Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Viola Valley Half Marathon Recap

The Good
  • Beautiful course
  • Friendly and helpful volunteers at the aid stations
  • Personalized email with my results within hours of the race
  • No hassle with parking, packet pickup, pre-race bathrooms, etc.
  • People who lived along the course were out in their yards cheering, hosing us down, and doling out much needed words of encouragement

The Bad
  • Rolling hills were prevalent along the course and killed my hopes of a new PR but I still loved the course and will run it again if they continue to have the race
  • Ashley AKA redonk runner mentioned this in her recap: 8AM start in the south in May is probably not a great idea so I'd like to see it start at 7AM for future races

This was our approach to the Mile 12 marker
 The Ugly

Honestly, nothing was ugly as far as the race is concerned. My steak the night before, however, is an entirely different story...

I could have taken 100 pictures of the course but I used restraint so here are some of my favorites!

I love old barns!

We turned off the road up ahead and ran to the left

COWS! Hands down my favorite buddies along the course!

Gorgeous corn field that I'm sure will be breathtaking later this summer and fall

Oops, I totally forgot to mention my time. I finished in 2:37:09 which is exactly 12:00 miles. I was pleased with my time considering the hills and the heat. Call me crazy but this was just as hot and hilly as Nashville yet I ran it more than 12 minutes faster. I'm convinced that if you put me on back country roads with some grass, trees, cows, and no hills and turn me loose I'm going to run a fast race. I enjoy the peace and quiet and I never run with music so being able to enjoy the scenery and not have to weave around people or listen to other people's conversations makes me a happy runner!

What's the most scenic race you've participated in?

What's the most beautiful place you've been on vacation?
***Bahamas!!! Not Nassau but a small remote island where our friends have a house. No phone, no internet, and no worries!


  1. Wow, look at that corn. The farmers here haven't started planting it. The most scenic race was the Mad Marathon Half here in VT last year. Most beautiful place i've been on vacation is tied between, the islands of Lake George, and Charleston SC

  2. I ran a race in Gloucester MA that ran all along the coast for a good 15 miles. It was very hilly but the scenes were beautiful!! I would say my most beautiful vacation so far...well for scenes it would have to be either North-Norway or Alaska and for beach...Spain!

  3. Looks like a really nice area to have a half. Rolling hills don't sound like fun.

  4. Nice job! The most scenic race I have done would be Pikes Peak - a runcation Hubby and I took last year with the kids. Although, for me, it would be more apt to call it a Walkation..... The course is so hard that I power hiked all but a mile or two of it. It was amazing though. :)

  5. That looks like a pretty course! HOT, but pretty. I'd be totally distracted by the cows and try to figure out a way to pet them. I should just get a cow, of course I imagine they are a lot more work than just petting and singing to them, which is what I would want to do. Can I say my most scenic race was Vegas RnR last year? I mean what's not to love about neon lights one mile and then the ghetto the next and then old neon the mile after that?

    Congrats on a great race - in heat! And 12 minutes faster?!? Hot dog!!

  6. That looks like a beautiful course! I have run a few trail races; I think they are the MOST beautiful, but as far as road races, NYC was great, and a couple weeks ago, I ran through Napa and near the ocean in San Francisco. Both were beautiful. In Napa there were cows and I couldn't resist mooing at them. I thought I was alone until the guy behind me started laughing. Oops!

  7. Seriously! We need 7:00 a.m. race starts in Texas!! It is too hot to go 8:00 a.m.! That looks like a beautiful course! Glad you were able to still enjoy it even if there were rolling hills!

  8. Congrats! Battling through hills and heat like that is tough! Glad it was so pretty :) Most beautiful place I've been to is a tough one….although I'm going to Hawaii next Thurs, so I might have an answer next week!

  9. Great pictures, looks like a great race:) The most beautiful place I have vacationed is Costa Rica, the rainforest and beachs are wonderful.

  10. Congrats on your race! Beautiful scenery! Heat and hills are tough. I love it when the spectators have hoses out on hot days! That's happened in a few races that I've been involved in and it's so appreciated!

  11. I like old barns, too. Most beautiful race course - Big Sur marathon! Yay for finishing!

  12. I have to say the Spacecoast 1/2 Marathon in Cocoa Beach. It was gorgeous!! Congrats on your awesome race!!

  13. Looks like a beautiful yet challenging course! Congrats!

  14. Sorry you didn't get a PR, but you finished another half and on a very tough course, that's great!! Sooo pretty, too!

  15. Congrats on a great race! That course looks beautiful! I ran a beautiful course in Traveler's Rest, S.C. that was gorgeous- back country roads that went up and down hills (that part wasn't so much fun). You've gotta have something pretty to take your mind of the pain, right? ;)

  16. Sound like you did awesome despite the heat and not getting a PR! And wow, I love the course. So serene. And thank you for visiting today and letting me find your blog because I really enjoyed reading the older posts.


  17. Congrats on another half! I prefer earlier races too. Anything to beat the heat!

    The scenery is one of the reasons I enjoy trail runs so much. That's a good think since I'll be trail running more often to train for my 50K. It still seems weird even saying that :)

    For street runs I loved the Chicago Marathon. So cool!

  18. Congratulations Suz! Another amazing half marathon! Great time considering the heat and I definitely think 8am is too late to start too! I am doing a 10k race in a few weeks that starts at 8am and I hoping that I don't die from the heat! Great pictures too!

  19. Great job in the heat! The country roads are sooo beautiful. I love that they sent you an email with the results. Didn't Oak Barrel do that too? I think that's a really nice touch.

  20. congrats on a good race! Looks like a beautiful place for a run!

  21. Great work in face of hills and heat, girl! 8am is pretty late for a half, I did one that started at 9:15 and it totally messed up my fueling!

    The most scenic race I have done is Big Sur in Carmel, California- the entire course is along the coast, huge cliffs and crashing waves, and SOMEHOW they even get a grand piano up there 'round mile 10! AMAZING!

  22. Congratulations!! You did amazing considering the course and the heat!

    It looks like a great course, though, and I would love to run it sometime!

  23. what a beautiful course! i'm with you, i love scenic routes most, but i do like all the course support and reading signs in routes that are more spectator friendly. you did a great job, especially in the heat, ugh.


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