I finished the Staten Island half-marathon on Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day but a little on the warm side. I started out running with friends who were in my corral but we know that we all run our own race. Which means we part ways as needed and no one minds.
Spectator support isn’t high at this particular race and those who came out were thanked profusely. I was feeling a bit cranky at mile 5 but seeing my friends and hearing them cheer gave me the boost I needed at that moment. I also found a friend of mine and me ran/walked together for a while.
The course was altered from the previous years and included a stretch on the boardwalk. I despise the boardwalk, there are loose boards and I caught the edge of one. Luckily I didn’t trip, just cussed a bit. I found another teammate and we ran together for a bit. After the boardwalk at around mile 8.5 was the first tough hill. I laughed to myself as people were cursing it. The next hill made this look like a bump in the road.
Mile 9 was a steep hill that feels like it goes on forever. I’m used to running and/or walking up this hill during practice. Unbeknownst to me a friend of mine was behind me and focusing on me helped her up the hill. I wish I had seen her! By now it was mile 10 and I thought well, 5k left now you’ve got this. And hallelujah, finally some shade!
At 11.5 miles I started having a little hip pain. With 1.6 to go I was finishing either way and it wasn’t bad if I had to walk the rest of it. I see a little Yorkie on the course, off leash, and I cannot figure out who he’s with. I worry that he is lost but he went trotting over to someone. I keep going.
At the 13 mile mark a man thinks he is being helpful by yelling at runners who are walking to start running. He’s calling them out by shirt color and I’m getting mad. I’m running next to someone who clearly has some sort of disability and needs to run/walk. I am running but I know that if my hip hurt I’d have to walk. I yell at the man and the person I was fretting over thanks me. He said, “We’re all out here doing the best we can. I am pushing to finish.” I assured him he would and we wished each other well.
I crossed the finish line I smile as I hear the announcer call out my name. My legs ache from the hills but my hip feels surprisingly good. I grab water and wait for my friends to finish. I check my watch and this is the fastest run I’ve had since March. Whoo Hoo! While waiting I see the Yorkie and his owner and both of them are wearing medals. I can honestly say I have never seen a dog run a half marathon before.