Race Review: DeLeon Springs Half Marathon

I ran half marathon #16 yesterday. I can’t say it went well, but I finished, so there’s that.

This was sort of a last minute race. I heard about it through my friend, Kate, a month ago and then asked my friend, Brad, if he wanted to run it. I never heard back from him either way, so it kinda fell off my radar until Brad said he wanted to run it last week. And really, I’m a sucker for anyone that wants to run a race with me.

So, Brad picked me up at 6:00am and we made the hour drive to DeLeon Springs so we’d have plenty of time for the (way too late) 8pm start. By the way, DeLeon is pronounced day-lee-own. Took waaaay too long for me to figure that one out.

The race starts at Chuck Lennon Park.

There’s a half marathon and a 5k and they are both super small. So small that there were only three port-o-potties (and 2 park restrooms).

That one on the right is like the Cadillac of port-o-potties. So much room I just wanted to stay in there longer!

Anyway, the 5k had 150 runners and the half marathon had around 125. We were able to park about 20 steps from the finish line and 20 steps in the opposite direction to pick up our bibs.

You’d think from that picture that it was cold out, but it was 66°F. People in Florida get super weird if the temperature dips below 75. Everyone complains on Facebook how cold it is and people on the street dress in wool jackets and moon boots. I don’t get it.

Anyway, we were pretty early so we walked around a bit to kill some time. I tried to get Brad to ride this bird but he wouldn’t do it. Fine. I’ll ride the bird.

Then we were ready to run.

Both the half marathon and the 5k start together. There’s no timing pad at the start, so the race goes by clock time only. Usually I find that annoying but it didn’t matter with this race because there are so few people that it’s not like you’re waiting more than a few seconds to cross the start line. Whereever that was. Maybe that first cone?

Everyone lined up a few minutes before the start.

That’s about as crowded as it got.

Oh, and before we started, I also made Brad take a picture with me so you don’t all think I’m always talking about an imaginary friend.

He exists!

The course was an out an back on a long, quiet, country road. There was no crowd support and the water stops were minimal with only water (no Gatorade, not that I drink that).

***You are now entering the lack of pictures zone***

By mile 3, I’m usually feeling pretty good and can just run on autopilot for about 6 miles or so. I never felt that way during this race so I could tell the whole thing was going to be a big effort.

By mile 4, it was starting to get hot. (WTF Florida, this is January!) And who starts a race in Florida at 8? So lame.

Just before Mile 5, I could tell Brad was feeling good, so I told him to go on without me. He always seems to start too fast and fade at the end, so as he was leaving, he joked that he’d “see me at mile 10.” (Pretty sure he jinxed himself.) I could see Brad about a quarter mile in front of me for almost five miles and then caught up to him at mile 9.6 and he was dying. Although, so was I. I took 10-11 walk breaks during the race because I was so, so tired. My hamstrings were killing me and I just did not want to be running.

By mile 11, my shoulder started hurting again. This shoulder business started in Savannah during my first marathon a year and a half ago. I don’t think I mentioned this, but I ended up going to an Orthopedic doctor back in October and had some x-rays. Turns out I just have some fancy word for inflammation which needs anti-inflammitory drugs. It likes to go away and come back at the most annoying times.

Anyway, for some reason, the only thing on my mind for the last half of the race was how much I hate bananas and how I wish races had apples. That’s right. Deep thinker here. I finished in 2:18:19. Over 10 minutes slower than my race a month ago.

I waited to cheer Brad on at the finish. He came in about four minutes after me. I really wanted to get a picture of him but my camera (the new, little Nikon) battery died. We went to get some race food afterwards and they had a nice little spread. Including apples!

Death to bananas! Also, Fig Newtons after a race are amazing.

So, it wasn’t my race but I’m glad I did it because I thought it was well organized and had a nice course. I would definitely do it again. It was super affordable ($35 the week before the race) and it’s the first race I’ve run that gives you the option to pay $10.00 less if you don’t want the race t-shirt. Awesome.

This Sunday is the 3M half marathon in Austin. Running 13 miles is harder this year than it was last year and I think my Garmin stresses me out and makes it even harder, so I’m making the executive decision to leave it home.


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26 responses to “Race Review: DeLeon Springs Half Marathon

  1. I am glad to be able to run vicariously through you and realize I still don’t wanna. Also, totes thought “Fig Newtons! Those would be amaze after a race!” when I saw that pic. I don’t like bananas during a race, either. Or oranges, for that matter. I might like a nice grape.

    • Paula

      I didn’t notice the pears until I was putting the picture in this post. I really missed some fruit stealing opportunity there. So, are you saying when I visit there will be no running and all drinking?

  2. You are racking up those medals! Nice work Lady…still aiming for a half PR myself. Fingers crossed for this Spring.
    And that is an awesome price for a half. Lately I feel like races are getting so expensive! Saving $10 for skipping the shirt?! More races should offer that.

    • Paula

      I know! I think soon I’m going to melt them all together and make a gigantic paper weight.
      And agree, I love that no t-shirt option. Though, I found a pic of the shirt from two years ago and it’s about the best race shirt I’ve seen (long sleeve, no lame design, print down the left sleeve) so I might have missed out.

  3. Half marathon #16 already?! Dang girl. Congratulations on another race 🙂 I need to move to Florida where there are so many races!

  4. Happy to see Brad sporting his FSU hat!

    The ZOOMA race starts at 8 and it does have me a little worried. At least it’s further north AND on the beach, so it will be a little cooler/breezier. 8am races in Florida are nutso!

    I can’t wait to race with you again. We’ll have to figure out which fall races we are doing!

  5. I’m thinking about doing a half marathon like that (small and cheap) in April. Now I’m only doing it if they promise me Fig Newtons.

  6. Amber K

    I still remember traveling to California and people freaking out when it rained. Being from Oregon I couldn’t understand why everyone was acting as though there was a pile of snow on the road. lol

  7. Verlin

    Great job, Deep Thinker. You got a not-perfect race out of the way, so the next one you’re due. And bananas are totally better than apples (after a race, or any time). I don’t even know if I can relate to you any more.

    • Paula

      I’m hoping so!
      Aw man, I knew something would come between us sooner or later. I like frozen bananas. Will you take me back now?

  8. Kudos to you for your motivation to race! And for your deep fruit thoughts. Next year…you and me…palm coast. Write that down.

  9. Congrats on the race!! And gooooood luck in Austin!

    Now I’m gonna go eat my weight in fig newtons… yuuum.

  10. You gotta love a small race with an inexpensive entry fee! And Fig Newtons! Major bonus points for those! Good luck at 3M! I seem to recall seeing that it has a lot of downhill. I hope you use that to your advantage and zoom into a good finish time!*

  11. I will sign your petition for apples over bananas. I also have started to realize that I prefer small races over big because crowds stress me out.

    Leave the Garmin….or make a pact to only look at mile markers.

  12. Nice race report! DeLeon Springs was where I set my PR but it was really cool that year 😀 2:04.. I”ll never get back there **sigh**

  13. Dude, it finally clicked for me who Brad is. Ha ha! Pretty sure he goes to my church. #Smallworld

    Looks like it was a fun race. Definitely smaller than any I’ve run, but I bet that was a nice change.

  14. Lena

    Thank you rocking a “bad time” and not giving up even though at mile 3 you realized it wasn’t your race. I’ve wondered about this a lot. How you can to nothing different in your training yet some races are good some bad… what’s up with that? Thanks for a fun blog!

  15. I ran that 5K in 2012. It was my “first race back” after a long surgery and injury. I’d have to agree with you on everything about it. I loved the No shirt option, and the spread after was very nice for a small race. Also agree on the “Death to Bananas” statement, soooo gross. Thinking about running the half this year. Did you not go to the sugar mill where you can make your own pancakes? (they have griddles built into the tables.) DeLeon Springs is a strange little town, but they put on a fairly good race!

    • Paula

      I didn’t go to the Sugar Mill but everyone tells me that place is awesome! I might be tempted to do this race again next year if the weather is nice and cool. 🙂

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