|Somehow I managed to not take a picture of the shirt but the swag for this race is amazing: a tech shirt, Swiftwick socks, running hat, and a medal made from a whiskey barrel!|
|Quite easily my favorite spot on the course|
|Alyson and I|
|Brian and Allan|
On race morning we drove up extra early to pick up our packets, stretch, and make a stop at the bathrooms. As soon we got in line my good friend Ryan came over to say hello. I knew he was running this race but I always have the worst luck finding people I know at races so I was afraid we would miss seeing him but we actually saw him before and after this race and had a few minutes to catch up.
|Ryan and I post-race|
When we rejoined the guys we did a little more stretching, took a picture, and got ready to run. As soon as the race started Alyson and Brian were off. That was the last we saw of Brian until the finish and we didn't see Alyson again until the halfway point.
|The crew just before the start|
Allan stuck with me and we ran a good bit only taking a few stops to walk or drink Gatorade before reaching Whiskey Hill. Now after running this race last year and walking the entire hill and ending the race with a PR I was sticking to what worked for me.
|Allan and I during the first part of the course|
Walking gave me a chance to take some pictures to try to capture how steep this hill truly is. We also had our picture taken by Gregg who takes pictures at so many of the local races and posts them on the We Run Huntsville Facebook group.
|The beginning of Whiskey Hill where you can see the steep turn you make to the left|
|Looking back from the top (note: the shirt that the girl in the very front of this photo is wearing was the race shirt)|
|One of us was much more excited than the other to be trudging up the hill|
Shortly after Whiskey Hill we ran across Alyson and ran the rest of the race with her. Allan kept us from taking walk breaks that were a little too long and three of us kept each other entertained.
|Alyson and Allan running|
|One of the downhill sections|
The rest of the race went by slower than I remember from last year and it seemed like there weren't as many downhills as I thought there were. Regardless we kept on going and pretty soon we were nearing the finish.
|Allan looks super serious and ready to be done|
|Allan and I just before the turn to the finish line|
Allan and I crossed the line at 2:41:02 but honestly I could have cared less about my time. Alyson had just finished her first half marathon and Allan and I were there to share it with her. Brian was waiting for us at the finish and we also saw Ryan cheering us on as we crossed. Those guys are super speedy and had been done for a long time.
|We Run Huntsville tech shirt, Gap capris, Wrightsocks, and Mizuno Wave Inspires made up my race day outfit|
Once we all cooled off and had something to eat and drink we decided to walk over to the Jack Daniels Visitor Center so Alyson and Brian could do some Christmas shopping. Meanwhile I stood in line with all of our medals to have the Master Distiller sign them. He and I had a lovely conversation about the race and cows.
|Yes, hoe cakes do exist|
|Pretty excited that I got my medal signed this year|
Finally we made the long walk to the car and headed back home for showers, Mexican food, and a nap! I'm already looking forward to running Oak Barrel again next year.
Have you run Oak Barrel?
What's the most interesting race medal you've received?