To start off my Thanksgiving break I ran in the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon yesterday in Nashua, NH. The weather was absolutely perfect; 40’s and not windy. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Last year when I ran this race it was 20 degrees, but felt like 6 degrees because of the windchill. I wore spandex, a jacket, headband, and gloves. This year I was perfectly fine in just shorts and my jersey.
I started out pretty conservatively. My legs didn’t feel fantastic, but were alright. Things were going very smoothly for the first half of the race. Then we hit the hills at mile 5ish. There were no gigantic hills, but a series of good rolling hills with some sharp turns that took the spring out of my legs.
Things started to get a bit grim in the second half. I’m not sure why, but I don’t remember the course being as tough last year. Maybe I’m just getting spoiled with smooth road races, but the hills and trails definitely kicked my butt. There’s a hill in the last mile of the race that I literally thought I was going to die on. I felt like I was just about crawling up it. Nonetheless, I still finished with a PR of 1:37:05, which is over 2 minutes faster than my time from last year. I was definitely expecting more out of myself, but a PR is a PR and I should be happy with that.
Here’s a slow-mo video Santi took of me at the finish. Don’t be too critical of my form, though. Remember, this just after mile 13 where my legs officially felt like jell-o.
My mom and sister also ran in the 5k and both got 1.5-minute PR’s. Woop woop! Those are huge chunks of time to take off a 5k! I’m so proud of them.
Thoughts on the Race
The course starts out on paved roads. Then it comes back towards the finish before going into Mines Falls Park where it does two loops. The hills are towards the end of each loop. It kind of reminds me of a cross-country course. Part of it is on bike paths while most is on trails. It has some more technical running where there are rocks, leaves, and even a bit of sand and mud. Someone I talked to after said that she even tripped twice on the trails. Granted, it’s not what I would call a “PR course.”
With that being said, Wolf Hollow still is one of my favorite courses. It’s absolutely gorgeous going over some cute little bridges and winding by a river. Last year I even remember seeing swans in the river. It wins the prize for the prettiest course I’ve ever run.
There were aid stations about every 2 miles on the course with water and Gatorade. Or, as someone said when I ran by, “watah.” I guess I’m back in the Boston area, haha. The course was well marked and all of the volunteers were very helpful and nice. There was a good assortment of food afterwards including some yummy soup and baked goods. Plus, there was some seriously awesome race swag! I got a really nice technical shirt with a cool design, a finisher’s medal, and a pint glass for my age group place.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race and I definitely want to come back and run it again. Thanks, Wolf Hollow, for putting on a great race!
Do you prefer trail or road races? Have you run any races recently? Anyone else at Wolf Hollow this past weekend?