Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Half and Half review

A few days have passed since the Half and Half Marathon--a trail half, a road half, and a full if you do them both. This race is the creation of kathy Hoover, Barbara and Derk Pinkerton of RunnersWorld-Tulsa. Held the 2nd weekend of December, this is the final race in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series. 

I put the course together the first year trying to incorporate the easiest trailz on Turkey Mountain, and from this map and with a good knowledge of the course, you can see that it has most if not all of the easier routes, with a few necessary tougher trailz used to connect the dots. It's an out-and-back and is pretty accurate on the distance considering how tough it is to measure dirt trailz.

I had great help marking the route the day before. Bryan Carpenter, Michelle Bates, and Clint Green spent their Saturday in the woods tying ribbons and marking turns. The race could not happen without great volunteers.

While Saturday was a warm windy and dry day, Sunday was warm, wet, and not as windy. It had rained all night long, and rained off and on throughout the race.

Both races started at 9:00 am, with the trail runners heading west and north up the big hill and into the woods. The road marathoners took off down the paved trail. 

During the course of 6.55 miles, runners got spread out, but still a lot of the crowd stayed together in a train of sorts. Here, Cassy approaches the 5 mile aid station.

I am sure every runner started out tiptoeing around the puddles, but unless you had a clear rocky path, it was best to plow through.

I love all of our aid station workers, and since I was not in the management end of the race, I don't know who all helped out--but William Barnes, Michelle Bates, Kathryn Ivey, RJ Chiles, Shorty Jennings, Mike River, and Meego held down the fort here. 

As is usually the case with this bunch, there was a plethora of goodies to satisfy your nutritional needs and quench your thirst. They specialize in a variety of drink options, many of which will warm your spirit. And their concoctions are tried and proven as evidenced by the exuberant expressions on their faces. 
William's street tacos are amazing. There are a lot of runners who just don't get eating strange food while on a run. Running trail races and particularly ultras can and should change that mindset. 

But the highlight of the race was the rain swollen creeks. These pics are the creek below Pepsi Pond. The race course did not take the trail in the picture. This is usually a dry creek bed. 
But the trail did cross the creek here. This was rushing water, and knee deep on some people during the rainiest hours of the race.

I didn't take pictures during my run. Thanks to Michelle Bates, Tammy Cryer, Leaha Kopp, and Charles McGechie whose pictures I swiped from Facebook.

A shout out to others who worked aid stations and helped in other ways. Clint Green and Candice Brown ran the course early to check the course markings. Stormy Phillips, Philip Berry, and Sarah Crowley were at the turnaround aid station. Ken Saveth and Kevin LeMaster were at the Pepsi Bridge aid station.  I don't know who all to thank at the start/finish and on the road course, but it took a sizable group to take care of all the goings on. Thank you to all who were a part of putting on this fun event.

FULL RESULTS  can be found here.

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