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!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon

A few weeks ago Allan and I made the drive to NC to stay with Courtney and her husband and their adorable chocolate lab Riley. I also ran a half marathon. I'm not sure why the name Downhill at Dawn didn't tell Allan that the race would be super early but apparently not. He was shocked to hear we would be waking up at 4 AM Eastern time which is 3 AM our time. Getting up that early was well worth the gorgeous views on the course!

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Beautiful start to a morning!

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Probably one of my favorite spots on the course

On race morning we picked up Dawn on our way to the race. Nothing like meeting someone for the first time at 4:00 in the morning! When we got to the start area we sat in the car for awhile before making a trip to the bathroom. Our late bathroom trip nearly caused us to miss the start. When we came out of the bathroom everyone had disappeared so we took off running for the start. I did a terrible job of stretching pre-race and my hip did not appreciate this! Allan tried to tell me to spend more time stretching but do I listen?! NO!!!

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We might have been running late but there's always time for a pre-race photo!

The first mile is entirely downhill and the next couple are mostly pancake flat. After that there are some uphill sections, downhill sections, and lots of flat running. Nearly the entire course is picturesque with numerous breathtaking views. I stopped to take several pictures but I still don't believe they do the course justice!

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This was around Mile 10 or so and I thought it was beautiful with the sun shining through the trees

I will say that there are some steep uphill sections on the course and while there are several long downhill sections I believe a majority of the course is flat. If you're a numbers person I'd estimate the course is 60% flat, 30% downhill, and 10% uphill. That's just my opinion though! Obviously I don't have a nifty course elevation map to back that theory up. I'm sure somewhere somewhere does though!

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We ran on a good amount of gravel which as it turns out I really liked

While the race didn't go as planned as far as my time (2:39:11) I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful experience or a more beautiful course. This is certainly a course to PR on and I only wish my hip hadn't started to hurt so bad causing me to walk much of the last 4 miles. I plan on running this race again next year and getting that sub-2:20 if I don't have it before then!


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We were having a discussion about my lack of sweat since I had just crossed the finish line

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Our strong runner pose apparently!
This race marked my 20th half marathon in 20 months and I couldn't be happier hitting this milestone at the race that I did. Running in North Carolina takes my state total to 6! I don't know if I will try to run a half in all 50 states but we will see. Never say never...

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20 half marathons in 20 months!!!!


How many half marathons have you run?
Are you racing the states?
What's the most beautiful course you've run?

34 comments:

  1. sorry your hip was bothering you, but at least it was a beautiful and flat course! Fun pictures with the girls.

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  2. Does look like a pretty course!

    I *was* racing the states...

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  3. Gorgeous course!! How is the hip now, hon? Hope it's feeling better!!

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  4. It looks like a lot of fun! I've run 7 half marathons and Middlebury Maple run is the most beautiful. Think about it if you do the states and it's time for VT.

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  5. Oh wow, what a beautiful course!!! 20 in 20, that is totally awesome!!! Love it!!!
    Not sure how many half's I have run, I lost count a few years back. But I have a few beautiful courses that I loved. Big Sur in California, Freedom Run in West Virginia and St. George Marathon in Utah are top on beautiful scenery on my list, so far:)

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  6. Nuts about your hip. That is frustrating! But 20 halfs! Wow!!!! Congratulations!

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  7. What a pretty place! So funny about Allan not GETTING the name of the event.

    Congrats on #20. That is truly awesome.

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  8. 20 halfs in 20 months, thats freakin sweet! Nice job!! And 4 am (3 am) is WAAAAAY to early, but at least it was a gorgeous race, or so the pictures show.

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  9. Congrats on #20! Sorry the hip was ornery, I am having the same issue right now WTH?? The Carlsbad half was pretty darn scenic along the ocean.

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  10. Love the pictures! what a pretty race!! You are so impressive with all of your races! :)

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  11. That race course looks beautiful! Those are the best :)

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  12. Next time it's yours!! The course really does look gorgeous!!

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  13. 20 in 20!!! Thats awesome!!! Id love to do the 50 states, but it sounds so expensive!!
    Bummer about the hip!!!
    The only good thing about an early morning race is the coolness!!!

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  14. Looked like fun! Wow is that early :)

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  15. Congratulations!!! Wow, that is a gorgeous course. I love the sun peeking through the trees.

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  16. This looks absolutely breathtaking. Plus, how fun to meet some other bloggers! :) I have no idea how many 1/2s I've run - not because they are too numerous to count, but simply because I've never counted and at least a couple were 10+ years ago. Congrats to you on getting 20 in 20, though. I think that's amazing. :)

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  17. we are going to OWN this course next year! thanks for sharing the pictures!

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  18. Sounds and looks like an absolutely breathtaking course! Congrats and looks like y'all had a great job!! :0)

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  19. That looks amazing! Congrats on #20!
    I'm doing a 1/2 in Missouri this fall - MO Cowbell. :) The name was so great that I couldn't resist.

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  20. Hmm, I just ran #16 and #17 this past weekend (plus I've DNF'd on one more). 20 is awesome! I'm not running the states but like to get around and run in new places when I can. Most beautiful course so far would have to be my hometown race, BMO Vancouver. I'm so lucky to live in such a beautiful city. Your course from this race looked so beautiful!

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  21. This race does look gorgeous! Congratulations on your race milestone -- that's a lot of races & miles. I don't race near that often, but I like to run in carried places when I can. Twin Cities 10 mile (part of Twin Cities Marathon) is billed as the most beautiful urban marathon in America and it is pretty gorgeous. Especially when fall colors are just right for the race.

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  22. Wow Suz, you have really been banging out the half marathons! I ran a lot of them last year but this year I think I have only run two. I would like to run a race in every state but I am not really working very hard to do it at this point!

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  23. Definitely looks beautiful!! And I think that's funny Allan didn't realize you would be waking up that early, ha!

    I've done 9 half marathons and I will be doing one at the end of our 70.3 in 3 weeks and then another one that should hopefully be my sub-2 race!

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  24. Congratulations on running 20 half marathons! I think I have only ran a dozen! I am sure you will meet your goal when that hip feels better!

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  25. Well Done YOU!! It looks like a great course. Congrats on 20! Hmmm....guess hip needs a weeeee rest! LOL

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  26. 20 marathons! congrats! I just hit 10! I'm not currently racing the states, but if I were I'd only be at 3.

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  27. Wow, what a gorgeous race!! Congrats on such a fun experience- even if it wasn't the time you wanted!

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  28. This course looks gorgeous. Where in NC is it? Would it be worth it for a 4hour drive. I'm interested in adding it to my dream list. Maybe next year.

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  29. That course looks beautiful!! Congrats on 20 in 20, that's quite an accomplishment.

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  30. Those photos are amazing! That course looks like a great one. Glad that you got to spend the time with two friends, that always makes races more fun! Hope the hip behaves next time! Congrats on the milestone!

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  31. Congrats!
    I am not a runner, by any means!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  32. Wow! The views are stunning! What a treat to such an early morning race.

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  33. Congrats on #20!
    Sorry about your hip but hey!! Who just ran their 20th half? You!!!!

    Beautiful course. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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