Is there anything better than cracking open a nice cold beer on a hot summer day? I submit not. But how does a beer taste on a hot summer day after having just run a half-marathon? Well, let me tell you.
On Sunday it as just a skip away to Easton, Massachusetts for the Narragansett Summer Running Festival Half-Marathon. The festival took place on the grounds of Stonehill College and featured a 5K and 10K race offering on Saturday with the half-marathon reserved for Sunday. In the past, all three races took place on the same day therefore splitting up the events was a great way to bring more people to the run and have better logistics around the weekend.
Though the half-marathon kicked off nice and early, last weekend was the hottest weekend of the summer and the heat did not disappoint. The course took runners through residential roads of Easton for the most part and part of the course was through trails of the Natural Resource Trust’s Sheep Pasture. The heat was certainly noticeable on the course but the race directors did a nice job ensuring that there was plenty of water and Gatorade on the course for runners. Right around Mile 9 I passed a snake in the middle of the road who met his maker likely due to some heat related issue and for a brief moment I thought, “Why couldn’t I be that snake, at least the race would be over for me.” But I continued on knowing that the finish line was in the near future.
At the end of the race, runners make their way back onto the absolutely beautiful Stonehill College campus through the roads of the college and a brief half-lap on the track around the football field.
The final stretch of the half-marathon takes runners up a hill that is quite steep and particularly painful given its placement around 12.9 miles into the half. But the booming voice of the announcer coupled with fans cheering, a band playing and the wafts of Narragansett beer floating through the air make pushing it into the finish line all the better.
Certainly not my best half-marathon time but due to the weather this was more of a survival sort of run with getting to the finish line being the main goal. I finished with a time of 2:10:58 or 9:56/miles. The past few years this race has featured some hot conditions but that’s part of the challenge. Let’s see what next year brings.