13.1 in the Pouring Rain- The Drenchburg Half

Okay, so it’s not really called that. It’s a loving term that those of us give Lynchburg because it rains a lot here. (It started on Friday and is expected to end around Tuesday night. It is raining as I write this.) Somehow, in a year and a half of running, I have avoided running any races in the rain in Lynchburg (I ran a 5K in the OBX in the rain once).

However, that all changed Saturday.

When I woke up to get ready and let the dog out, it was just barely drizzling. I thought to myself “Oh, running in this won’t be so bad, it’s better than the 90 degree weather we could have had!” So I donned my race gear: coordinating tank top, tutu, compression sleeves, and shoes, and I headed to the start line.

As soon as I started walking to the start it started pouring. We all huddled under the tent that was protecting the results computer and made small talk. I met some new friends. Small talk helped to calm my nerves.

We all stared out at the rain dreading the moment we had to go stand in it. That came all too fast, and soon we were lined up miserably as we got soaked. Then, we started.

If you have never run a half marathon in the rain, let me give you a recap of my thoughts during the 13.1 miles:

Miles 1-3 were good. The course was flat, and at the first turnaround we got to run through some mud. Once I was thoroughly soaked it felt amazing.

Miles 4-8 were really hilly. There was a lot of walking up hills and by mile 6 I could feel blisters growing on my feet. Running in the rain is not advised for long distances. The fun had started to wear off by this point and I was having a mental battle with myself. I just wanted to stop and go home.

Miles 9 and 10 were back down the giant hill. They were nice and easy and more scenic than what I had been looking at. However, at mile 10 my stomach decided it wanted to rebel and I felt horrible. I started walking.

Miles 11 and 12 were the lowest point of any race I have done. I felt so sick I just walked them. If I tried to run I immediately had to stop. My legs were screaming, my shoulders hurt, and it was a struggle to just put one foot in front of the other. I was pretty much alone on the trail too, which is good because I’m pretty sure I started talking to myself. I didn’t say very nice things.

Miles 12.6-13.1 something clicked and I felt better. I managed a slow run to the finish and got my medal.

This was by far the toughest race I have ever done, mainly because of the mental struggle. I hadn’t trained very well, the weather was depressing, and the course was tough. But I managed to finish and I can call myself a 3 time half marathoner!

Overall, here’s how I felt about the race:
Course: Not my favorite. The hills were expected, but it looped back too much for me. Half of the course was around a building and not scenic at all. We had to loop through that section twice and it was mind-numbingly boring in the rain. The part of the course that was on Blackwater Creek Trail was pretty much just trees, which was also super boring. I’m assuming there are usually spectators, but the rain drove them away.
Pre/post race: Packet pickup was pretty chill, and the packet itself was just a shirt and bib. There was an Adidas rep at pickup letting us try on the new Boost (which I have decided is going to be my next shoe, they’re amazing!). Post race there was a wide variety of food which I really liked.
Finisher Medal: Originally it was stated that only the first 175 finishers would get a medal. That kind of stressed me out because I am not a fast person and over 300 people had signed up by the time we got an email with race info. However, I’m assuming they realized that was unfair because that sentence was taken off the event page and we all got a medal! Which I love, by the way. It displays my hometown on the map, and it’s pretty gorgeous in person.


Race Shirt: This is probably my favorite shirt of all the race shirt I have. It’s super soft, women’s cut, and not an unsightly neon color that’s only good for running in. I’m not going to lie, I wore the shirt for two days afterwards because it was so comfy. (All I did was lie around the house recovering).

Overall, I enjoyed the race. The rain wasn’t ideal, but I would much rather be a little uncomfortable than have to worry about dehydration and sunburn. The course wasn’t my favorite but it was more because it was boring and repetitive than hard. I’m going to plan to do this race again next year, and hopefully decrease my time a little!