathon. Well, it actually was only a few days ago, and I found myself running another one this past Saturday, the ING Hartford Half Marathon. Actually this is really a marathon race but it incorporates a half marathon as well as a 5-K races.
For me this was the first time that I was in a relatively major city running event. It felt quite different than my hometown's half marathon. There were a lot more runners, more spectators, more sponsors and it had a festival feel to it. Also the entry fees were higher. The organizers had done an impressive job managing the event. From street closures, to security, to feeding runners after the event, everything ran smoothly as far as I could tell. It was also the first time that my time was measured by a sensor on my shoe rather than the finish-line clock.
I'm sure the city of Hartford gets some good business and recognition from the race. I've lived in Connecticut for over 25 years and this was the first time I actually got the chance to walk around the capital and see it up close. It has a lot of history and culture to offer.
Aside from all the fun and festivities, Hartford had the good omen for me to set a personal record of 1:53:53 (8:42/min pace) for the half marathon. A good friend who was also running the half marathon set his own personal record in this race. Results here.
For me nothing can replace the fun of running in my own hometown, but Hartford proved itself to be a great enough venue for me to be looking forward to next year's race. Who knows, by then I may finally be mentally ready for a full marathon.