I’m going to start out by saying that if you have never been to Raleigh, GO TO Raleigh. It’s an awesome place with a thriving community full of amazing restaurants, swanky bars and unique art galleries. We left for Raleigh early Friday morning so I could pick up my packet before the race. We arrived in Raleigh right around lunchtime and found this cool Greek restaurant right beside the hotel for a quick bite to eat. We stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown which was walking distance to everything downtown has to offer. After lunch we did some exploring and then drove to get my packet at the running store. There was no expo for this race so it was a quick in and out. The area around the running store is so pretty and reminded me of the Five Points area in Athens. Super cute houses and a great walking/biking area. The GPS took me through this area so I was able to see some of the course before race day. The first thing I noticed was the hills, which I have to say, makes Athens seem flat. The race started at 7:15 Saturday morning. I was so worried Friday night about the race because I knew it was going to be hilly and the last hilly half I did, did not go so well. I was worried about nothing, even though it was one of the more strenuous half’s I have done, my legs felt great the entire time. The course was ran a long a shaded neighborhood and green way, so I was thankful that I was in the shade the majority of the time. Around mile 2, I had this really sweet lady come up to me and ask would I like a running buddy. I was running alone by this point, because I couldn’t keep up with my friend Barbara. I was so thankful to have someone to run with to keep me motivated. I don’t do good in heat and will basically shut down if it gets over 70 degrees. We stayed together the rest of the race and talked and kept each other motivated by encouraging each other as we did our run/walk strategy. I now have a North Carolina friend and are keeping in touch through Facebook. Having someone to talk to made the time pass by more quickly. Before I knew it, we were at mile 12, about to climb the very last hill. The last hill was half a mile long and was straight up. We were exhausted by this point, so we had to push ourselves up it. We finished in 3:18, (not my best time but I had a blast getting to make a new friend). The finishers medal was really cute and had a squirrel on it which is what Raleigh is known for. I was told they actually drop an acorn at New Year’s. Overall, I am really glad Barbara invited me to the race and I was able to run my 10th half marathon with her.
After the race, I was starving so I went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and we headed out to this really great barbecue place called The Pit. If you are ever in Raleigh, stop by and try their BBQ and friend chicken! I don’t normally eat fried chicken but it sounded too good to pass up and it was! We stayed until Sunday afternoon and got to explore all of downtown Raleigh and Chapel Hill. I had a lot of fun the entire trip and will defiantly go back sometime in the near future. Thanks to my awesome friend, Cheryl for coming with me and exploring the city with me. Here we are with our Frose’s!