Race: Riley’s Rumble 1/2 Marathon

Date: August 7th, 2011

Location: Boyds, MD

Online Registration: I registered race week no problem. Entire online process took less than 5 minutes.

Ease of parking: We arrived to the race site at 6:15, 45 minute prior to the start and were able to park right next to packet pick up and the port-o-potty’s. Volunteers directed traffic well. Overall it was a breeze getting to the parking, finding a spot, and parking.

Ease of packet pick up: This race is a no frills race. No t-shirts, no packets, just your race number. If you pre-registered you looked up your number, told the volunteers and got your chip. If you were registering the lines were short and seemed to be moving fast. Overall extremely fast and easy.

Ease of getting to the start: The start was right by parking, packet pick up and the port-o-potty’s. Could not have asked for a more convenient start to a half marathon. If you get stressed out by race logistics, this is a great race for you. Everything but the course is easy.

Course: Terrible terrible terrible. I am not just saying this because I had a bad race, I am saying this because in order to enjoy this type of course you have to enjoy the pain of 13.1 hot, hilly, humid miles, only to finish in what will mostly likely be a time no where near what you are capable of on a flatter, faster course. In fairness to the race, it is distinctly written on the website how hard this course is. They suggest that you do not run this half if it is your first. I COMPLETELY AGREE. Do not consider running this race if you have not run a half. You might not ever want to run a half again, and I am telling you half marathons CAN be fun.

I did not mind that it was an out and back, typically I do well on these type of courses. What I hated about this out and back is that it took you off the main road on to a side road for a couple of miles, so when you returned to the main road the back of the pack had already passed. This meant for the last remaining SUPER hilly miles you saw no one, unless were like me and continually got passed from behind.

The views were pretty and had I just taken this race easy and run it like a long run I bet I really would have enjoyed the race. I would have enjoyed the trees over top instead of feeling frustrated that there was no breeze. I felt like I was showering in my own sweat because the humidity was trapped in the canopy I was running through and the wind was not blowing to cool me down.

Again though I will say the website tells you exactly what this race is all about. I knew it would be a challenge but I wanted to take it on anyways.

I like to take away something from every race I run. If I learn something I consider it a success.

What I learned: On race courses that start out easier and get progressively harder, such as Boston. You have to go out at what you may consider a painfully slow pace. You want to feel like you are not even racing. This will hopefully help you in the later [harder] miles.

Hydrate. I’ll talk more about this in my race recap post, but making sure you are hydrated in this horribly humid and hot weather is more important than just about any other aspect of your preparation. I am sure that I am in better shape than some of the girls that beat me. Fitness only gets you so far in races, you have to make sure you run them smart and you run them hydrated.

The best part and worst part of the race: Post race food was the best part – fresh watermelon and oranges – yum!

Worst part was the hills, and when I say hills mean hills. I imagined the finishing hill at Marine Corps Marathon at mile 26.1 and thought to myself that never ever again will I think that hill is hard. That hill is NOTHING.

Overall I would recommend this race. If you have run a half marathon before are looking for a low key, inexpensive ($20) half marathon, in the Maryland area then I would recommend this race. It is challenging – but races like this teach you what you are made of and make you physically and mentally stronger for fall half marathons and marathons.

Problems hydrating?: Code “afternuundelight” gets you 25% off of nuun till the end of September 2011. Check it out at www.nuun.com


  1. Tia@RunnerMom says:

    Yikes! Sounds like a tough course! You didn't put a time and usually you are all about the numbers. I'm sure you still crushed your last "Rileys Ramble" time. I'm sorry it didn't go as well as you would have liked but like you said, I'm sure it will just make you stronger and faster for the fall… :-)

  2. Lindsay and James Cotter says:

    this is one cool blog girl! I am excited to read more reports. Love hearing the good and the bad.

  3. Christine says:

    I was planning on doing this race as a training run, but I'm glad I didn't. I hate hills!! You did an awesome job!!!

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