Last Sunday I ran my very first Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon. In the beginning of the week, the weather had looked a little dicey, with many unsure of whether or not we would be affected by Hurricane Joaquin. Thankfully as the weekend approached, the weather outlook brightened and we were met with mostly overcast (with some glimpses of the sun), but a tad windy racing conditions.
There is a 7.3 mile race that starts at 11:30 a.m., but the half marathon took off at 12:00 p.m. It was actually nice to not get have to get up at the crack of dawn! 🙂 I had picked up my race packet earlier in the week at Marathon Sports, so we didn’t have to stop by packet pick up. I LOVE when races have women’s cut shirts, so I will actually wear the tech shirt from this race. It has a similar logo to what you see on the finisher medal above.
It was chilly waiting for the start, so thankfully we didn’t have to wait that long. I got to meet up with Amanda and Nancy (fellow Falmouth runner friends!). We waited inside the school before the race director told us it was time to head for the start. Because it’s a smaller half marathon (only 363 runners); there were no corrals, runners self-seeded and got ready to run!
The temps were actually perfect for running, and I think I felt a little too good heading out of the gates. I started out too fast, and after about 8.5 miles, my legs started to really feel it. The wind wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it was a lot hillier! 🙂 You can see by my splits that the wheels fell off the bus around mile 8-9.
Mile 1: 7:49
Mile 2: 7:58
Mile 3: 7:52
Mile 4: 7:53
Mile 5: 7:56
Mile 6: 8:00
Mile 7: 8:04
Mile 8: 8:11
Mile 9: 8:14
Mile 10: 8:18
Mile 11: 8:36
Mile 12: 8:50
Mile 13: 8:43
Last 0.1: 8:22
Total Time: 1:47:23. Tenth in 30-39 age group.
The hills took so much out of my legs that after the cruel one at mile 11, I actually took a short walk break to let my legs recover! When I crossed the finish line, there was nothing left in the tank. I’m determined not to make the mistake of starting out too fast at the Cape Cod Half Marathon. That being said, it was a great race– you run through a quaint downtown, through residential roads, by the beach, cranberry bogs, and a brief stint on the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
After the race we headed inside to grab some food. I couldn’t believe how many different types of foods they had from large bagels with peanut butter, to hamburgers and hot dogs, to bananas, to those salty snacks you sometimes crave after a long run. They had a great funk band that the boys loved dancing to. 🙂
Overall, I think the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon is a great race! It’s a smaller scale race, so don’t expect a large expo or big swag bag, but DO expect GREAT course support (there were so many people on course providing direction and water/Gatorade), beautiful scenery, uncrowded race (partially closed to traffic), and a great spread post-race. The race was very well-organized and well-run with great volunteers. I think it’s a steal at $57 for early bird registration (before September 1) and $62 thereafter. You can read more details about the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon HERE.